Monday, April 19, 2010

Pocket Carry Revisited

A couple of years ago I did a post about my daily pocket carry. Then Ferfal made me start to think about it again in his most recent post. I went back to my original post on the topic and noticed that he just commented on it a month ago. My pocket carry has changed a bit in two years so it's time to revisit the topic.

First of all I upgraded my flashlight. I went from a single AAA Rayovac pen light to a 2x AAA Streamlight Stylus Pro. The Streamlight is much brighter and more durable. The Rayovac is smaller and lighter. It's durable enough for light duty use and after several months in my pocket I still have it and it still works just as reliably as the Streamlight. The light isn't very bright, though. In a truly dark room it's completely worthless. It took getting stuck in a pitch black warehouse to make me realize how bad it really was. The Streamlight doesn't exactly light up a room but it's bright enough to light a clear path no matter how dark it gets. I bought it and first reviewed it back in November.

I also upgraded my mini Gerber Paraframe to a CRKT Urban Shark. The CRKT is bigger and fatter but it's not a big enough difference for me to notice. It feels more durable and it holds a better edge. More importantly it fits much more comfortably in my hand. Most importantly, it's just a higher quality knife. The size of the Gerber was very convenient but it was a little awkward when I needed to apply more than a little leverage.

I added a multitool. I started carrying a Gerber Clutch off and on at least a year ago. After finding myself using it more and more often I've begun carrying it all the time. It's a handy little tool but, like the paraframe, I can see myself upgrading to something a little bit bigger and more practical. Whatever I replace it with just needs to disappear in my pocket as easily as the Clutch does. I'd rather not pay a lot of money for an upgrade, either. I've got a few full sized multitools (from high quality Leathermen to cheapo Winchesters) so when the time comes that I need a bigger multitool on a regular basis I'll have something to fall back on.

Not much else has changed. The cell phone is a no brainer. I hate carrying anything but keys on my keychain. Keychains are bulky enough without a bunch of crap hanging off of them. I always like to have a pen on me. I've sworn by Bic lighters for years and that's what I'll continue to carry. Besides the normal cards, pictures and emergency contact card in my wallet I also carry a small firesteel (broken off of one of those cheapo magnesium bars) and about 10 or 20 feet of duct tape wrapped around an old expired credit card. If you're one of those people who can't keep a credit card in your wallet without maxing it out then that might be one way to have one handy in case of emergencies.

I've been thinking about other ways to turn my wallet into a mini survival kit but I really don't want to go nuts. I need my EDC to disappear into my pockets. I can't carry backups of backups of everything. I can't carry anything on my belt. If I can't find a use for something day to day then I don't put it in my pocket. I prefer to carry quality items that I can rely on to work rather than carry three flashlights, four lighters, two multi-tools, five knives and two or three guns "just in case". If it can easily disappear into my wallet and there's the chance that I may someday be able to use it, though, then I may be able to justify it. In a worst case scenario what I always have on me just needs to get me to my car where I keep my GHB. That's where I keep my backups to backups and things that will help insure my chances of making it home during a disaster. My car is never more than a few blocks away so it will take one hell of a problem for me not to make it at least that far. More on that later.

11 comments:

Bitmap said...

The main thing I've done with EDC over the last two years is to get completely away from jeans and go to "cargo" type pants and shorts. You can even get "tactical" slacks that have lots of extra hidden pockets that you can wear to all but the fanciest dress occasions.

The extra pockets give me room to spread my gear out more which makes it more comfortable to carry.

I've also been looking around for a small fixed blade knife just to try out and see if I can find a way to carry it.

Dustin Tarditi said...

Consider the ESEE knives' Izula - excellent fixed-blade. 100% guaranteed forever. No questions asked. Sell it, give it away, etc. 100% transferable.

http://www.eseeknives.com/neck_knife.htm

You can get it with or without (standard) scales.

If you want something a little bigger, the HEST is an amazing design, too.

I am just a satisfied owner of an ESEE RC5.

Geothermal Heat Pumps said...

Geothermal Heat Pumps ! The future centralize cooling system !

Gilbert Chung said...

Seeing as the Streamlight is inadequate for you, may I suggest you upgrade to a 4Sevens Preon 1 or 2? Just look it up, its the same pen-like size of the Stylus Pro but has so much more power and 7 modes in total. I got mine for $45 at Goinggear.com...they specialize in lights. Preon 1 is shorter and runs on 1 x AAA and Preon 2 is longer and takes 2 x AAA.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post. I don't think I considered turning my wallet into a mini-kit until now. Great info.

Bill W.
military surplus

Anonymous said...

Having once had to wear those nooses etc. for my work time, i did the following :

put a packed "belt bag" in my briefcase. It was always there, ready to strap on when needed, and not a problem with my appearance on a regular basis. Only one person ever asked me about it either, but this was before all these metal detectors we pass through nowdays.

was actually able to pack a lot of gear in that pack too.

JGuest said...

I am always searching for the best way to organize and transport my "stuff." I wanted an option that would let me carry everything I wanted to have with me, regardless of the type of clothing I was wearing, without having to load and unload every item every time I changed or went out, and without gravity and the cargo constantly trying to take my pants to my ankles. Herewith, the "man purse." I carry a Maxpedition Fatboy shoulder bag. It allows me to carry a full size pistol, a spare magazine, a Mk IV pepper spray, a Leatherman Wave, a Large CRKT folder, my wallet, my cell phone, a tactical flashlight, a general use flashlight, my Palm, a small bottle of Purell, an N95 mask, a Res-Q-Me tool, a pocket pack of tissues, and a small container of aspirin and benadryl, with room to spare. It's anything but fashionable, but very surprisingly NO ONE has given it a second glance or made a comment. It is heavy, and although mostly hands-free, there are times it would be easier to leave it behind. But it has become a part of me and has been my "system" for several years.

Anonymous said...

If you want a great little pocket light, try the Fenix LD01. It is only 3" long uses 1 AAA battery and has three brightness settings. 9(11Hrs), 28(3.5hrs) and 85(1hr) lumens. It only weights 14 grams w/o the battery.

Chris

Anonymous said...

I've kept a SOG Crosscut mini tool in my trucker's wallet for years. The only thing that prevents this one from pocket carry is necessity for sleeve - those gears are great for reducing cutting effort, but they tear holy hell out of pockets if worn without it. A Leatherman S4 is another possibility, that one more pocket friendly.

Anonymous said...

'nother cheap wallet addition and this one is free (after you drink contents). Capri Sun foil bag cup. Just cut the top off of envelope when done, and you have a foldable cup you can carry everywhere you go. Great for places having water fountains, an easy way to carry a drink of water to a spouse or kid in line. Maybe not to glamourous, but handy it is.

Army Surplus said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.