Monday, September 10, 2012

Everyday Carry

So a few weeks back, a bunch of poorly thought out decisions got me stranded for a couple of days amidst unusually powerful monsoon rains. I was seriously contemplating not reporting to work that week but I decided to be a trooper. That was a serious lapse of judgement on my part, because I've only been stranded once before. I studied in the University of Santo Tomas (which is extremely flood-prone it's utterly ridiculous) so that's saying something. I guess gut feel has its merits.

Yes, I know. I broke Zombieland Rule 17A: Don't be a hero.

In hindsight, I've learned several lessons from the experience. Perhaps the most important thing I've learned was that I wasn't really prepared for emergency situations. A day after the rains stopped, I saw a man disposing rice sacks down storm grates. That sight made me think that as long as morons like him continue to exist, the possibility of disasters like these happening again is pretty much guaranteed. That's why I thought a good short term project would be to prepare an EDC (everyday carry) kit.

As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed. Note that this EDC is not conflict-based (because I don't think I'm a psychopath), but utility-based. Currently, I only carry a Swiss Army knife. I think it's always a good idea to carry the most basic one with a screwdriver, can opener, bottle opener and the non-optional blade. Everything extra is probably not needed.

I can't burden myself with unnecessary crap though, because the idea is to have as few tools with as much utility as possible. Also, these will be carried alongside the normal stuff, like an umbrella, my notes and my books so they have to be as light and unobtrusive as possible. Tactical folders, kubotans and LEDs are out of the question (because I feel that those things are overkill). Aside from the Swiss knife above, I could only think of two items which best fit the criteria.

When travelling in bad weather, I prefer to have both of my hands free. There's nothing worse than accidentally dropping your things in floodwater because you instinctively tried to hold onto something. While this has not happened to me yet, I've seen it happen to other people. This is why I'm thinking of getting a pair of carabiners. For those unfamiliar with these, they're the locks commonly used by mountain climbers to create links for their ropes and stuff. It's pretty easy to latch a couple of these onto a bag and use them as secure hooks for things that would have been held by hand.

I'm also considering getting a pair of monkey fist keychains. Basically, a monkey fist is a length of 550 paracord tied into a monkey fist knot around a solid core. It can serve as a weight, a floatation device (if the core is something buoyant), extra rope to tie things down and when worse comes to worst, a self-defense tool (like a flail). They look inconspicuous, make for pretty kickass keychains and only people familiar with them would realize their value.

Perhaps the best thing about the two items I mentioned is that they could be easily combined to form a single compact item, such as this. Unlike a Swiss knife, I don't think it would be a problem bringing these anywhere, including airports.

Down the line, I believe learning basic first aid would be a step in the right direction. I will probably look into that when I have the time or when I somehow gain access to free lessons (which turns out to be more common than one might think), whichever comes first. I should also get a new pair of combat boots. While the old ones still serve their purpose for the most part, they were two sizes too small and wearing them was a pain after a few hours.

It's hardships like these that teaches us lessons which we would not have learned from having an easy life all the time. Sadly, not everyone learns what they're taught. It may sound a bit misanthropic, but maybe it's some form of survival of the fittest so we should make sure that we make the most out of the experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment