E028 - EDC Bag Followup

This week we sit down and talk about the massive changes we’ve made to our EDC bags based on personal experience, lessons learned on our first episode, and listener suggestions!

Intro Stuff

What Did You Do This Week?

What Are You Drinking?

EDC Bag Updates

Why are we doing this show?

  • Ky: built an EDC bag from scratch. Even though she didn’t think she’d carry it daily, she does and can’t imagine life without it.

  • Rich: Made a bunch of modifications to his EDC bag, and

  • Justin: Added several capabilities to his bag and refined its purpose.

INCEPTION PACKING: Packing small, organized modules inside a larger pack or bag. Carryology has an awesome article about inception packing.

EDC Bag Updates: Listener Write-Ins


This EDC item was a listener write in. Ky, Rich, and Justin all have some form of very basic toiletries bag. If you can fit all your liquids in a quart-sized Ziploc you can easily make this bag TSA compliant for air travel, too. A toiletries bag is easy to overlook, but it will keep you clean and comfortable during a planned overnight trip, or an emergency “bug out”. Some things you may consider putting in it are:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste,

  • Soap (Justin LOVES Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap because it can also be used to wash clothes and as a replacement for toothpaste. See his review here),

  • Shampoo,

  • Wet Wipes,

  • Fingernail clippers.

Ky broke her toiletries bag out into two bags: dry and wet. The wet bag contains the items listed above. The dry bag contains things like OTC and allergy meds, a comb, toothbrush, hair ties, etc. The “wet” bag contains soap, toothpaste, and other items that have to be specially packaged for TSA.

Of special note, you may consider a bottle of mouthwash in your toiletries bag. A listener wrote in and recommended this, and let us know he uses a special “mouthwash” that is made in Scotland and aged for 12-18 years. We love this idea.

CPR Mask

If you are CPR trained/certified, you should DEFINITELY have a CPR mask. CPR masks are designed to prevent you from coming into contact with the victim’s saliva, blood, vomit, etc. They are very inexpensive and can save your life while you are saving someone else’s.

Paper Copy of Contact Information

This is an excellent idea - keeping a PAPER (i.e. non-digital) copy of important phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, etc.

EDC Bag Updates: Justin’s Mods

Backup Flashlight: I switched from an exact copy of my pocket-carry flashlight to a larger, AA model (the Fenix E12). If I have to revert to carrying the flashlight in my EDC bag, it is actually an upgrade.

Benadryl: Benadryl can help you sleep and more importantly, help someone who is experiencing an allergic reaction. If you or someone in your life has a severe allergy, you should probably also carry an Epi-pen.

Sidetrack - Podcast Recommendations:

Water Purification Capability: Thanks to our last episode on EDC bags, I KNOW I need some sort of water purification capability. Instead of a filter I added Katadyn MicroPur MP-1 water purification tablets. They are inexpensive, extremely small and lightweight, and 20 tablets can purify up to 5 gallons of water.

Inclement Weather Gear: I added a very small rain coat, hat, and gloves that will be carried year round. The ability to stay dry and maintain your own body heat is incredibly important.

Rain Cover: I don’t want my EDC bag and its contents getting soaking wet if I have to walk in the rain. Because my pack does not come with a built-in rain cover, I had a buy a rain cover from REI. There are also “generic” rain covers available on Amazon.

Repair Module: I also added some stuff to make emergency “repairs”. This module includes some 12” zip ties, 15’ of 550 cord, duct tape (Gorilla tape), and I am still looking for a good, compact sewing kit.

Electronics Bag: I got a new electronics bag that promotes better organization.

EDC Bag Updates: Rich’s Mods

Rich has undergone some serious changes since our last episode. The evolution of Rich’s EDC bag philosophy:

  • EDC Bag 1.0 Philosophy: Emergency “go bag” that was packed and got left alone.

  • EDC Bag 2.0 Philosophy: One bag that does every day stuff and a second bag that is wed to the truck.

  • EDC Bag 3.0 Philosophy: An everyday bag that Charles Bronson, MacGyver, or even Carrie Bradshaw would be proud to have. It has items that he uses on a daily basis and some stuff that is reserved for emergency use. Instead of being set aside for emergency use, Rich has his hands in this bag every single day.

Stuff Rich Removed From His EDC Bag

  • Sawyer Squeeze: The Sawyer Squeeze is an awesome water filter. However, the filter element in it can freeze and burst, rendering it ineffective. If your bag sits in your vehicle at all times you should seriously consider this!

  • Weird Survival Food: Rich moved from pre-packed, long-term storage

  • Slip-on Ice Booties: Because he has only used these once since they’ve been in his bag, he removed them and put them in his truck.

  • Handcuffs

Stuff Rich Added to His EDC Bag

  • Toiletries Bag. Rich travels every week, and a toiletries bag allows him to do this easily

  • Bic Lighter

  • TSA-Compliant Scissors

  • Survival Shelter: Survival shelters can be extremely compact/lightweight and can literally save your life by preserving your body heat and keeping you dry.

  • Remove Before Flight Bag: Rich added a module that can be quickly and easily removed. This contains sharps, ammunition, and other items that are prohibited for air travel.

  • Packable Down Jacket

  • Passport

  • Money, in both bills and coins. Rich upgraded to $1,000 in cash based on advice by Joshua Sheats on his In The Rabbit Hole appearance.

  • Wide-mouth stainless steel water bottle.

EDC Bag Updates: Ky’s Mods

Ky has made the biggest change of all of us. Ky decided to create an EDC bag completely from scratch.

The Pack: REI Brand Trail 40 Women’s Backpack

Electronics Module: Having a pre-packaged, travel electronics module was a HUGE part of Ky’s impetus to build an EDC bag. Like me, she uses the Bagsmart electronics organizer. Among other things it contains:

Feminine Hygiene: This is one module that Rich and I are wholly unqualified to speak on. Ky LOVES having a dedicated bag for feminine products handy.

EDC Bag Workouts: Justin & Ky

We have been getting out and about with our EDC bags. We have done several hikes with our fully loaded EDC bags, including:

  • 5 miles, flat terrain

  • 6 miles, flat terrain

  • 5 miles with 300+ feet of elevation gain

If you aren’t getting out with your EDC/Go/Bugout bag and walking with it, you really have no clue if it works for you.

Pack Weight: Your pack should ideally be around 10-15% of your body weight, and certainly no more than 20.

Justin & Ky’s Ongoing Switch to Wool

We have been trying to replace as much of our EDC clothing as possible with wool. Wool has a number of awesome benefits, including:

  • It wicks moisture from your body,

  • It keeps you warm, even when wet,

  • It doesn’t get stinky like cotton does, even after several days of wear

As discussed in the show we have purchased some base layers from REI:

Book of the Week

Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed Our World by Mark Pendergrast

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Justin Carroll