On one side of the featured image is a Victorinox Recruit ii Swiss Army Knife and an incandescent Mini Maglite, circa, 2005/2006.
On the other side of the featured image is a Gerber US1 pocket knife and an LED Mini Maglite, circa, 2018.
In this piece, I will try to write what I observe in the evolution of EDC or everyday carry.
I had first seen the Swiss Army Knife and Mini Maglite combination sold at Target in 2006 while I was a senior in high school. This prompted me to start carrying a Swiss Army Knife and a Mini Maglite everywhere I could, though I carried different models than what was sold at Target. I carried them everywhere I legally could and I also tried to get other guys to do so as well, with very limited success. That was the top of the line EDC for the mid 2000s. LED technology had not advanced enough yet, but the Mini Maglite was well established as a tried and true favorite. The Swiss Army Knife was even more established. Since I was still in high school, I couldn’t legally carry any type of knife on me, but I definitely carried the flashlight. I didn’t actually own the featured combination until April of 2016 when I purchased it as new old stock on eBay. I guess I was feeling reminiscent of my high school days. By the way, this Mini Maglite was bundled with a Swiss Army Knife.
Since 2005/2006 EDC gear has advanced considerably, both in knives becoming more tactical and therefore rugged. LED technology in flashlights has also vastly improved allowing them to give off more and more light for longer and longer runtimes. Flashlights have become more tactical and therefore rugged as well. Maglite was one of the earlier tactical flashlight models to choose from, but now they are not the most tactical. They are also not the brightest. However, they are built very well in the USA. The brand as I’ve said before is also better well established than any of these Chinese tactical brands that may be brighter.
In 2018 or so I had first seen the Mini Maglite LED and Gerber US1 sold at Wal Mart. Target has been dwindling their selection of flashlights. Well Wal Mart has too, but Target did far worse. At a church Christmas party I received a gift card to Wal Mart. I knew I would be purchasing that aforementioned combination. To this day, a little over a year later, I still carry them in my EDC backpack. This is not the top of the line for EDC in the lates 2010s and early 2020s, but both of these items are American made. The Mini Maglite appears the same on the outside as it did in 2005/2006, but it has a robust LED light engine instead of a vacuum bi pin bulb. Instead of giving off 9 Lumens it gives off 100 Lumens. Plus the light engine is quite rugged and never needs to be replaced. The knife appears to be more tactical than a Swiss Army Knife, though it doesn’t have all the features. There has been a trend that started some time ago to make all knives look more tactical. I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing. This knife really is not a tactical knife, just a simple everyday model. However, it goes well with the Mini Maglite LED.
In 2005/2006 being more fashionable and almost European, for lack of a better word, was the trendy thing. This was especially the case in stores like Target. However in the late 2010s and looks like the early 2020s being tactical is the trendy thing. I don’t know how long the tactical trend will last, but it has caught on to every store almost.
These trends have bled over into the world of EDC at least to some degree.
I wish we could marry both ideas!
I cannot wait to see what new EDC gadgets will be put on the market throughout the 2020s, but it would be something if they were both tactical and fashionable at the same time.
I wish Victorinox (Swiss) would make some tactical models, but that is mostly an American and maybe a Chinese thing. The rest of the world doesn’t emphasize the value of a tactical gadget. I appreciate tactical grade because it will stand up to more abuse.
I’d like to elaborate more on this, but my back is starting to hurt me.
This therefore concludes my piece of the evolution of EDC items.
I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained…