This is the start of a new series called “My Life: Modified.” It will cover ways to customize, minimalize and hack your life to make it more enjoyable, organized and creative. Have an idea or want to write a guest post? Check out the contact page.
I’ve been prowling cyberpunk forums nonstop recently, and nearly everything I’ve been watching—TV or film-wise—is science fiction. I take the art I consume pretty seriously. So when I’m immersed in this much science fiction at one time, it starts to have an impact on how I live my life.
I preface with this because one of my latest obsessions seems to be directly tied to this consumption of cyberpunk/dystopian/post-apocalyptic media. Since Andrew and I are getting ready to move, I feel like I’m transitioning into a new phase of my life.
Because of all this, I’m focusing on minimalizing my possessions and my expenses, and bringing more creativity and functionality into my day to day life. So recently, I heard about a subculture called every day carry (also known as EDC. I mentioned it in a recent Info Overload). Basically, people share the essential items they like to have with them at all times. Each item has a purpose, and functionality is the top priority. But some (like me) like to also ensure that their items have a style that reflects their personality.
Essential EDC—or at least, the most common ones—tend to have these items:
Optional: gun (I’ve opted out of that one)
So what does this have to do with cyberpunk? I would argue that many cyberpunks are interested in things that are practical, tactical, techy and stylish. There seems to be a mix of cypnk preferences, some who prefer clutter and grunge and others who prefer cleanliness and minimalism. I see myself as being in the middle, and I think my EDC reflects that.
I love EDC because I love preparedness, and ever since I was little, I’ve had what I used to call my “first aid kits for life.” (EDC is way catchier though.) I like the idea of carrying only essential items with me. As a journalist, it’s imperative for me to always be able to document the occurrences around me. And since I like to hack things, having tools with me is a necessity.
And I won’t lie—it kind of makes me feel like a superhero, and my tactical bag contains my “weapons” (figuratively and literally) for saving the world.
So here’s what’s in my bag:
Leatherman micra multitool
Knife (no particular brand… although I am getting a Spyderco soon! The one I have now is from my boyfriend, who got it custom engraved with my nickname, Arcadie)
Lockpicks (for Locksport)
Wallet from Pacsafe
Water bottle (mini Camelback that fits into the side pocket of my bag)
Pack of tissues (I like the cute ones by Kleenex)
Perfume from Charlotte Russe (not very strong, since I am sensitive to smell)
Hello Kitty chapstick (complete with dangly kitty heads)
Asthma inhaler (so I don’t die)
Gum (every journalist should carry gum)
Nook Color (e-reader/tablet)
HTC EVO smartphone (I love this thing)
Solar cell phone charger (handmade)
Various cables to power everything
Tactical bag from Think Geek, patches from Etsy
Interested in more EDC? Check out:
Reddit.com/r/EDC – Reddit is a cool place to share your EDC or look at others. Lots of discussion on knives, wallets, etc.
Everyday-carry.com – A nicely curated Tumblr website where people submit their EDCs and the editor gives commentary.
What’s in Your Bag, TheVerge.com – The Verge interviews prolific tech people to see what’s in their bag.
What are your staple items in your EDC?