> TEOTWAWKI Blog: EDC Bag Dump Contest - KK's Discrete Messenger Bag



EDC Bag Dump Contest - KK's Discrete Messenger Bag

This is my EDC bag, a first gen ITS Discreet Messenger bag that was put together by hand by Joel at Zulu Nylon. It goes everywhere with me—work, school, out and about. The only exception is if I go hiking or am training for search and rescue, in which each have their own dedicated bags.

I chose this bag because I wanted a messenger bag vs a backpack. It's more business like for my work environment, but not so much that it's not unique. (I literally have never seen another ITS bag in the wild). I needed it to hold a computer, but also a gun (where it's legal to carry), it also needed good organizational pockets and be very durable and preferably made in America. After looking at nearly every bag out there, this one fit the bill to a 'T' and was worth the 6 week wait for it.

The list of items I carry is a result of a lot reading. Blogs like TEOTWAWKI and ITS Tactical mainly, and forums like EDCforums.com. The rest of the items are a result of experience. I hate not having something when I need it. So when that happens (and it doesn't happen much anymore) I'd make a specific point to get it in the bag for next time. It's like a Cordura wrapped bundle of 'What Ifs." It's not a get home bag by any means, but for the 99% of situations I encounter daily—it's perfect.

List of items:

ITS Tactical Discreet Messenger Bag - 1st Gen - Foliage

Back Pocket (w/Frame Sheet)
Springfield XDm 9mm (12rds Hornady JHP)
Surefire G2X Pro

Left Side Pouch
32oz Liberty Bottle

Right Side Pouch
E2 Field Gear Leather Field Notes Cover
Field Notes, regular and expedition series

Small Front Flap Zipper Pocket
USB Thumbdrive
10 US Stamps
Starbucks VIA Packet
Pencil Sharpener

Large Front Flap Zipper Pocket
Large Ziplock Bag
1-2 Snack Bars

Main Pocket
Computer and/or iPad
Noveske Hat

Hidden Pocket

Front Left Pocket
Petzl Tikka Plus
2 CR123 Batteries
3 AAA Batteries
Surefire Earpro
12ft Measuring Tape
MSR micro towel
$1.00 in quarters

Maxpedition Fatty Organizer
Leatherman Wave
Leatherman Bit Driver Kit
Streamlight Microstream flashlight
Fire Steel
Bogota Titanium LP Set
BIC Lighter
Extra CR2032 for Suunto Core
Titanium Spork
Small flathead screwdriver (for remote 9-pin deck control screws)
Rite in the Rain Notebook

Front Right Pocket
FAK - AMK First Aid Kit

Bandage Materials
* 12 Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, 1" x 3"
* 1 Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, 2" x 4.5"
* 2 Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, Knuckle
* 3 Bandage, Butterfly Closure
* 4 Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 2" x 2"
* 4 Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 3" x 3"

Blister / Burn
* 1 Moleskin, 3" x 4"

Fracture / Sprain
* 1 Bandage, Elastic with Clips, 2" x 5yds

* 1 Splinter Picker/Tick Remover Forceps
* 1 Pair of Vinyl Gloves

* 2 Acetaminophen (500 mg), Pkg./2
* 2 After Bite Wipe
* 2 Antihistamine (Diphenhydramine 25 mg)
* 1 Aspirin (325 mg), Pkg./2
* 2 Ibuprofen (200 mg), Pkg./2

Survival Tools
* 1 Compass, Button, Liquid Filled
* 1 Mini Rescue Howler Whistle
* BIC Lighter

Wound Care
* 10 Antimicrobial Towelette
* 1 Tape, 1/2" x 10 Yards
* 2 Triple Antibiotic Ointment, Single Use

Outdoor Research Organizer Pouch
* Sunscreen stick
* 3x pairs foam earplugs
* Tube of advil (12 pills)
* Visine
* Spray Neosporin
* Off Deep Woods
* Bite/Anti-itch Stick
* 2x Purell hand sanitizer wipes
* Purell hand sanitizer .5 fl oz
* Rewetting drops
* Vaseline hand lotion
* Roll of Tums 8
* 2x Benadryl
* 2x Shout wipes
* 1x Stride face wipe
* 2x Medium adhesive bandage
* 1x Large adhesive bandage
* 1x Extra Large adhesive bandage

From Alex:
First up, this is a great first entry. Solid example for everyone else out there.

The list looks like a TON of stuff, but a lot of it is individually listed out snivel kit items. So don't hate.

Last summer, I reverted for a time to a messenger bag - just a generic laptop bag. It drove me nuts, and I went searching for a better option. I just wanted to be able to carry a laptop, basic electronics and snivel kit a Nalgene water bottle, and have it not look out of place in a professional office environment. There are not a lot of good choices out there, and it's fairly shocking how many terribly designed messenger bags there are out on the market.

The Discrete Messenger Bag was - for sure - at the top of the list good choices, though the price to play kept me away at the time.

I actually have a design in mind for a messenger bag that I've been thinking about producing. Would need to get a gearmaker type on board, and have pushed it to the backburner for the time being.

Generally, though, I prefer a backpack. Messenger bags do one thing well--they allow you to access the contents while wearing the bag. They can be less prone to wrinkle up a suit or dress shirt, too. And, in some environments, a backpack is just plain out of place. Beyond that, a backpack wins in every category.

Off-body carry is the least preferred option - if you are separated from your bag, your firearm is just a velcro compartment away from falling into unintended hands. If it's the only way you can carry, then it's the only way you can carry. I'm sure you've thought through this, but if you can carry that XDm another way, I'd explore it.

Also, if you regularly carry the XDm, toss a spare mag in with that other stuff.

Gear is well thought through and covers a lot of bases. I really like the mini-tape measurer and will be stealing that for my own uses. My kids always steal my real tape measurers, but they know to stay away from 'dad's bag.'

A few items I would consider adding:
  • Emergency cash - $20 - $100 in less than $20 bills
  • Backup cellphone battery - for when you forget to charge or run it down to 20% before lunch
  • Similarly, not sure if I see a charging cable for your phone
  • Work/flight gloves - a pair of Mechanix or nomex aviator gloves don't weigh much and can come in handy
  • Cotton - see our post from a couple days back - though you do have the micro-towel
  • Moar food and caffeine
  • Since there's some redundancy goin' on, you may want to consider a second cutting tool to supplement the Leatherman - a dedicated folder that is more readily accessed would likely be my choice.
Anyways, a few thoughts.

What does the tribe say?

BTW: Don't go cramming stuff into your bag that you don't normally carry. The contest isn't going to be decided by who has the most stuff, and you won't benefit from any of my sage advice.


  1. AnonymousMay 08, 2014

    Thats a LOT of stuff and looks heavy to me. Also...its a pretty nice commercial for ITS. They're a good company and I'm sure they appreciate the Ad. I think messenger bags look more convenient than they are. I wear a suit every day and though a backpack doesn't always fit in, I've seen guys way up the business food chain from me sporting them around. I'd rather be able to secure my EDC to myself in case I have to run and not having it flop around like a messenger bag. It looks like a lot of thought went into it though and if you don't mind humping that much, then you have a lot of bases covered.

    1. I think the list LOOKS like more stuff than it is, since he lists out the individual first aid kit/snivel kit items. Individually, those items weigh very little.

  2. AnonymousMay 09, 2014

    I think you have a TON of bases covered there. I'm thinking if your workplace is large multi-story building, that bag might stand out. I've found some great leather looking attach-cases that would probably get zero looks in that environment. The contents you have - great job!

    1. If you've found a leather attache case that can both protect/pad a laptop, and have room for a 32 oz water bottle and a utility pouch or two, and doesn't cost $500, plz share.

    2. AnonymousMay 13, 2014

      Anonymous here - I bought a Targus leather laptop / attache case at a Salvation Army store for $9. Outside Size is approximately 17" long, 13" wide x 6" deep. There is one for sale on ebay for $12 right now - try search term TARGUS LEATHER LAPTOP BAG. The advertised describes fits a 15" laptop. Has an outside pocket for documents.

      I hope this helps.

  3. PineslayerMay 09, 2014

    Thanks KK for your time in putting together this post. The debate over the container is more environmental than anything when it comes to EDC. I prefer packs, but in some locales I can see it being "weird". I learn or rethink my EDC with every new post, maddening, but better than not thinking about it. Luckily for me packs are common place or I would be f'd. Wouldn't it be a better world if everyone carried a pack so that we could have our toys with us 24/7?