Saturday, July 25, 2015

DIY EDC measuring tape

A little bit ago, I found myself wanting to install new garage cabinets.  So naturally I tended to wander into stores looking for new ones.

Of course, I didn't carry a measuring tape or anything.  So figuring it out was a little harder than it should have been.  I wanted something for measuring I could keep with me.

I checked all of the usual EDC forums and found this as the best suggestion:

This is an ordinary tailors tape.  You can get these nowadays at the dollar store.  But this was too big for me.

Other suggestions included carrying a proper, albeit small, measuring tape around.  Most were just as big or bigger than the blue sucker above.

If you crack open the tailoring tape, you'll find half of the space is taken up by the spring that retracts it for you.  A waste of space, in my opinion.

So I went ahead and created this:

This is the cloth measuring tape from the tailoring tape wound around a common sewing bobbin.  This fits quite nicely in the coin pocket of my jeans with plenty of room to spare.  It's been cut to 28" to fit the bobbin; a small rubber band holds it together.

Size comparison:

Total cost was $2.

 Since I actually carry it, I'd say it's a winner.  Though I haven't needed it yet, so I might stop carrying it.

Hope this helps someone out there who wants an EDC tape measure that's actually small enough to carry.

Update:  OK, after about a year, I've used it possibly three times.  Which, if we're honest with ourselves, is pretty much on par for most EDC stuff.  I use my pocketknife a couple of times a week, on average, and everything else is pretty occasional.  But I still carry it daily, it's still invisibly small, and it works, so it's still a winner for me.

Altoids tins suck - get original already

OK, Altoids tins don't really suck, I guess.  Altoids themselves are pretty OK in my book, and the tins are admittedly an extremely handy item.

However, EDC seems to be all the rage these days, and every EDC proponent wants to start with an Altoids tin for their first aid / survival / whatever kit.

To which I say: Why???

I got a tin of Altoids.  That tin is HUGE!  Seriously!  It doesn't fit in my pocket, so how am I supposed to carry it with me?  I don't believe for one second that most people who claim this to be their "EDC" actually carry this tin around daily.

Sure, maybe in a pocket of a bag or backpack, which you "always" have.  OK, fine, I guess. 

The point is, it bothers me a bit that the standard "Altoids tin" kit has become such the de facto standard that nobody even thinks to question it anymore.  Sure, you need to start somewhere, and maybe that tin is what you want.  Maybe it's not.  How about sparing it a thought first?

Regardless, I wanted a first-aid kit - I don't NEED one, but I wanted one, so call me strange or whatever.  Probably comes from traveling quite a bit lately, plus having young kids prone to scrapes and whatnot.

And something actually pocket sized that I could carry, since having it where I was not was obviously a waste.  Band-aids in the car are no good when we're in the middle of the park.

So I wander into Starbucks one day, and happen to glance over to the side of the till to see this: