There are a number of sites out on the internet that show pictures of the stuff people carry in their pockets or in their bags. If you google the terms “everyday carry” or “EDC” you’ll see what I mean. At first, I thought this was kind of a joke or a spill-over of military terminology into civilian life, but the more I looked at the pictures, the more fascinating it became. There really was a Boy Scoutish “prepared for anything” air about the collections of (mostly) knives, pens, wallets, survival gear, and watches. These were folks who’d devoted a lot of time thinking about what they’d carry on their person, and man, if my family and I were on a plane going down over Siberia or something, I’d sure be hoping there were a few EDCers on board!
It’s probably not surprising I’d find this sort of thing interesting since I’m a guy, and it’s mostly guys posting pictures of their adult toys (knives, guns, pens, cameras, etc). Occasionally, however, women will post pictures of the stuff they carry in their purses (a so-called “purse dump”), which always seems to draw interest. And perhaps it should come as no surprise, since women were the original EDCers out there (especially women who happen to be mothers – they really have to prepared for everything. But something tells me a mother’s diaper bag with pictures of diapers and butt cream may not be quite as interesting to the young-middle adult male demographic these sites seem to cater to.)
However, I digress.
Partly for kicks and partly in the spirit of The Thirteenth Hour, which doesn’t take itself too seriously, I created an EDC picture for Logan, the main character of the book. He doesn’t actually carry much in the book – he loses all of his gear when his ship goes down, but he gains a few things here and there, and this inventory is from near the end of the book.
Without further ado, here’s Logan’s EDC:
- Lightning (folded up)
- Burned wood handle pocket knife (actually an Aitor folding knife)
- Playing cards (for throwing)
- Apple (for eating)
- Tartec currency (useless in other parts of the world, but handy to have in Tartec)
- The scroll containing the instructions on how to make the Potion for Eternal Life
- Matches (x8)
Here are more details about some of the components:
1.) Lightning – Logan’s trusty talking magic silver hoverboard with an onboard monitor and computer (programmed by wizards) that he is given at the Palace of the Winds to allow him to speed around the world much faster than any sailing ship.
Like George Jetson’s spaceship, it folds up into a compact, though heavy package about the size of an open hand.
I wasn’t sure how to pull of the kind of wizardry needed to make a real-life prop like this for Logan’s EDC, so I wrapped a book in some aluminum foil:
I knew that Spanish verb book would come in handy one of these days!
2.) Burned wood handle pocket knife – Logan finds a pocket knife on his journeys after losing all his gear when his ship goes down. And that probably saved his bacon, because if there’s one things that’s really handy to have out in the woods, it’s a knife. Here’s what Logan had to say about the one he found:
… I did, however, find a pocket knife that needed no modifications in what looked like a razed general good store. The hardwood handles had been singed, which didn’t add to its appearance – this was a strictly utilitarian blade – but it was sharp and the folding mechanism was strong and rust–free. It fit well in my hand and was heavy and balanced enough that I could probably throw it if need be, but I doubted I would, as knife throwing had not been a strong suit of mine in the Army, and I didn’t want to throw a knife away now that I had been lucky enough to locate one.
I went through a number of potential candidates to find Logan’s real-life knife. Like the description, I was looking for something that had wooden handles and had an unadorned, working-man’s knife type of appearance. There were a number of blades (both traditional and modern), mostly made in Europe, that I considered (pictures link to sites where you can buy the knives or learn more about them):
The Opinel folding knife (made in France)
The Svord peasant knife (made in New Zealand)
The Lierenaar folding knife (from Belgium)
The Baladeo olive wood handle pocket knife (made in France, I think)
Aitor Castor Mediana pocket knife (made in Spain)
The one in the EDC photo is the last one, made by Aitor. All the knives in the list above look like fine blades and probably would have fit the bill. However, I was looking for a knife made of high carbon steel, since I figured there wouldn’t have been stainless steel in the world Logan lived in, which narrowed down the list considerably, as well as something that wasn’t too handle heavy given Logan’s comment about knife throwing. (Although this is a different topic altogether, yes, you can throw pocket knives, even ones that aren’t balanced evenly – google Ralph Thorn). Lastly, I was aiming to find something that wasn’t very expensive. Although there are many wood handled knives made by more expensive brands, I figured a guy like Logan (who was perpetually broke) wouldn’t have gotten his hands on them anyway.
In the end, the Aitor blade had all these requirements and had a bit of flair owing to the leaf shaped blade and bent handle while still carrying with it the feel of a utilitarian working knife. I found it for about twenty bucks online. The blade came quite sharp, easily able to shave off hair from the back of a hand and slice off a thin strip from a piece of paper. There was no thumbnail groove or stud to pull the blade out (which had a remarkably strong spring and needed lubrication to open smoothly), but like the knife Logan found, the folding mechanism was strong and, despite not having a lock, unlikely to close on your hand unless you really mangled it. The wood handles were exactly what I pictured, and yes, at close ranges (less than ten feet – haven’t tried it further), it threw nicely using a quarter turn throw (a.k.a. “no-spin” throw), though it had a tendency to rotate along its horizontal axis while in the air, maybe because of the bent shape of the handle). For the picture, I Photoshopped burn marks onto the handle.
3.) Playing cards – speaking of throwing things, in the book, Logan comes across a novel that teaches him how to throw cards. While this is a post for another time, yes, it’s also possible to throw cards so they fly (relatively) straight. Magicians have been doing it for ages, but now thanks to the power of the internet, you can also learn how (many examples on youtube or look for Ricky Jay’s tongue-in-cheek “Card as Weapons” book). Logan, though, learned from a book without pictures, though after months practicing while on his sea voyage, he was able to put the technique to good use later in his journey.
5.) Tartec currency – this collection of coins represents the extent of Logan’s disposable income – coins found here and there on the street of the capital city and through other means, which he hides in his mattress in the Imperial Army barracks (since it’s useless elsewhere in the world) and later retrieves when he returned from his quest. Like Logan’s coins, the ones in the picture are useless as currency in the USA – two Euro coins, a Swedish Krona, a British pence, and an Ugandan shilling – though they are fun souvenirs from our own travels.
6.) The Potion for Eternal Life scroll – this scroll, given to Logan from the Dreamweaver, contains the ingredients to make a good cup of coffee … which isn’t really the secret to living forever, though it sometimes makes people feel like they could. There’s a previous post I did about this little scroll, which I printed out on a piece of parchment-style paper. Here’s one of the pictures of it unrolled:
Interesting is seeing more (real-life, as opposed to fictional) EDC pictures? Check out http://everydaycarry.com/ for more!