Who Will You Be?
The EDC Spectrum
Forming An EDC is a not as simple as it may seem. Specifically crafting an EDC that suits you can take some time. There are many people that let their EDC form naturally and just fill their pockets up with random items. (These people usually have the wallets with receipts from 3 years back) As mentioned before if you don’t decide to form your EDC then it will form itself and you often will not like the results when you find yourself in a situation that calls for an essential item that you never thought to carry. Or, on the other hand you can overthink everything and also overstock your pockets. You may eventually find that you have so many items on your person that you put Inspector Gadget to shame. What I have just described is what I like to call the “Minimal/Prepped Spectrum.”
The reality of the matter is that every one of you gents will form an EDC that is going to suit who you are and will also likely be a reflection of your personality. This may seem strange to you but the items in your pocket and the intentionality that you have regarding those items will often conform to who you are. They say something about you. A fully Conscientious Carrier considers i part of their identity. Your EDC will be a reflection about how you feel about: organization, preparedness, neatness, fashion and many other personal traits and personality quirks.
That is why everyone’s EDC is going to be different. Some people value minimalism because they don’t want to feel like they are weighed down by a bunch of items that they feel are “unnecessary.” Whereas there are others that feel as though they wouldn’t be caught dead (or might wind up dead) without all of their essential every day items.
In the last post I laid out what I believe to be the essentials. Having said that I know a lot of people that are conscientious carriers that choose not to carry many of those items. That’s okay. You do you! I have seen most gentlemen simply carry their keys, wallet and phone. They are what I refer to as “minimalists.”
The idea behind minimalism is to not be over-encumbered and ready to get up and head out the door at a moments notice. You have “the essentials.” I can understand this line of thinking. I remember back to a commercial for water softener salt who’s slogan was simply, “You gotta get the good one!” So, if you have the good one then you’re good to go. There is no sense in over complicating things right? If you know what you’re doing then you won’t need to be encumbered with other items because you can find another situation. The bad news is that (although you might think so) you are not MacGuyver and tools are made for specific purposes and situations. It’s more than likely that you will find yourself in a situation that calls for one of those tools.
I understand the minimalist line of thinking thought I don’t personally subscribe to it. The main reason for not subscribing to it is simply that I don’t like to not be at least semi-prepared for any of many situations that could arise. For example, if your phone gets broken then you will find yourself without a flashlight or a means of communication. (Good luck finding a phone booth in 2018) Carrying for convenience has its drawbacks.
The other line of thinking is rooted in the idea that we should always be as prepared as possible for whatever situation might arise. It’s the “kitchen sink” mentality. (The Cargo Pants guy) Those who subscribe to this line of thinking are attempting to imagine everything that could possibly happen to them throughout the day. They are “apocalypse ready.” They will carry all of the essential items and then find a reason to justify even more. I know some gents that carry three different types of pocket knife because, “You never know.” You can see some of these carrys online and I cannot imagine having all of that on my person. On one hand if they ever fell in deep water they would probably sink from the weight. On the other hand they are probably carrying some sort of personal floatation device. I went through a time where I packed as many items as possible into my pockets. (I even carried a multi-tool along with my pocket knife) However, when sitting down started to become uncomfortable I knew that I had to change something. I discovered that there was not a lot of call for the use of some of these items in my daily life. There’s also the matter of not being able to find the right pockets for specific items. I didn’t want to wear a sport jacket every day. Also, just as aside, when your pockets are building out with items you look ridiculous walking around the mall. That’s okay. You do you! (Heads up…people are making fun of you. They assume that you took a break from playing Far Cry to enter the real world and get some much needed vitamin D.)
Who Are You?
Where are you on the EDC spectrum? A solid case can be made for both extremes. Both extremes have their positives and negatives. Some people will naturally lean towards a minimalist approach. However, after a few incidents where they were left unprepared they decide to start carrying a few more items. Whereas other will lean more to a prepped approach until they discover that life might not always be as crazy as you think it is. Personally, I would say that I sit a little closer to prepped than I do minimalist.
What’s important is that you know who you are. If you know who you are then you can start to form your EDC accordingly. This will help you avoid making some purchases that you will later regret. Understand also that your EDC will likely always be a little fluid. So, don’t think that just because you fall into a particular line of thinking right now that you will be stuck in that line of thinking forever.
However, as you continue to build your EDC on your journey to becoming a Conscientious Carrier, it’s important to know where you currently stand.
So, the question is…where are you on the Spectrum?