I almost always carry a pocket pen. Slipped in my front right pocket, a pocket pen settles in deep and safe. I can quickly access it on demand. Currently, three pens, including two fountain pens, fill this role.

I primarily choose my Franklin-Christoph Pocket 40, an ice model. I prefer to keep a bright colored ink in it because it is just so much fun to tilt back and forth and watch the ink. When this photo was taken, I was enjoying watching OMAS turquoise. As this is posted, I have filled it with Robert Oster Fire and Ice. The Pocket 40 ranks as my number one favorite pen. The 14K Masuyama cursive italic nib contributes to the top ranking.

In the photo you see ink in the cap. This comes from bouncing around in my pocket. Every now and then I rinse it out. When I switch colors and clean the Ice cap and body, there tends to be a trace of ink still visible. But if I switch colors, say a bright red, the next time I clean it, there is no trace of blue. Instead a little red is left. So I suppose a the small amount I leave when cleaning dissolves into the new ink. Since any discoloring is not building up, so far this has not bothered me. I think of it as part of the character of this pen.

Several times I feared the Pocket 40 was lost. This freaks me out, so I need an alternative when doing something more active.

In 2016, I purchased a new Kaweco Sport, a good fountain pen alternative to the Pocket 40. The Sport holds ink in a small cartridge which I fill with a syringe. But the Sport’s fine nib makes it last a decent time. I check the ink level more often and switch ink mostly so I can try something new.

For the most rugged conditions, I pull my Fisher Space Pen out of its special spot in my computer backpack. Small, tough and always ready to write on any surface describes the Space Pen. Good for camping or digging in the yard. Somehow I always seem to be digging in the yard.

So could I reduce the pocket pens I keep? Sure, but the two fountain pens with the Space Pen backup works for me. I like using a fountain pen but there are times I don’t want to put my favorite pen at risk. Having the Sport for those times, means I still get to use a fountain pen. I can save the Space Pen for the most challenging conditions.

p.s Get out your pocket pen and write down what is on your mind.