Minimalist Game.


August 6, 2008, 12:36 AM
Allow me to explain and set this up if you will.

We have folks from all over the world that find THR when conducting an Internet search for "non-firearm" weapons.

Keep in mind restrictive countries, and even Workplaces and Campuses here in the USA.

Not all threats are criminals, fire is one, so is tornado, flood, mud slides, earthquakes, flooding, motor vehicle accidents and power outages.

Remember too, one often has to use what they have on person to deal with situations.
Add, budgets.
We have those that travel by air, so what is put into checked luggage, may not be the nice, more expensive items they would normally carry.

College students, Singles, Single Parents, Retired Older Persons...

Minimalist Game also includes the price tag!
For instance I know from experience, how much I could get for $100 , $50, even $25.

While a fun game, with items listed and general idea on price tags, we can have some ideas to assist us Members, and anyone finding THR for ideas.

Next post, I will start us off.

If you enjoyed reading about "Minimalist Game." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 6, 2008, 12:44 AM
You mean I have to wait?



August 6, 2008, 01:00 AM
SAK Classic SD - $8
Garrity LED Keychain light - $3
Bic Mini-Lighter - $1

Total: $12

This is actually what I have on my person at this moment.

I have 3 essential tools: Knife, Light, Firemaking.

Ray-o-Vac one AAA LED Penlight - $3, is sitting right in front of me.
I carry one 90% of the time.


With these tools I actually have:

Evaded a building with a fire alarm going off.
Assisted someone in a car wreck, and cut a seat belt.
First Aid duties.
Lit candles.
Trimmed a wick, filled up an oil lamp with lamp oil and lit it.


Add a SAK Pocket Pal for $12 .
$24 dollars total now.

I have made suitable shelter, made snares using "vines" cleaned birds, and cooked them.
Using eggs stolen from a hen-house, boiled these in a tin can I found in a ditch, I have also cooked eggs on a rock.

BisQuick, water from a canteen or stream, and I have fixed scratch biscuits and baked them on the side of a rock.

My "canteen" was a pint glass whiskey bottle I found. The little bit of whiskey helped with some bug bites.
These fit in a hip pocket real nice, just do not sit down "wrong" or too hard, lest you break your 'canteen'.

I think the only reason some Mentors liked me, was I wore them down.
I kept surviving these lessons and showing back up where I was supposed to be.

So yes, one can survive leaving a an expensive hotel when the fire alarm goes off,and one can survive being dumped in the woods with not expensive items that did not cost a lot.


August 6, 2008, 01:19 AM

another great post.... as a relative neophyte, i'd say i've picked up the same "big 3" as you put it: blade, light, fire. my "mindset" has been shaped partly by my experience (eagle scout, life lessons) and through no small part in spending time at this site and others.

I have question/remark about your first post in regards to "non-firearm" weapons. i note that the word 'weapon' was outside the quotes.... as i hope it should be. I would prefer to rephrase the word as "tool" as used in your second post. As far as people happening upon this site, more power to them but i spend the majority of my time on this site here at "Non-firearm" tools as i imagine it to be and at S&T. I peruse other subforums but much less frequently than these 2. Given your examples (tornado/fire/etc), i think "weapon" is the the wrong word unless your definition is broad enough to include "ways to tackle a problem". Not to nitpick on semantics, i think we all agree "tool" is a better word. I'd go so far as include a 4th to the Trinity- Mind/Knowledge which trumps all previous candidates but then again, that kinda goes without saying.

That being said, i'll play along w/ this thread:

Many of my daily EDC bags/school bags/5% chance i carry the bag have the following:

2AA maglite +/- LED conversion/bic lighter/knife (mixed bag of swiss army classics/tinkers/whatever)- <$50

For MY edc, i raise my level of play a bit:

BM mini grip, bic lighter, SF E1E- ~$125-150

Probably overkill in the quality dept but no sleep is lost over the extra $ and piece of mind. i've been debating buying the E1L or a fenix LED to improve battery life.

throw a small FB knife in the mix and you'd get a CRKT Falcon... moving on up to the "heavy" FB and it'd be a Ontario RAT 3 or 5.

Oh... i love a good multitool given the chance... i'm kinda hooked on the Leatherman Juice S2 that has my initials and wedding date enscribed, gave them out as gifts to my groomsmen. So, toss on another $40 to the mix. (i know... should've gone w/ Waves but i'm a cheap bastard, right?)

Pax Jordana
August 6, 2008, 02:12 AM
Wow, I'm calling a mulligan on my whole post. Let me try again.

Round here the thrift store is called Goodwill. Gives people jobs, sells killer retro clothes and housewares on the cheap.

Steak knives, carving knives, butterknives (if you've got a means to sharpen) go for 75 cents a pop there.

Spend $4 at the hardware store and you can get a passable paring knife (no steve, it's not old hickory, and yes I was very disappointed to find out it wasn't, but it does come with that neat cardboard sheath.)

Or spend $1 and get the breakaway bladed box cutter. Not big on durability, but they come stupid sharp.

$12 or 16 gets you an LED maglite. Less for a store brand. For batteries' and bulbs' sake I'd say go with an LED. Doesn't have to be super bright either, just sit in the dark for a second and let your eyes adjust!

All that said, at minimum I carry a subcom ($26) and an inova X1 ($22). I do not currently carry fire.

August 6, 2008, 02:14 AM
1. Knife
2. Lighter
3. Credit card
4. Cash
5. Cell phone
6. Flashlight
7. .22

The thing the real world there's no reason not to carry multiple versions of each.

I am not a minimalist and I cannot comprehend the concept. I can always carry that which I NEED for the situation*. Three is two, two is one and one is none. Look to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. "Things Fall Apart".

*Except for government regulations!

August 6, 2008, 02:18 AM
My personal EDC:

IMCO Triplex "Super" 6700 lighter ($5)
Fenix P1D ($60)
Leatherman Fuse ($40), soon to be upgraded to a Surge ($80)
(exactly what I have at all times)

My needs aren't everyone else's, though. I do aircraft mechanic work, and I smoke.

The only differences are features, and most people don't need the same stuff I do. What I paid several times extra for: insanely bright light, pliers, locking blades, a detachable "match," and strength. I wouldn't feel too under-equipped with cheap disposable lighter (free if found or "borrowed"), cheap Swiss-army knockoff (I have three I bought for $0.27 each), and a keychain LED. In fact, before I got to where I am, it's what I had, and used quite well.
(exactly what I used to have--pictures weren't easy to find :p)

August 6, 2008, 02:30 AM
If this is about what I always carry:

Credit Card
(In that order - gets me through most stuff)

August 6, 2008, 03:19 AM
Foxtrot's guide to hobo-style urban survivalism:

Pack of Black & Milds- $4... and I can probably talk 'em into giving me a matchbook or offbrand lighter gratis. Every liquor store in a 2 mile radius of me is owned by some flavor of middle eastern folk. Good people, all of them; friendly and professional, although introvert that I am, I couldn't tell you the name of a single soul. One of these guys was in the habit of throwing in an off-brand lighter with my smokes. I go to his store all the time. A good man... one never knows when a lighter might be handy.

Rusty nail- free (found it on the ground, thought it was a nickel 'till I looked closer). What can you do with a rusty nail? I haven't the slightest. I guess it could be useful, though.

Quarter. Change for the Black & Milds, which actually only cost $3.75 (or something like that). Might make a local phone call, if you can find a payphone in this benighted age of cell phones. Also, once, I locked my keys in my car, and had to break into my own apartment to get my spares. I went around the the back window, and using a quarter and a cheap knife, I managed to lever the window off its rail, and get inside without having anyone call 5-0. I don't know if I was more embarrassed at locking my keys in my car, or proud of being resourceful (and foolhardy) enough to break into my own apartment. I do know that, after that, I had fewer illusions about the security of my apartment...

Sock- effectively free. Take the sock off your left foot, pack it with small rocks, or a single rock that fills the sock (kinda rhymes). Poor man's sap. Doesn't work so good if your socks have holes in the toes.

Shoestring- Might make your shoes liable to slip off, but tie your left and right shoestrings together with a nice big knot... poor man's garrote. Knot goes over the Adam's apple. Not a great choker, and prone to breakage, but better than nothing... if you happen to be in a rare circumstance where you need a garrote. Alas, my shoes are velcro (chide me as you like, my insoles fit better in these).

Elastic- Also free. Take it off your briefs (or boxers). What can you use elastic for? I don't know. Something. If you know anything about slings, it might be handy. Otherwise, you just ruined a pair of underwear. Why'd you go and do that? Weirdo...

Pringles can- $1 at walmart. $2 anyplace else. Might hold water (I dunno- never tried it). Whatever... I like Pringles.

Coke can- 35 cents if you can get the super cheap stuff from vending machines at someplace like walmart. "Dr. Thunder" or something. Holds water, and the soda usually ain't too bad. Hell, I like Dr. Thunder. Probably be better served springing $1 for a water bottle or something... anything that comes with a screw cap. Poor man's canteen.

Newspaper- Anywhere from "free" to 25 cents. If you're gonna use up a quarter, take the whole stack. Unethical? Ethics mean little if you're looking for useful items on hobo's wages. Newspaper has a number of uses. Kindling. Insulation. Entertainment (assuming literacy, not quite a given with the homeless). Poor weapon (roll it up... tight... and it's not dissimilar to a rolled-up magazine).

Gallo (or other cheap brand) wine jug- Couple bucks. Tastes like crap, but it is alcoholic. Might work as a field antiseptic (Never tried it, so don't take this as Gospel). Upside? You now have a glass canteen or, at the very worst, a half-assed one-shot club.

If you're really, really up Rio Feces sans a paddling device, consider the efficacy of dumpster diving. Yes, yes, it's undignified, smelly, and probably draws peculiar looks from "normal" folk. So? People throw away the damnedest things. Old clothes, string, anything sharp, anything that can strike a light... could be of use.

Finally, there's begging. Don't do this. I've heard of folks doing this even when they aren't all that poor. A good begger can score the same wages as a minimum wage worker, per day. Seriously, don't do that. Begging is tantamount to publicly admitting, "I've failed at life, but I can still make non-failures feel bad about their success... or intimidate them into handing over cash". I've given money to beggars before... usually to make them leave. A few times, I've been surprised in my car (should have been watching my mirrors). My bad. If you must beg, have a good story. "My car broke down", "My wife's in labor; I need cab fare", etc. The story sells it. Don't just say "Give me money". It's crass, and insinuates robbery. Have a story.

There it is, the Foxtrot guide to being a loser. Use it in good health, and I devoutly pray (though to what God, I don't know) that you'll never need.

Also, I'm so drunk I can't feel feelings. Personal holiday, et cetera. I'll be happy if I find (when I've sobered up) that I've typed actual words. Don't listen to me. I'm drunk and don't know what I'm talking about.

August 6, 2008, 08:37 AM
Newspaper makes a fine insulation in a pinch. Put it between your jacket and your body.

The piezo push-button disposable lighters work better in wet conditions that the wheel-and-flint style. A wet thumb will disable the second until it dries out, but the first can be shaken dry even after it's been dunked.

A little bit of regular bleach is a lifesaver if clean water is not available. A crystal of iodine works too, is tiny and cheap and lasts forever.

(See here:

Whistles are much more effective than shouts.

If you can scavenge some empty cans you can make a little hobo stove, which is far more fuel-efficient and discrete than a fire for cooking. They can be surprisingly sophisticated:

August 6, 2008, 09:16 AM
Not all threats are criminals, fire is one, so is tornado, flood, mud slides, earthquakes, flooding, motor vehicle accidents and power outages.

Number of times I have been in a tornado, accident and outage? 2 tornadoes, 5 accidents, too many outages to count.

Number of times I have had to deal with a criminal? 0.

I am a minimalist in that I don't like carrying in my pocket, but while I appreciate a good bargain, I am also willing to spend for gear that will last for my useful lifetime.

On my person, it's rarely more than wallet, knife, can of chew and phone. In my man-purse, I have flashlight, lighter, another knife, extra pens, a sewing kit (a most overlooked piece of gear), waterproof notebook, and some other crap.

Carl Levitian
August 6, 2008, 09:31 AM
Ah, minimalisim, I love it so.

I've long been a fan of minimalistic things, more so now that I'm a fixed income social security type of retiree.

Steve has it right on, so many people can't afford a 100 dollar flashlight, or even 50 dollar knife. woring to support a couple kids on an hourly wage can be tough. But that doesn't mean one can't be preparded for life's little bumps.

That little sak classic is a way more usefull little knife than one would thing at first glance. For more than a couple years now, I've used the heck out of mine, and my inspiration was the better half. After seeing what that womaan did with the little classic, I started to carry one as just an "extra" to "save" the blade on my "real" knife. Eye opener to say the least. Steve's choice of a classic is a tiny but very versitile tool. Small sissors are very handy, small screwdriver on the end of the nailfile also works on phillips screws. and as far as practical use, that pocket pal will open a package or cut up some game/food just as well as a sebanza.

Flashlights don't have to have enough power to sear the retna's out of a criminal at 100 yards. it is nice if it illuminates the path in the dark woods right in front of you, or if the power goes out, lights up the way to the circut breaker box or you tools. In the absence of light, even a small AAA LED pocket light will let you see your way around a dark room or building just fine. For about a year or two I was using a Dorcy AAA from Walmart, and it was great. But a few months ago I got a Gerber Sonic from Smoky Montaian Knifeworks for 3.99. They still have them, by the way. It's a small single AAA LED, a bit smaller than the Dorcy, and seems to have a bit better beem. From across a dark living room, I can see details of a painting on the far wall. Great little personal task light.

Bic lighters are one of mans greatest inventions. I'm a pipe smoker, and when I want to light my pipe, I want it now. I used to carry a Zippo for 30 years, but finally got tired of it running out of fuel at the wrong time, or giving me a good red burn splotch onmy leg it I filled it too much. Been using the Bic for a couple years now, and love them. Reliable, cheap, lasts months, and with the light color ones I can see how much fuel is left. If it goes belly up, I can get another at the next gas station/convienence store/box store.

Another thing I would add to the list; twine. No, not the high dollar papacord the survival cowboys are goofy over, just plain cotton jute twine. Goes for all of about 1.99 for a 200 foot role at the box stores. Sometimes you just want to tie something up. A package, a blanket roll, cross members of a leanto or makeshift hut, anything. The jute twine is cheap, strong enough for most things, and one other thing; it makes great tinder when frayed apart.

It's surprising how far you can go on a small pocket knife, a pocket flashlight, and cheap lighter. Add some twine, a few bandanas, and a walking/hiking stick and your good to go.

Sure, a Caddy is a nice ride, but a Chevy will get you there just fine.

Brian Williams
August 6, 2008, 10:05 AM
Key ring, Case canoe, Inova AA X1 light, Granger screwdriver, ALL-ETT wallet, Buxton 3x5 card case, Koh-i-noor technical pencil, thats all folks.

But you should see my Murse.

2 usb hard drives,
Nikon d40 camera w/ 18-200 lens
Pocket PC and keyboard,
numerous pens and pencils
usb jump drives

Pax Jordana
August 6, 2008, 12:21 PM
Brian, that's a really nice card case. And here I thought that the palm pilot was doing something that'd never been done before..

Just a quick note about 'high dollar paracord' - I've seen it for way cheap. I think I paid $8 for thirty 18-foot hanks from cheaper than dirt, IIRC they were lines cut from chinese parachutes. If you're not using it for rappelling (ahem) then it doesn't need to be new. I have one length in my bag that I won't cut that gets used for longer jobs (no clothesline at the firehouse, for instance.. need to dry that towel somewhere) and another length (or several) that I will cut. Remember too, it's reusable.. I'd rather a slightly more expensive durable item than something to be used once and tossed.

August 6, 2008, 12:42 PM
Thanks for the replies folks!

Some great ideas have been shared, and I know we will see more to assist everyone.

Dionysusigma, Those key ring lights, are great!

David Markowitz knows where to get those, and are linked to on his site.
When he posts on this thread he can share where to get those and some other neat stuff.

No. I am not going to admit I don't have those links bookmarked on this computer; nor am I going to admit I cannot remember. *nope*

David also has this neat cable key ring on his site.

Oh Dave!...I ain't as good as I once was.
I am as good once as I ever was.
-Toby Keith.

My forgetter works better than my memory sometimes, just only on days that end in "Y" though...- Mentor

August 6, 2008, 12:49 PM
Douk-Douk (small)
AA Mag-Lite

This is what a buddy of mine in his 70's carries.

His wife says these items were free from his daughter.

He says his wife forgot about putting that daughter through college, and he did pay for the tickets to see Willie Nelson in concert - that is where she bought the
Willie Nelson bandanna for da-dee.

"You gotta point there dear...."

August 6, 2008, 07:08 PM

Razor box cutter
Gallon distilled water
Small flashlight (if we're talking Dollar Store, then rayovac...if we're talking price only, one of those 50 cent microlights mentioned here)
Contractor or trash bag

That's fire, water, stuff to cut/pry with (and screwdriver can be defensive), light, bandana can be a bandage or all different sorts of improvised stuff, including a sap type thing, and then the contractor bags make a great sleeping bag type thing. Ok, great is too strong a word. But they hold heat!

Dave Markowitz
August 6, 2008, 07:56 PM
David Markowitz knows where to get those, and are linked to on his site.
When he posts on this thread he can share where to get those and some other neat stuff.

My spidey sense was tingling. :D ( is the site where I've bought some inexpensive but good LED lights, the cable keyrings, and assorted other stuff. The EOD bag is an exceptionally good buy.

As for what I carry in my pockets/on my person everyday:

Countycomm cable keyring with an LED light, key to my Mossberg Loc-Box, and an 8 GB flash drive. The flash drive holds a backup of my most important data encrypted using TrueCrypt ( I also have portable versions of several apps, including TrueCrypt itself which can run right from the drive. For a better understanding of why carrying such a flash drive with you always is a good idea, check out Listening to Katrina (

I frequently have a Victorinox Rambler SAK on the keyring as well. If I'm carrying another SAK then I'll usually leave the Rambler at home, but if I'm packing my Barlow then it'll be on the keychain. I used to have a Countycomm Peanut lighter on the keyring but it broke.

Aside from the above, I'll have my cell phone on my belt or in another pocket, depending on what I'm wearing. Plus some tissues, since I have allergies.

I carry a bunch of other stuff in my laptop bag but that's beyond the scope of this thread.

August 7, 2008, 12:35 PM
I think the main point of this thread was to list what you'd buy in a run-of-the-mill store with either $5, $10, $25, $100 or some common amount...making do with what you have.

We have those that travel by air, so what is put into checked luggage, may not be the nice, more expensive items they would normally carry.

College students, Singles, Single Parents, Retired Older Persons...

Minimalist Game also includes the price tag!
For instance I know from experience, how much I could get for $100 , $50, even $25.

The Tourist
August 7, 2008, 12:43 PM
Any Pakistani knife for one or two dollars.

Just like using the Liberator pistol of WWII, if I can get a knife I can get food, clothing, better weapons, etc., just by killing the guy who has those commodities.

August 7, 2008, 12:47 PM
*takes notes*

-DA in Tourist's county


August 7, 2008, 06:00 PM
I found 2 SAK's yesterday for $12 ea., a Stylus and a Outdoorsman II. The Outdoorsman with the corkscrew was my first SAK and my Mom gave it to me in the 80's. I now carry one with the Phillips head screwdriver instead of the corkscrew but it was nice to find it again. I don't need either right now but couldn't pass 'em up either. :)

The Tourist
August 7, 2008, 06:58 PM
DA in Tourist's county

If you didn't know me and came to Dane County with minimal info, you could find me within ten minutes.

Trust me, any DA is faster than that. And they're known my opinions on things for several decades...

This is a minimalist game. I like to play to win. I just received the Blue Ridge Knives monthly catalog of specials. There's a Buck Ranger knock-off listed at $2.99, and it's actually a pretty good knife.

By sometime later tonight I'll find a verifiable edged tool in that same catalog for a buck and a half.

August 7, 2008, 10:39 PM
In my bag, I have two Altoids tins. One has mints in it.

The other has a Bic lighter, a wood screw, 4 bandaids, a small chunk of sharpening stone, and a small pocketknife.

My bag has a Surefire G2 LED in it. Yeah, it's bright. No, it wasn't really cheap. They sell them at Lowe's, though, and I like it.

Two other knives in the bag. A Victorinox Mechanic, and a 4 inch sheath knife.

Water bottle. Nalgene, 1 litre.

MP3 player.

Journal, sketch book, small cheap notebook I keep track of random lists, tasks, etc in.

Rolled up boonie hat.

1 8"x1" piece of cottonwood, in case I want to whittle. Or need to shave off some tinder.

Some of the meds I have to take everyday, plus some antacids. Took a prescription pain pill during the morning, to get me through the day.

A smashed granola bar I forgot was in there. There was a cup of pudding, a banana and a tangerine in there when the day started, but the other stuff got eaten.

My laptop.

In my pockets, a Case jackknife, and a Victorinox Executive. I just like the Executive more, lots more, than the Classic. I got mine used for 10 bucks. Filed my nails with it today, and peeled the tangerine. Case Jackknife opened up my lunch. Wallet with a little pen in it. Change, keys. Cell phone.

Carried a blackthorn walking stick.

Okay, so I'm not really a minimalist. I can play the game, but don't really feel like it most of the time. :D

We had the lights go out in one of our offices today. I had a flashlight with me. It didn't need to be so bright, but I could see from one side of the building to the other, and I had it with me. I wanted it, I bought it, the money is spent, so I really don't feel bad about using it. I was able to take care of what needed doing in the office, and nobody stumbled around in the dark because it lit the whole thing up.

I stopped at the tire store on the way home to have them pull a nail out of one of my tires. I called my wife to tell her I'd be late, typed on my laptop while I sat there, and listened to music on the MP3.

Life is good.

Now, what would be good at this point would be to talk about how I could get by with less.

I could go with just the keys, wallet and Executive in my pockets. The cell phone? I could have called home before I left the office, no need for the expense (except I believe in them for roadside stuff, but that's another story).

I don't really need another knife than this 3" pen knife with a couple of tools. It does anything needful, and is very sharp. But I'd probably keep one or both of the other knives in my bag. I could exchange the Executive for my Pocket Pal, a regular pen knife, Peanut, or whatever. I have a real fondness for the Executive, though. It's a clever, effective design, and since I got it used, I'll keep it for the minimalist thing.

Didn't need most of the stuff in my bag. Could have found my way around in the office with my lighter, or with a less expensive flashlight.

I'll keep the stick. Have to have the meds. I don't carry the computer around everyday, but decided to this morning, since I knew I'd be sitting around at the tire store. Could have sat there with just the MP3 and my sketch pad. Or read a magazine from the rack. Or walked around the block.

Water. Got to have water. Got a free bottle of spring water from the tire store, so I didn't need the Nalgene.

Anyway. It's interesting to see how little one can get by with. I remember many times in my life following the mantra of "it's better to have and not need, than need and not have" to a ridiculous extreme. I try to not do that anymore, but still have the needful things when and where I need them. I try to plan for what I expect to happen, and prepare for unexpected things.

Pax Jordana
August 8, 2008, 01:58 AM
I used my knife sharpener today, and thought it'd be nice to post online.

I'm no tourist. In fact, it's a miracle I've still got ten fingers. I've found the Rapala ( knife sharpener to be sufficiently useful even in my hammy fists. You can find 'em for $3, will keep almost any knife running for quite a while, and duly sharp enough for most knifey tasks.

I was gonna go search (w)almart for them as an example. I stumbled across this (, for $20. That's quite a package for the minimalist with just a bit more money to spare. Stop by the tobacco counter on your way out for that lighter and you've reached at least 'macguyver' on the readiness scale :)

*Having used the rapala on a cheaply coated blade (mine is a schrade x-timer) I would recommend only using 'bare' steel knives on it. Coatings can gum things up a bit.

The Tourist
August 8, 2008, 02:01 AM
Twenty bucks! Heck, I'd have sharpened your knife for half that much just to steal the business.

August 8, 2008, 02:56 AM
$19.29 plus tax gets one a Vic Spartan and Classic combo pack.

Granted one has to borrow something to cut these out of the blister pack, still...these are sharp and ready to go once you do get them out.

*steals business*


August 8, 2008, 03:04 AM
i have a question on definition of "minimalist"- is it in reference to cost or least amount of gear carried?

i'm sure i could hit the wally world camp aisle and get a TON of stuff for < $50 including hatchet, machete, knife, lantern, lighter.

my take in minimalist was: blade, light, fire. for me, i spend a little extra $$ on my blade and light but consider myself a minimalist as i rarely carry more than the mini grip, E1E and bic lighter (+/- multi-tool)

The Tourist
August 8, 2008, 03:11 AM
*steals business*

Sorry, sm, just living up to beliefs as a tinker and highwayman. Certainly, you've heard of A.E. Housman?

Epitaph on Army of Mercenaries (1914)
These, in the days when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling
And took their wages and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and the earth's foundations stay;
When God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

I would have over-charged Mr. Housman to sharpen his knife. He would have understood.

August 8, 2008, 03:38 AM
WE are getting folks to think around here.

Shush, don't tell 'em , lets keep it a secret. *wink*

Folks do not understand the differences in a Tinker not charging for doing something, charging for doing something and teaching one to do that something for themselves.

Akin to hustling-

It ain't hustling, just some folks pay money to educated is all - Mentors

Minimal is can be because one has to, and because one wants to.

Old boy has money.
Wife saw a Benz in Germany, and he paid cash to have it brought over.
Holland & Holland built him some nice guns.
Barn...yeah, some barn, full of neat cars from Ferrari, to Pantera, to Benz, Porche...
Knives run from $ to $$$$ , custom jobbies.
Hunted all over the world.
He has won medals shooting.

He shows up in a mid 60's truck, no air conditioning.
20 ga single shot, and only uses 12 shells to fell a limit of 15 doves.
Purina Advertising knife , he got free too many decades ago.

For fun, he run 50/50 with a borrowed H&R Topper shooting trap a fella give $40 for at the pawn shop. That fella , has a $50k custom Trap gun.
He found a old Roy Rogers Pocket knife at the pawn shop too.

These two grew up poor, and they learned to shoot, as they did not like being hungry.
Beans and Cornbread is fine, just sometimes a bit of meat on the table is nice.

Three .22 ctgs, bought loose at the store.
A kid was supposed to get meat, and bring back the other two ctgs they did not use.
Now if'n they shot them other two ctgs, there had better be two more "meat" to show for it.

Don't be missing a goose, with a single shot .22 rifle, or any other "meat".

Minimal can be one has to, or because they can.

Correct basic fundamentals is the key.

August 8, 2008, 04:41 AM

The A.E. Housman poem!

I heard it the first time when I saw The Dogs of War.

Didn't realize that the song at the end was actually Housman's poem until much later. Didn't realize that Housman's poem was a response to a German newspaper's calling British soldiers "mercenaries" until I did some reading about it.

Brings to mind another great scene from the movie:

Vive le mort, vive le guerre, vive le sacre mercenaire!

Now I've got a hankering to watch that movie again. Good times. And, aye, a man makes his living how he can. As a former mall ninja, I know a little something about wearing a despised uniform for money.

August 8, 2008, 05:38 PM
Sorry, sm, just living up to beliefs as a tinker and highwayman. Certainly, you've heard of A.E. Housman?

Actually "Bootlegger" is one name applied to me.
There are others...

Playing the game as I am familiar with, sometimes means going minimal.

Right now, I am running around with a Vic Classic, SD , without the key ring, and it has not been sharpened since the day I received it.
I received a Medical Alert as someone fussed about me not wearing one, that sez I am allergic to Aspirin.
The split ring off the Classic, is being used instead of the spring ring, so a person in greater need than I, can slip that Med Alert over her neck.

I figure ER folks will figger out I do not do well with ASA once I start going into shock again...

Minimal - yeah I know about that.
Out of the Country with my Lady Partner, and others we run with, some of my stuff was stolen from a hotel safe.
[Inside job for sure].

Custom folding knife, Single blade Trapper, with Ivory Handles and a Green Diamond bezel set into the handle. I happen to like green.
They got my Omega Chrono, and 18k yellow gold pocket watch, on a 18k yg chain, with a 18 k yg pocket knife.

We had all gone out to eat. I had my Steak Knife.
Custom, small fixed, with a handle of 18kyg alternating bands of Rose, Green and Yellow gold, with a green diamond set in the end of the handle.

My watch for the evening, US $20 Gold coin, that was actually a watch.
My money and ID, in a 18k yellow gold "paper clip".
Lighter was a 18 kyg Dunhill, with Dunhill smokes

Knife, watch, paper clip, lighter and smokes.

My lady partner had her Steak knife.
Custom , with a Mobe' pearl on the end .
Now this knife came with two 18 yg and platinum screwdriver.
One had the handle 18 yellow gold, with the screwdriver platinum and the other just opposite. Both had a diamond set into the end of the handle.

These fit the 18k yellow or Platinum screws with flat heads to change handles.
Simple, still elegant, to change handles of Lapis, Coral, Abalone, Pave' dias set in Plat, Ebony, Ivory, ....

She chose coral to match her earrings, and pendant. She wore a simple 18k yg Patek, and had a 18 yg "match box" to light Players.

We carried our shoes as we walked the beach holding hands heading to dinner.
Dressed in shorts, she wearing a polo shirt, and me with a 100% cotton oxford shirt unbuttoned. I buttoned it upon arrival to eat.

Minimalist for one of our kind, was the Custom knife with single blade, handle made of Lapis and the cork screw was Platinum.

She opened the wine with that corkscrew...

It does not take much to go out to dinner, look out sitting in Jamacia, and walk the beach.

Head down to the Burger Shack, and hang out until daylight.
A Red Stripe opens just fine with a 14k yellow gold opener...
One of the guys had one in his pocket...

Still, I am running around with a SAK Classic, no key ring, and I have not sharpened it.
I gotta coffee mug I can flip over if I need to do so.
Not me.
I did, but I don't.

Vets needed these, as in Rehab they are using Pocket Pals to whittle.
I'd use a Pocket Pal if I had one...I use that Classic when I run by to say hello...

I whittle with a Classic...strop on my jeans, or hand, or the last time I used a index card.

Carl Levitian
August 8, 2008, 05:56 PM
Those little classics get around.

An article in Knife World a few years back about Victorinox, revealed that they make 35 million knives a year. About 9 million of them are classics. Its thier most popular model world wide.

About that time, one of the knife magazines had a picture of a classic on the cover with the caption, "The worlds most confiscated knife." It seems like the classic gets taken by TSA by the bushel basket load. Selling 9 MILLION of the things world wide, year in, year out, everyone on the planet must have a couple.

A few years ago I handed out classics as stocking stuffers to all the non-knife people in my family. They loved them, made some converts. Especially the women folk. They loved the little sissors and nail file. Then there was this lady who had a table at the gun show, had a big box of them. TSA kives. Classics were 3 dollars apiece, or 2.50 for 3 of them. She dropped her price to 2 dollars when I bought a whole bunch of them as hand outs. More converts to the fold. Check out girl at Staples, college guy in the parking lot of Lowes.

Classic, usefull little sucker.

And they sharpen up good on the bottom of a coffee cup.

August 8, 2008, 06:53 PM
Re: Classics.

I like the old ones better.
These did not have toothpicks or tweezers and the scissors had a screw instead of brad.

Just me, I think Vic needs to do a Classic with nothing except a key ring.
Offer colors, especially Stay-Glow.

Civil Disobedience at its finest.

Airports, Schools, Courthouses and everywhere else being inundated with "Classic Fobs".
All over the world...

Victorinox - are you paying attention?

August 8, 2008, 10:36 PM
^..^ :D

That's too funny, steve. I'd buy a bunch of them!

August 9, 2008, 09:01 PM
No one mentioned a compass? Even with a minimalist frame of mind, I would not leave this off my shortlist.

August 10, 2008, 07:58 AM
Some basic skills can forgo the use of a compass--

At night, find the north star.

During the day, make note of where the sun rises and sets.

Mountain ranges, except for only two (that I can think of right now), always run north-south.

Many cities' streets are laid out on a grid-pattern for the most part, with streets also following north-south and east-west.

Do you have a map with you to begin with, and are you someplace unfamiliar?

August 10, 2008, 11:23 AM

I am well aquainted with it. Why? Not because I spend a lot of time on the streets, or survival camping, but because I am in a very controlled enviroment- namely, about to enter 10th grade.

Although my school is private, it still has a ZT policy. You can have sciccors, etc, but still, no knives.

Swisscard came in handy last year, when I had a bigger wallet.

Take knife out, bingo, you have a small flashlight, a screwdriver, tweezers, sciccors, magnifying glass, pen, pin.

Now, I carry a smaller wallet, and pocket carry a Wenger Air Traveler.

Sciccors, eyeglass screwdriveer, T&T, and a nail file.

Wenger file is pointy, couyld be used to poke stuff in a pinch.

Pens are another thing. You can use a pen (or pencil) as a probe, an auger, a writing utensil, and a makeshift weapon.

Wine knife, waiters knife, whatever you call it, are commonly included in hotel suites.

Useful little buggers, with blade, bottle opener, and corkscrew.

September 19, 2009, 09:32 PM
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I found it quite interesting.

My ideas to fill out a person needing inexpensive edc items is as follows:

Bic lighter $1
bandana $1 (comes in a 2-pack for roughly $2)
utility knife $2 (extra blades come as a 5-pack for a little over $1)
Rayovac AAA light $3
total cost around $7 or $8 with tax. And now this person has a means of making fire, purifying water, seeing in the dark, getting out of a smoke-filled or powerless building, light cutting chores, etc.

Mine is only marginally more expensive:
standard Bic lighter $1
bandana $1
Vic Hiker SAK $18
Fenix E01 $15
(wallet, cell, keys also)
total cost $35

Doug S
September 19, 2009, 11:17 PM
Maybe not dollar store items, but very reasonably priced and useful items...

Your run of the mill SAK (I prefer models with old style magnifying glass and in line Phillips). $20-$25

Freedom Photon - $10 (I like the covert tip which might be a few bucks more).

Split Pea Lighter - $11

For $30 bucks or so, you can be equipped with some quality items IMO.

Edit: Oops didn't bother to read the dates on this thread before responding. Oh well, an interesting thread nonetheless.

September 20, 2009, 01:53 PM
bandana $1

Not applicable to everyone, or maybe even most, but for some of us you need to watch the bandana color. I work with at-risk kids and I have a blue bandana in my EDC bag that I never gave one thought too when I stuck it in there. The gang kids that I work with daily all know I am not showing favoritism, but some of the more hardcore kids were offended on general principle and it did cause some problems. I no longer carry a blue (or red) bandana, and instead carry one that has a map of Rocky Mountain National Park on it, which I like better anyway since I love maps and am a nerd.

September 21, 2009, 05:38 PM
Good advice, TK....

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