Open Season: EDC Bag!

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Tonners, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Tonners

    Tonners Researching Gear

    Okay, I was trying really hard not to post this, I know it is something on forums that is frequent.. But, there are so many brands and bags, I suppose I am giving in to getting opinions!

    In a way, I feel like the quote behind the idea of a typical woman: So many bags, and nothing to choose from, like a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear! :)

    I have been compiling a list of possible bags, such as the Maxped Jumbo and Fatboy, and their Jeroboam (despite it being kinda ugly), and the 5.11 Bail Out Bag (which unfortunately has velcro, and I need to check the size), and the 5.11 Small Tool kit bag just caught my eye...Edit: Actually, the 5.11 tacticall small tool kit bag looks like it might be perfect, but I still thank anyone who reads or wishes to reply to this post! :)

    current purse is almost too big, so I know briefcases, backpacks, etc. are out of the question. A rather tactical looking shoulder bag or versi wouldn't be too out of place where I am from, but a backpack or laptop/briefcase in our walmart, hospital, etc. are treated with suspicion. Camo is normal in our schools and stores, but I'm thinking black, dark green or blue.

    It doesn't have to be top dollar, I just need something good enough that will last as long as possible with normal home/work/errand use; something that I can count on if I ever had to. I hope one day to get as top notch as possible, but I consider this a priority right now.

    I am 5'3, about 110 lbs, and a woman - even my 13.5" x 10" x 5" coach used to be commented on. "Is that thing big enough for ya? What, you movin in here?", etc. I am afraid that Maxped's versipacks are so big because of all of the compartments built in, and will actually have less space and more bulk than I need. Sadly, the closest store that even *might* carry them are over an hour away.

    To give you an idea of what I want to carry, here's a list, with an asterik of what I do carry now (albeit sloppily)
    -CT&Ps (think personal hygiene)*
    -First aid kit of disinfectant, bandaids, gauze
    -Needle and thread*
    -Fishing hooks & line (got them picked out already)
    -stanley multitool*
    -Pepper spray*
    -Compass/mirror thing, likely Suunto
    -FordEx Group 300lm mini cree led flashlight
    -6x8 equinox egret tarp (.7lbs)
    -emergency blanket - 5x7 mpi all weather blanket (12oz)
    -Lifestraw personal waterfilter
    -Survivor ltk 106320 outdoor fixed blade and fire starter, 7", 6.4oz.. might just buy a little fire starter thing
    -couple tealights*
    -Couple of Colgate wisp mini brushes
    -G.I. sharpening stone or Smiths PP1 pocket pal multifunctional sharpener
    -folding comb* (cant hack off that med. length hair in a long term SHTF situation if its all ratted)
    -3m Peltor combat arms -earplugs
    -Some kind of boilable container that you can put a lid on - boil and go! But, Amazon has a 2oz stainless steel flask as a last resort. I could at least easily put it on me in a pocket or strapped close by.
    -small bit of duct tape*
    -And hopefully a small trowel.

    .....Wow. Right? Haha. I am working on ways to carry more myself (like a lower leg sheath for a knife/firestarter kit, etc., since I can't stand anything but flare bottom pants), and grouping things somehow. Any advice would be appreciated on the best way to pack what I need.. I work in a place people would flock to in a crisis and our soft top jeep could very easily be broken in to, so I don't want to leave anything there to chance.

    I need as small a bag as possible, but able to carry as much as possible.. oooh boy!! Lol. Luckily, we are going to walmart tonight, so I can drag hubby to the purses and see what I can get by with, and how large a bag (shoulder or cross-chest, could be comfortable.. I wish the Maxped versis could just be held on the shoulder!!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Looks like you are gearing up! For an EDC bag, and since this won't be your B.O.B. or hiking bag, it's important to cover the basics and not over-do it. Folks tend to EDC only what they deem necessary, but everybody should factor in how far they will be from home and prepare accordingly. Also, terrain and climate comes into play, so keep that in mind. The only advice I can give is to remember the basics: food, water, shelter, communication, first aid, and defense rank highest. From there, bring only what you deem necessary, and as always base your choices on your own skill sets.

    About the contents you listed:
    I wouldn't worry about a compass unless you plan on navigating across country and will often be far away from home and will need one. Also, land navigation requires a map and the skills to use it effectively. No use bringing it if you won't ever need it. Every ounce counts with EDC. An alternative would be to use a vehicle bag, some call this a "car bag" or a "get home bag" in conjunction with your EDC kit. A compass and a map certainly would serve you better in this instance. I would suggest a snack and some type of simple energy food to add. It could be at the end of a long day when you find you need your EDC kit. One good item I can suggest is Cliff energy bars. They are all natural, and if you rotate them, you can always have a great snack on hand that is fresh. A small pack of sunflower seeds (salted) will provide you with some comfort and also replenish your body's salt in case you will be active on foot. Also, shelter preparation is not really needed for EDC in an urban setting, in my opinion. There are plenty of ways to locate shelter in and around a town or city. However, weather dictates the options available to you for winter or summer. In the summer, a light tarp might be a good idea to create shade if none can be readily available in an emergency. In winter, a foil space blanket and hand warmer might be a solution, or something else. Some form of rope and duct tape are great no matter what because they serve multiple purposes, and I see you listed them. Finally, the best item to pack daily would be your learned skills, even though that might be a cliche. ;)

    Everybody has to start somewhere. Better to learn as you go and try different ideas out and see how it works for you than to never try it. Good luck!
  3. Tonners

    Tonners Researching Gear

    Thank you for your advice, Brokor! I am indeed learning about different skills - making a bow out of wood, skinning an animal, tanning the hide, different knots with paracord, setting spring traps, - these should all be experimented with by hand soon, as long as we don't get snowed in, haha.. I've also been reading about different types of shelters, tracking, and foliage that is and is not safe to eat, thanks to my little SAS book I carry around in my purse. Thanks to this weather, I've actually added "learn to make snowshoes" to my list! I'll remember what you said about the compass and the map- great idea, and I can put them in a ziplock or other water proof bag.. I don't think the jeep could get stolen (at least, I hope) since we have anti-theft devices, and anyone getting in to the top wouldn't be interested in a compass or a map.. and likely other things!! Thank you again! (Haha, I forgot- I do always carry a snack and water with me, I never have time to eat something before I leave for work, so I always have a bottle of water, a bottle of juice, and usually almonds and cherios, a couple snack bars, etc.. I get bored easily, so it's usually something different every week!)
    chelloveck and Brokor like this.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    2 cents worth. Those compartmented bags are nice with a heavy BUT. The compartmentation adds weight, however trivial. Better sling a slew of light cloth bags into an open pack with like stuff in the bags.

    I have to agree with Brokor about traveling too heavy. Many do it, and end up leaving the carefully prepared pack at home 'cause it's too big or too heavy to bother with "since I'm only going to the drug store." EDC is exactly that, Every day, all day, home and away, no matter what. (Think of falling down and being unable to get up.) E&E, BOB, GHB, different deals entirely.
  5. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Maybe it is just me but I am confused.

    I see the request about an EDC (every day carry) bag/tote etc. which most of us think of as the stuff that one keeps on their person at all times. Like a small pocket knife, wallet, keys, cell phone etc. Women are blessed in that there is no social stigma with a purse or shoulder bag which can hold a bit more than pants pockets.

    But then much of the stuff on the list and some of the suggestions (food, etc.) are things one would not normally carry on their person at all times but keep in their car's get-home-bag or bottom drawer of the office desk; some place close to you (i.e. easily retrievable) at all times but not actually on your person.

    Do you really need to carry a tarp, compass, fire starters, fishing line and hooks, Lifestraw, spare batteries, sharpening stone, tealights, wisp brush and a trowel to run into Wal-mark to buy some groceries?

    I'd suggest consider two bags. A nice small rugged purse/tote etc, that maybe has tucked away straps that could make it a fanny pack or something securable to your body and a small get-home-bag that augments it with the outdoor survival gear. The smaller EDC bag could go inside or strap to the side of the GH bag.

    My fear is that after a few months carrying all that stuff around all day, every day at lunch, at the grocery store, at Wal-Mart, at church, etc. you'll eventually grow weary of the bulk and weight and remove much but then it won't be available in the car, in your office desk or work locker when you need it.

    But, hey, I'm a guy with a man bag aversion so I could be in left field.

    Yard Dart and Brokor like this.
  6. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

  7. Tonners

    Tonners Researching Gear

    Thank you all for your responses. I was also just thinking about getting the gear I want to have around, testing it, and then splitting it into two bags. I actually already carry around a decent amount of weight, so I guess I'm just used to it - pens, a couple dvds, wallet, phone, keys, and whatever else I've thrown in to my purse to keep me occupied at work (my job gets REALLY dull, and I'm stuck in one little spot. It'd be great if I had homework to do!). A water bottle and a snack or two are always included in it, and I even have a little hand sanitation thing looped around the other side. The only time I don't carry it with me, is usually when hubby is with me, or I grab a tiny bag that I have, that is probably about a quarter size of the Neatfreak.

    This is definitely going to take a lot of thought and very careful experimentation, and I'm glad I have a few old purses around!
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    That's the point. ;)

    I worded my entire post around this, only I wasn't as blunt about it as you were. :) Sure, let folks try out the EDC carry bag system and see how long they go. Who knows, they may find a solution they prefer. Lighter is always better for EDC, but you never know what some people will be able to carry until they do it.

    All I EDC today, is a solid folding blade I can depend on, a mini Bic lighter (even though I do not smoke), aluminum foil (in my wallet), a rugged wrist watch (G-Shock solar), a small container of ibuprofen or acetaminophen, chap stick, and potassium iodide. Aside from a possible firearm, all of this fits inside my two front pockets comfortably. Nothing else is ever required. The rest is secured inside my vehicle or at home.
  9. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Agreed, my EDC bag is not on me 24/7. Its in my truck out front at the moment.
    What mine really started as was a way to justify carrying a purse so I didn't have to perform a pre-flight check every morning at 05:30 to see what I'm about to forget... It also doubles as my field briefcase so I'm sure to have all my items when I'm called out in the middle of the night for emergency response. Once I saw the extra room I had in the NeatFreak, I began to fill it with other items that could really be considered 2nd or 3rd line.

    My 1st line gear (always on my person no matter what) would look closer to yours @Brokor: knife, belt, watch, pen, lighter, phone and sometimes Ruger LCP.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
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  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Mine, exactly, except I have the LCP and keys on me even around the house. (But I'll be replacing the LCP with something else fairly soon. An LCR is high on the list, but still considering the options.)
    Brokor likes this.
  11. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    My laptop bag doubles as my EDC bag since I can load it fairly well with needed items. I have it most times when I am at the office or moving around the region. I have a solid GHB bag in the work truck and another in the personal rigs.

    On a daily basis I will carry at the minimum a watch, folding knife, belt, keys, cash, wallet and firearm...everywhere!! Wife gives me the look every time we go into a place like the bar side of a restaraunt (not permitted to CCW in WA).
    Ganado likes this.
  12. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    I know that there are as many different configurations for this type of bag as there are opinions on this forum. I call mine my GO bag and I have it with me at all times. It is a medium sized standard backpack that my brother-in-law gave me because he was getting rid of it and I was using a shoulder bag at that time. I walked home from work one day, three blocks, and realized that a shoulder bag would kill me if I actually had to carry it any distance, so I switched to a standard pack.

    I have loaded it for an overnight hike and have included:

    fixed blade knife
    Speedy Sharp Steel
    6 Clif bars
    3.25oz jerky
    crank up flash light
    two piece rain suit
    2 bottles of water
    life straw
    ball cap
    extra pair gloves
    glock 23 w/2 spare mags

    This is in addition to what I always have in my pockets:

    Swiss folder
    Bic mini lighter
    Seiko 5 automatic watch
    Smart phone
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  13. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2015
  14. larihe

    larihe Neophyte Monkey

    Just find this thread from search engine. I am feeling same as Tonners said in this post. I was thinking to buy 5.11 edc backpack. But, their price is little bit higher than my budget. I need a quality edc backpack under $50. I read few reviews post like this but not sure which one should buy. Any recommendation?
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  15. Imasham

    Imasham Monkey

    You need to define what you want to do with it and what you want to carry. A dedicated EDC backpack may be highly overkill but that is only something you can determine. My little girl's Hello Kitty backpack was only $4 at a thrift shop and it was basically brand new!
    Motomom34 likes this.
  16. apache235

    apache235 Monkey+++

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  17. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I use a Swiss army computer back pack .
    it's tough as nails and easy to cary and doesn't look out of place in the city.
    Motomom34 and Yard Dart like this.
  18. avagdu

    avagdu Monkey++

    I used a Maxpedition Fatboy Versipack (S-Type) for years as a EDC & hiking bag in temperate climates. I attached a Mini RollyPoly Dump pouch for carrying a 32oz. Nalgene water bottle. It worked OK but moved around too much for my taste so I upgraded a few years later to a Jumbo Versipack (S-Type) mostly because of the dedicated water bottle pouch. It's fine for an office EDC bag or for short hikes.

    For desert hikes I needed more water so I switched to a dedicated 3L hydration carrier (Camelbak/Source/milsurp) and put emergency 'survival' type items in the Janus Extension pocket as a waist pack. Just remove the strap the Janus comes with and pair it with some ALICE clips (or similar) to attach to a belt. If I think I'll need to act as support for a group hike I'll bring the FILBE Assault pack which also makes a good bag for air travel if you pack minimally. All the aforementioned bags are still in great condition after years of use.

    For work I now have to carry a lot of rain and cold weather gear. I was in a pinch so I bought a MonkeyPaks bag a year ago which is a facsimile of a 5.11 Rush I believe, I don't know if they still make it. I saved some money going with that but I will have to replace it. The stitching has ripped in several places but worse is one of the main zippers has split at the bottom. I still reluctantly use it but I'm looking for a larger bag to replace it, giving them the benefit of the doubt that I must have overstuffed it.

    You can find deals by diligently scouring eBay but if you are going to rely on something daily you usually get what you pay for in the backpacking and tactical gear realms. If you see something new that looks too good to be true it probably is, 'knock-offs' will end up costing you more in the long run.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
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  19. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Those are really nice bags. Lots of compartments and your are correct that it would not stick out like a 5.11 bag would.
    It says you can attached a luggage handle to pull it. Have you tried that?
  20. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I have a couple bags in the car. Any high speed military looking one stays out of sight in the trunk. The other ones vary, but I could leave any of them laying in the back seat of the car and nobody would ever dream of stealing them. They're the most beat up made in USA kids book bags I could find in the thrift store. Comfortable shoulder straps, and a decent handle on top. Not flashy, and certainly not expensive looking. Average enough to never get a second glance.

    While making your way through a strange neighborhood on your way home you don't want to hear "Hey, what you got in the bag?"
    Motomom34 likes this.
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