|Trifecta of awesome: Leatherman, Spyderco and Fenix|
What I was noticing was that anything I used daily had to be more rugged to withstand the abuse of working outside with water, harsh chemicals and getting in and out of the truck all day. Shoes, watch, wallet, you name it. Nothing that wasn't rugged lasted any length of time. Which leads me to the first rule of my EDC philosophy:
1. If something is used every day, it must be rugged
This is the heart of my EDC philosophy, and one I have lived by for 3 decades. The more I use something, the better and more rugged it needs to be. in order to survive the abuse I put all my stuff through. Recently I retired a pair of Oakleys I had worn for 7 years. I have pocket knives that are just as good today as they were 20 years ago. Granted, some EDC items like LED flashlights can go obsolete within a year, but some EDC items can stand the test of time. Either way, my normal cheapskate rules don't apply to EDC.
2. One is none, and two is one
|I've had the Craftsman tool on my keychain for 20 years!|
3. Small carry
The old saying "the best tool is the one you have with you" is especially true for me. I tend to leave anything behind that's too heavy or cumbersome. I might say "I'm fine with the extra weight", but do I actually put it in my pocket? There are plenty of situations where I will carry larger gear, but day to day, I just prefer to lug around less weight.
I'm not obsessed about weight, but I've noticed that the lighter and smaller something is, the more I tend to carry it. Because of this, I like the most bang for the buck I can get. If I can get a compact pocket knife that does the same job as a larger one, I'm going to pick that one.
4. Easily obtainable
|The polarized lenses on the Wayfarers are awesome|
If I can't get it from somewhere like Amazon or Walmart or somewhere I can have it within a few days, then it's not for me. Everything I carry every day is a replaceable cog in the wheel.
5. KISS Principle
Keep it simple, stupid. Just as I noticed I was leaving bulky items behind in favor of the the more compact ones, I noticed that I was leaving complicated items behind in favor of the simpler. Being a computer nerd, complexity is something I am comfortable with, but for EDC most of that complexity just isn't needed day to day. As an engineer, I despise over-engineering and I respect elegant simplicity that can go into something as basic and mundane as a small, folding pocket knife.
Since I have started heavily scrutinizing the items that are with me, I have seen much more and better use from them. So have my friends and family, because when something goes wrong, out comes the Leatherman or little pocket knife.
|My 40th birthday present, a Tag Heuer Link|
Here's most of the items in my "EDC Rotation":
|Pocket Knife||Spyderco Dragonfly|
|The most commonly used item in my EDC arsenal. The Spydercos are just superb.|
|Flashlight||Fenix LD01 (AAA)
Jetbeam BA10 (AA)
|Great for emergencies but more useful day to day than you would think. For camping and the woods, I usually have a more powerful AA (or larger) flashlight on me.|
|Multi-Tool||Leatherman Squirt PS4|
|Situational. The further I am from home, the more likely I am to have a multi-tool with me. For really far from home or camping, I like to have a larger multi-tool like the Wingman.|
|Sunglasses||Oakley Gas Can|
|I wear the Wayfarers when I want to look nice, but for EDC I have the Gas Cans, which seem pretty much indestructible.|
Tag Heur Link
|I have a couple nices watches like my Tag Heuer, but for EDC I want something I'm not afraid to accidentally destroy.|
|Fixed Blade||Kershaw Bear Hunter II|
Cold Steel Tanto GI
|I always carry a fixed blade knife when I'm camping or in the woods.|
SWM R01A Flashlight
|I usually have a few keychain gadgets on any given keychain/day.|