It used to be just “what I carry with me everyday”. Wallet, keys, phone. That was pretty much it.
About a year ago, I unintentionally discovered the Everyday Carry (EDC) scene. It was when I had to replace my 7 years old bifold. I was thinking of a minimalistic front-pocket wallet. I hopped onto Google and searched “minimalistic leather wallet”, and after a few clicks from one review to another, I landed on EDC land and its friends (e.g., Carryology).
Why carry all these things?
I’ve had many people questioned my reasons for carrying a flashlight or a knife, but they are also the ones who “borrow” my flashlight and knife when they happen to need it. This is how I see it, do I want to be the person asking everyone else around me for what I need? Or do I want to be able to provide for myself? I’m not calling on a lone-wolf approach, but simply being responsible for my own need (and wants :D).
Originally, I treated EDC just as a ‘fancy’ term for ‘what am I carrying?” However, I realize the fun of EDC is the optimization of it.
For example, keys. The standard keyring system allows us to carry all of our keys in a loop. It can then be thrown inside a pocket, a bag, or attached to a belt loop, usually via a carabiner. There were several things that slightly irritated me about this system.
- Noisy – it creates a lot of noise if it is just suspending from a belt loop.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Put it in a key holder (leather pouch kind of thing) that is soft.
- Comfort – when I do need to put my keys in my pocket, it was very uncomfortable.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Put it in a key holder that is soft (same as above!)
- Unorganized – I had 9 keys in total, and even though I added some color tag onto my 2 main keys (home and work), the task of picking out the key I needed was still not very efficient.
DQ-ed POSSIBILITY: Multiple sets of key. I banned that idea without even trying. It complicates my system.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Some kind of key organizer
- Ugly – just…doesn’t look good?
POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Some kind of key organizer, again.
So in short, I was looking for a key organizer with flexible/soft fabric/edges. I narrowed it down to a few options. I didn’t want just a leather pouch holding keys, since it was not “organized”. Keyport required physically modifying the keys, which was too much work. Keysmart was close to what I wanted, but I wanted something “soft”. So I settled with the Orbitkey, which is basically a keysmart with leather or TPU polymer material which will semi-enclose my keys. This way, the keys don’t clash and make a lot of noise, and when it is in my pocket, it will still be comfortable. I added a Snap Hook instead of using their ‘external attachment’ to connect my car keys. The Snap Hook also eliminated the use of an extra carabiner, further decreasing bulk. Organization wise, my two main keys are always the first one near the edge of all my keys. And the big plus? it looks nice 🙂
Anyway, the search for a wallet turned into a serious reflection on how I should maximize efficiency in what I carry. It was a point of no return…next thing I knew, a year later, my EDC – in an urban environment- are the following (see pic above):
- Wallet: Saddleback Leather Front Pocket ID Wallet (It is able to hold 11 cards total, – CC, IDs, etc -, 1 key card, 8 bills, and 3 proof of insurances). That is what is in the wallet within the photo.)
- Knife: Spyderco Cat (blade length = 2.438″, 2.5oz, perfect size for me)
- Flashlight: Foursevens Preon 1 + Titanium pocket clip (+ grip tape to make it easier to twist with one hand; would’ve preferred black, but red was on sale…)
- Watch: MVMT Watch (got it during Indiegogo campaign)
- Ring: generic black metal ring (from an old shopping mall in Hong Kong, $45 HKD)
- Phone: OnePlus One 64GB
- Keys: Orbitkey leather key organizer with ITW Snaphook
- Handgun: Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm
- Holster: HSP INCOG holster with our without mag caddy (my post on modification of mag caddy)
These are things I find to always be on me no matter where I go. Wallet, flashlight and knife in right front pocket, keys hanging from a belt loop, phone in left front pocket. Empty backpockets for whatever I need to put there in temporarily.