> TEOTWAWKI Blog: EDC notes from my trip



EDC notes from my trip

Got back from my trip late last night, totally wiped out. This was a good opportunity to work out my EDC bag and see what came in handy, what I was left wanting for and what could be cut. Here's some of the lessons-learned.

Triple check your bag before flying - I go through a ritual before every trip of searching through my carry-on before flying, removing knives, lighters and any other no-fly items. I did that this trip and was confident that I'd gotten everything, but had a lingering feeling that I had a BaliYo pen somewhere in there. The BaliYo is of course just a pen, but I've heard of people having trouble with these through security. I plan for the worst-case when dealing with TSA, so I wanted to make sure that it wasn't in the pack. Checking the pack for a second time, I found a full 33-round Glock magazine buried at the bottom of the pack. I'd put it in there earlier in the week, totally forgotten about it and missed it in my first "check" of the bag! Not sure what would have happened if I'd put that bag through security and very glad that I didn't find out.

Weight - Since my initial post on the bag, I'd cut a bit of dead weight from the bag to save on weight - fewer spare batteries, quarters, cut the altoids kit and one of the flashlights. However, this bag was my carry-on for this particular trip, so I added a few extra travel items, book, snacks and a change of clothes for the flight, and I'll admit, the bag was pretty heavy. The bag I'm using, the hard-to-find Camelbak Urban Assault, doesn't have a real waist belt to take the load off of your shoulders, so it gets a bit tiring hiking around the airport. It was definitely do-able, but I'll remember to cram a bit less into the bag in the future.

First Aid Kit - I assembled a pretty good FAK prior to leaving, and it certainly came in handy. No major wounds, but mundane everyday stuff like a pretty big sliver, headaches and allergies. Medicines will need to be re-stocked. Very handy.

Food - All of my Cliff bars were devoured by the end of the trip and will need to be restocked. My son loves these.

Electronics Kit - Did not need to use the Tekkeon, but did need some spare batteries and the car and wall chargers. I also have a small speaker for my iPod touch, which helped keep my young son entertained on long car rides and on the plane. He won't wear headphones for more than a few seconds.

Spare Reading Glasses - My son playfully snapped my good pair of reading glasses in half, so the backups came out. My eyes are totally fine, but I need glasses to read smallish-text for any length of time; my eyes get tired and start to have trouble focusing.

Sunglasses - I'm pretty sure there's a very small scratch on one of the lenses of my Oakleys, right in the middle of it. It's in an annoying place, I'll need to replace the lens. Not sure how it happened and not particularly upset; these glasses have served well on a daily basis for about 8 months now. I usually break or scratch cheap-o pairs in a few days.

Bandana - This trip pushed the bandanna into a "must have" EDC item for me. From wiping down dew-obscured car windows to keeping my head from getting sunburned to serving as a sun shade for my napping son, it was constantly coming in handy. I also picked up a bigger "trainman" bandana at an army surplus shop; I like the extra size.

aLoksaks - USNERDOC's first aid kit video got me interested in these little waterproof bags, so I picked up a small multipak. I was a little underwhelmed upon receiving them; they seem like basically thicker and tougher ziplocks. But they've proved themselves to me so far. They keep the first aid kit's contents organized yet visible, and the seal has popped open despite jostling around in my bad. I put their waterproof capabilities to test on a white water raft ride, and the bag kept my wallet and keys bone-dry as intended, despite a heavy drenching. At around $3/a pop, they're a pretty handy little container for keeping small items organized and dry.