On Carrying Writing Instruments

With so much emphasis on texting, e-mail, and gadgets nowadays, it’s almost an afterthought to carry around a pen or pencil. But this is definitely one piece of gear that no every day carry (EDC) setup should be without!

And I’ll be the first to admit — I am little biased here. After spending time as a kid surrounded by art supplies, and taking drafting classes, there is just something special about picking up and using a quality writing instrument.

You just never really know when the need to jot down some important notes, draw spontaneous doodles, or fill out some paperwork will strike. It’s absolutely worth carrying dependable writing gear; or if you really want to go off the deep end, an entire writing or art kit.

The first layer carried here (in a pocket) is a weatherproof pen for quick tasks. This might be used for signing a receipt, making a quick note, etc. Right now I alternate between an Inka keychain pen (with Fisher Space Pen refill), and a Fisher Bullet Space Pen (fine point, black ink). Below is an example setup:

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The second layer carried here (in a bag or pack) is a small writing kit. These are typically larger pens and pencils, spare lead, erasers, etc. They are all kept in a Nomadic pencil case which allows for a little bit of organization. It’s easy to just grab this pouch out of a larger bag and choose what you need. Here are the contents that are carried at the moment:

  • Pentel 0.5mm “2B” pencil lead.
  • Pentel Clic eraser.
  • Pentel P205 0.5mm mechanical pencil.
  • Karas Kustoms Retrakt pen (Pilot G2 0.5mm refill installed).
  • Staedtler Lumocolor pen (permanent ink).
  • Sakura Microperm 01 pen.
  • Micron 01 pen.
  • Fisher Bullet Space Pen (to swap with Inka keychain pen).

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Beyond this, a couple of small notepads are carried, usually something from either Field Notes (shown below) or Rite in the Rain (not shown). And last but not least, a few USPS “Forever” first-class stamps, in the event a postcard or letter needs to be sent out.

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