Have you ever looked at the packing list for some serious ultralight backpackers? I am not talking about the folks that buy ultralight gear, but the folks that MAKE THEIR OWN. Here is a modest 3-day pack, not even an extreme one. But the thing all of these packs have in common, aside from shedding weight, is the idea that they only carry what they use or absolutely need. There is very little "just in case" stuff. I have railed against this before, but here is where I will lay out the whole argument--the rather have it and not need it approach is TERRIBLE. It is expensive. It is cumbersome. It makes you look like a weirdo (because you ARE a weirdo). And it doesn't work.
On the weekend my EDC is down to a few things: my iPhone, a knife, a light, and a wallet. That's it. If I am doing a project, I will swap out the knife for my Skeletool CX. Rarely do I carry more than that, and when I do, it is always a water bottle. If I am going on a day hike, it is usually that plus a walking stick (little guys on the shoulders wreak havoc on your sense of balance). Notice, no watch, no pen, no pack of any kind. When I am at work I will usually scale up and include those things, but the pack is really my Tom Bihn Cadet briefcase. I carry my keys, too, of course, but nowadays the keys are pretty spare, having no tools on them whatsoever and being housed in the tiniest of set ups--a BladeKey (the 3D printed production prototype is still going strong), a Nite-Eyes 1/2 Steel S-biner (no need to fret about the gate, this thing is SNUG), and my car key/fob (which is all one piece). Total weight is rarely over a pound and that is usually when I am testing something. Recently it has been hot and so I go with the ultralight rendition:
Al Mark Hawk Ultralight (.96 ounces)
Steve Ku 40DD (.7 ounces with battery)
Big Skinny Wallet (2.5 ounces)
iPhone (4.8 ounces)
Blade Key Keychain (1.8 ounces)
In that configuration my weekend EDC is something like 11 ounces.
I have a three year old. He is demanding. He wants to run jump climb crawl roll all of the time. I want to be able to do these things with him. I don't want to have unload gear like Mad Max at the entrance to Barter Town before I play with him. I want to focus on doing stuff, working on projects around the house, going on hikes, going for bike rides, wrestling with my son in the front yard. None of these things requires a ton of gear or a ton of weight.
Ultralight backpackers have a thing for gear, sure, but the gear is in service to experiences. That is why we get this stuff--so we can go do things and still be covered, still be ready for something if it comes up. The gear is not the end in and of itself; experiences are. The further I get away from that the more miserable I am. When I am in that mood the next package that arrives at my door reminds me of the gluttony of modern western living more than it makes me excited for what's inside. Don't get me wrong, I like gear. I spend a lot of time thinking about it and writing about it. But the minute the obsession with gear takes over from doing things with the gear, well then, I quit. I am selling everything and spending the money on cotton candy (which is the most frivolous thing I could think of off the top of my head).
The next time you look at your "load out" think about what you do with it. People always say things like "this knife is good for everyday tasks like cutting open packages and light food preparation" on YouTube reviews. When was the last time you did something that necessitated a 4 inch folding knife? Sure you might do things other than just cut open packages and light food prep, but virtually nothing I do requires a 4 inch folding knife. If I need something that big, I'd rather use my RD-7. Its tougher and more comfortable to use. Go back and really think about what you do with your gear and why you bought it. What did you want to do with it? Are you doing that? If not, why not? And if there is no good reason to do that thing, there is no good reason to carry that piece of gear.
Ultralight folks can take things to extremes, sawing off the handles of plastic toothbrushes to save .1 ounce, but that fanaticism is in service to a higher good--the cherishing of experiences. The lack of weight makes those experiences MORE enjoyable, not less. Your EDC should be the same way.
Leave that fucking fanny pack at home.