This week Rich and I talk about our EDC bags and the stuff in them.

Intro Stuff

Rich's Drink: Guinness Stout

Justin's Drink: Two Roads Lil Heaven "Crushable India Pale Ale"

The Show: Our Intermediate EDC Kits

Basic EDC Bag Philosophy:

  1. Our bags aren't dedicated "bugout bags" or "go bags" or whatever. They are bags that mostly contain stuff we use on a daily basis. There is some emergency equipment in here, but outside of a couple of very specific items, these are things that are multi-purpose to support our day-to-day lives rather than survival daydreams.

  2. This has to be a bag that you will actually carry! It doesn't do you any good to have this stuff in a closet at home. Avoid loading it down to the point that you won't carry it.

  3. The bag should be tailored to your lifestyle. If you travel a lot by air, it should accommodate air travel. If you travel a lot by car, it should be tailored for vehicle travel. Whether you live in the city or country, it should be geared toward your environment.

    1. Atlanta airport power outage

    2. JFK flood and subsequent evacuation

  4. It should be a generalist bag filled with multipurpose items.

The EDC Bag

  1. Avoid overtly military-looking bags if possible.

  2. A backpack is preferred as it is the most easily carried and allows your hands to be free.

    1. Rich's Bag: Vertx EDC Commuter Sling Bag

  3. Choose a bag that fits your lifestyle:

    • If you work in an office, choose a bag that carries a laptop;

    • If you work on a construction site, choose bag that can carry your lunch.

  4. Don’t buy a backpack that is too big. You’ll fill all that space with stuff, and become less likely to carry it.

Contents Part I: Administrative Module

This module is intended as a replacement for my wallet.

  • Passport and passport card: we like this form of identification for several reasons. First, it is federally issued and should be accepted everywhere. Secondly, it has a long expiration period (10 years). Thirdly, it does not contain a home address, so if you lose your bag, it will not lead a thief back to your home. Don’t forget to protect these items with an RFID-blocking sleeve.

  • Money, in several different forms and denominations:

    • Change - $5 to $10 in coins. Coins are invaluable if you have to feed yourself from vending machines, pay for parking or tolls, etc.

    • $50 in 1s (10), 5s (4), and 10s (2). Small bills, again for vending machines, parking, tolls and small purchases.

    • $200 and 20s

    • $50s and $100s

    • 1 ounce of gold

    • Duplicate ATM card (preferred) or credit card. Remember to protect these with an RFID-blocking sleeve.

  • Keys. Spare keys for your car and home at a minimum. You may also consider a spare key for gun cases, storage lockers, etc.

  • Note-Taking Gear. For me this includes 2 pens, 2 pencils, and a notebook.

  • USB Flash Drive. This drive should contain copies of important documents like bank statements, deeds/titles, health records, pet vet records, backups of password manager databases, etc. Ensure you protect this drive with encryption like VeraCrypt. Some excellent flash drives for this purpose are:

Admin module contents. Note that some items are omitted for security reasons.

Admin module contents. Note that some items are omitted for security reasons.

Contents Part II: Justin’s Electronics Module

Bag: Think Tank Cable Management 10

Left Row, top to bottom:

Center Row, top to bottom:

Right Row, top to bottom:

EDC Electronics.png

Contents Part III: "Remove Before Flight"

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you carry firearms/ammunition, knives, and other prohibited items in the same bag that you may travel with, keep those items inside of a separate, sealed compartment that you can easily remove. This helps to ensure that you won't forget ammunition or firearms in your bag, even though the TSA misses up to 95% of contraband.

Remove Before Flight.png

Justin's Remove Before Flight Bag: Think Tank Cable Management 20

EDC Multi-Tool.png
EDC Spark-Lite.png

Contents Part IV: First Aid

Some first aid equipment is probably the most versatile equipment you can have. You are much more likely to encounter a medical emergency than you are nearly any other kind of emergency.

Justin’s First Aid Kit

Bag: Outdoor Research Organizer #1

EDC First Aid.png
  • Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT). Due to the numerous forgeries on the market, we recommend you purchase this item DIRECTLY from North American Rescue

  • Basic trauma equipment

    • Individually packaged nitrile gloves

    • Combine dressings, 4x4 dressings, 2x2 dressings

    • Gauze (two rolls)

EDC First Aid 2.png
  • Basic boo-boo kit

    • Bandaids

    • Individually wrapped antibacterial ointment

    • Individually wrapped OTC meds (Motrin, Immodium, Benadryl)

  • Individual Necessities:

    • Prescription Medications (3-day supply)

    • Eyeglasses

Contents Part X: Food & Water Module

I don’t carry a lot of specific survival food. Even though this food is fairly durable, this content gets rotated out pretty regularly because this is my snack food for day-to-day use. At the time of recording I had the following in my EDC bag:



  • 2x 1.25 ounce Jack Link’s beef jerky

  • 2x Payday bars. See this link comparing the Payday bar to some of the most expensive (yet disgusting) “survival” bars.

  • 2x Kind granola bars

  • 2x packages almonds

  • 1x package cashews

EDC Snack Pack 1.png

All of this fits neatly into a single quart-sized Ziploc bag, and this is enough food to keep me functional for a couple of days if I stretch it.

EDC Snack Pack 2.png

Contents Part V: Extra Clothing

This will be situation-, environment-, and individual-dependent. You should consider you use-case for your EDC bag, the weight and bulk you are willing to carry, and the climate in your area. Some options to consider are:

  • Warming layers: At a minimum we feel you should have a warming layer like a fleece or packable down jacket/vest, a hat, and gloves, and/or a neck gaiter.

  • Inclement weather gear: a rain jacket or poncho.

  • A full change of clothing: Justin often carries a full change of clothing because of his extensive travel schedule.

Miscellaneous Gear

Book of the Week

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales

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Justin Carroll