Every Day Carry

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I’ve mentioned before that folks that know me know I’m more likely than most to be ready, willing, and able to solve problems at a moment’s notice. Part of this is from knowing how things work. I’ve had a long string of hands-on jobs over the years, plus thousands of little DIY projects.

I am curious, and have always loved taking things apart, and then trying to put them back together. Sometimes they work again (or still), and sometimes I had to hide the fact that I broke it. In my younger day, many times I ended up with leftover pieces that just didn’t seem to fit. A common thought stream when I was younger was, “It seems to be just fine without it. I wonder what it was for?”

These days, my understanding of how things work is paired up with a select few things that are always with me in order to resolve every day problems. I always believed that each problem has multiple ways to resolve it, all I need is to have one option available.  By pairing my mechanical knowledge and my every day carry items (EDC), I am able to meet most daily challenges.

I try to carry a little bit of everything I think I might need. Here are the basics.


First on the list is a knife. This could be a single bladed folder like my Sodbuster,  a multifunction knife like my Tinker Swiss Army Knife, to one of my  Leatherman Wave multitools (I have three!) that is more like a toolbox with a knife blade (two blades actually) in it.

The possibilities for every day use of a knife cannot be stressed enough. From trimming loose threads to slicing apples, or should the need arise, cutting a stuck seat belt after a crash. Not many days go by that I don’t find a use for my knife. The functionality and usefulness of pocket carried knives may be why I have so many, and always want more.

And it is not unusual for me to carry more than one. Just in case.


The handiness of having something to tie with is only surpassed by the handiness of a knife. This is why I list line as the second most important thing to carry with me every day. While I have the knowledge and skills to make my own cordage from plant fibers locally scavenged, it is simply easier to just carry some.

One of the many I've made myself.
One of the many I’ve made myself.

Like most self-reliant types, I LOVE MILSPEC paracord. I usually wear a bracelet of the stuff, as well as carrying 50 or more feet of it in my backpack. Both of our vehicles have some, just in case. And due to its strength and small diameter, it offers a large range of uses, from replacing broken shoestrings and belts, to holding together a throttle cable on you boat engine when it breaks when you are five miles offshore, exactly what happened on my Father’s Day adventures over the weekend. We would have made it home without it, but it made the trip far less stressful, and essentially removed the problem until it could be fixed properly.

While paracord is my favorite, nylon line tends to be the best option for carrying, it has multiple uses and is strong for its size. Other options include braided and Kevlar fishing line, though due to its strength and diameter, be careful, it WILL cut you.


Yes, money does make the world go `round. I try to always carry a $100 bill, no matter what. In this day, since the spending power of the US dollar has dropped so much, I no longer worry about carrying smaller bills. Twenty dollar bills get spent (my kids and wife roll me for twenties all the time), but I can find another option before I will break a $100 bill. This way, I tend to keep it with me longer, yet still have it. Recently, I carried the same Benjamin for 7 months before breaking down and spending it…on an “emergency” sweatshirt at a softball tournament my teen HAD to have.

My kids still don’t understand wants vs. needs still. I am failing as a self-reliant father.


On his album, Cyberpunk (one of my favorites), Billy Idol says, “Information is power and currency”. I agree with the currency part, by the power is where it’s at for me. Knowing something makes it yours, in my opinion. So I try to have as many information options available to me at all times.

My keyring has a Kingston Digital DataTraveler 8GB thumb drive on it with a variety of useful documents (password protected of course) and tools.This also doubles as a bootable operating system to allow me to do some minor computer fixes like virus scans and such. I have an IT background, so I get calls occasionally from family to fix their computers. Having the tools ready at all times makes this easier for me.

I also have my cell phone, a MetroPCS LG Motion, that acts as a small computer, allowing me to take and store video and pictures, look up information, as well as make phone calls and communicate. My phone also has multiple sever weather alert apps running, since I work outside.


My keyring holds my keys of course, as well as several tools and gadgets.

The Kingston Digital DataTraveler 8GB thumb drive mentioned above.

The exploded view of My Keyring
The exploded view of My Keyring

S-Biners for holding my two car keys doubles as a snap ring in emergencies. I’ve also used them to repair clothes for my kids in a pinch.

A photon flashlight. You can never have enough flashlights.

A True Utility Keytool that offers multiple screwdrivers and a bottle opener, a nail file, nail cleaner, thread cutter and even a pair of tweezers! Mighty handy little gadget that takes up almost zero room on your key chain.

One of my US Air Force issued dog tags.

A ferro rod for starting fires. It is worn WAY down, but still has some life left in it.

And all of this is held together on a cable ring that offer fast access to my keys should I need to remove them from the ring.


This is all what I carry in my pockets just about every day. I’ve listed none of the stuff I carry in my small day pack, or what is in my car bags. This stuff has become so ingrained in my life that it is very seldom you catch me without most of it. In fact, on the day I was married, I wore a rented tuxedo, and the only think I had in my pockets was my Leatherman Wave.

I didn’t end up using it that day, but I had it with me, just in case.


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