There are only three items that I grab every single day when I walk out the front door. My keys get me in and out of my house and car, my phone is a do-all communication device, and my wallet, which is my secondary tool belt. There are, of course, other items that I often carry. Any time I go for walk very early in the morning, I take my tactical flashlight. If I’m not going into work, I’ll take my pocket knife (I work in a school, where knives are frowned on). I have a multi-tool, but I find that I don’t need it often enough to justify carrying it all over, although it does live in my car or briefcase, and again, I can’t bring it to work with me.
I don’t have any of the highly expensive, woven paracord belts that double as knives, compasses and fishing line, but I do have another tool that most don’t have in their arsenal, and that’s a wallet designed for anything. Here are my four favorite wallet accessories.
Credit Card Multi-Tool
There are dozens of models of Credit Card sized multi-tools, and choosing one is as simple as comparing what you have in your other EDC (Every Day Carry) items to what you’d like to have, but don’t. There are credit card tools that have wrenches, bottle openers, screwdrivers, mini-crowbars, rulers, saws, blades, and more. Some are even designed to be one-time use items that would allow you to break off pieces like fishing hooks and needles in emergencies.
Personally, I went cheap and bought one of these, which is durable stainless steel, but more expensive, higher quality tools exist out there as well.
I use my multitool about two times per month, but probably only because I don’t regularly carry a more functional multitool. This space-saving design makes it worthwhile, however. I used it to tighten the nuts and bolts on my classroom cart, open difficult packaging in a situation where a full-blown knife would get me into trouble, and tighten some screws in an aging bookshelf, all without having to get more complex tools.
The Go Comb
My Go Comb is my favorite of the wallet tools that I carry on a daily basis. I use this item daily.
There’s no true survival purpose to the Go Comb – it’s really nothing more than a credit card sized comb, although some models do have a very flimsy bottle opener attached. That said, there are enough times during my day where I find that my hair looks just a bit out of place, or when I need to look just a little bit more presentable, like when I have an impromptu classroom observation by the superintendent, or when a parent shows up at my office door to complain about their child’s grade. It’s also great for taking to the gym and using after a workout. Taking the two seconds, it takes to run the comb through my hair does a good amount to improve my professional appearance, and has helped me more than once in making a good first impression.
The Credit Card Knife
A lot of preppers love the Credit Card Knife. I think this tool is too light duty for any practical use, as it is designed to be lightweight plastic that folds up to create the handle. Check out a Swiss Card instead.
Most people know about the Swiss Army Knife and it’s bevvy of features, but fewer are familiar with the concept of a “Swiss Card”. This device is a plastic shell that is, once again, credit card sized, and contains a few basic tools – a small knife, tweezers, a toothpick, scissors, and a nail file. They are often the perfect size to attach a camping mirror, which I did with the use of some Krazy Glue, so I now have a signaling device and a small mirror to use with my Go Comb. The Swiss Card has passed through many security checkpoints undiscovered, and has just enough of a blade that it’s useful. If you, like me, cannot carry a knife with you at work or in certain jurisdictions, then the Swiss Card may be a reliable secondary blade, and as they are usually one piece blades, they are higher quality than the aforementioned Credit Card Knife.
There are multiple styles and brands of a “swiss card”, so shop around for the one you like best.
Wallet Power Bank
There are some versions of power banks, like this one, which can fit inside your wallet. This one is pretty thick, but roughly credit card sized, and comes with all the cords you’ll need built-in. If you don’t mind carrying a thicker wallet, or if you just want the reliability of carrying an almost full charge of your phone in your pockets with no need of a wire, then this may just be a good choice for you. Like the Credit Card Knife, I bought it and tried it, and found that it just wasn’t quite there yet, at a point where I could carry it comfortably and use it enough to justify carrying it. I do not believe that a better (slimmer) option yet exists, but when it does, I’ll be signing up immediately. Extra battery life is something that I prize greatly.
The Katana is a kick starter project that is currently in the process of fulfillment, so I cannot speak for it’s quality. I do think it justifies listing here because of the season. It’s winter here in Illinois, and when my family came to visit recently, they found themselves in a rental car that, for some reason, was not equipped with an ice scraper. Fortunately, I was there to get them out, but without help, they wouldn’t be going anywhere.
The Katana is a piece of credit card sized carbon fiber that functions as an ice scraper for your windshields. While I don’t imagine that it will work nearly as well as a plastic scraper, those can break, and this doesn’t seem like it will. Never be caught unprepared in an ice or snowstorm.