Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The minimalistic approach

As a kayak angler, I evolved to become somewhat of a minimalist with my gear. I tend to just carry one fly box, a lanyard with nipper, clamp, tippet and knife and of course, my fly rod. The less things I carry the less I have to lose. I have also attempted to attach what I can to my lanyard so it doesn't get lost and is close at hand.

This approach has also spread to the my EDC (Every Day Carry) items. Not long ago, I replaced my old leather wallet with an all plastic Jimi wallet. Since I really only have a couple of credit cards and a debit/check card and don't really carry paper money, this wallet suits me just fine. I really love this wallet and how it helps me identify what I really need and avoid clutter.

I always carry a pocket knife. I have a bad habit of biting my fingernails and without a knife I sometimes would not be able to open simple things. I have bought some nice folders made by Benchmade in the past few months. My current favorite being a Benchmade 525 Mini-Presidio. It is an essential tool.

I also carry a small LED task flashlight since my night vision isn't all that great and it also helps when walking around the house at night without having to turn on all the lights.

I used to have a keychain with eight or nine keys on it, most of which I didn't use. The ones I did were my truck key, mailbox key, house key and key to my office. Eventually, I ended up removing the mailbox key and simply keeping it on its own ring with a fob in the center console in my truck. I also removed the office key and placed it on my badge lanyard since it only needed it with me for work just like my badge. This left just my house key and truck key. Perfect.

One other thing that changed in recent years is that I don't wear a watch anymore. My phone has a clock display on it so that allowed me to eliminate one more item. In a month or two when I am able, I will be replacing my current flip phone with a slimmer and lighter Motorola Razr phone.

Recently, my wife started teaching me how to take paracord and create fobs and lanyards that I can use to attach to my stuff to make it easier to pull out of my pocket or attach to something so I don't lose them while on the water. I also come to appreciate making them and am thinking of making many more intricate ones that I can give away as presents.

Related to this new hobby of making lanyards from parachute cord, I ran across a fellow blogger who has a wonderful blog simply called Stormdrane's Blog that has some great photos of fobs and lanyards he has made as well as a lot of information about making them. I intend to learn how to make some of his cobra stitch lanyards.

I remember once at work, we had one motto that motivated us to create simple to use products which was "Simple - good; Complex - bad" and it feels good simplifying things. I think I will extend this motto to other things in my life.

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