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Deer Stalking Kit

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

'EDC'

I've said many times that the best bushcraft knife is actually a folding knife because if you are serious about practising bushcraft then you will be doing it ALL THE TIME. And it's not possible to carry a 'bushcraft knife' all the time so you'll have to rely on what you have in your pockets every day.

So the topic of today's review is every day carry (EDC) items.

The contents of my pockets as I write this; Wallet with cash, cards and readyman survival tool, watch, case of plasters, SILVA lighter, Olight H1 nova torch, SOG power assist multitool. 

Everyone carries things in their pockets on a daily basis but there is a certain section of society for whom what you carry in your pockets is a fascination nearing a hobby in and of it'self. Most of us use our pockets just to carry essential items like keys, phone and wallet. If you've got a bit of common sense you will also carry a pocket knife, not in case of an imminent zombie apocalypse but just because it's a sensible thing to carry with you. Presumably if you are reading this blog you are not the kind of person that would be offended by the idea of legally carrying a knife (if you are offended by that read some of our other posts on firearms, that should finish you off).

But for people with a life 'edc'ing' as it has become know (every day carry) isn't a 'thing' it's just what you do. For me that is always a variation of what is pictured above, I see very little need to constantly change what you carry if it works for you.

This is what I had on my person back on the 24th of April, just to show you how little my 'edc' changes. A different watch because the battery in the Lorus pictured here has run out and I haven't had a chance to change it, and a Boker Plus griplock instead of the SOG multitool on this occasion. 
One thing missing from all these pictures is my phone, I was using it to take the pictures. 

Some items may change from time to time, in my case the item that changes most often is the pocket knife just because I have lots and sometimes fancy a change or might choose to carry something slightly more robust when I can justify it.

Lets face it it's nice to have options when it comes to pocket knives; from 12 o'clock a Sheffield eye witness sheepsfoot pocket knife, CRKT edgie, Viktorinox spartan, Svord peasant, Swiza CO4 camo, Shrade avatar, Opinel No.7, Cold Steel Finn Wolf, Buck Bantam, Viktorinox hunter XS.
TODAY'S LESSON; UK KNIFE LAW

That word 'justify' is key when it comes to carrying a pocket knife. In the UK you can't legally carry a pocket knife that has a blade of over 3 inches in length or that doesn't freely fold despite it's length without good reason. That means lock knives and fixed blade knives of any size are out as an every day carry item unless you can justify it. According to the UK government website justifications might include; 
  • taking knives you use at work to and from work
  • taking it to a gallery or museum to be exhibited
  • if it’ll be used for theatre, film, television, historical reenactment or religious purposes, for example the kirpan some Sikhs carry
  • if it’ll be used in a demonstration or to teach someone how to use it
Other things that might change about what I carry in my pockets might be keys and wallet depending if I am cycling, walking or driving somewhere will determine whether I need to carry any keys and exactly what I am doing on any given day will determine whether I bother carrying my wallet but generally my 'edc' stays much the same from day to day. 

Certain activities will see me add other items, for example if I am doing some bushcrafting or deer stalking, or working in the woods I will carry a sheath knife, normally in a bag and only on my belt when I actually need to access it. 

You can see the bulk of what I have in my pockets remains the same, or at least very similar but I add a bushcrafting knife and fire steel on a drop leg sheath which can be clipped on and off my belt with a buckle without having to un-thread my belt. 
By definition though any of these items we add to what we carry to meet specific requirements of activities or things we need to do on a given day are not 'edc' items and lets face it this post is really about pocket knives that you carry on a daily basis because they are the only really interesting thing that most people carry in their pockets. So while I will always carry a pocket knife (unless I'm travelling through an airport or somewhere else where they are specifically prohibited) it won't necessarily be the same one every day, although it often is, the Boker Plus tech tool or Swiza Swiss Army knife are my favourites at the moment. 

As an example of how my knife might change from day to day; if I am carrying a multi tool I won't generally carry a multi bladed pocket knife as well, but probably a single blade utility knife like the boker plus grip lock pictured already or Svord Peasant, or if I needed something really robust and had a reason to carry a locking knife perhaps a Cold Steel Finn Wolf . If I was dressing a little smarter for a shoot day or dealing with a client on the farm perhaps my Mcusta Tsuchi or Boker Plus Exskelibur. Or if I'm not in a situation where I need or can justify a lock knife a plain non locking Swiss Army style knife by Viktorinox, Swiza or one of the boker plus tech tools. 

The hammer finish and laminated Damascus steel on this Mcusta is beautiful. 

What I don't do is get overly concerned with what I carry on a day to day basis as long as I've got what I need and it fits in my pockets without producing embarrassing and uncomfortable bulges or pulling my trousers down under it's weight that's all that matters. You'll never hear me talk about an 'edc system' or go on about trying to find the perfect combination of gear to carry around with me or fretting that everything I need doesn't fit in my pockets so I need an 'edc organiser' or an extra bag or four pocket knives to cover a range of scenarios from tactical self defence/zombie combat to bottle opening, box cutting, finger nail trimming and envelope opening (because some people just have to whip a knife out for everything). You may choose to carry a few extra bits and pieces in a bag if you happen to be carrying one anyway, for example the bag I cycle to work with always contains a waterproof jacket and trousers, a leatherman multi tool, a small first aid kit, a puncture repair kit and pump for my bike, a headtorch some safety pins and some business cards, along with the things I need for work. the extra few bits and pieces take up about the same space as your average lunch box and are primarily to service my bike and keep me dry not because I'm expecting the breakdown of society to occur at the drop of a hat. If it does  I've spent a lifetime learning bushcraft and survival skills that I can put to good use and don't think I'll be hugely disadvantaged because I don't carry a 'bugout bag' with me at all times.

You will find in depth reviews of a range of pocket knives and other 'edc' items appearing amongst the gear reviews here over the next few months.


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