September 2, 2013

New Phone = EDC Nightmare!

I consider myself to be a person who likes to keep up with new technology, gadgets, and electronic equipment. That said, I had been using an ancient Motorola flip phone for ages because it worked great, it held a charge for a week, and I rarely NEEDED anything other than basic voice service and basic text messaging. Don't misunderstand, I had always WANTED a modern smartphone, but I hated (and still hate) the pricing schemes that are forced down customers' throats.

Anyway, for a number of reasons I finally had to upgrade. I chose the Droid Mini by Motorola, and I'm happy with the decision even though I have nothing as a baseline for comparison. Here's a picture of the phone:

Droid Mini
Even though this phone is relatively compact (about the same size as the ubiquitous iPhone), it has created an issue for my usual EDC scheme. My typical EDC loadout includes: wallet; phone; keys; knife; flashlight; compact pen; and pocket notebook. I had a good, dependable, and well-thought pocket assignment back in the good old pre-smartphone days. Wallet in one back pocket, notebook in the other back pocket, keys in a front pocket or hanging from a belt loop, knife in the right front pocket (tip-up carry of course; tip-down is for losers), flashlight in the left front pocket, and the pen in the coin pocket (or wherever if I'm not wearing jeans). This worked well for me, regardless of the size of the knife (within reason) carried, regardless of the size of the flashlight (again, within reason) carried, and regardless of the particular pair of pants/shorts worn that day.

That leaves the phone. When life was simple and phones were tiny, I carried my phone in a belt holster. Dork accessory? Useful and convenient? Geek flair? Yes; all of the above. My belt-carried phone meant that it was always at the ready, quick to access and deploy, and easy to hear. Plus, I mastered the one-handed action of unholstering, flipping, and answering the phone. Seriously - ring to talk within milliseconds.

The Droid Mini is small, but nobody in their right mind would hang it from their belt. I don't use a man purse and I rarely use a briefcase or messenger bag. Consequently, I had to rethink my tried and true EDC scheme to accommodate my new phone.

Everyday Confusion
Take a look at the above picture. It doesn't look like much, but it is. The main issue is that I really want the phone to have its own pocket that will usually be void of keys, coins, and other objects that could damage or scratch the screen. Moreover, I don't like keeping it in my back pocket because I don't want to lose it or sit on it and break it. I could probably keep it in my left front pocket along with the pen or a small flashlight, but there's no way I'd be able to pocket both the phone and a larger flashlight or knife.

Now I'm thinking about ditching the pen and the notebook altogether. I don't use them that often, and the phone can be used in an emergency to dictate or write down important notes (e.g., "buy new flashlight" or "research blue-gray fountain pen ink"). That would definitely lighten and simplify my EDC load. I could streamline things down to the bare essentials: wallet + phone + keys + knife + light = no fun. As an alternative, I could stop carrying my "large" lights and knives and limit myself to AAA lights and blades that are less than 2.5 inches long. As an extreme measure, I could drop the flashlight from my EDC set and rely on an Android flashlight app instead. I don't think they have a Spyderco knife app, so I'll keep carrying mine, thank you very much.

You know, as of this writing I'm still within the 30-day return period of the Droid Mini. It's not too late to make a U-turn and re-holster my flip phone.


  1. *looks for meme graphic of a guy shaking his cane*

  2. Don't know if you still have the phone or want to belt carry, but I use a TPU case like you have there and use a Seidio holster for the phone (built for the Droid Razr M). I did a slight heat-gun modification on the phone retaining clip (bent it in a little bit) to have a better fit.

    Available from their site: