EDC as BugOut bag by Nexquietus
Bugout: This is by far the most comprehensive bugout bag or everyday carry dump we have received. I’m going to leave the man’s commentary as is below. Thanks to reader Nexquietus for taking the time to lay it all out.
Gear highlights: Keltec P11, ZT0300, Streamlight G2 nitrolon, Gerber Atmos hat clip light, Old leatherman pocket clip multitool
To most it would seem that preparedness types seem to collect acronyms in an amount more numerous than supplies. This post will be on my EDC (Every Day Carry) gear, or my GHB (Get Home Bag). My BOB (Bug Out Bag) will be another post entirely. There is much talk online about what you should carry every day, and what you should put in your GHB. I think that there is a TON of overlap here, though there should also be a fair amount of redundancy.
EDC is the your VISA stuff, Never leave home with out them. Some folks go so far as to list things like car keys and wallet. I say that’s kind of silly. Conceptually, your EDC stuff should fit in your pockets or on your belt and be on you at all times anyways, not stuff to be inventoried bi-weekly. It should be stuff you could see your self using more often than not, things that are not easily substituted, or be so important that you want it always available. I imagine that this could also be thought of as a mind set as well, more than a list of things to have. However you want to look at it, just carry stuff with you you think you’ll need.
Most folks feel that a knife of some sort, a flashlight, and a lighter are an absolute bare minimum. If you think about them, they all fit the aforementioned criteria. They are not easily replaced by other things, they can be used every day, and they are so important to never leave home without them. The main thing you need to think about when thinking about EDC gear is the fact that it is with you every day. In a pocket, on your belt, or in your purse, these things can be heavy or bulky. Like all equiptment: Cheap, Light, Durable, pick any two. The main thing that’s hard to get small is the light. The photon lights are great, but in my opinion they are too small, not very durable and have an uncommon battery that has a dismal burn time.
For me, my EDC gear only partially meets these criteria. I carry an ultra simple Leatherman that I have had forever. It’s a belt clip model that I am sure they don’t make anymore. It has 1/5th the blades anything made today does, but I have literally done everything from install shelves to assemble new Washer and Dryer pedestals with it. What it lacks in number of tools it makes up for in attendance. It’s light and is always there, literally being the tool that you have is better than the one you left at home. I have since looked into getting something similar for the Bug out bags I am building for my family. The Leatherman Kick and an added pocket clip is basically the same thing. It’s alsocheap, around $25 for the whole package last I checked.
I also carry a largeish folding knife of good quality. I am studying a knife fighting focused martial art known as Pekiti Tersia Kali. Sure, I know that I am no master with a knife, but I’d rather suck with the one I am learning to use that lament that I didn’t have one at all.
I occasionally carry a lighter with me; almost always on road trips. A quick aside here. Your EDC gear can and should change from day to day and or based on your expectations of the day. If you are going to go to work like every other day, just do the same thing you did yesterday, but if after work you are driving an hour to go buy something from Craigslist, then maybe adjust things.
I usually only carry a flashlight in my pockets if I am going to the movies (hey, don’t make fun, those places get dark), or again on road trips.
Now, one reason I don’t carry more in my pockets is that I also tend to EDC a Maxpedition versipack, the smaller kind from when they were still uncool. It has the pistol pocket but no internal hook and loop a.k.a. velcro (that appeared in later models). Up until this spring I carried one of the newer huge maxpeditions that hold a nalgene bottle in a pocket on the side, have a larger pistol pocket that has hook and loop that I installed a holster onto. I am fairly convinced that it is why I have some back pain. It was like a ladies purse: It was huge, so I filled it. Then I added more. So I took things down a notch. I don’t like how much I had to down size, as I had some pretty cool things figured out, but we all make sacrifices.
Here are some pictures. I’ll explain everything and my thinking behind what’s in it.
The basic pack, closed. On the left there is an extra magazine for my EDC pistol, a KelTec P11.
View from the top down, flap open. First is a surefire G2 Nitrolon. I am a bit of a flashlight geek, so I am constantly looking for the next best thing. This is cheap, runs cr 123 batteries (not my favorite, though I do like the 10 year shelf life). You can also see a cheap nylon bag that folds into it’s self. I’m not necessarally “green” but conserving bags does make sense, that and it’d be handy as durable extra storage space if need be.
This is the stuff from the external pockets. Spare magazine, change (lots of quarters), notebook (there are writing utensils somewhere, mini first aid in ziplock, beer bottle opening ring… you just never know.
Main compartment: Stainless steel cup (that fits a nalgene) full of goodies to be described later, 50 ft para cord, protein bar, flash drive, figure 8 carabiener (potentially pretty cool), metal Brunton lensatic compass, spare glasses, pager (I take too much call apparently), 4oz betadine plus the bag and flashlight.
In the cup: 2 ziplocks, compass guide, alcohol pads, superglue unopened, countycomm.com folding hacksaw, knife sharpener, bic, multi tool thing, exacto blades, tea candle, 4x CR2 batteries covered ends in tape so they wouldn’t short and get hot, gerber led hat light that takes (you guessed it) CR2 batteries, unopened potable aqua (Upon further review this is redundant…). With the cup, the aqua and the iodine, I have 3 ways to purify water. I bought the cup JUST to boil water in, because when I need to purify water everything else will have expired or broken. But maybe that’s just my prepper’s paranoia.
Front Pocket: ABD pad, eraser, highlighter, sharpie, Countycomm.com screwdriver pen thing, pry bar from same place, sharpie, Coldsteel Sanmai tanto lock back (as close as you can get to a fixed blade and still have a hinge), pen, Firesteel.com firesteel, 1L platypus bladder, cheapie emergency poncho.
First aid kit: Yet another ziplock, another ABD, non latex gloves, 2″ bandaids, 1″ bandaids, moleskin, heavy nonabsorbable suture with and without needle for gear repair and so much more, 3″ kerlix sponge, q-tips, transpore tape, 3×4 telfa, 4×4 sponge. Too basic for a nurse, I know. This is somewhere I am constantly working to improve, though it does cover lots…
This is what I have on me, in pockets and is always in flux. Sucky HTC hero, the wonder leatherman, Zero Tolerance ZT300, watch, Keltec P-11 (can’t argue with 12 rnds of 9mm in yer pocket). I have to mention the Maxpedition Wallet. I wouldn’t have thought I’d be a grown ass man and still have a velcro wallet, but this thing is great. Find one, look it over, buy one. You’ll see.
But yeah, how much does all that crap weigh… Well since you asked…
5.6 pounds. I was expecting kilos. That is with the pistol in it, one mag in, spare in the pouch. Keltec says that the P-11 weighs 20oz loaded so that would make this a hair under 4 1/2 pounds without it… ish…
So, remember, what may get me home may not get you home, and what you want to EDC may be too much for me. Trough all the letters and acronyms, you will always have your mind. Mankind is awesome at making do. Even if you bring the kitchen sink, remember, in the middle of the woods, you’ll have to figure out how to plumb it.
Thanks for reading, and remember: Better to have knowledge and not need it than to need knowledge and not have it.