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6/19/14

EDC Bag Dump Contest: JS

I have been silent member of the prepping/survival community too long and I decided this was a great opportunity to start out. I can share a few ideas and get some sound advice from experts in the field.

Anyways, I’ll include a bit of background so the EDC bag can fit in context.  I am a runner, lightweight backpacker, former chemistry now medical student living in the suburbs of a moderately sized city. The idea behind my pack is it has my daily needs, some light survival items and is kept light enough that in the event of any real problem I could just run the 7 miles home (since I take public transportation).

I decided to go with a more vertical approach for a picture just to change things up; I really don’t organize things this way. Essentially everything but food, iPad, hat/gloves, and water fit neatly within the front pocket leaving the main pocket open for the bigger things. And nothing but the water bottle outside.


The pack is a cheap but reliable sling bag from Eddie Bauer; it’s very subtle and lightweight but fits everything with some room to spare. I opted for a sling bag because it fits snugly in the small of my back and is the only thing that doesn’t bounce when I run with it. Plus it can be easily swung to a side for easy access or put in front of my body for when the bus gets crowded.

Going from top to bottom, in the strap pocket is my mini hygiene kit with a contact case, small sunscreen, vial with insect repellant, a yard of TP and a single packaged wipe. Dangling off the left is my RAVpower 3000mAh charger (also has a very bright light), charging cords, wall charger, and headphones.

Dangling from the right is my Leatherman PS (I love this tool and use it about every day and honestly it’s all the multitool I ever need) and peanut lighter. These I usually keep on my keys but since I’ve never posted my on person EDC I’ve included them. I also have a wallet that holds a 1.5” folder, small USB, and various other knickknacks and a Galaxy S3 in an Otterbox. Anyways a little lower is a small case with an emergency blanket and poncho rolled up for just in case. Up and to the right dangling is my chapstick wrapped in duct tape, and microfiber towel with a quarter of a bandana (for messier tasks) jammed in there.

On the ground, is my Stanley 32 oz. stainless steel waterbottle (great for storage, cleaning, and boiling – the top unscrews to leave you with just the cup). Above it is a jetboil spoon and to the side is lunch. It looks like today is sandwiches, carrots, melons, and a granola bar. To the side are two clif bars for backup and along the back is my CRKT M16 folder. For school I use an iPad 2 with Logitech keyboard (much lighter than a laptop my classmates use). Off to the sides is a small hat and gloves.

Finally, my ‘in case I need something box’ or what used to be my altoids tin. I could spend a whole post on this but I’ll simply list the contents and explain them later if any questions arise. My main purpose with this is versatility, and accessibility as such I made fold outs with tape and foil. Here goes: Pelican case 1010, with six feet of paracord wrapped behind it, mirror, razor blades, vial of isopropyl alcohol, gorilla tape, mini bic, several needles of various lengths, P38, match striker, mini altoids tin (has peptobismol, ibuprofen, dramamine, caffeine pills, immodium, acetaminophen, anti-histamine, and a few prescription meds). In the main body: triple antibiotic, sun screen, sugar & salt packet, sting relief, sticky notes, lip balm packet, steristrips, moleskin, bandaid, hydrocortisone cream, pack of nitrile gloves, small LED light, small whistle, woundseal (coagulant), wire, safety pins, floss, string, electrical tape, eyelit screws, ear plugs, small pencil, wire saw, 20lb fish line, hooks, lures, sutures, button compass, packet of cotton with vasoline, paperclip, purification tablets, small bag, map of city with emergency contact info/survival info written on back, firesteel, matches, qtip, pen refill, vial of baking soda, and vial of potassium permanganate.

I know that list seems ridiculously long for one little case but it is mostly single use items that fit very snugly together in one compact pack. I drop this in backpacking, fishing, or just about anywhere I go so it’s well-used and familiar. Thanks so much for this opportunity to get some great feedback, let me know what you guys think.

From Alex:
Nice kit! Covers off on a lot of the stuff I look for in an EDC environment. The little Leathermans are real powerhouses of functionality for their size.

I've done a lot of talking lately while the tribe has been largely quiet, so I'll toss it over to the gurus to see if they've got any recommendations for ya.

16 comments :

  1. Good kit! I've seen those Stanley bottles around and have been considering picking one up. I don't know about the spork thingy tho. I never understood what's wrong with simple knives and forks--they are a million times more convenient to use than some sort of folding spork. And if the weight bothers you get some heavy duty plastic utensils. You can get them for a buck a piece at Walmart, but I got mine for free with one of my in flight meals! They don't have metal utensils anymore but they still want something they can rinse and reuse a thousand times--so if you're on a flight long enough to have a meal you often get some good heavy duty plastic utensils to go with it. They are part of the meal so I figured I could keep 'em--no one told me NOT too so I guess it was ok.

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    1. JS (Jake)June 20, 2014

      Oh this is just a spoon, I had a disposable one but it got moldy and I had to chuck it. Any suggestions for a new one? This jetboil one is a little subpar...not very sturdy.

      Delete
  2. AnonymousJune 20, 2014

    I'd put in more than a yard of TP unless you are really close to home, you can pack that pretty tight around some pencil-like object. For eating implement, a long handled spoon will do fine, in fact a small ladle is very handy in my camps. Fork / tong is easy to make in the woods, in urbans not so much.

    If you are going with one quart, the standard U.S. military canteen w/ steel cup and cover is a winner in my book.

    Otherwise, a nice kit - good job!

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    Replies
    1. JS (Jake)June 20, 2014

      Thanks for the advice! Those canteens are pretty neat, I should pick one up. It wouldn't fit on the side though of my pack. Any suggestions on a good source for a metal container? I'm thinking aluminum foil folded just right might be a lightweight option, or a plastic bottle with nested cup. So many options out there, none of them have sold me 100% yet.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 24, 2014

      Quality flat metal flask ? That is a good question. The Alladdin metal flask is good, but only holds 8 oz. Military surplus might be worth looking at - Swedish military made an aluminum canteen that has a more flattened body, wrapped in wool. Wide mouth (much easier to clean and dry) - that might worth looking at.

      If its plastic canteen, the Nalgene 1 quart is nice and clear enough to monitor the amount of water held inside. But its the same dimensions as the military though.

      Hope that helps.

      Delete
  3. Okay, I'll bite. What's the baking soda for?

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    1. AnonymousJune 20, 2014

      Yes....also and the potassium permanganate ? From what I read, it's toxic...

      Nice kit, though ! Seems very well thought out.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 20, 2014

      Potassium permanganate is used as a fire starter. He should just use a lighter and cotton balls.

      Delete
    3. It can also be used to purify water or create an antiseptic solution, depending on how much you use. Weighs little, many uses.

      Delete
    4. JS (Jake)June 20, 2014

      The baking soda is used among my lightweight backpacking friends as a light hygiene method. A little on your finger and you can get rid of bad breath, a little under the arms as deodorant etc. Its super compact (in an empty pencil lead case) and used for emergencies mostly but great to have if you need it in a pinch.
      Potassium permanganate is a strong oxidizer and you are right it is toxic in high doses. You can google its many uses but I mostly have it for water purification (1 or 2 crystals or light pink), antiseptic (5-6 crystals or pink), or anti fungal (dark pink but not purple). Mixed with antifreeze/glycerin or other simple alcohols that are mostly pure it also ignites but this is dangerous and I don't use it for this unless I really needed to. Mainly its half an ounce in a tiny vial of chemicals I had in the lab that serve as a good backup purification if needed (not for long term use) because I only have 6 iodine tablets (barely two days worth).

      Delete
  4. AnonymousJune 20, 2014

    Ditto For The Potassium Permanganate.

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  5. AnonymousJune 20, 2014

    Never been a fan of sling bags. They're "all-the-rage" with the younger crowd but they cause me to tense up one shoulder, or the other, and lead to back straing, plus a tendancy to slip off the shoulder easily has me holding onto it; a traditional two strap backpack can go on on shoulder or the other, should the need arise, but also stays put with much more certainty. Plus it allows for two handed action and not having to keep the one strap on.

    Allso, that water bottle seems huge to me! Yeah, you could store some of your kit in there, but a smaller bottle, filled with water, wouldn't be so heavy. Plus, in the event you needed to collect/sterilize some water, I'm not sure you could boil water in that thing.

    And, I'll echo the need for more toilet paper. A full roll, minimum, squeezed flat in a freezer bag would work well.

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    Replies
    1. A 32 oz. water bottle is pretty much standard.

      A full roll of toilet paper? Really?

      Delete
    2. JS (Jake)June 20, 2014

      Thanks for the advice. Yeah the water bottle is a bit heavy and I opt for a plastic one if I have a means for boiling (like my jetboil) when backpacking. But the multiple roles makes it really nice. The top unscrews and turns into an open cup that I can fit my whole hand in to clean which is great after cooking some rice or oatmeal which I've done several times.
      I should probably add more toilet paper (last trip we nearly ran out) but a few more yards ought to do. Alex is right a full roll would take the same room as most of my smaller items combined.

      Delete
    3. AnonymousJune 22, 2014

      Yes, Alex, a full roll. My pack is an EDC, it goes to work with me (not allowed in my work building tho; We work with precious metals at work and can not have bags, purses, etc. in the plant) and as an EDC, it also goes with me and my family after work and along on anything we do on weekends. I have a six year old daughter and an allergy prone wife; My full role of TP has saved the day many times. And if the three of us were stranded somewhere for a day or two, that full roll provides more 'peace of mind' than a yard or two only. And the weight/bulk penalty is low and more than acceptable to me.

      Delete
  6. I am of the opinion that a full roll is overkill. That said, if you have to carry a full roll, just core it. Once you get the cardboard out, it'll flatten to a little bit bigger than a pair of socks. Probably be smaller than that hat/glove combo you've got going on.

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