Tools we need
as an extension of ourselves

I have quite a few tools.  Mostly hand and shop tools.  They each do different jobs, some which are specific, and some which have multiple uses.  Knowing which to use when is mostly garnered from experience, but when looking for new, we also need to be aware of what we need, and what in the world there may be for us.

Keeping tools organized and functioning is a task that is part of the actual use of them.  Finding them, using them, putting them away.  Keeping a map in your head of what you have, and when and how you may need each one.  Some,  perhaps you just have and "may need" someday, but even those you need to put through their paces.  Know if they are right for you or just taking up space.

I know people who have buildings full of tools.  Other's who keep their tools bundled on their bicycle, or stashed in their kayak.  With a car or RV their need to be those tools we have with us.  Workers very often need to have their own tools on the jobsite, and to keep their tools separate and distinct from others.

My father used to engrave most of his tools.  His name, and the date (year or month/year) of acquisition.  A u- proceeding that date if it became his as "used".  He loved to visit pawn shops, estate sales.  And he left his domain pretty well organized.  He even wrote notes with dates about his experience with different tools, what they were good for, whether they were not very good.  Most of it was good, but some ended up in the "junk box".  Should have been given away, but often transformed into something, or part of something else.  Yes,  I digress. But his tools, and what he passed on to us along the way were really quite amazing.  And also the teaching on how to use this and that, as well as how not.  Thank you dad (Andy Arnold)!  You taught us so much.  This might be my part in the hand off, and passing some of that, and some that I have learned on.

But back to the point.  Keep it organized.  Know how to use it.  Don't get crap that will not work 5 years from now.  As Yvonne Chouinard once told me, allegorically about quality and durability,  if you buy a hammer, if you keep it well, it will be a good hammer 20 years from now, and it may in fact even outlive you.  Make things well.  He has certainly done that in his efforts and when I look at my endeavors it seems that my focus has been about simplicity, function, durability. And I am happy to use the old as much as the new.  Some times, yes, there are important improvements, but those things that brought us joy 30 years ago can still today, so long as they are functioning, and we know how to use them.

And as we talk about "gear" we talk about "tools".

1000 Words
Peter Heller's method