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October 23, 2019

Welcome to the Urban EDC Showcase! Each week, we feature a member of the EDC community and the gear they rely on every day. Want to be featured? Submit your gear photo.

From Warsaw, Poland, Jan (@matterofgear) started out as – in his own words – a “french-fries-expert” before pivoting and pursuing his passion in photography, writing, and making waves in the creative industry. Read on for Jan’s full rig rundown and find out how his mother played a critical role in both his EDC journey and his love for making pictures. 

Featured Tools:

  • Knife: Spyderco Paramilitary 2
    The PM2 is my second proper folder which I bought two months after buying the first one – the Benchmade 940-2 Osborne. After fidgeting with a Benchmade for a while and falling in love with the quality, I’ve decided to buy another staple in each knife fans’ collection – a Spydie. And I love it! I use this perfect slicer every day - from cutting cardboard boxes to making sandwiches and even campfires. But I never forget about the Osborne which I carry very, very often, too. 

  • Wallet: Andar The Turner
    This wallet is a gift and a very nice one. I always loved slim wallets: I carried a Maxpedition Micro for years, but I always wanted something in leather, so I was very happy to be given it. I don’t carry coins – only a few bills and cards like a credit card, Revolut, ID, and a driver’s license, so The Turner is perfect for me with its minimalistic form and very nicely designed pull tab.

  • Watch: G-Shock GAW-100B-1AER
    I must say – I love watches. Even though we have smartphones, there is nothing better than having a trusty timepiece on a wrist. I switch watches quite often, but after I’ve bought this G-Shock on the end of September 2019, it rarely leaves my hand. I love how sturdy it is and the combination of solar technology and atomic clock synchronization makes it virtually maintenance-free.

  • Lighter: Bic Mini
    It is cheap. It doesn’t evaporate. You can find it in every color you can imagine. How can you not love the Bic? ;)

  • Phone: iPhone 8 in UAG Case
    Working in a creative industry requires being in contact all the time. The iPhone enables me to do my work wherever I am, even if I don’t have my computer nearby. And the sturdy UAG case saved it a lot of time during photoshoots when I’ve accidentally dropped it on the ground.

  • Glasses: Muscat Eyewear Steve
    Do you like watching YouTube in 480p or in Full HD? I’ve chosen Full HD :D Muscat is a great Polish glasses brand - I can recommend it to anyone!

  • SAK: Victorinox Compact
    I love Swiss Army Knives and I have a bunch of them - 58mm, 84mm, 91mm, 93mm. Celidor, Alox, Ecoline. But this one - the Compact - is a perfect combination of everyday tools that are super nice to have in a city environment. From cutting the paracord to clipping nails. From opening beers to repairing my glasses - the Compact has never let me down.

  • Prybar: Titaner modded by EDC Apparatus
    I really like this little titanium tool. It is very bad when it comes to opening bottles, but very nice when it comes to tightening the screws – for example on my photo tripod. And when I know that people around may be scared of knives, I can always open something with a prybar.

  • Flashlight: Olight S1 Mini Baton
    This little flashlight has everything that you may need from an EDC light – it is small, bright and has practical modes. The thing that I love the most is the battery though. You can easily charge it up from a power bank because it has a micro USB port. This is pure genius!

  • Pen: Fisher Space Pen Matte Black
    A precious gift from my Mother, which never leaves my pocket. I am an avid Fisher Space Pen fan – I love their small size and the feeling while you are writing. I also have it in chrome, so I switch the colors according to my mood and the rest of the gear that I carry.

  • Key Organizer: OrbitKey
    Light, compact and keeps the keys finally organized – this little tool is perfect!

  • Multitool: Leatherman Squirt PS4
    Besides my glasses and a phone, this is the true core of my EDC – I carry it absolutely every day with my keys – you can see how trashed it is ;) I use the little pliers of this tool at least once a week. I only wish it has as good scissors as in my Victorinox Compact.

What's your story:

Hi! My name is Jan and I am a freelance photographer and copywriter from Warsaw, Poland. I work mostly in Social Media and Digital. I make photos, write copy, make up new ideas and strategies for many different clients – from industrial ones, through automotive, ending with cosmetics.

It was quite a long road for me to be in this business – I started as a french-fries-expert in one of the fast-food companies, after that, I was working in a call center.

One day, I realized that I cannot do this anymore – I felt really bad with myself – and I’ve quit the job to pursue my photography passion which led me to the redaction of one of the biggest photography magazines in Poland.

After this, I’ve decided that I want to try myself in advertising – and I am very happy with this decision! But I also hope that the best still lay ahead!

My road to the EDC is also quite complex. In my family, each man always carried a Swiss Army Knife – my father, my uncle, my grandpa who I didn’t know. I was first given a SAK by my Mom when I was about 10 years old – she also gave me the book "The Art of Living and Survival” by Hans-Otto Meissner which is one of the most important books in my life and I’ve read it like a million times.

While I was a teenager, I was a Scout and I always had a SAK with me. Then, while surfing the Web, I’ve discovered EDCforums and I’ve realized that many more people carry a knife with them – and they also have some fancy flashlights, multitools etc – I was amazed! It was about 8-9 years ago.

From then on, I have expand my collection and always try to be prepared – which is proving to be useful every day! Besides using and collecting – I love talking and getting to know the people form the EDC community – I have never seen such a great community so far.

In my free time, I try to try (no pun intended) and do as many things as possible. I was a paramedic in Scouts, I’ve played guitar in a metal band, I was collecting stamps, I’ve played an awful lot of Magic the Gathering card game, but there is a hobby that was always with me – photography.

This is another thing that my Mother showed me – she was always taking photos while traveling with me around Poland when I was a kid. I started shooting photos with cheap Lomo camera, but when I turned eighteen, my Mom and godfather gave me my first camera – Canon 1000D. And then it started for real! About four years ago I bought a film camera – Canon A1 – and it became my passion.

Now I shoot with medium format Mamiya, but I have so much work to do, that I don’t have that much time to do this as much as I want.

Favorite EDC Tool:

Picking my favorite item is very, very hard. But I think it would be my Victorinox Compact. This is a perfect tool for an urban environment – it is also classic and doesn’t make people scared. I think I could do about 90% of everyday work with it! 

What's On Your Gear Radar:

There are a few items on my wishlist - I really dream about a customized SAK. If my Compact had acid washed tools and titanium scales with a place for tweezers, pen, needle and a toothpick - I would be on a cloud nine!

I also want to buy another flashlight - preferably Titanium or Stainless Steel one. On the list, there are also some quality handmade leatherwork and knives, but there are too many of them to write about them in details - one of them is GiantMouse Ace Sonoma. 

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