July 29, 2020

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.

A practical problem-solver and teacher at heart, Ben (@gearinsitu) works as an operations manager tackling tactical issues and is trained and certified in a number of mental health and first responder programs. In his free time, he also runs youth camps, offers counseling services, and provides wilderness survival training and nature guides. Read on for the full story and rig rundown of Ben's amazing gear situation!

  • Multitool: Leatherman Charge AL
    This exemplifies the utilitarian philosophy. I can do the most with just that one tool. It contains all the tools I believe are necessary above and beyond the basics. Things like a rasp/file, a bit driver, and a modified awl.

  • Large Knife: Benchmade Osborne 940-2001
    The hunt and the capture are two ways I enjoy finding EDC gear. In this case, the 940 has been my favorite blade for a while now. One day I happened upon a steal of a deal on this limited edition version of it. I might have even paid less than my original 940.

    The only thing better than getting awesome gear is getting awesome gear at a great price. In CPM-S90V this bad boy became one of my top blade steels, not to mention the smooth titanium scales to boot! I’ve used my 940 for everything from cutting out apple cores to slicing up a thick plastic kiddie pool. I’ve even dugout weeds with it.

  • Watch: G-shock Mudmaster quad sensor GGB100-1A
    This beautiful beast comes courtesy of @gshock_canada. With its new carbon core case and carbon fiber bezel, this thing houses all the sensors I need for my adventures. An unbelievably comfortable watch for its size it also syncs via Bluetooth with my mobile GPS to help me get back when I try my best to get lost!

  • Small Knife: Kershaw Natrix (D2 steel) with copper scales
    Copper is my favorite metal that I can never have enough of. Kershaw, of course, is the first knife company I became acquainted with as a young boy. I got this knife after a bit of a retailer issue. But am I glad I held out for it. This also happens to be one of my son’s favorite knives with its authoritatively snappy deployment. Loving the patina it’s developing as we use it.

  • SAK: Victorinox Compact
    This comes with the 3D printed LEGO scales from Taschenmesser. The Compact might be the ultimate compact SAK that is still available for purchase. Given a modular LEGO interface, the possibilities are endless for making this thing less compact but much much more fun!

  • Keychain SAK: Victorinox Midnite MiniChamp
    Modified to have a bright white LED and a micro capsule. This thing is basically my most EDC’d item of all time. Usually in a leather pouch.

  • Flashlight: Lilac Olight S1Rii
    Possibly the best way to carry 1000 lumens in your coin pocket. Period.

  • Wallet: AntiGearCo wallet and gear holster
    It's sporting the Canadian flag patch and my motto “Think Outside No Box Required” morale patch. Randy, the maker, was kind enough to include one for me when he sent another as part of my last giveaway, and I've not gone back to any of my other wallets since. It replaces my wallet as well as my gear holster. Currently, it houses some first aid stuff, my Pokka pen and Leatherman Micra, which are up next.

What's your story?

Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, I married my sweetheart and was blessed with four beautiful babies. Surrounded by a loving amazing family I’ve been able to thrive in whatever I set my mind to.

Currently, that is in the form of an operations manager tackling tactical issues at our company. I started off with a degree in Environmental Sciences and Management. My passions are the outdoors and community engagement. I’m trained and certified in a number of mental health and first responder programs.

I believe in not only being physically equipped to assist others, but also be sufficiently trained and skilled to help as well. I voluntarily run youth camps, offer counseling services, and provide wilderness survival training and nature guides.

I seem to like fixing problems and teaching people what I know. Of course, it is arguable if I’m any good at it or not. But that’s likely another article, written by my wife.

At the risk of seeming too cliche, I think I never let go of that boyhood love of exploration and the excitement of cool gadgets. That fascination followed me out of my teens as a scout, then scout leader in the late 90’s. I did then and still do now harbor a utilitarian attitude about the world around me.

As far as “EDC proper,” i.e., keeping a thought out set of gear with you daily likely had to do with my hobbies as a kid. I loved building, tear-downs, and tinkering with my RC cars and electrical circuits whenever and wherever. So, I used to keep a Classic SD, a Japanese made hobby screwdriver, an Exacto knife, and a AAA flashlight.

One year, when my dad came back from an overseas trip with a Kershaw pocket knife, things took a turn for the better. To me at the time, likely 12 or 13 years old, seeing a shiny twin-bladed pocket knife, not to mention the aggressively serrated second blade, lit my EDC pilot light.

Ever since then, the fire has been raging under the engine of my pursuit of knives, and by the early 2000s I was full steam ahead with a decent, albeit immature collection.

Twenty or so years later, terms like ‘addict’, ‘varied’, and ‘OMG!’ seem to be the key descriptors of the state of my EDC. This is not helped at all by the wonderfully encouraging EDC community online! Thanks, you awesome guys and gals!

In my free time, I like to joke that we live in a house because that is what is socially acceptable to do. Otherwise, we’d be in the woods somewhere. Both my wife and I love the outdoors and our four wonderful children have followed suit.

We are either hiking or biking somewhere surrounded by chlorophyll and lignin. Often my EDC will account for the fact that someone around me will need something. Whether mechanical trouble, first aid, or general utility I need to be prepared for my needs, as well as anticipate the needs of others. Hence the redundancies in what I carry.

The adage of two is one, one is none, applies to an individual. You can do the math for a household of six! I think, perhaps, being prepared is also one of my hobbies. That is likely true from many people in the EDC community. I spend my free time with my family creating or exploring. The gear just adds a bit of spice to an already incredibly flavourful life. Ensuring that things keep on moving onwards and upwards.

Favorite EDC Tool?

Truthfully, it would have to be my Leatherman Charge. It all goes back to that utilitarian philosophy. I can do the most with just that one tool. It contains all the tools I believe are necessary above and beyond the basics. Things like a rasp/file, a bit driver, and a modified awl.

I replaced a broken windowpane at my in-laws once with only this tool. I installed a roof rack with nothing but this guy. I can depend on it. It's got curves in all the right places, making it very comfortable to clamp down on when necessary. I mean I do have two of them. I seldom make superfluous purchases if at all, of course. So it must be worth it.

What's On Your Gear Radar?

Oh man, the list is long, but most notably would be a Grimsmo Norseman, a North Arm Knives Skaha II, and a CRK Umnumzaan. Two Canadian knife beauties and one beast. 

I’ll probably also spring for a Leatherman Charge+ in Orange G10 soon.

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