E013 - RICH & JUSTIN'S EVERY DAY CARRY (EDC) BAGS
This week Rich and I talk about our EDC bags and the stuff in them.
Rich's Drink: Guinness Stout
The Show: Our Intermediate EDC Kits
Basic EDC Bag Philosophy:
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.
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.
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.
It should be a generalist bag filled with multipurpose items.
The EDC Bag
Avoid overtly military-looking bags if possible.
A backpack is preferred as it is the most easily carried and allows your hands to be free.
Rich's Bag: Vertx EDC Commuter Sling Bag
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.
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
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.
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:
Contents Part II: Justin’s Electronics Module
Left Row, top to bottom:
Single 110V to USB Adapter (Apple OEM)
Aux Cable. I keep this for use in rental cars so I can listen to audio without risking data transfer to the car.
Center Row, top to bottom:
Port-A-Pow Data Blocker. This accessory allows you to charge your phone from a USB port without risking inadvertent or surreptitious data transfer.
Sandisk Ultra-Fit 128-GB USB Flash Drives (x3). These allow me to have various backups of data from my computer.
Apple Ear Pods with inline microphone
Right Row, top to bottom:
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.
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
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)
Basic boo-boo kit
Individually wrapped antibacterial ointment
Individually wrapped OTC meds (Motrin, Immodium, Benadryl)
Prescription Medications (3-day supply)
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:
Katadin MicroPur water purification tables (Justin). I added these after recording and realizing I had no water purification tools in my bag.
Sawyer Squeeze water filter (Rich)
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
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.
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.
Book of the Week
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales
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