Every Day Carry
One of the blogs in my reader is the well-known “every-day carry” where people show how they carry all the gadgets and gizmos they might need day-to-day. There are some “loadouts” that are survivalists, bristling with military hardware, hand-guns and fighting knives which are absolutely absurd, usually carried by fat men with thick spectacles acting out walter mitty fantasies, and would be illegal in the UK. There are also some minimalist and stylish collections of fine leather goods and beautifully chosen tools. It’s a good place to go and indulge my small leather goods fetish, or my desire for beautiful tools, like these William Henry Knives.
I find it absurd, for example that a decent multi-tool would be (sort of) illegal to carry in the UK. Most have blades which lock in place (far safer than a UK-legal slip-joint folder) and blades greater than the maximum 3″. If you have an excuse to carry a multi-tool, then it’s legal. So if I carry one, it lives in my Bicycle tool kit but I regard the fact that I might have to justify carrying something so self-evidently useful as a leatherman, as a gross intrusion.
Generally speaking, the EDC is a philosophy of preparedness, at all times, while keeping the weight & bulk down. This requires thought about the objects you carry. So should your pen double as a self-defence tool? Your key-chain a tool or light? Memory sticks? Do you need a knife AND a multitool? Notebook, pens, sunglasses. Can you carry stuff on your belt, without looking like a total twat? These are all important questions.
Here’s what I carry with me every day, bearing in mind I’m a cycling stockbroker. It’s heavy on pens and business cards and light on firearms.
Omega speedmaster reduced (the automatic version of the moonwatch).
Wallet, business card case and pen holder by Aspinals
Parker 51 fountain pen, pencil & Victorninox Tourist which live in the pen-holder.
Fisher space pen & extra-small moleskine notebook, carried in wallet.
and of course, a phone: HTC desire, in an ultra-slim leather case by Senna.
More often than not, the Kindle plus cover by Piel Frama will come with me when I leave the house. Especially if there’s public transport involved. If I’m cycling, I will wear Oakley half-jackets, and will certainly carry a flash-light, in case I need to cycle after dark. In the bag, I carry a waterproof, high-visibility jacket & overshoes (if not carried, it WILL rain), a small first aid-kit (gauze, iodine mesh, tape, antiseptic spray, tweezers, Ibuprofen scisors and a space-blanket), spare lenses for the Glasses for different light conditions, spare batteries for the bike lights.
In the small saddle-bag there is always a CO2 pump, plus spare canister, inner tube, tyre patch, puncture repair kit, tyre levers, zip-ties, a cycling multi-tool with Allen keys and a chain-breaker. I also carry a spokey, spare nipples and a kevlar spoke, enough to get the bike home after almost any disaster. This lives permanently on the bike.
Finally I usually carry an electronic gizmo “life support system” in a small pencil case, which contains a multi-usb plug, leads, adaptors and a power-monkey, a spare battery for the phone, with which I can charge any of the electronics I carry from either a computer or plug.
Is there anything else I need? It seems like a lot, but the first picture fits in my pockets, the second takes up the smallest pouch on my courier bag, including the contents of the third picture. Generally speaking, I’m ready for most things that the day might throw at me.
Blimey: an "offensive weapon" (the Swiss Army knife) plus what looks like (in the final photo) a bishop's mitre. This will confuse the police if you're stopped for cycling without lights.
I do llike the blog, but you really are completely bonkers arent you? A bit like your "angry about train fare hikes? Move closer to work so you can cycle" comment, which is so fucking stoo-pid I dont know where to start.
Chairman, Why is moving so one can cycle to work any more "Stoo-pid" than spending 7% of your life (a 40 minute commute) driving, a stressful, expensive, resource-draining, misery making activity of absolutely no worth or benefit?
After all, it's what I've done every time I've got a new job.
This is the most brilliantly Patrick Batemanesque post you've ever written. Well done Sir!
EDC – what a great blog.
I'm less concerned about what I carry than keeping it dry, and ensuring everything is kept in the correct place at home. That way, when I stumble out of bed in the morning, I don't have to think about what to take – I just grab all the stuff from the appointed place and go. Biggest row I had with the missus last year was when she decided to "tidy up" a bit and moved my things without telling me. I wasn't very happy when I was a few miles from home, the sun wasn't up, it was raining, and I suddenly woke up enough to realise that half my work clobber was missing.
As for keeping my stuff dry – I visit the IT guys at work every few months and scavenge computer parts bags from them. If you get the right sort of bag, they're quite robust, seal well and come in a wide variety of sizes. After a few months of opening and closing them every day, they start to rip, so it's back to the IT shop for some more.
I like the minimalism of the EDC blokes. One thing I discovered in the infantry is that a big pack is a curse – you stuff too much unnecessary crap into it! Limit what you carry to the absolute necessities, and cull your stuff on a regular basis.