Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Gear post: My first EDC

How did I get into the habit of carrying "gear"? Well, let me tell you.

I've always carried a pocket knife, since first grade. Always. That's kind of the foundation to build upon. And I did.

Once I got to high school, I was reading a lot of books on wilderness survival. Most were full of fanciful advice and drawings that looked cool but didn't work in the real world. But they got me to thinking about having some items on my person at all times, "just in case" (...of being magically transported, without warning, into a primeval world?).

I was also spending a lot of time in the woods during this part of my life. A LOT of time, in all weather, at all times of day, even when I was supposed to be elsewhere. This is how I learned which things from the books wouldn't work in the real world: experience.

I began to want a survival kit on my belt. At least I attended kinderprison in an era when I could get away with carrying such things, even if I wasn't "officially supposed to".

I took a metal Band-Aid box (remember those?), sanded off the paint, cut some belt slots into the back so I could carry it on my belt, and filled it with items I had seen recommended in books and that I could imagine needing.

I packed in some plastic sheeting (for a solar still or other things), some cordage, a folding knife (besides the pocket knife I had in a pocket all the time) fishing line, and fishhooks. I put in a lighter, a candle stub, some cotton (for tinder), and other little odds and ends I had seen recommended in one place or another. The stuff was useful, for sure.

A lot of the items actually did come in handy out in the woods, although I soon realized skills were better than stuff. And the metal box was always getting dented and needing to be re-shaped so it would close again.

I've learned so much since then. But sometimes I am nostalgic for the simpler times when I felt I was ready for anything with my Band-Aid box full of "survival gear".


Reminder: I could really use some help.

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