This is my first post on this blog thing and we will see how it goes.
First off I'm not an expert in the Bushcraft/Survival field just an enthusiast, This info is just my opinion and reflects the way i do things. I will try to keep it simple as I like simple stuff.
There is much advertised as "survival" tools, some good , some hype. I myself lean more toward the Bushcraft end of things and believe in having knowledge or skill to be used with the tools you choose. Here is a list of the 3 items I carry on a daily basis in my area. These tools help me feel more comfortable when exploring that unknown two track, hiking trail or following that trout stream a little further.
Compass- A lightweight compass and a basic idea of the area you are in will give you the ability to walk in a straight line and find your way back without guessing which way to go.This is often overlooked as a tool and has caused many people to have spent the night in the woods over a simple mistake. I carry a Silva watchband compass with me. It has proven to be accurate , durable and easy to use.
Knife- A handy pocket knife you trust is valuable for many chores. I have been using the swiss army knives for many years and find the blade and the saw to be very useful. This size knife and saw will do more work than you think and will help you shelter yourself and find use in many crafting projects. Pictured are the Victorinox Rucksack and Camper models.
Firestarter- I carry a small ferro rod on my knife lanyard and use the side of the flat head screwdriver blade on my SAK as a scraper. I file the edge of the blade to square it off and make it sharp. I am familiar with many natural tinders in my area that will catch the spark of the ferro rod to build fire. I use the mini scout rod we put together but also have used the BSA hotspark or something similar.
These three tools are the most used and most practical in my mind for everyday carry in my neck of the woods. They alow me to Navigate, build a fire, Help build a shelter and craft other tools for a short stay in the woods.
Keychain tools- Another set of tools I carry with me is attached to my keychain. These tools dont see as much use as the other three described but I am always glad to have them with me.
I keep a Doan Magnesium firestarter with a small eze-lap sharpener glued to the side of the Doan tool on my keyring. Firestarters should be redundant and the magnesium is my backup tinder. I use the sharpener on a regular basis and also use the fish hook groove when fishing. I also carry a p-38 can opener and a photon flashlight that sees much use and seems to hold up well for a flashlight on a keychain.
Overall these tools dont add too much bulk on my keychain or in my pockets. I have seen many people get carried away with adding so many tools to their outfit that it becomes bulky and you dont carry it with you.
In choosing EDC tools it is very important in my mind not to overdue it, but also to pick high quality compact tools that dont compromise much in size over performance. This is not a place for gadgets or a whole string of cheap dime store stuff. Get real quality tools that really work and I will bet you will find yourself using them on a regular basis as I have....Thanks Ben