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Let's Talk Everyday Carry Packs

It's Monday morning; time for the work day and work week to begin for many of us. Our typical routine is we get out of bed, dress, and leave the house. We gather belongings for our excursion and outside the home. Keys to lock the house, wallet to contain our ID, cards, and cash, A smartphone in hand that serves as a pocket computer, music player, navigation aid, and digital journal logging the places we go.


But is this enough?


What if the unexpected arises on the way to work, or the grocery store, your family activities, or any other place you need to go?


Let me talk you through the items I carry with the packs that house them and me.


The Pocket Essentials

There are the things I carry with me pretty much every time I leave the house, even if it is to go for a neighborhood ruck:

  • Keys - Necessary for using the vehicle and securing the home when I am away.

  • Wallet - ID, medical card, debit/credit cards, important information (who to contact, blood type, etc.)

  • Moneyclip - I prefer to carry my cash separately from my wallet. First, it's redundancy, especially if you accidentally drop or leave your wallet somewhere. Secondly, it's safer in case you are confronted by evil. Third, they look fantastic!

  • Pocketknife - Just one of those practical things I have had since I was a kid. My go-to is this lovely little Damascus blade.

Damascus blade pocket knife
  • Smartphone - Sometimes, this is problematic because I am a Samsung Note user, but it's with me.

  • Smartwatch - OK, this isn't a pocket item since I don't wear a pocket watch (but I own an antique one), but I love watches! Always have. I wasn't sure I would love a smartwatch, but I knew it was necessary when I got my Galaxy watch a few years ago.

  • Notepad and pen - You never know when you'll need to write something down.


That seems like a lot to carry, especially in my pockets. Alas, I have that covered.


The Packs

Thankfully, pants aren't designed to have pockets large enough to carry everything. When I go someplace that isn't a quick trip, like the grocery store, I often take a pack of some sort with me, depending on the purpose of the outing. These are some of my selections:

packs

The EDC Backpack

This is my most used pack. It is a brown waxed canvas backpack; as you can see, it's broken nicely. My typical EDC in this bag is:

  • A notebook

  • A journal

  • Pen case with a few pens (regular and fountain)

  • A book

  • Readers (sadly, I am old enough now to require them.)

  • A small first aid kit (band-aids, gauze, tape, a small container of alcohol, various aspirins, and painkillers)

  • Portable charger for phone/tablet/laptop

  • Small tool kit with a multi-tool

  • Flashlight

  • Bottle of water

  • Packets of Black Rifle instant coffee

  • Personal Defense (No matter what you use, never share what it is.)


This is the foundation for all other packs I utilize. These other packs are modified to serve specific tasks, but the essentials are mostly consistent.


The Other Packs

These are the other packs I utilize:

  • Writer's Group Pack - a small canvas briefcase that carries my laptop, a journal for the group meetings, a book called Complete The Story, and composition books I utilize for story notes.

  • College Backpack - the same style as my EDC backpack, only larger and gray. In addition to the content necessary for my classes, it also carries the same contents as my EDC backpack, extra supplies that may be needed for class (binding clips, paper clips, stapler with staples, etc.), and my school journal.

  • Work Briefcase - A nice leather case, it carries much of the same items as the EDC backpack but adds an element of "distinguished, vintage man."

  • Sling Packs (not shown) - used for quick trips where I can carry my wallet, keys, phone, and self-defense gear without having to carry a larger backpack or items in my pockets. They are great for consolidating the pocket carries mentioned above.


This may seem like a lot of overkill. Still, for me, this works because it allows me to categorize different interests and significantly reduces having the wrong items for the activity. When it is time to go to an activity or event, I can grab and go in most cases without spending time switching things.


The Speciality Packs

I have four Specialty Packs geared toward their purpose:

  • The Roosevelt Pack - This is a large, beautiful leather pack I use exclusively for traveling. Like the others, many of my usual EDCs and a journal specifically for my travels are included.

  • The Medical Kit - A small canvas bag filled with medical gear to help with generalized medical situations. As nice as it is, it's evolving to meet the growing knowledge I obtain as I take various First Aid courses. It travels with me everywhere I go, never further than my parked vehicle away, if not on my person.

  • The Ruck Pack - My GORUCK Rucker 3.0 pack, Coyote Brown. It is a 25L pack I use for ruck exercise. It is the best build backpack I have ever owned. Initially, I only carried my ruck plate, but as I have gotten more serious, I have added additional items (a simple first aid kit, towel, hydration bladder, snack bag, gloves, etc.)

  • The Hike/Camp/Bug-out Backpack - My hiking and camping backpack that doubles as a bug-out backpack. This pack is loaded with everything one would need outdoors, including items like binoculars, a compass, GPS, tools, food, water, first aid, and all the goodies.


Adaptability

As you go through life, the EDC items will need to change. Be adaptable with your EDC. A college-aged adult will more likely focus on an electronically geared pack. Conversely, an elderly adult may focus on necessary medications.


Build your EDC pack for your environment. A person living in a desert area may focus on items like sunscreen and extra water, whereas a person in a cold climate may include insulated gloves, hand warmers, and a thermal blanket. Urbanites will focus more on items they need in the city. In contrast, country folks need to consider things not present in metropolitan areas, such as proximity to wildlife that could be dangerous.


Conclusion

On the surface, all of this looks ridiculous. Why would anyone need to carry anything more than keys, ID, money, and a phone?


You never know what situation you will find yourself in. What happens if you get stuck in a traffic jam for several hours without being able to get off the road? How would you handle being lost and having your phone charge depleted? Imagine being stuck in an elevator waiting for someone to identify and repair the problem.


EDC is not just trendy; it is an integral part of preparedness. Too often, we take access to the things we need for granted. The COVID-19 shortages showed us the importance of stockpiling essentials, but people quickly forget these lessons. While you cannot bring a fully supplied bunker, you can carry a little of it just in case. You never know, but EDC is not just trendy but an integral part of preparedness. Too often, we take access to the things we need for granted. The COVID-19 shortages showed us the importance of stockpiling essentials, but people quickly forget these lessons. While you cannot bring a fully supplied bunker, you can carry a little of it just in case. You never know, but it is better to have something than nothing.


 

Check back with us in May when we cover bug-out and get-home bags for your summer vacation travels!

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Feb 19
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