A while ago I posted a picture on Instagram of some of the items in my EDC (Every Day Carry) bag and it generated some interest. I have been wanting to do an EDC post for some time now but never got around to doing it. That is, until now. Some of my bags may be a bit on the “tactical” side as well as are some of the items I carry. I am not a prepper or survivalist although I do borrow some concepts from those communities. With that said, I do like to have items close at hand that I see as necessary or that can provide a certain level of comfort if I am going to be unexpectedly away from my home. I have found that some of the items I carry have come in handy even if I did not have an extended leave of absence. I have also tried to streamline what I carry because at one point it was getting ridiculous, even for me.
Lets start with the bags. My choice in bags comes from an expectation of practical durability rather than some zombie apocalyptic vision of the end of the world. I do have different bags for different circumstances and types of items I expect to carry on any particular occasion. Lately I have been carrying a Fossil Mercer EW Messenger Bag, Steel Blue, One Size that I found on clearance at my local Fossil outlet store. It is just big enough to carry my trimmed down equipment but I do find that if I have to carry a laptop in addition to everything else, it is too small. Luckily I do not have to carry my laptop but for work and only on certain days of the week. So any other time it is fine. My second bag is a Franklin Covey leather laptop messenger bag (out of production). This one does have the space I need when carrying my laptop and since it is leather, does well in a more formal setting if I need it. My other two main carry bags are the Maxpedition Falcon-II and the Maxpedition Sitka. Both are very similar in design. The Falcon II is a backpack and the Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger is a cross body sling bag that has a somewhat similar look to the Falcon just smaller. I do have one other backpack that I use when I travel for longer periods. It is a laptop backpack by Targus and has way more room than any of of my bags. I do not use it on a daily basis because I tend to load it down, since I have all the extra space. I decided it is not needed for everyday carry and just encourages my packrat side.
Bags within bags. This is a more recent development. I started to carry my items within smaller bags. Not only does this help to organize what I carry, it also makes it easy to switch bags since I am not hunting down through all the various main bag pockets for items to transfer. This also makes it less likely that I will forget something since all I need to do is grab the pouches and transfer them to the bag of the day. I use a Condor pocket organizer and a Maxpedition Gear Beefy Pocket Organizer. I put pocket in quotations because if you have pockets big enough to carry this bag in said pockets, you probably also have issues with keeping your pants up. The BEEFY™ organizer is large for what it is and holds the bulk of my EDC gear. Its main compartment measures 6″(L) x 2.5″(W) x 8″(H) and has just the right amount of elastic and pocket organization for my needs. It’s full clamshell opening compartment makes it easy to load up and retrieve items from the organizer. Condor Pocket Pouch
organizer is much smaller than the Beefy and is mainly used as a minor cut and scrape first aid bag.
So, what do I carry? I find that I like to always have with me 3 main items. A form of light, a way to make fire and a cutting tool. These are what I would consider the prepper or survivalist to always have with them. So lets see what’s inside the Maxpedition BEEFY ™
Lets look at the lights. I have three forms of lighting in my kit.
- Nathan Clip Light. This is a single LED light that has two modes, steady and strobe. I use it mainly to light the interior of the pocket organizer as it clips to the inside and I can readily turn it on without having to search for a flashlight. It can be clipped to your clothing and since it also strobes could be used to signal in an emergency.
- My cell phone built in flashlight mode. Obviously this is not my main source of light but because my phone is always with me, it is a backup to my main light. It is convenient when I just need light to quickly look for something. This way I do not need to go through my bag for my main light.
- My main flashlight is an Icon Rogue LED Flashlight. I like it because it is bright but has a low power mode to conserve battery. The aluminum construction is durable and it is water resistant. The major plus for me is that it runs on 1 AA battery. This not only makes it compact, it also makes it easy to find batteries to power it. Because it only uses 1 AA battery, carrying spares is not a big deal. I find that it lasts longer than typical 3 AAA battery lights. If I am carrying a larger backpack, I carry my Icon Rogue 2 that is basically the same light but is powered by 2 AA batteries.
A way to make fire. I carry two main forms of making fire.
- I have a Magnesium Bar Firestarter with ferro rod and a small hack saw blade for scraping the magnesium block to make filings. Striking the ferro rod with the hacksaw blade makes sparks to ignite the magnesium filings. Couple that with some kindling and it is a fast way of making a fire.
- My second form of making fire is the Split Pea Lighter. I do not smoke but making a fire fast with a lighter just can’t be beat. The drawback to this is that you have to stay on top of the fuel level of the lighter or it will dry out. I check it once a week to be safe.
- In some situations I have matches with me but it is rare. I do waterproof my own matches with candle wax and keep them at home. It is very easy to add them to my kit if needed.
Cutting Tools. I like to carry at least two knives. I will usually have a single blade pocket knife on me but I have a multi tool in my organizer.
- I carry a Gerber Suspension Multi-tool in the pocket organizer. I really like the pliers/wire cutters on this multi tool because they are spring loaded. The main reason to have it is the blades. It has 3 if you count the saw blade. It has 1 straight blade and one serrated blade along with scissors, can opener, file (not a nail file) phillips head and flat head screw drivers.
The following items are what I would consider nice to have and just in case items. More often than not, I will have these items with me but if I need to pare down, these will be the first to go with some minor exceptions. I have ordered them by frequency of use. Top items are used more frequently than bottom items.
- USB thumb drives. I carry two. One is a Sandisk 8 GB drive and the other is a Kingston 4GB Terra Cotta Warrior brass thumb drive that I got a few years ago because it just looks cool.
- Lightning cable to charge my iPad mini
- Micro USB cable to charge my phone
- Phone AC USB charger. This serves double duty as charger for both my phone and iPad
- Battery backup USB charger
- CountyComm multi driver kit with T handle driver.
- County Comm 1×4 Technicians screwdriver
- Widgy Pry Bar
- Kikkerland multi bit screwdriver. The bits store inside the handle for compact storage.
- Small adjustable wrench
- Multi-cable to USB adapter
- Small quantity of electrical tape (about 30 inches) wrapped around the multi-cable to USB adapter.
- Velcro cable ties.
- Kershaw multi bit driver for knife adjustment and maintenance
- Glass Cutter
Moving on to my Condor Pocket organizer we will find my “first aid” kit. This is just for very minor scrapes, cuts and includes some medication. I have band aids, a pack of tissue, alcohol wipes, antibacterial wipes, ibuprofen, allergy medication, allergy eye drops, and spare medication that I take daily but I carry spares in here just in case I forget to take them in the morning and I have already left the house. It happens more often than I’d like to admit.
Now we come to things I carry in the main bag. These are things most of my readers are interested in as they involve stationery and pens. I have been paring down my pen carrying only because it was getting out of hand. I still think I could carry less pens than I currently do but it is a slow progressive process. I used to carry a 12 pen case with me everywhere. I stopped that but I still carry multiple pen and they change frequently depending on what pens I may be reviewing and my mood. I have been trying to limit myself to one fountain pen plus whatever pens I may be reviewing. I also include some specialty pens that come in handy for work. Currently my main fountain pen is the KarasKustoms INK in Blue, filled with Iroshizuku Kon Peki. I am also carrying three review pens which will remain unnamed for now but if you follow my social feeds you may know already. I also carry a highlighter (Zebra H-301) and a mechanical pencil (Uni Kuru Toga).
As far as paper is concerned, I carry three notebooks and one planner. Notebooks right now are usually Field Notes. I find they are working very well for my line of work. I use a simplified version of bullet journalling that is split up between the Field Notes and Hobonichi. I carry three notebooks because one is the current notebook, the second is my previous notebook for reference purposes. The third (currently an Eighty Pages Notebook) is blank and ready to use in case I fill my current notebook. Once I fill my current notebook, I move it to the Hobonichi inside cover as my reference and start using the blank notebook. The reference notebook gets moved from the Hobonichi to one of the pockets of my current back for storage once I get home. My current and blank notebooks are carried in the Recycled Firefighter Inspector. The current notebook is on the inside left cover while the blank is on the inside right. The used reference book is in the inside cover of my Hobonichi planner. My system of planning/bullet journaling is split up between the Field Notes and Hobonichi. I am not going to go into too much detail as this post is dedicated to what I carry. I’ll save my system for another post.
Other things I carry in my main bag are my key chain with another small pocket knife on it. I have my iPad mini with me most times but occasionally leave it home depending on the situation. I carry my work keys there so they don’t take room in my pockets. I also carry a candy bar or granola bar in my main bag.
On my person I carry my car/house keys, wallet and Nexus 5 and one pen that varies widely. I may have my RF Inspector with me too but only if I don’t expect to have my bag close by.
So there you have it, this is what I carry on a daily basis and for the most part, just about everywhere I go. This has been what I carry for close to a year now. Some stationery bloggers talk about reaching planner peace and I think I have finally reached my EDC peace. What do you carry? Do you carry more? What items do you think are essential to your daily carry and why? Leave your comments!
Thanks for reading!
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