Thanks to all those who have entered the contest this time around. The contest continues through the end of June, so if you haven't entered, there's still plenty of time. For details on how/what to enter, click here.
I wanted to take a few kilobytes to discuss every day carry bags at a conceptual level. We're getting entries that are all over the map in terms of size and type of gear, and that will continue throughout the contest.
At its most basic, an every day carry bag is just a fancy name for the bag you carry with you on a daily basis. Most people bring some variety of bag with them to work/school/their daily routine - a backpack, briefcase, messenger bag or whatever. It's the bag you use to carry for mundane crap like a work computer, lunch--either of which I don't think anyone has posted, BTW--and the like.
That's an every day carry bag, whether it has anything interesting in it or not.
Your needs and preferences will be different from the next person's, which means a different bag and different stuff in it. A cubicle jockey will have different needs from someone in the military or law enforcement or someone who works construction.
In my line of thinking, if you have to carry a bag, you might as well put some useful comfort, convenience and contingency gear in there, right?
But, that desire to carry some contingency gear also doesn't change the primary purpose of the bag...which is to help me solve the problems and inconveniences I face in my every day life.
For contingency/survival gear, that means evaluating my risk profile (what am I likely to face?), giving myself some size and weight constraints and working within those.
If you don't give yourself some guardrails, you can easily get to a point where contingency/survival stuff overwhelms the daily need. Then you're carrying around a 35 pound preparedness ball-and-chain that is more a burden than something than helps you in your daily life.
If the primary purpose of the bag is to prepare you for some unforeseen disaster scenario, it's no longer an everyday carry bag.
If the primary purpose is to help you survive a 20 mile hike through the suburbs, it's no longer an EDC bag. It's something else.
It's a balance.
If your EDC bag is versatile enough to equip you for the day-to-day stuff, and get you home if you needed to make a long walk (or keep you sane stuck in an airport, or patch up a serious injury)...then that's a pretty good every day carry bag.
It's not that difficult to do. Pay attention to the weight of everything. Weave as many multifunction items in as you can. Regularly go through and ditch stuff that doesn't get used.
One thing that I do to aid in the versatility: I leave the main compartment of my bag largely empty. That gives me plenty of space to adapt as needed - road trip? Air travel? Camping? Day hike? Gun show? Gym? Shooting range? Overnight backpacking trip?
I've got the 'flex' space to accommodate all of the above and keep the basic load out intact. That's one of the reasons why I steer folks away from shoulder bags or smaller packs -- they tend to not allow for that flex space and can limit your options.
Anyways, I've spent way too much time staring at the screen on this one...over to the Tribe for commentary!