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5/12/14

Every Day Carry Bag Dump Contest: Mr. Storm

I used to carry a smallish messenger bag, but I found myself either missing something or constantly swapping out things that I needed. I am also a father of two toddlers, so diapers and wipes are absolutely necessary. Being Ex-Army, I trained on the old ALICE webbing and packs. Sadly, I left the service before MOLLE became mainstream, and I have always wanted a sturdy MOLLE backpack. I dislike slingpacks, mainly because when they get full, it upsets my balance when I run.

After looking at a huge amount of backpacks, I settled on the Fieldline Surge. I took out the hydro pack, never use it. Despite the MOLLE straps and the tan color, the backpack never gets looks at work or out and about. Once everything is contained and strapped down, there are no rattles, no loose straps and only 7" at the thickest point.

I guess it is a EDC-GHB loadout.

On person:
- Letherman Supertool 200 - Had it for over 15 years. Best multitool ever.
- Kershaw Storm Folder
- USMC Bulldog neck knife
- Aluminum Wallet
- Casio Solar G-Shock watch

Fieldline Surge Hydration Pack -Minus the camelback bladder.

Exterior:
- 4 Medium aluminum carabineers
- 1 Large steel carabineer
- 2 6" bungee cords
- UZI Tactical pen
- Camo Paracord Bracelet
- Guiness bottle opener
- Columbia 32oz vacuum-insulted thermal bottle with rubber bands around it
- CAT B15 Rugged Android Dual-SIM Smartphone
- Tactical 5.11 Large C5 Smartphone PDA Case
- Coleman thermometer with integrated button compass



Water Bladder compartment:
- 2 Diapers
- Baby wipes
- MTech Karambit

Main Compartment:
- 2 nylon grocery bags
- Large Bandanna/Handkerchief

Secondary Compartment:
- Pocket Reference 4th Edition
- Surelight Tactical LED Flashlight
- Typhoon Triple Flame Torch Lighter
- Corona Tungsten Carbide Blade Sharpener
- Large nylon grocery bag
- Anker Astro E5 15000 mAh External Battery with charging cable inside ziplock bag
- 8 AAA Rechargeable batteries
- 4 AA Rechargeable batteries
- Bundle of 10" Cable Ties
- Neoprene Head Gloves with rubber grips
- Thermal Blanket
- 12' nylon strap 1" wide
- 12' Measuring tape
- Tan sun hat with neck protector
- First Aid Kit (2x3x7 hardshell waterproof)
- Bandaids (Various sizes)
- Polysporin
- Alchohol swabs
- Medical Tape
- Firesteel
- Butane lighter
- 2 8"bungee cords
- 9-hour emergency candle
- 6 AAA Alkaline batteries
- Duracell 16GB USB Thumbdrive containing important family information
- SanDisk MicroSD card with Adapter containing important family information

Small Top Compartment:
- Excedrin Travel bottle
- Aspirin Travel bottle
- Magnetic tablet stand
- 2 Toasted Oatmeal bars
- 4 Nescafe instant coffee packets

Medium Bottom Compartment:
- 4G Tablet with neoprene sleeve
- Ti-30 Calculator
- $100 in various bills
- Kershaw Blur Tanto Folder
- Earbuds

One might say that I have a lot of knives. With the exception of the karambit, all the others have a intended purpose, beyond causing injury. The Kershaw Storm is my everyday cutter, with a service edge that is strong and stays sharp. The Kershaw Blur Tanto has a custom razor edge, for fine/precision cuts. The Bulldog neckknife is for quick access to an edge, from envelopes to boxes and everything in between. Plus, one thing my father taught me decades ago, was to always carry more than one knife. Two is one, one is none. It will break, get dull or you will lose it when you need it most.

Also, one big focus for me is durability. While my life is not particularly full of hazards, I find that things break or stop working only when you need them. Hands get slippery, things get dropped or jostled or get within reach of toddlers. Also, if you get caught in a rainstorm, and your pack gets soaked through and through, anything not watertight will be useless weight. Everything electronic or medical in nature is waterproofed.

There are some redundancies, mostly focusing on critical items like sharps and firestarters.

Alex's Commentary:
Thanks for the entry!

I'll preface what follows that this is meant as constructive, helpful advice. Take or leave, free o' charge.

You don't need 5 small cutting tools (counting the knife on the Leatherman). I understand redundancy, but, for example, a karambit jammed in a pocket with diapers is going to be fairly useless in a self defense scenario. For utility purposes, the neck knife and the pocket folder do the same thing. If the neck knife is handier, why carry the pocket knife at all?

Why so many caribiners? Or a full package of zip ties? One 'biner and a couple zip ties oughta do the job. I'd ditch the ties and add some duct/gorilla tape, but that's me.

I go by the rule of thumb of having 2 spare sets of batteries. You've got a lot 14 AAAs and 4 AAs. Could lose some of those.

Get the Pocket Ref content on your phone/tablet (or Google what you need) and leave it at home. Same for the Ti-30, if possible.

Travel size bottles for pills - they're usually half empty to start. Top them off from larger bottles as you go.

Good call on the cash. You may want a buck or two in quarters for vending machines.

If you are going to carry a firestarter like a ferro rod, you might as well carry some tinder to use it with. Or something like hand sanitizer that can light up easily.

Two USB drives w/ backup data won't help you if they're stored in the same place. Keep one in your bag, put the other in your wallet, on your keychain, etc. Diversify.

I am going to guess the green, blue and orange things are the grocery bags - reusable kinds, from the looks, and somewhat bulky. If you need to carry grocery type bags, try getting some of the disposable kind and folding 'em up paper football style. They pack down to the size of a Dorito.

If you want to carry a candle, you may want to try a tea light or two versus the 9-hour candle. Less bulk, does the same things.

That's it from me -  what does the tribe say?

13 comments :

  1. AnonymousMay 12, 2014

    I agree , you don't need all of those knives and batteries, so much weight for no reason. You could replace that with food ,which you need. Thank you for your submission though, most people wouldn't post their EDC.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mr. StormMay 13, 2014

    Thanks for replying to my submission! I really do appreciate the feedback from folks that are "in the know" and promise that nothing said will be taken personally. Cheers!

    I shall try to address each item as I go:

    - The karambit and neck knife is somewhat of an experiment. I agree with the assessment of the location of the karambit, I just haven't found a good exterior place to put it. Frankly, if a situation arose that would not allow escape, and required deadly force, I prefer waist or chest-mounting for knives. while I can attach a knife to one of the shoulder straps, it would not be my first choice for an EDC. I will most likely stop carrying both.

    - The 4 carabineers are used primarily to keep the pack snug and tight and as a clip for the water flask. The fifth doesn't have any use so far, beyond being a good handle when tossing the bag around.

    - My tac light runs on 3 AAA batteries. The light gets used often, so I end up swapping batteries fairly steadily, hence the rechargeable type. The AAs I just carry around, no designated purpose, more of a "might need". Will probably remove as well.

    -I have not been able to find a comprehensive PDF Pocket Ref. Nor an E-Reader format. So I shall stick with the paper one. It is rather small, 1x3x6. And being paper, if nothing else, I can use it as tinder for the ferro rod! :D

    - The Ti-30 I need for class, use of tablets and smartphones is not allowed in the mathematics labs.

    - While the grocery bags can be compacted quite a bit, they get used almost every day, so packing them up real tight every time ended up being a redundant chore.

    Thank you again for your feedback. Bring it on, Tribe!

    - Mr. Storm

    ReplyDelete
  3. AnonymousMay 13, 2014

    I really like that Kershaw, I own the Storm II with rear serrations and it is a beast! Extremely thin but a lot of utility and well designed, that is one fine folding knife.

    On the tinder part, don't neglect natural sources around your area. I only became aware that palm tree leaf fiber was a very good tinder. Down here, fallen palm tree is free for the taking, I wish I had known that earlier. A 35mm film cannister of this is now in my kit, it does light very easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. StormMay 13, 2014

      Wow I have yet to meet anyone with the same knife. The Kershaw above is in fact the Storm II, with the serrations. I had forgotten that it was the second one, with the original being edged all the way.

      I have also found it to be a most dependable and useful knife. Very thin profile, comfortable to use for prolonged periods and feels hefty enough in the hand to instil confidence in using the knife.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousMay 16, 2014

      I got lucky, I found it in a pawn shop about a year ago, inspected it but left it. Went home, did some internet searching and figured it was a pretty good buy indeed. I'm happy with it.

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. AnonymousMay 13, 2014

    To me there's no point in having an EDC bag unless its to have water on hand. Odds are you'll be thirsty long before you'll need to start a fire. Along those lines throw in a few purification tablets as well.

    You said you have kids but you only have 2 snack bars? I'd say add a few more plus something for the kid. Nothings worse than a cranky/hungry kid.

    Lastly its your flashlight. Five knives, 2 on person, and only one torch in the bag. A trip A light is only good for picket carry, something that sucks down 3 AAA batteries is no good. Upgrade to either a AA light or CR123 for the bag, and maybe through a small AAA light on the key ring or in the pocket. You'll be surprised how much brighter/longer lasting a a AA or CR123 light will be compared to that Surefire you're currently using.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is using a cheap Surelight like you buy at Costco, not Surefire. Those will eat up batteries like there is no tomorrow. A Surefire would be a better choice though.

      Delete
    2. Mr. StormMay 13, 2014

      This is my EDC bag. As much as I would honestly love to bring them, my children are not an EDC, since I don't regularly take my kids to work or campus with me. As such, I only pack 2 snack bars and 32oz of water for myself.

      Purification Tablets are on my shopping list. It is either that or a Life Straw. Haven't decided yet.

      On that note, I always have a full cooler in the car, with ice, water and food. Also keep a good supply of snacks and the likes in the car.

      I do plan on getting a better-grade of LED flashlight, but so far, the Costco one was both cheap enough ($5) and durable enough that I have no real justifiable need to replace it.

      Delete
    3. AnonymousMay 13, 2014

      3 AAA batteries per load is reason enough to replace that light if nothing else. I'd look at the current batch of lights that run on a single AA - can greatly reduce your battery load, and AAs are as close to standard as you can get for batteries. CR123 lights are nice, but I'd personally go with AA for ease of locating batteries in an emergency.

      Delete
  6. PineslayerMay 13, 2014

    Tea candles are a great addition, I have 4 in my bag and they are cheap. I am in the market for a new wallet, mine is a decade old and is crapping out. I have been putting together a decoy wallet. Anybody else use one? Throw it on the ground and run if confronted. It might buy you some time, especially if you have kids with you. I have been carrying a CS Pocket Bushman in my Mini Pack, serves like a fixed blade for $30, takes up almost no space and is light. It is a very sturdy knife.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If you are looking for a better flashlight take a look at the Fenix LD10 I love it and it only needs one AA and lasts long enough.

    How long have you been using your solar casio (what model is it btw?) and what is your experience with the amount of light needed for charging? I am looking at a 9300 Mudman right now as an "out n about" watch but am still undecided.

    Thnx for sharing your EDC bag!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. StormMay 15, 2014

      Haha it is the 9300 Mudman. Love it, have had it since ohh....early 2013?

      Never had an issue with power levels. If I am wearing sleeves or long gloves, I strap it on the outside (the strap is plenty long), for both convenience and as a temperature reference.

      I have a G-Shock that I purchased almost 20 years ago. Other than replacing the battery, the damned thing would not die. Since then, I have gone through 4 Citizen Eco-Drives of various "durable" models. I finally went back to wearing the G-Shock. Decided I wanted something not quite so battered, so I got the Mudman.

      Delete