Redundancy vs Minimalism

There are a lot of differing views on what you should carry and how you should carry it. I went over my overall EDC philosophy here. Today, I want to cover some of the basic themes and how they affect my EDC. These are of course the topics of redundancy and minimalism. In very broad terms, for those that want redundancy its all about having a back up for your back up. You never want to need something or have something fail on you. As the old saying goes two is one, one is none. On the other hand a lot of people care more about keeping a lower profile in their carry. They take an approach that focuses on having just the right amount to get by. Like I said that is a very brief and broad overview, and to be clear there is no right way to do things. It is completely up to the individual person to figure out what works for them. This also isn't to say that there isn't some middle ground that most people live in. For instance even people who like redundancy don't necessarily carry a couple full size knives and a multi tool with another blade on it. (I'm sure there are some people who carry those exact items in their pockets everyday). For the most part redundant items typically take on a supporting role.

Let's talk a little more about the redundancy question, how much is enough? Well like I said before, that's up to you. However, most people like having something as a back up that isn't overkill. They may carry a full sized knife and a utility blade or multi-tool. They may carry a nice flashlight as well as a small key-chain light. Many times these backup items are small and easily stored away, and in some cases the help to compliment the main bulk of an EDC. These items can easily come in handy when your main item would be a bit overkill so it makes it smarter to pull out a more tame version. One key item to think about here is a cell phone. It serves a lot of purposes in the average persons life and can be a reliable back up. A lot of people like to wear watches, or carry flashlights, or a notepad. Those functions can all be accomplished by the average cellphone. Now of course there are plenty of reasons for a person to carry those items separately but my point is that people naturally tend to have some redundancy. Another big way to satisfy the need for more gear is by carrying items separately. There are a lot of people that carry bags throughout their day. Whether you carry a bag for school, or work, or just because (I've had friends who brought their backpacks almost everywhere) its easy to have your items nearby with easy access without cluttering your pockets with mostly unused items. Another option is to have certain items stored where you normally are like in a vehicle or at a desk. Of course this is dependent on you having a standard setting that other people don't have access to.

Now lets look at those who take a minimal approach. There are some people who can get buy with just a cell phone. More power to them, just because you don't carry a bunch of gear doesn't mean you don't have an EDC. But for most people in this community we like to have at least some options. This typically means taking advantage of small items and items that have multiple uses. They may not like a big multi-tool because its a lot of heft without being used very often, but maybe a small solid piece tool like a Gerber Shard fits the bill. People who like a minimal carry aren't necessarily unprepared, they are just most prepared for the situations they encounter most and there is nothing wrong with that. Carrying less gear does not make your EDC less credible, it typically takes serious dedication and thought to get everything just right so that you are prepared without being wasteful.

I am going to go over three examples of my carry. These collections will not include things like my phone, wallet, keys, and watch that would be pretty much consistent throughout. There will also be a comprehensive list of everything at the end.

This first picture shows a version of the gear I normally carry. These are the items I have on me the vast majority of the time I am out of the house. you will notice a couple redundancies right of the bat. There are three blades in this picture. I have a main full sized knife, a small utility blade, and I recently started carrying a self defense style knife as well. I also have a couple flashlights, one being a normal sized pocket light and then a small key-chain light. I keep those small redundancies along with the anchor in my coin pocket. That pocket changes the most as sometimes it just has one item for me to fidget with and other times it has a fidget item as well as a couple of backups. I carry a couple items for self care. And I really like having a full sized pen that writes well and feels good in my hand. As you can see there is plenty of stuff in my pockets when I go to this level. But this is the largest amount of stuff I will carry in my pockets. Do want to add that I carry this style set up to work where I also carry a messenger bag with a a large selection of items as well.

This is a look at the minimal gear I occasionally carry, this is typically what I carry when I wear gym shorts around the house or for quick errands. Naturally you will notice, there are only three items here and they are significantly smaller. With this set up I have just enough to get most things done and anything more demanding can be addressed by an item nearby.

This is the last picture, and as you can see it is almost nothing. First off I never carry just these items, they are always in addition to my main carry. However, if I did I would be able to carry both of these items in my coin pocket and nothing else.


Quark Tool


Smith & Wesson SWFR2S

Ozark Trail Black Flipper

Ka-Bar TDI Shark Bite

Flash Lights

Morpilot Tactical Flashlight

Lumintrail Key-chain Flashlight

Slughaus Bullet 02

StatGear Pocket Lumen


Zebra x-701

Fisher Space Pen with Clip

Self Care

Chicago Comb Model No. 1 Carbon Fiber



Quick Clip Pro Clips

Twisted Anchor

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon*


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