A Rundown of My Daily Carry Options, Part II
Tony Sculimbrene 03.24.15
My weekend carry is much different than my work week EDC, largely because I get to shed the suit and go outdoors or, at the very least, down into my shop. Again, I don’t have a defensive carry, instead opting for a utility oriented set up. If you want a good overview of a defensive carry set up, see Major Pandemic’s article.
There are some carry overs from the work week carry. First, is a watch. I only have two, and while I favor the dressier E760 during the week and the field watch BM8180-03e on the weekends, the two swap places a lot. Second, there is the water bottle–the Hydroflask is so good and so durable that it rides with me everywhere. It was the key to my 30 pound weight loss a few years ago (encouraging me to dump soda), so a water bottle is always nearby. Third, there is the small matter of my wallet and key organizer. Swapping these out every week would be a pain, so they stay the same. Beyond that, different tasks and different uses motivate me to change what I carry on the weekend.
My family likes to go hiking, and we also like hanging out around the firepit in our backyard (cue the Zamfir music). Additionally I like to work on the house and do woodworking projects. These two tasks require vastly different edged tools, so I have a few “outdoors” tools and a few “home improvement” tools.
In terms of outdoor tools, I have found two different sets of tools work: a big chopper for breaking down small trees for use a firewood and to aid in processing larger pieces of wood felled by a chainsaw. When camping or processing food, I like a smaller knife, something usually referred to as a camp knife, with a blade between 3.5 and 5 inches. A few knives in this size range are so well designed that they can flex into the chopper range, even if you lose a good deal of span for batonning and heft for pure chopping power. In particular, I am thinking of something like the Fallkniven F1.
If I am I going to carry a folder, which is rare given my recent detour in to the fixed blade world, it’s probably going to be the Paramilitary 2, a wonderful hard use folder that doesn’t forget the need to slice stuff. There are also some excellent EDC fixed blades that I like carrying.
If, instead of being outside, I am doing work around the house, pliers-based multitools are my favorite. They aren’t great at any one thing. If I am doing a lot of work with one tool, I usually go get that tool from my workshop, but for general quick repairs or as a stepsaver while doing projects, nothing beats a midsized Leatherman multitool. Their knives are nice enough to be your only blade, and the overall form factor is quite small, convenient, and light (relatively speaking).
If I know I am going to be doing a lot of work or I need some crazy bit, my Leatherman Charge TTi can handle just about anything. It’s almost twice as heavy as a midsized multitool (and actually a bit more than twice as heavy in its sheath with the full bit kit), but its tool complement and blade steel (S30V) is king of the mountain in the pliers-based multitool market. There is a heaping helping of pry-based multitools, but only a few are worthwhile. A Cat’s Paw, combination pry, hammer, and nail puller, is one of them.
Combined with a good pliers-based multitool, you can get a ton of work done. Here are some recommendations:
Most of my lighting tasks during the weekend are home improvement related–crawling into an attic or looking at wiring or pipes in the wall or ceiling of my basement. There is, on occasion, the need to peer deep into a rock crevice or up inside a tree’s hollowed out trunk, something you are wont to do when you are hiking with a 4 year old.
Any light would do these tasks well, but for something that I am not worried about dropping or getting knocked around, I prefer an overbuilt, single cell light. If I am checking for ice and snow damage to the house (something that this winter has forced me to do more often than ever before), I like having a real lumens cannon. Here are my recommendations that fit these uses:
Even if I have left the courtroom behind, I still use a pen a lot. I have converted over to marking knives in my woodworking. They are more precise, but there are still a lot of instances when doing woodworking or home improvements that you need a good marking tool.
There are really three things you need: something that can mark anywhere on any surface, something that can make bold lines (such as on drywall), and something that can make sharp, clean marks on woodworking plans and woodworking pieces. Nothing can do all of that, but there are good pens and pencils that together can do all three.
- Write Anywhere: Soft Lead Clutch Pencil
- Bold, High Visibility: Metal bodied Sharpie Pen (see the top of the article for a picture)
- Sharp Marks: Kuro Toga Mechanical Pencil
My kids are still too small to do overnight camping that isn’t car camping, so the bags I have and like are primarily day packs, which is a good product category as they tend to be very flexible and don’t look like weirdo gun or alpine hiking back packs.
The one pack that has been the staple of my pack collection, used for more than 6 years now, is the Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon II. It is sort of the prototypical daypack for my use. I want something that can carry water bottles (not a hydration bag, which is what I would use if I were hiking by myself), something with a lot of attachment points, and something that is pretty durable. Here are some recommendations for daypacks:
So there you have it, all of my gear used on a regular basis with recommendations in each category. Thanks to Major Pandemic for the idea of doing a run down.