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‘Be Prepared’ should be more than just a scout motto. Being prepared entails -among other- having a minimum of tools at hand. As I have said in the introduction, I am a bit of a tinkerer. And as such I want to start off with what I have found convenient to have on me at most -if not all- times.

Note that this is just what I have on me. There is much more stuff that we could have with us, and in fact I do. But the other stuff is in a EDC (Every Day Carry) Bag and thus not always within reach.

Btw: Clicking any of the images in here will take you directly to

The first item is the pocket knife. A “swiss-army” model with some additional functionality. What I have used most is the large knife blade, then the scissor, then small knife blade, then the toothpick. Occasionally I also use the screwdriver (flat and phillips) and the can opener. If shopping for a pocket knife I would recommend to buy the smallest standard size with these options. I myself use the “Victorinox Swiss Army Climber Pocket Knife” which is shown to the right.

Next is an item that may surprise you: a small flashlight. Wether by day (behind/under furniture, in small unlit spaces) or by night I am always amazed at how many times I actually use it. And not only myself, I often lend it to somebody who is temporary in need of a little light. When shopping for a small flashlight pay attention to its size, weight, battery type and number of light settings. Since I am positively in love with the Low Self Discharge NiMH batteries, I want a flashlight that is build around a 1 AA size battery of this this type. This makes for a compact flashlight with a long lasting battery that in emergency cases also can be swapped for a standard battery that is available almost everywhere. For the light settings I am looking for one high and one low setting. Forget about flashing. If need be I can do that myself. During the daytime a high setting (about 200 lumens, more is pretty useless imo) is helpfull, but I also want a low (less than 10 lumens) setting so that I can use it for hours at a time during the night “just in case”. For appearance, go with “slick”. No protruding rings or hooks. It should slip into you pocket and not catch on anything. A small ring to hook up a lanyard is useful. I have the lanyard fixed to my belt, so I cannot loose the light if for some reason it would slip out of my pocket. (Yes that does happen, I have saved myself the loss of the flashlight on more than one occasion) Lastly, a waterproof model is of course preferable.

The flashlight shown (Fenix Flashlights E12) has a good spec, though I have never used that model myself. The one I use is no longer available.

Flashlight and pocket knife, that just about covers everything. But I have one more item that I find very convenient. I do not use it often, but when I do I am indeed very glad to have it on me. That is a pair of pliers. The ability to grip something very small and/or very tight can make a big difference. I use the Leatherman squirt for that. Seen on the right. It duplicates some of the functionality of the pocket knife, which I admit, has come in handy sometimes. But I primarily carry it for the plier. I carry this attached to my keychain while the pocket knife just sits in my pocket. It does get banged up pretty fast that way.

Is there more?, yes there is still more. I do carry two of these containers that go by the name of “pill box” or “keychain container”. In one of them I keep small denoted banknotes as emergency money (rolled up very tight). And in the other some all-weather matches. While I have used the emergency money, I have not had use for the all-weather matches yet. (Luckily so I might add). I keep one connected to the pocket knife and the other is on my keychain with the Leatherman squirt.

There is for sure other stuff that I would like to have on me, but the above seems sufficient. As I said, I have this stuff on me at nearly all times. But I do not take the pocket knife with me when going to someplace where this might be considered inappropriate. Like on flights, in concert halls, football matches etc.

Originally posted at: 2016-11-27
Last modified on: 2016-11-27