I remember when I was a young boy I loved sitting on the banks of the local river with my Dad, Grandpa, and a couple of fishing poles. My Dad and Grandpa taught me many lessons on that bank. Lessons on how to be a good neighbor, how to be an upstanding member of my community, how to be a man true to my convictions, how to treat a woman and most importantly the importance of always saying what you mean and meaning what you say. But I also remember always being excited to see what my Grandpa and Dad carried in their pockets. My Grandpa always carried his trusty Case two bladed trapper pocket knife, a Timex watch, his wallet, a can of chew, a coin purse, a Zippo lighter, and a handkerchief. My Dad always carried his wallet, also a Zippo, his watch on his wrist, and an old Shcrade Sharpfinger skinning knife on his hip. I always was excited to know that someday my Grandpa would pass down his pocket knife to me to carry and pass on to my son when the time came. Since my Grandpa's passing I have had that trusty knife and although I no longer carry it it is in waiting for my son when the time is right. But, seeing what my Grandpa and Dad carried everyday gave me a basis for determining what I carry now on a daily basis and this knowledge will undoubtedly be passed to my son. Currently I have on my person 95% of the time my Kershaw pocket knife, a watch, my wallet, some form of paper and writing utensil, and a handkerchief. What do you carry and why?
There is an EDC discussion group that has pretty good participation...
Currently, I carry my bone handled Case 3 bladed stockman knife (and usually another knife or two or three), my watch, my wallet, nexus 4 smartphone, business cards, handkerchief, and my camera around my neck.
If I'm wearing a sportcoat (most days) I'll also have a moleskine, pen, small tactical flashlight, and a spare battery and card for the camera.
I try to carry the least amount of stuff on my person as possible only because my profession requires that I carry a "jump bag" with me all the time when I'm out and I have a lot more things in there to include light sources and a full emergency med kit.
My current EDC is a Spyderco pocket knife, Galaxy S4 smartphone, a Swiss Army knife, an 8GB flash drive, my wallet, my carry handgun, and an eGo rechargeable electronic cigarette.
Forgive me, this'll be a big one.
First Picture: Crap on my person: Wallet, Watch, Truck Keys, Cellphone, Leatherman Wave, Seatbelt cutter.
Wallet is in my back pocket, cellphone is in case attached to my radio strap, Leatherman and Seatbelt cutter share the Wave's nylon sheath.
2nd Pic: 2 Front pockets of duty bag: Hatch FM2000 gloves, Notebook, cheap lockback I use for Food and Food-Related Items since the Leatherman sees dirt and chemicals.
3rd Pic: Side Pouch of Duty Bag: Paramedic Shears/Pen/Sharpie, Gerber Hinderer, Sunglasses, Hat, Toque, CPR Shields.
Inside of Duty Bag: Rain Jacket, Hardhat and Safety Glasses (inside hardhat behind liner) and 3 D-Cell MagLite....Not pictured is my lunch bag, and the 6 pairs of nitrile gloves I keep clipped to the side of the bag.
My dad always wears his watch, carries a Normark Super Suede Lockback and a really nice LED flashlight on his hip, as well as his cellular phone and Motorola Pager for the fire department.
Off duty I carry my Cellphone, Wallet, Watch, and Case Copperlock in my back pocket with my wallet, on duty see pics.
It speaks of family, passing things down both in word and cherished possession. And totally alien to my childhood experience.
All I remember is that my dad had a wallet and liked to carry cash at all times (being the rebel I seldom carry cash, and often weeks go by before I'll open the thing up to discover a twenty that somehow got there). Otherwise I don't know what he carried, never mind if he had anything from his dad who I never knew.
Other than a wallet and phone I carry my car/house/office keys and that's it..until last year.
Upon reading about my minimal EDC a member here was kind enough to actually send me a small pocket knife, with the explanation of why I needed to carry one and how that was part of being a man.
So I carry it now, to the amusement (and initially horror) of my family. I don't use it much but I imagine one day it will come in handy; who knows. The thought someone went out of his way to share his feeling I needed to carry one still warms my heart today.
Well, in Bavaria we say:
"A mo bracht a Messa!"
This translates losely into a man needs his knife. Therefore not carrying my swiss army knife is a thought that has never really occurred to me.
Besides of that Europeans tend to carry way less then Americans (although this may only be my personal impression). All I have in my pockets, aside the knife, is my wallet, my keyring including a bottle-opener (absolutely indispensible in Bavaria) and my phone.
I'd really like to learn why you Americans go for such a wide-spread range of object in your EDC.
I too am into minimal carrying around of stuff, but I'm still a bit fuzzy why a man needs to carry a knife.
I have not for decades and never, ever felt want of one.
I would say I'm minimalist.
knife (the actual knife changes according to where I'm going), keys, handkerchief, wallet and phone (don't always have this while on vacation). I also wear a watch.
Once you have a knife you find reasons to use it. When my kids were young I used my knife mostly to cut straws at restaurants. Small kid + small drink + straw that reaches above their head = tipped over cup that pours liquid out even if it has a lid. I don't use my knife everyday but it does come it handy when it is needed. If you have a small knife it takes up basically no room and it always there when you need it. Most of the time I carry a small Gerber Paraframe and I removed the pocket clip so it is slimmer and fits in my front pocket better.
I've carried a knife since the fall. Have used it seldom, at home when it would just save me a trip to the kitchen. Outside of that I have not used it.
I am afraid when the time eventually comes to use it I'll forget I have it; typical me.
They are useful, if only to open those ridiculous blister packs things come packaged in now.