Sunday, January 29, 2012

Purpose of EDC... my view anyway.

I had originally meant to make my first actual post be about the Malkoff 3 D Maglite Drop-in but I realized that I have a lot of editing and clean up to do on that article before I post it.  Plus, I need a few more pictures.  So, I thought I'd discuss my outlook on EDC.  Many of the items I'll briefly list in this post, I'll discuss in more detail in future articles.

Go to the EDC forum and read over a handful of posts and you'll quickly realize that there are as many different takes to EDC as there are people on that board.  That is just ONE board.

For me, my interest in EDC just kind of evolved over several years.  I went from carrying a pocket knife to carrying a cellphone and a pocket knife.  Then over time I added a flashlight to the aforementioned.  From there I began carrying a handgun.  Today, my EDC may change from day to day depending on the weather, time of year, and where I'm going.  However, there are constants.  I ALWAYS have my handgun, my wallet, a pocket knife, and a flashlight, regardless of what time of day it is.

In addition to those four items I'll often have my Maxpedition brand pocket organizer.  I'll do a post specifically about it but as a basic rule I have at any given time these items within it.  A small Molskine notebook, alcohol based hand sanitizer, a secondary flashlight (4Sevens 2AA Tactical), a red pen, a black pen, and a Gerber multi-tool.  I can add or change out items before leaving the house as needed.  The organizer generally resides in my cargo pocket.

Often times I'll also have with me, or in my car, a 5.11 brand back pack.  More specifically a COVRT 18.  This pack's contents change often but for the past couple of months its stayed the same.  In no particular order, I keep my Zebralight headlamps (2), a medium sized notebook, various pens (fountain, rollerball, and ballpoint), my netbook computer, skullcandy headphones, small keychain size AAA flashlight, spare batteries of various sizes, clorox wipes (wipe a "clean" table down at any restaurant one time, look at the white wipe, and realize why I do this), a small selection of first aid supplies, a pair of super sharp Fiskar's scissors in a plastic sheath, a butane jet lighter, wine bottle opener, and a large battery pack charger that is good for 10 to 12 charges of my Android smartphone.  There are a few odds and ends I left out but they aren't overly important.

Now, many look at this list of items and say "wow".  Just on flashlights alone I get questioned often.  However, I can't think of how many times I've been with someone that needed a flashlight and they not have one anywhere near them.  Even during the day.  I was at the car dealer the other day and they needed a light in the service bay and didn't have one they had access to.  I simply pulled mine out of my pocket and the woman was just taken aback that I had one on me.

On the subject of flashlights I'll paraphrase a quote I've read many times on various boards.  If the weatherman says there is a 50% chance of rain, most of us will take a jacket or umbrella.  Well folks, there is a 100% chance of dark EVERY DAY.

As for the other stuff, do I require it?  Of course not.  However, I can't tell you how many times each one of the items in my EDC gear comes in handy or even necessary.

My outlook on EDC is very different from many and very similar to others.  Everyone that practices EDC looks at it differently.  Many believe you should carry more.  Many believe the load out should be less.  As for the items within, well that is always up for discussion and debate among the EDC peoples.  In the end, its what works for those that carry that gets carried by those people.

That after all is the point of this blog.  To tell you what I personally keep on or around me and why.  Then for you to figure out if one of those items is something that will help you out in your daily life.

That said, I sign off for the night.  I'm hoping to make at least one, maybe two posts a week until I'm all out of ideas of what to write about.  The Malkoff article should hit the net on Wednesday or Thursday.

If you have anything to add or ask, feel free to post as a comment.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I can remember being obsessed with flashlights even when I was a kid.  There was just something about having “power” over the darkness of night that was appealing to me.  Particularly since I lived in a very rural area with no neighbors and often without so much as a security light on a pole near by.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed time in the dark as much as or maybe even more than many.  I suppose it was just the concept of being able to break the inkiness with the flick or press of a switch that fed my interest.

Back then though, life was tough on a flashaholic.  A term I didn’t even become aware existed until just a few years ago when I stumbled upon Candlepower Forums and realized that my “obsession” was not only shared by many others but in some cases, to a degree that absolutely dwarfed mine.  Back “in the day” there just wasn’t a lot out there to pack a punch.  Ignorance is bliss though I suppose. Back then I thought that my “Streamlight” flashlight, that also converted to a headlamp (a very uncomfortable one I might add), was great and my parent’s MagLite was just the absolute bee’s knees.  Oh what little did I know.  

Sometime circa 2005 I decided I needed a good light for work and found myself browsing through the world of modern “tactical” lights.  I finally settled on an Inova LED flashlight that came with a recharging cradle and with that it was like taking the first hit of meth.  I can’t say I know exactly what a meth addiction is like but I can’t imagine its any stronger than a flashaholics addiction to lights and the never-ending battle to find either the brightest light possible in the smallest package they can squeeze it into or simply the most blindingly bright light possible period, size and weight be damned.

Since that fateful day, I say as I chew my nails and scratch at my unkempt hair as I browse the “new items” or “just in” pages of my favorite crac... I mean flashlight suppliers, I have purchased a truly ridiculous number of flashlights.  There in is my point about addiction.  I can admit that no sane man needs as many lights as I have.  I just can’t do anything to stop myself.

I continue to find lights that are super small but throw a fantastic amount of light, brighter and smaller than what I currently carry.  Sometimes its a light that has a lumen output higher than anything I have in my possession and I have to go try to figure out how to get it.  Sometimes I sell older, less impressive lights.  Sometimes I pinch pennies or set aside my day of holiday pay. Sometimes I try to trade family members I’m not overly close to. (I'm sure they will enjoy their stay in Bangkok.

Coincidentally, the world of flashlights bled over into my interest in firearms and then later into the world of every day carry or EDC.  With several blogs and forums dedicated to these three subjects its interesting to note that nearly all of them in some way bleed over into the others.

All the above having been said, I’ve been trying to come up with a way to get my creativity going again and decided that over the next few months I would try to do reviews or articles on some of the various items that I do indeed EDC as well as some of the items I keep around the house “just in case”.  Its really more for me than anyone else but I hope that some one reads at least one of the posts and gains something from it in some way.

So, with that, I’ll close this post and see about getting started on my first review.  A look into a popular refit to the venerable old MagLite that turns it back into an actual usable and reliable light.  Stay tuned.