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The minimalist Approach. 387

Hero Member Posts: 893
The minimalist Approach.
« on: September 13, 2017, 09:21:57 PM »
It's been happening over the course of many years as I aged. The shrugging off of excess baggage of possessions that I did not find use for anymore. My SAK's have lasted the longest, since 1969 and my first SAK. I used to be involved in knives and collected/used mostly traditional pocket knives.

But they have all gone now. My knives, like my guns, have been pared back to just what I really cn use in my day to day life. The huntsman, tinker, and others have all gone. What remains in my little SAK's, the trusty 58. The classic.

Going back to my earlier army days, when I carried a P-38 in my wallet, and a Sear's 4-way keychain screw driver, I find that a small knife like a 58mm SAK is all I need for most my day to day life. If I need to open a bottle or can, the P-38 does it. If I need to deal with some flat or Phillips screws, my Sear's keychain screw driver deals with it.

But I find that most times I reach for my SAK, it's the knife I need, to open a package, or cut some twine, or slice open a plastic mustard envelope, or just open my mail. I've found that as a senior citizen, my fingers do not have the agility or strength they used to, and cutting open a plastic package is way easier than trying to tear it open with senior fumble fingers. We arrived in Maryland yesterday after driving two days from our retirement home in Texas, to visit old friends and family. The way up, the little classic was used by both the better half and I to open plastic snack packages we'd stocked up on before leaving Texas.

I find the little knife blade on the 58mm enough of rmost things in my life. I think of it like the blade of a box cutter, exactor knife, or utility knife; don't need size as much as sharpness. If I need a bigger blade than my SAK, theft's time for my old Buck sheath knife.

It's with a little sadness that I retract from SAKisim, and my old Wenger SI is sitting in my bag unused. Once in a while I need it, like this past summer our granddaughter was visiting, and she needed another hole punched inner belt. The old Wenger did the job. SAK awls are the best. All other times the little SAK did the duty. The SD tip on the classic was just right for the sight adjustment screws on the .22 rifle we'd selected for the granddaughter. The scissors did some snipping, the nail file did some filing, and the tweezers plucked a splinter from the 8 year olds finger.

Both the better half andI have trimmed way back in our senior citizen years. When we moved to Texas from Maryland in 2015, we did a really massive downsize of our stuff. Now we relish our more simplified life in a sparsely furnished one lever home. By better half is an enthusiast of the little SAK's as much a myself, with a variety of color classics attached to her purse and keys. A Leatherman micra is also in her bag.

They say that sometimes less is more, and I now believe that. Little single AAA flashlights, 58mm SAK, mini Bic lighters instead of regular Bic's, and a gold pencil for taking notes on a very small pad. A pocket size pistol instead of one that needs a belt holster.

So, I am going less and less to the forums for knives and other stuff. I find that forums instill and feed some need to accumulate more and more stuff. I'm not sure what the psychological implications of the tis, I jus know that when I stay away from forums, I'm more content with just what I have in my pockets. I also find as an old man now, I just don't feel the need to try to anticipate everything that can happen and carry a ton of stuff on me to deal with what may or may not happen. I'll carry somethings, like cutting tool, fire like a mini Bic, pencil, little flashlight, some plastic ball electrical tape wrapped around an old credit card in the wallet. A few safety pins and paper clips in the wallet.

The only other knife I have need for on my fishing trips;

Two little items in my wallet do a lot to help out the little classic.

For rougher work, I use these that can be replaced at the next Home Depot I come to. I also feel free to use on things that I know will wreck an edge, since they can be replaced so easy.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 09:34:21 PM by cbl51 »


Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,523
Re: The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 09:29:35 PM »
You are an inspiration sir!  I love your posts, especially about the 58's.

Barry
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 18,419

Zed gb

******* *
Re: The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 09:32:07 PM »
Great post mate  :salute: I have also carried a few similar items and still do on occasions , I've not got a Sears but have one mate by colt, I keep it in my wallet at all times and I did have a p-38 in there but I've got the bigger p-51 on my keychain now  :tu:

My edc
MT,  Yes
Sak, Yes
Slipjoint, Yes
Flashlight,Yes
Watch, Yes
Other stuff ,Yes
Hero Member Posts: 893
Re: The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 09:56:30 PM »
Great post mate  :salute: I have also carried a few similar items and still do on occasions , I've not got a Sears but have one mate by colt, I keep it in my wallet at all times and I did have a p-38 in there but I've got the bigger p-51 on my keychain now  :tu:

Victorinox also make s a great little keychain driver called the quatro I think. I go tone from Optics Planet for about 2 dollars, audit's smaller than the Sears, and the Phillips drivers are better shaped.

Although smaller and has a bit less leverage, it still will get the job done with a smaller footprint. Neat little tool!
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 09:58:41 PM by cbl51 »
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,315 Hook enthusiast
Re: The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 10:35:52 PM »
Great post mate  :salute: I have also carried a few similar items and still do on occasions , I've not got a Sears but have one mate by colt, I keep it in my wallet at all times and I did have a p-38 in there but I've got the bigger p-51 on my keychain now  :tu:

Victorinox also make s a great little keychain driver called the quatro I think. I go tone from Optics Planet for about 2 dollars, audit's smaller than the Sears, and the Phillips drivers are better shaped.

Although smaller and has a bit less leverage, it still will get the job done with a smaller footprint. Neat little tool!
So why do you still carry the Sears one?  :think:

Hooked, like everyone else. :D

Small knives do what big knives do, just slower.

My 30 day pen challenge! Pretty(?) Pictures inside:
Official 30 Day Pen Challenge!
No Life Club Posts: 4,923
Re: The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 10:39:10 PM »
great read.  :salute:

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” - Mark Twain
Hero Member Posts: 893
Re: The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 11:25:45 PM »
Great post mate  :salute: I have also carried a few similar items and still do on occasions , I've not got a Sears but have one mate by colt, I keep it in my wallet at all times and I did have a p-38 in there but I've got the bigger p-51 on my keychain now  :tu:

Victorinox also make s a great little keychain driver called the quatro I think. I go tone from Optics Planet for about 2 dollars, audit's smaller than the Sears, and the Phillips drivers are better shaped.

Although smaller and has a bit less leverage, it still will get the job done with a smaller footprint. Neat little tool!
So why do you still carry the Sears one?  :think:

When it came in the mail, I first thought "man, this thing is tiny. Too small. So I kind of kept on with the Sears. But little by little I've been carrying it more, and it seems to be as capable as the Sears, so I've been carrying it more and leaving the Sear's home more. Little by little I'm getting used to it. I'm an old fart and it takes me time to get used to changes. Right now I'm 1550 miles form home, and the Victorinox quatro is in my wallet with the P38, and the Sears is at home in Texas in the desk drawer.  Maybe this road trip is some kind of acid test. Time will tell!
Hero Member Posts: 918

Nix us

***** * *
Re: The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 11:28:52 PM »
I kinda see the road as the quintessential proving ground.

Travel safe!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 15,074 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 11:42:21 PM »
Great post as always Carl  :cheers:

Currently, I am lost in a kind of limbo, clutching desperately to the shadow of the old me, not knowing which path to take next, and as a consequence not taking any path at all. For those who don't know, I used to run specialist engineering companies, sometimes having to operate heavy machinery, sometimes designing or creating bespoke tooling to undertake work for which there is no standard tooling. I have advised other large companies, have run a boatyard, have trained in hypno-psychotherapy, and done many other "non-standard" things with my life. Sometime last year all this changed, and a whole raft of health issues cropped up, for which there is still no definitive explaination. All we know for sure is that my neck is shot, and I am suffering a wide range of neurological symtoms from balance disorder, to migraines, to blackouts, and disorientation and cognitive impairment. I can do none of the things I could do two years ago, and I'm still in my early-mid 40s, with no idea of how much of my abilities I will be able to recover - or when.

My journey so far with tooling (knives and multitools) was not about acquiring more and more, but about going on an exploration of what works best for me and why.  I accrued a wide range of tools, for various scenarios of my life. Some of these have now been sold on or given away, but there are many that I am clinging to in hope of regaining lost abilities. To sell off everything now would (in my present state of mind) be to accept that my past life is over and will never return. My mountain bike is still in the kitchen, yet there is no way I could get in the saddle. At the moment the only way that I can keep on top of my shoes is with a walking stick, and some days I am unable to leave the house at all.

Today, I decided to do bacon chops, fried egg and chips for lunch. I placed two eggs on the dining table, with a strategically placed table knife to stop them rolling off. I have to get all ingredients together before I start, as changing working height/orientation during a task can throw me off. I started frying the bacon, and put the chips in the oven. At this point I felt uneasy, but had to continue, as there was food cooking so I couldn't walk away or sit down till the attack passed. When the time was right, I picked up one of the eggs, lost balance slightly and knocked the second, which rolled off the table and broke on the chair, getting raw egg everywhere including on my leather jacket which was hanging on the back of the chair. I ignored it, and turned back to the cooking food which was priority, and in trying to break the other egg I lost balance again and that egg hit the floor with another snotty mess. I served up the remaining food and sat down (not in raw egg) to eat it. The clean up of those two eggs, which would otherwise be a thirty second job had taken me most of the rest of the day to do, on and off in installments as my abilities to function have come and gone. I've just finished cleaning the jacket, and it's now nearly 10:30pm

Right now, minimalist would suit me fine, but the tools and other possessions from my past life are my hope. They are my hope that one day I will be able to swing an axe again, or tile a wall, or decorate, or fix stuff. I have started a new chapter (pardon the pun) of becoming an author/novelist, so there is "some" hope and purpose should my condition not improve, but I am still reluctant to let go of the old me. Were I to have a definitive answer as to wnhen I may or may not recover some/all of my abilities, it would be easier to move forwards and cut back to what I truly need, but what I need more than anything right now is answers, and lacking that - hope. At times, the old me is still rattling around in my skull. Everything I have learned, and who I became because of it. Sometimes I can barely hold a conversation, or even have true awareness of anything beyond the self (my environment). I would love to cut back, but what to? As the broken Al, I need very little, but if the old Al returns, I will need a hell of a lot more, and some of the tools I have acquired and modified would be extremely hard to replace.

All that aside, the old me could have not gone minimalist. I was facing far too many unknowns, each and every day, and every challenge had to be addressed without wasting time going off looking for solutions. While I have learned to do more with less (as I think we all do as we mature), having options to hand is what saw me through many challenges in the past. There are days when I am happy to leave the house with just my pre-built neck lanyard array, or even just the tools on the keychain, there are still days, even with my current fluctuating health, where I am not prepared to go about the day without being armed with a pliers based tool and 91mm Swiss knife to battle life's challenges.

I'll still keep selling off bits and bobs to keep some money coming in, but I'm not prepared to go minimalist just yet. In many ways our pocket tools are our Linus blankets, and give us a feeling of security for being able to deal with things we haven't seen yet, and right now I'm clutching to that blanket tighter than ever.


My current users:
Victorinox: - Spirit X, Climber Small, Alox Rambler, Orig. Outdoorsman, Voyager Lite, CT34 & 41, Compact, Manager, Salesman, + mods (Sheepsfoot Duke & Mega84)
Wenger: - Traveler, PTC + mods (Brian)
Gerber: - Balance, Dime + mods (MP426**, DEsTroyer, MP6000**, TurboDiesel**, Neutered Octane**)
Leatherman: - Sideclip, KF4, + mods (Fuse-ilier**, Knifeless Wave**)
Others: - Vise Grips LC6
** = knifeless
Hero Member Posts: 918

Nix us

***** * *
Re: The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 12:02:29 AM »
50ft,

Really sorry to hear of your challenges. I was aware that you had alluded to some heath concerns in the past, but didn't realize the extent, impact, or uncertainty you are dealing with. Thanks for letting us know.

I'm a big believer in the 'here and now' philosophy, but I can understand your desire to hold on to a previous vision and future hope. Good on ya. Never give up hope!

As I've aged, I've noticed that my capabilities aren't what they used to be. Part of me wants to resist that, the saner part of me think s that I need to learn to adapt. Sounds like you're a bit ahead of me there.

I can't imagine that you are anything but frustrated, especially with the lack of a clear diagnosis and plan for recovery. Perhaps there is some good news there. If it were something terrible and known, I'd guess that the NHS would have figured that out. Stay positive and let us know how things progress (and hopefully improve!). This forum is focused on a silly obsession with tools and knives, but it's the people that make it special. So, keep a couple of treasured SAK's and kit, but more importantly keep a positive attitude, the most important tools of all.   :cheers:
Hero Member Posts: 893
Re: The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2017, 12:10:53 AM »
Al, I faced a limbo at an age where I was several years too young to retire on social security. A health problem popped up and then an injury that made it unlikely I could return to the machine shop where I worked. I had b been a machinist for almost 30 years, and had a tool chest with calipers and micrometers and all kinds of specialized tools. I had acquired these tools over a long time.

But, when that doctor gave me the the news, I had a decision to make and made it. Like a snake shedding it's skin, I decided to totally shed the old me, and concentrate on what I could do in the now and present time. Yes, I had some adjustments to make, some big. I went ahead and sold off all my machinist tools and chest, kept one modest size tool box for around the home small repairs and moved on. Then when we decided to sell the house in Maryland and go to the warmer climate of Texas, we left a lot behind in donations to Salvation Army and family and friends. It was a time of great mental changes in attitude.

I had to ask myself if there was any use in keeping all my tools 'just in case' I would be able to return to work. Then I relized that life was giving an opportunity to go out and live. We don't know what or how long we're here for, and when something hits us and lays us low, we can spend a lot of time and hope on trying to get back, or just move on with what you can do in the here and now. I chose to move on and concentrate on the here and now.

There's been a lot of changes, like no more real hiking and back packing. If we are traveling, we take the bus tour with the 'old farts' to have the guide tell us all about the sights we see. No more of the rambling that the wife and I used to do. Now we're squired about with the rest of the old pensioners, and it has it's advantages. It was nice sitting on the veranda at the Yellowstone lodge sipping a cocktail while watching Old faithful erupt.

It's not about what we once were, but what we are now. It's okay to face facts that we now have limitations. I've found that in a very perverse way, it's liberating to face life and go out and do things, even if its in a minimalist way. Since the better half retired, we bought a new car and have toured the U.S. The better half has her health issues too, but we can still drive in a nice comfortable car to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and to see the kids and grandkids in California. it makes up for the lack of ability now to go hike and backpack, and having to takeout a bit easier. No more motorcycling  either. Sold off the Harleys years ago, then the Vespa's went too. Now we put a nice b book on disk on the car's stereo and listen to a Steven King book while we cruise the roads.

It's all about the different stages of life. Those stages require different mentality and thoughts. So we adapt to the changes. It's good to change. If we don't change, we become dinosaurs.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 12:14:16 AM by cbl51 »
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 15,074 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2017, 12:47:00 AM »
Thanks Nix. It's been "educational" that's for sure. I have a number of planned directions that I can take when we actually know what we are dealing with. At the moment it's like being lost in the woods at night, safe with the glow of the campfire illuminating my current surroundings, but not casting enough light to venture further. I'm just waiting first light so I can see the path choices ahead of me before I take the next part of the journey.

Carl, I am pleased you have moved on and embraced the next phase. I am sure that when the facts present themselves, I too will be able to shed the old skin and prepare for the new. Unfortunately, I can't even catch a bus at the moment (health related), and the car has been sold as I'm not safe to get behind the wheel. I am preparing for the new though, and this is the purpose of the book writing (my new "apprenticeship"), to embrace the skills that remain, and I can dip in and out as health permits. I might be treading water right now, but I am also orientating myself for what may be next, and I am ready to discard everything that is no longer needed. Aside from owning stuff I'm not using, it's not holding me back in any way from building the model for the simpler life should that be the designated route to take, or from living as much as I can in the here and now.

You're right about the phases, and I am embracing the change as much as that change can be understood. For years, I have wanted to write a book, and now I am. Hopefully by the end of the year I will be ready to look for a literary agent to try and get the work out there. I also have seedling ideas for the next two books. I will continue to do as much as my health permits, physically, mentally and emotionally. Thanks for your insights, my friend  :cheers:


My current users:
Victorinox: - Spirit X, Climber Small, Alox Rambler, Orig. Outdoorsman, Voyager Lite, CT34 & 41, Compact, Manager, Salesman, + mods (Sheepsfoot Duke & Mega84)
Wenger: - Traveler, PTC + mods (Brian)
Gerber: - Balance, Dime + mods (MP426**, DEsTroyer, MP6000**, TurboDiesel**, Neutered Octane**)
Leatherman: - Sideclip, KF4, + mods (Fuse-ilier**, Knifeless Wave**)
Others: - Vise Grips LC6
** = knifeless
Sr. Member Posts: 418
The minimalist Approach.
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2017, 01:53:12 AM »
I haven't yet reached the life stage that cbl51 has, but I grasp some of the minimalist ideology he talks about.
I'm not a collector of things. The only displays I've ever had were of some things I've done (some military stuff and some martial arts stuff). The word "multitool" probably describes my life (or personality). My sister gives me a ration about being practical to a fault. I like everything to have more than one use...from clothing to furniture, etc. So I completely understand the search to find "what works for me".  Keeping things simple is very liberating.
I hope we can all face change with the maturity and wisdom of cbl51.
Thanks for sharing this with us.


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