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6/1/14

EDC Bag Dump Contest: GWHYSOW's briefcase

A country bumpkin, who has found himself stuck in the city with a different set of needs. As a working professional - in which place I actually enjoy rocking a suit - I have had to make some alteration to fit the lifestyle. For me, it has been all about size and weight constraints, multi-use of tools, and access to other necessities. Even though this is my base, there are many alternations depending on something 'special', or the items that I am carrying on my person (to be listed). This refinement has taken a number of years, but I've found this set up to be the best as accomplishing the most, with the fewest tools. Everyone is different, and I've loved seeing all the great kit!

EMERSON SUPER CQC 7B: The knife will often be on me, but sometimes I'll sling it in the bag. Suits are terrible for weight-drape, so I clip it on the inside of my waistband (IWB), just beside my belt buckle. Even with its size, driving or meetings pay me no mind. Even if it did, this is my core.

4SEVEN PREON 2: As mentioned before, size and weight are huge contenders for me. The Preon II offers some of the best output for the pen-like size, and the availability of AAA is a plus. Long day, or end of the world, my need to battery access takes president over a few extra lumens. Just don't be fooled by that statement - she still puts out.


VICTORINOX SPIRIT: I have had many multitools over the years, but nothing has been able to hold a candle to this small miracle. I pay a little in weight, but the craftsmanship is as expected on any SwissTool, and the features are - by my account - the best there are. Tool access from the outside, smooth edges, tools that you actually use, and a lock-out feature for every item. This work of art is going on 8 years with me, and I couldn't be more pleased. Above all else, the pliers still lock out, which is not something I can say for all those I've had in the past. Staying power speak volumes for me. Oh, and even with a good chunk of hard use, she's still as beautiful as ever.

MARATHON CLIP-ON COMPASS: It doesn't matter where I am; the country, or even in the city, my need for direction is always useful. Do I use my wrist watch (analog) to figure it out during the day - yup, sure do (great trick to learn if you don't know it already). Do I like to do things the easy way sometimes (and at night) - yup. Great piece, and a great price. Have a Suunto as well. Just like the lume on this one.

KEVLAR CORDAGE: Oddly enough, cordage seems to be the one thing you can never really find when you need it. I won't be rappelling out my office anytime soon (plus, that's what I keep my climbing gear for ;) ), so a fix-all was what I needed. Rated at 135lbs, it has and will manage most things that I've thrown at it. I've bound items to cars, sticks to sticks, and even knotted up a jam for a door. Just what I want, when I need it.

SNAKEDOC GO-TUBE & CONTENTS: This little bugger has been a thing of beauty. Not only does it work as an extremely well-sized container, but a slick one at that. Highly recommend for those needing something small, and water resistant. As for the contents, I keep them as my last-ditch/entry kit:

- Bogota SERE picks (steel): Super lightweight rake, and single. Doors, cabinets and boxes. Been a god-send for me, and a few others over the years.
- SEREPick quick shims: Have only ever used them on cheap padlocks, but they've made the rounds.
- Ranger band: Because sometimes you just need an elastic band, or just don't want to wait around making a fire.
- Small ferro rod: Got a bulk pack of these suckers from China, for a song. 2-inches long, and just enough to get things done.
- Small carbon steel saw blade: Most of my blades, etc lack a high enough carbon content to really get the ferro rod going. This is my take along.

STERILE GLOVES: Over the years I've helped 3 people to various degrees (minor to major bleeding). Though I used to carry a massive kit, I need a lot less in the city due to response times, and issue of urgency. Working in healthcare - and a hospital - I know what goes through the ER, and it won't require much before then. More often than not, response times in the metro area will be under 15 minutes. Keep in mind, there are a lot of things you just can't help with no matter what. So, I worry about two things: Transmission (real issue where I am), and a good seal. CPR can, and could always be administered as compressions only in a worst-case, so we continue to press forward. I carry a big kit in my car, so it a pinch I've got everything I need to address from major lacerations, to a blister (band-aids in wallet). Plus, if I'm in the office, the 150+ docs will make it all better.

HAWKES PAKS AGENT'S BRIEF: Loved the color, loved that it was handmade to a standard. For those who carry, this slimline bag also has elastics loops for mag carry. For me, it was that perfect blend of what I wanted, and what I needed. Great products all together.

NOT PICTURED but ON THE BODY: Marathon GSAR, wallet, keys, pen, small Moleskin notebook.

Notes from Alex:
Thanks for sharing your kit! I'd imagine there's some more stuff in that briefcase to share :).

A few things to think about:

Make sure you're carrying some spare batteries for the Preon. Yes, AAAs are super common, but they also weigh little. I recommend two spare sets.

I had that exact knife for a few months, and found it to be overly bulky for what you get. IMO, it's one of Emerson's less desirable designs - and I've owned 4 or 5 Emersons at this point. For carry with a suit, that weight and the rough G-10 are not a good combo. You can get a similar length of blade and a sturdy lock with any variety of other, lighter knives - numerous Spydercos come to mind. Also, consider a dressier knife ala a Mcusta or similar for a better fit in an office environment and suit wear.

The kevlar cordage is cool stuff, but doesn't work well for clothing repair (dark suit + yellow thread). Suits and dress clothes seem to tear, pop buttons and so on pretty commonly. Either have a sewing kit or add a needle and some cordage that can be broken down to smaller strands. They have black kevlar cord these days that would work well.

If you're finding the need to carry sterile gloves, I would carry a good first aid kit to go along with it.

10 comments :

  1. AnonymousJune 01, 2014

    I wish he had a better picture of the bag or more info. He has very little items in there or he just chooses to not list everything? Odd. Definitely agree that he needs a small first aid if he plans on helping using gloves, considering one of the main reasons for an ER visit is fracture/bleeding. I'm in the health care industry as well and I don't know anyone that doesn't have a first aid kit/bandages.

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  2. AnonymousJune 01, 2014

    Hey, Gwhysow here!

    I would like to start off by thanking Alex for the cool contest, and awesome opportunity. I wake up every morning and check the site, and couldn't be more thrilled. I feel like I should probably offer a little more - and a little less in one instance - so here I go:

    The biggest things for me are weight, so I keep this as my 'BASE' so to speak. Depending on where I'm going, or what I'm doing, I tend to scale as needed. Sometimes a little too much at times ;)

    I've lucked out, and only have a 45 [brisk] second walk to work at the hospital, but things change when I leave my living triangle of sorts. I almost always have a first aid kit with me, but I don't think it will please most people. My main First Aid is the size of a 3-day pack, which usually stays at home, or gets tossed in the trunk for trips. That puppy has everything from band aids, to Lidocaine, and everything in between. My daily is pretty simple:

    4" Izzy bandage
    2 large fabric bandages that I'll trim for the need
    4 long strips of medical tape (probably 8" a piece) wrapped around the Izzy.

    I'd say I wear many faces, so this is the 'Business' me in the pic. There is of course, the 'TEOTWAWKI' version of me, which also likes the scaled down kit. In that case, I carry most everything in the pic in a BLACKHAWK 3-DAY, with a few big additions (firearms, food, batteries, headlamp, etc).

    Then there is the 'Non-working, EDC, pocket-dump', which is just the things that I tend to carry on my person. I will send a pic in, and maybe it'll get the upload, but who knows. If anyone is interested in what I carry on my persons, or in any of my kit, (and Alex doesn't post), just let me know.

    I think the biggest thing that this site has taught me, is to rely on skill; make things work; adapt and overcome with what you have. I used to have a lot of kit, but slowly started to bring things down. Tested a number of things, and then came to where I am today. I'm all about keeping the bulk down, but when the Blog opens another contest up in the 'GET OUT OF DODGE' spirit, you'll see a little more from me, but not too much ;)

    Thanks again for the notes!

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    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 01, 2014

      Thanks for expanding! You definitely have your bases covered. It's always fun to see other kits regardless of how much or little they have. I lucked out as well, I drive about 75% of my work day so I can stick with my Get Home Bag and I'm usually no further than a minute from my car...so my edc is minimal as well.

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    2. A guess driving all the time is a blessing and a curse. I know I'd end up with a full trunk if that were the case.

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  3. Sterile gloves are definitely something I might need to have (in addition to Alex's other recommendations). Were you able to pick a few pairs up without having to buy a box of 100 or more (the problem I'm having), or are they a by-product of your hospital work?

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  4. Hey,

    I know it sounds a little counterintuitive, but that level of sterility isn't necessary. If you go to a dollar store and check out the cleaning section, you'll find pack of 'factory sterile' gloves (non-latex) packaged as pairs. It's mostly about transmission. If I didn't carry my bag, I'll keep a loose pair scrunched up in a GoTube, or in a micro ziploc with my IFAK.

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    Replies
    1. Huh. Well, you just saved me some money!

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    2. Really, the only people that use a sterile packed glove are surgeons. Most healthcare and public sector just use boxed gloves. I just like these because it gives them a little added protection in my bag, and they're nice and slim. Heck, even if you buy a box, you won't be sorry. I end up using about 50 pairs a year on making pickled/boiled beets alone ;)

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  5. AnonymousJune 02, 2014

    A lot of good ideas for an urban kit - thanks for submitting this.

    I agree with assessment of SAK Swiss Spirit X tool - very well crafted and unless you really push it, will last your lifetime given reasonable care.

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    Replies
    1. I love it. I've done some pretty horrible stuff with mine - even had to regrind the awl, due to a day of expanding the diameter of holes in aluminium. Sadly, no other tools were available, but it performed beautifully.

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