Sunday, January 04, 2009

Everyday Carry

Back in 2005, Rocket Jones asked, "What's in your pocket?"

Here's my answer from then:

Right front: pocket watch, loose change (if any)
Left front: keys
Right rear: wallet and comb
Left rear: handkerchief and Swiss Army knife

There were quite a few replies in the comments, and some interesting answers that included the reasoning behind what a person did or didn't carry.

Lately, I've gotten interested again in "everyday carry", those things and doo-dads that we keep with us for "just in case". This includes your pockets, but also things around your neck, a purse/backpack/briefcase, and maybe even an emergency kit you have in your car. For instance, my wife always has jumper cables and a road atlas in her car. In North Dakota, in the winter I kept an emergency "blizzard kit" in the trunk with a folding shovel, kitty litter for traction, blankets, etc.

What prompted this interest was a conversation with a coworker one day, and their incredulous reaction when they found out that I carry a small flashlight and leatherman, among other things. I was reminded of that exchange from the old show "Taxi", which went something like:
Latka, nervous about an impending date, emerges from shaving with dozens of pieces of toilet paper stuck all over his face.

Alex: You need a styptic pencil.

Reverend Jim: (reaching behind ear) Here.

Alex: No, I mean a styptic... hey, this *is* a styptic pencil! (hands it over to Latka) Why do you carry a styptic pencil behind your ear?

Reverend Jim: In light of what just happened, a better question might be, "why don't you?"

So yeah, I occasionally take a little ribbing about my everyday carry, but that doesn't stop people from coming to me when they need something I might (probably) have.

My pockets:
right front: cell phone, spare change (if any)
left front: fisher space pen, chapstick, and my keyring - three keys and a mini flashlight.
right rear: wallet, comb
left rear: handkerchief, swiss army knife

Around my neck: At work, I wear an ID badge.

Shirt pocket: a "pocket briefcase", fountain pen

Briefcase: iPaq, folding keyboard, headphones, chargers for iPaq and cell, case with memory cards, 2 Circa notebooks (one's my planner), eyeglasses wipe, more pens and a pencil, lighter, Leatherman Wave, mini-Maglight (indestructable, had it for years), 3' tape measure, and a personal first aid kit.

So, what's your everyday carry?


jon spencer said...

What no P-38?
I have had one on my keychain for over 35 years.
One of those little can openers will do amazing stuff.

Ted said...

I've carried a P-38 (and it's big brother, the P51) for years, and had the holes in my pockets to prove it. :) Between my swiss army knife and the leatherman, I've got two can openers, so it wasn't needed any more.

Good idea though, a couple should be in my home emergency kit as backup.

Stephen said...

I tend to keep my pockets empty but since you're expanding beyond clothing pockets:

Right rear - Wallet.
That's about all I carry on my person in pockets. If I have change it gets emptied into a drawer at work or a jar at home asap.

I have a watch that contains a 265 MB flash drive.

In winter car keys and cell phone go in my coat pocket. As do my sunglasses & case.

In the months when I don't wear a coat they go in my laptop bag along with:

Treo 90 PDA (I like antique technology)
17" MacBook Pro
Waccom Graphics tablet
Work papers that vary daily
Assorted cables
Emergency mints

Anonymous said...

Well since I took part in this exercise in '05, let's see what's changed...

... not much. In addition to the '05 content of the shoulder bag, a Nikon point and shoot.


Anonymous said...

I carry jumper cables too, always have. I've never had a dead battery, but I've jumped quite a few, including once when I was working a night job as a scanner operator. I thought it was just me and the cleaning people left in the building, but some guy in a suit came in and asked if I had jumper cables. We went down to the parking garage and I jumpstarted his BMW. I found out the next afternoon that he was the CEO.

This story would be a lot better if I was then promoted to some major position because of my preparedness, but he just told my boss to tell me again that he appreciated it.

I also carry flares, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, a blanket, and a high-visibility jacket in case I need to change a tire at night.

On my key ring I have keys, a bottle opener, and a thumb drive. In what passes for my wallet I also carry a pen and a little notebook.

In my briefcase or bag I carry lens cleaner, tissues, hand sanitizer, a comb, Benadryl, ibuprofen, bandaids, and girl stuff.

I kept getting busted with my Leatherman, so I don't carry it all the time, but I have a toolkit in my desk. The one thing I don't have and always need to borrow is needle and thread.

Victor said...

Front left: second set of keys, small Swiss Army knife w/ Photon light attached, multipurpose pen, farecard, chapstick.

Front right: first set of keys w/ Photon light attached, change, wallet.

Rear pockets: Nothing, unless I'm wearing jeans. Wallet then goes in right rear.

Cameraphone is on my belt.

An iPod w/ headphones is on my person somewhere.

Backpack: Windup flashlight, four-band radio, iPod charger, big-honkin' Swiss Army knife, 8-year old Handspring Visor.

Car: Besides jack, a small 'emergency' kit which includes jumper cables, an electric tire pump, and reflective triangle, and a couple of rain ponchos. I think I've got a FAK in there, too.

Derek Knight said...

keys. Wallet. Cell phone. Loose change. iPod. Don't leave home without it.

Pratt Hobbies said...

These days it's my Beretta 418. Excellent pocket pistol, very flat and comfortable to wear. Brian sneers at it, but young guys can conceal big guns; us OFGs are already taking up all the space available behind our belts. The 418 is the gun James Bond carried in the first two novels; he gets a Walther in the third book because his Beretta jammed on him (that's how you know James Bond is fiction).