In the previous post I said that my EDC motto was to carry the minimum set of efficient tools to prepare for any realistic situation. I’ll explain a bit more about what that means.
The minimum set: don’t carry it if it doesn’t serve a purpose. Don’t carry more than two of anything that does serve a purpose, and only carry more than one if one of them might break. This is known as “two is one, one is none” (which was ostensibly practiced by Abraham Lincoln, and some claim that the phrase originated from the U.S. Navy SEALs).
Efficient tools: if one tool can replace two, carry the one rather than the two. However, if that one tool can’t do both jobs effectively, it’s not a suitable replacement for the two. Whilst you can open boxes and cut paper both with a knife, knives can rip paper and damage your cutting surface. Knives aren’t as efficient as scissors at the job. An efficient tool in this case would be one that contains both a knife and scissors without adding much weight or bulk.
Any realistic situation: I will carry items that I don’t use every day, but only where they would efficiently serve a purpose in a realistic situation. Most of the time I’ll carry some basic first aid equipment, but only include anti-allergy medication in summer, as it won’t realistically be needed in winter. I’ll carry a mini-DisplayPort to VGA adapter to connect my laptop to a projector, because realistically I might need to give a presentation at work and they won’t be set up with DP or HDMI. Living in the UK, realistically I don’t need to carry sunglasses very often.
When thinking about what to pack for a trip, work or photography, this motto helps me to be prepared, and to minimise the risk of something going wrong that can't easily be sorted. If you’re prepared for every realistic situation, when something goes wrong it can be righted in a few minutes, rather than ruining the whole trip.