EDC as a Lifestyle

I was reviewing my blog, and as it turns out, in the years I’ve been writing this, I’ve never done a post on my everyday carry. This seems strange to me, since most of it hasn’t changed in a long time.

To start with, I’ve carried a pocket knife for as long as I can remember. Starting in about the 7th grade, I carried a Boy Scout version Swiss Army knife, up until about the time I graduated from high school. Yes, in those days we could carry a knife with no comment from anyone at school. I even had a teacher borrow mine once or twice.

I changed knives in college, and then went back to the Swiss Army knife you see above, in 1992.

I added the Leatherman tool a few years ago after I received it as a gift. I particularly like it because it’s got tools I can use, like pliers and a file. But the thing I like best is that it doesn’t have a blade, so the TSA lets me take it on an airplane, and so when I travel without checking bags, I’ve got something, at least.

In the same vein, I’ve carried a flashlight for my whole career. As a chemical engineer, there are many times every day when I needed to be able to see something in a shadow or in the dark, and I started carrying an explosion proof flashlight. I still do, only this one is 200 lumens, and uses AA batteries. I keep about 6 rechargeable batteries in rotation, and when the last charged set of 2 go in, the other 4 go in the charger overnight. When I travel, I always carry a spare set of batteries, and I keep a set of 4 in the Get Home Bag.

Next is my wallet. All I carry in there is my various ID – driver’s license, Weapons Carry License, insurance cards, and the like – and my credit cards, and a few business cards. I haven’t carried cash in my wallet since I was in college, and when I do I carry it in a different pocket than the wallet. This has to do with avoiding pickpockets.

In fact, I always carry these things in certain pockets, for a reason. Here’s where:

Right front: cell phone, knives, car keys, cash, and a pen.

Left front: wallet, flashlight.

Left rear: a handkerchief.

Note I don’t carry my wallet in a back pocket, so I can avoid pickpockets. I also carry my wallet on the left side, so if I’m asked by a policeman for my ID, I’m not reaching on the same as my pistol.

I also carry my flashlight in my left pocket, so I can draw it and go to a Harries or other flashlight hold.

On a similar note, in my car I keep my insurance card and registration in a folder on the back of the driver’s side sun visor, since I can’t promise that I haven’t just been to the post office, which would mean my pistol is in the glove box. Again, no sense drawing attention to anything I don’t have to.

Now we get to the most recent addition – a pistol. In the summer I carry Liberty, my G19, IWB at 3 o’clock.

In the winter I mostly carry Bruce, my G17, on my belt OWB at 3 o’clock, with an open shirt or jacket or fleece vest over it.

Year round I carry a G17 magazine with a plus-2 extender on my left side at 3 o’clock.

So there you have it. Nothing that isn’t part of my life, for quite a while.

Having said that . . .

I will likely add a medical pack in the near future, now that Linoge has shown how to put it all in a cell phone case. Stay tuned.

And Now, For Something Completely Different

Today is the 25th anniversary of the release of The Princess Bride, which contains, in my opinion, the greatest Western swordfight on film.

Enjoy:

For the sake of discussion, here is the greatest Eastern swordfight.

I welcome your discussion. En garde.

Knife Review – Gerber Dime

Gerber’s Dime, shown with a G17 magazine for size comparison

In March of this year, I bought a Gerber Dime micro multi-tool, and started carrying it as part of my EDC posse. After six months of carry, I thought I would share my experience and impressions.

The tool is very small, measuring about 2-3/4 inches long by 3/4 inch wide, by 1/2 inch thick when folded. It includes the following:

The Dime unfolded

  • Pliers with wire cutters
  • Scissors
  • Regular blade
  • Box opener blade
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Smaller screwdriver with file
  • Bottle opener built into the frame

The tool is very compact and sturdy. I’ve made it a point to use it in preference to other tools, and it’s held up well.

The pliers work well for their size, with good leverage and good serrated teeth. I’ve used them to hold bolts and to tighten bolts. The wire cutters worked well on small gauge wire and for cutting the ends off plastic wire ties.

The scissors are really too small to be of much good. I did use them to cut some cord, but that might have been better accomplished with a knife.

The regular knife blade did well. It is plenty sharp even after six months with no sharpening.

The box cutter blade may be the most surprising part of the tool. I’ve used it the most, to open packages and even cut through cardboard boxes to open furniture.

The screw drivers worked well enough, although their size, combined with the small handle with the tool folded, makes them not very effective with anything but the easiest of screws. The file on the small screwdriver is virtually non-usable because of its size.

Second to the box cutter blade, the bottle opener may be the most useful part. Even with the short moment arm, beer bottles were very easy to open.

The tool also comes with a small key chain loop, which I removed, because I don’t carry it on my key chain, and the loop was annoying.

Now, I tend the throw things in my pocket without doing a lot of regular maintenance, and I found, when I unfolded the Dime to take a picture for this blog, that a few of the surfaces like the scissor blades had become rusty. A few passes with a bronze brush and a wipe with the ubiquitous lightly oiled gun rag removed most of it. Also, in six months of carry with other metallic objects – keys, a folding blade knife, coins – the flat black finish has scratched off in places.

All in all, the Gerber Dime has become a welcome addition to my pocket. While it doesn’t excel at anything other than opening boxes or beer, it is useful enough to carry, especially when carried along with a simple folding blade knife.

I give the Gerber Dime 3-1/2 eye patches out of 5.

 

 

 

FTC disclaimer – I bought all merchandise, and there was no consideration given in exchange for this review.

Knife Review – Victorinox Swiss Army

I’ve carried a knife of some sort just about every day since I was 10 years old. I’ve been carrying a Swiss Army Tinker from Victorinox for about 20 years. Before that, I carried a Boy Scout model Swiss Army knife since about the 7th grade, until I lost it when my canoe capsized when I was on a camping trip in Ohio when I was in college.

This year for Christmas, I presented the Dauphin with his first pocket knife, a Swiss Army Climber model. He was very pleased.

Here are our knives, side by side, with mine on the left and the new one on the right:

Since it had been about 20 years since I looked the Swiss Army line, I was also pleased with the changes Victorinox has made.

First, as the photo shows, mine is shinier than his, because his side panels are a matte texture, versus the old slick plastic. This makes the knife much easier to grip when wet. I tested it and I like it.

Second, there are a few more blades on the Climber versus my Tinker model. The scissors are much welcome. My wife carries a small Classic Swiss Army, and she tells me she uses the scissors at least once a week.

The Climber also has a hook and a corkscrew, but is lacking the Philips head screwdriver.

My impressions of the Climber are very positive, by itself, and compared to my Tinker. Opening is smooth, the blades are all solid and sharp, and the miscellaneous tools are easy to open and use.

I’m still pleased with my 20 year old Tinker, too. Although one panel is a little loose, the grip is still comfortable and usable. The blades have kept their edge, although I dress them regularly.

In all, this new knife should serve my son well for the rest of his life, provided he doesn’t put it in the pocket of an unsecured sweatshirt on any canoe trips.

++++

A note of thanks is due here to Sheriff Jim Wilson. Some time back he and I swapped some tweets about pocket knives, and about how I had resisted giving my son a knife, for fear that he would accidentally take it to school, and in today’s Zero Tolerance world, be expelled when it was discovered.

Sheriff Jim responded simply that this might also be a way to teach responsibility.

Later, he wrote in his blog

I especially like to see a kid with a good pocket knife. It’s usually an indication that someone trusts him. And it is tangible proof that he is growing up and that the day when he will have his very own .22 rifle is not all that far off. Kids need that sort of trust and responsibility.

I think he was right. Thank you, Sheriff.