Breaking: PenCott MetroPolis available and discount on GearSkin

I placed links to a lot of shops on this post. Some are advertisments, some are affiliate links. Read more about this on my links page.

I dare to say that everyone who is into camouflage is waiting for PenCott MetroPolis to be released. If you against all odds you never heard of it: It’s the urban version of the great PenCott camo family. If you need to be convinced, just take a look at the reviews from PineSurvey: Part 1, Part 2, Comparison to SloCam.

The problem with this camo is that it was first mentioned about 2013 and it took until 2017 until the first prototypes were seen. Until now there is no way to order clothing or gear in this wonderful pattern. I personally think, it’s not only working close to perfect but it is really aesthetically appealing, too.

The reason why I’m posting this is because, due to a cooperation of PineSurvey and Perunika, there finally is a chance to lay your hands on clothing made in this wonderful pattern. Just read about it in their blog. Due to the current state of production they would need to order quite a big bunch of fabric and so they need to know how many people are interested in getting some stuff. Either just cloth or ready made clothing. Perunika can help you with finding tailors or manufacturers that can build you something as soon as the fabric arrives. Even GearSkin.

Speaking of GearSkin: This is fabric in camo patterns combined with a special adhesive which allows to apply the fabric to almost any surface, remove it, reapply it and so on. The longer you leave it on, the tighter the bond gets but you should always be able to remove it without any residue. You can use it on your holsters, sheaths, helmets, laptop lids, mugs, flashlights whatever. Perunika has partnered with GearSkin so they can provide the “Mammoth” size (140x30cm) GearSkin in PenCott GreenZone with a significant discount. How much, depends on several factors, but if you’re interested, write them at info@perunika.org and let them know that you found this hint here.

“Which pouch should I use for my insulin kit?”

I placed links to a lot of shops on this post. Some are advertisments, some are affiliate links. Read more about this on my links page.

This is a requested post. Someone asked for advice I wanted to reply with this post. This means it’s not as well thought thought through and has pictures taken more hastily. I wanted to share the information with you but wanted to give the reply in due time, too.

Today I was asked for a pouch to carry an insulin injector, with accessoires (needles, glucometer, etc.). Big enough to hold the whole kit but small enough to carry it all the time. If possible, attachable to a notebook case. The injector is about 18cm long. I used a sawn off chopstick as reference in my pictures. If you look very closely you can even see that it’s 18cm long.

Since I don’t know the exact size of the kit I used some other items to give a reference.

Here are the ones which came into my mind first. Please remember, that all of them can be bought in unicolor (yes, black, too) and some of them in various camo patterns. Note that the patches shown are my own and the pouches don’t come with them.

All of them have differnt ways of attaching them to your gear. Most have PALS webbing which can not only be connected to loops on compatible bags but to virtually everything having some sort of strap. Keep in mind that some of them don’t come with connectors (like MAXpedition). Others, like Helikon or Husar have attached connectors. Which one you chose depends on your personal preference. I like the possibility to chose the connector I like but that means you have to calculate for extra cost or get extra creative.

One even has velcro hooks which means you can attach it to every surface with velcro loops but nothing else.

Husar Cubby Admin Pouch

This my first choice and the pictures don’t measure up to how versatile the pouch is. I’ll post a full review later on. In the meantime, look at this great review by Pinesurvey. Pinesurveys review is about the Cubby+, my pictures show the regular Cubby. Keep in mind, that Husar is know for constantly improving their gear so you might notice differences in current versions. By now there are even more variants.

This pouch has many elastic loops on the inside and outside, 2 extra pockets and is overall very well thought through when it comes to organization.

What I like most about it is it’s versatility when it comes to carrying it. You can use it as a fanny pack (a.k.a. belly expander), can use the PALS webbing to connect it to compatible gear or just use the extra slits for the PALS connectors to wrap it around bike handles or wherever you might need your kit. The belt for carrying it as a fanny pack can be removed completely.

If you want one of those, go ask Perunika. They might be able to get you more variants than they have on their website.

To learn about the other variants, visit the website of the maker, Husar ltd. .

The Cubby is special because it “feels” different. A thing you can’t show on the pictures. It’s not as overbuilt like some other pouches but it’s just right. It’s strong where it needs to be but it’s light on parts where not so much strength is needed. If you’re into tactical gear, you’ll definitely like this one.

The hypalon parts (the solid green straps) feel a bit rubbery but they are very tough. This is some stuff I haven’t seen on many pouches but it seems like they are a great combination of thin material being very strong.

MAXpedition FR-1

This is a full blown IFAK-Pouch to carry a well equipped first aid kit. There’s even a modernized variant, the FRP which is similarily built but uses lighter materials and has an overall “spacier” appearance.

This was for quite some time my go-to first aid kit pouch before I started experimenting with other pouches for this special purpose. It might be a bit big for the purpose but you can always add more first aid material if you need.

It has many loops on the inside which you can fill up with all sorts of gear. What can’t be seen on the picture is that on the back of each wall it has a large pocket for small items that won’t fit the loops but mustn’t go lost. One has a zip to close it, the other is made of mesh.

A great feature is the drawstring which you can use to adjust how wide it will open. So you have some sort of “drawbridge” opening and you won’t lose all the stuff inside if you open it while it’s dangling down from a bag or backpack.

You can get this version from MAXpedition.de or Amazon. The updated version FRP seems to be only available from Amazon at the moment.

Helikon-Tex Modular Individual Med Kit Pouch

This is another specialised first aid kit pouch. It comes in two parts:

  • The outer pouch which you can wear as a butt pack, connect to PALS webbing or just any strap on a bag. You can remove the waist belt completely.
  • The inner pouch is a bright red med kit which unfolds to show a lot of organization.

The loops and the inner pouch are a bit small so you should check if it really fit’s all your gear in your first aid kit. It fits a 18cm insulin injector, though. Unfortunately the picture doesn’t do it justice – you should be able to fit it in. Even into the inner red pouch if you pack wisely.

If this fulfills your needs depends on if you want to spread out the full kit every time you need your shot. You’ll get a lot of organisation but there’s no way of sneaking out the pen and using it.

So while this is a great medkit if you don’t need big items it might not be as comfortable to use in public as the others in this list. What I like on this is that it has elastic loops for a Tourniquet and a special pocket for EMT-shears – both are not necessarily part of an insulin injection kit. 🙂

If you want one, again, look at Perunika and ask them for others colors or patterns if you don’t find on their website what you like. You can find some versions on Amazon, too.

MAXedition Skinny Pocket Organizer

I recently published a post showing the different sizes of the Pocket Oganizer series and where to get them.

I just wanted to show you the size of the Skinny compared to the test kit.

These Pocket Organizers are quite versatilve when it comes to carry lot’s of different sized items. They were made to give some organization to cargo pockets on tactical pants but since most are PALS compatible, you can use them on your pack, too.

Like all MAXpedition pouches they feel quite overbuilt and heavy, which is especially true for the “Legacy” series and older versions. I like how they feel as if you could run them over with a tank without harming them but not everyone likes the extra weight this style brings. In the last years MAXpedition seems to have switched some of their materials which many users don’t like as much as the old one. If you’re new to tactical gear, you should not get disappointed, though.

MAXpedition Hook and Loop Organizer

The one I show on the picture might be out of stock. I haven’t found it on the website of the manufacturer or on amazon. There is a similar one on Amazon, though. Please check the size, before buying! There are several like this available.

I can’t say much about the other version but mine is just as tough built as other older MAXpedition gear. If you want this one only depends if you have a velcro surface to attach it to. If you don’t, don’t buy this one.

You won’t be able to attach it anywhere else and the velcro will get stuck to virtually everything and rip open what it can get.

Extrema Ratio Scout 1 black

I placed links to a lot of shops on this post. Some are advertisments, some are affiliate links. Read more about this on my links page.

I started collecting knives long before I even knew what “tactical gear” was and I carried a knife since I went to school. Taking my habits as a collector into account it’s only natural that I own quite a number of knives. So when I finally find one that I carry almost every day it really has to be something special.

One of these special knives is the “Scout 1 black” from Extrema Ratio. It’s no wonder I chose a knife from Extrema Ratio because they built the second ever “premium” knife I ever owned and they are by far my favourite maker of knives until now.

Like all Extrema Ratio knives the Scout is made of Böhler N690 steel. Unlike the more classic Extrema Ratio knives it’s smaller (blade length 103mm) and thinner (5mm). It uses the new style smaller handle for the smaller blades. I won’t list all of it’s key facts just to copy what you can find on the manufacturers website. I own the “Scout 1” with black coating. If this is not exactly what you were looking for, there’s also the Scout 2 (slightly longer and pointier) and the Defender (has a guard and the blade is a bit more aggressive looking), also in 1 (short) and 2 (long). All of these knives come either with a black coated or stone washed blade so there are more than enough options to pick the one you like. All I miss is one in their signature “Desert warfare” camo pattern (formerly known as GeoCamo but now comes with a tan handle and sheath).

The overall appearance is very symmetric. If you just look at the silhoutte the knives spear point blade almost looks like a dagger. On a closer look you see the assymmetric grind with a false edge on the back. The very short tips makes it very tough and the straight edge makes it easy to sharpen.

The new handle has a small circular retention which has no obvious use at first glance. This is where you almost automatically put your finger when changing grip position e.g. into reverse. I think it’s quite hard to use on purpose but it works surprisingly well when you just don’t care. It really helps when you just use it intuitively.

The balance point is just where the jimpings for the thumb on the back of the blade end. That’s about 1cm from where the handle starts which is where you place your index finger when taking it up in the “hammer” grip like most people would do. This makes the knife rather agile and it feels like a very light blade. It doesn’t help when striking, though. This is clearly a knife for cutting and not for slashing down trees. It’s tough enough for batoning but the false edge on the back of the blade will break your club faster than other knives.

The Scout 1 has several key benefits which sum up to why I like it so much.

Key facts

  • It is a fixed blade knife. I always preferred fixed over folders
  • Small enough to carry it on your belt or in your bag without people aroung you getting nervous
  • Big enough to get jobs done
  • Really tough, considering it’s size
  • Legal to carry in the countries I’m in most of the time (Austria and Germany)
  • Unsconspicous looking and named. Except for the black blade most people think it look’s like a bigger boyscouts knife, not a weapon of war. You can upgrade this fact by getting the stonewashed version instead of the black one
  • PALS compatible sheath. Although sheaths from Extrema Ratio are sometimes clumsy, overly big and can dull your blade, this one is ok and you can attach it to anything from a pants belt to PALS webbing
  • Great handle. While it could be a bit bigger for me, the small handle add’s to the ease of carrying. The material is forprene as on most Extrema Ratio knives which means it’s not slippery and even feels good when really cold. You can easily remove it for cleaning and applying new oil.
  • Other than most Extrema Ratio knives there are no guards to keep your fingers from sliding into the edge of the blade. While this means you have to be a bit more careful when using force it also means that the knife looks and feels even less agressive. There is a small retention for your index and middle finger which will help with a secure grip. This indention is like a signature design element on Extrema Ration knives but it’s not as deep as on full size handles.
  • Although it’s not as thick as standard Extrema Ratio blades (5mm instead of 6.3mm) it’s still tough enough for most jobs. The smaller thickness gives it a bit more “slicyness” which can come in handy in many cutting jobs. But the blade is not very wide so the flanks of the blade are rather steep which still makes it more of a heavy duty knife than a real slicer. More on that later
  • It has a glass-breaker at the end of the handle
  • You can get the raw data of the knife at the manufacturers website.

To sum the facts up, it has most of the benefits I love in Extrema Ratio knives while it won’t get you into trouble as easily in situations where it might not be acceptable or legal to carry a full blown combat knife or bayonet. For me it’s an almost perfect compromise.

Carrying

First I just put it my backpack while traveling but I realised that I almost never used it. Most of the time I do have another, smaller blade in the pocket of my pants so I almost never got the Scout out of my backpack when I needed a knife. Then I tried fixing it to the belt on my pants. But since the sheath was made to fit onto two rows of PALS webbing, it didn’t hold steady but was really wobbly instead even though it could not get lost.

Then I got a PALS mounting panel for belts from Helikon-Tex. That’s basically a 3×2 panel of laser-cut PALS loops with two velcro loops on the back. You wrap the velcro around your belt and you end up with some PALS loops on your belt. This way I can easily carry the Scout on my belt and have it ready whenever I need or want to use a knife. There are smaller adapters around but the broad one gives the extra stability I wanted.

The sheath is symmetric and you can put the blade in in any direction. The indention for index and middle finger helps a lot with identifying the business side before drawing. This way it’s almost impossible to cut yourself just because you forgot which way you sheathed your knife.

Usage

The handle of the Scout is smaller than that of the full-size Extrema Ratio knives which makes it way easier to carry but not as comfortable for longer periods of work. This doesn’t bother me much since I’m not carrying the Scout when I expect hard knifework to be done e.g. chopping down dead wood. But it’s perfectly good for occasions where I have more delicate work to do like rough carving or preparing a meal while on the go.

In fact my main use for the Scout is as an EDC knife I carry on business trips. I might not need it in the office too often but I really like it as a table knife when I’m having dinner at the hotel room. When I’m on trips I don’t always eat out but sometimes I just buy some bread rolls and sausage at the supermarket and eat in my room. This is where a decent blade comes in handy.

I love to use this knife whenever possible. I use it for opening packages, cutting blister packages open, as a table knife, peeling fruit and whatever I can find to do for it while on the go. To be honest, all these tasks would be manageable for a lesser blade as well – maybe even better – but the Scout always brings a smile to my face when I use it. Since I like to be prepared for unfortunate events the Scout gives me confidence that it won’t let me down. Even if I would have to pry open doors or smash a window in an emergency.

The only downside I found is the missing guard which could keep your fingers from sliding into the blade when stabbing (e.g. watermelons). On the other hand the missing guard makes it look way less agressive which helps if you intend to carry your knife more or less open in different environments.

Taking care

The Böhler N690 steel Extrema Ratio uses for all of their knifes is not stainless. This is generally a good thing because non-stainless steel allows for better and especially sharper edges. The downside is that it’s, well, not stainless. So like with every high performance tool you have to take care of it. The black coating (or the stone wash finish of the other versions) helps with keeping the blade from getting rusty all too quickly but nevertheless you have to take basic care.

The knife won’t break if you don’t follow all the rules to the point but keep in mind that it will degrade with time if you don’t take proper care.

  • Always keep the knife as dry as possible
  • Never sheath the knife while wet or dirty
  • Don’t let any acid stay on the blade. That’s important when you used it to prepare something to eat like tomatoes or something with mustard
  • Apply some oil onto the blade from time to time If you plan on using it on something you want to eat you should opt for edible oil like Ballistol
  • Don’t forget to remove the handle and apply oil there as well. It’s easily done and it will really pay off

Expect the coating to get scratched over time. While this one’s quite tough no coating will stay forever. Just look at it like small scratches in your leather notebook or the patina on your copper flashlight.

Get yours

If I convinced you and you want one of your own, get in contact with SARtools. They can get you one and you can rely on their superb customer services. Get in contact with them if you can’t find it on their shop.

My “EDC-IFAK”

I placed links to a lot of shops on this post. Some are advertisments, some are affiliate links. Read more about this on my links page.

Ok, so I explained what “EDC” means, but what’s an IFAK, you ask? “Individual First Aid Kit”, which means it’s a first aid kit that you built for your needs and carry for yourself. That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t use it to help a stranger in need but it’s not a bag full of medical supplies like a paramedic would carry on duty.

I was thinking a lot about my IFAK and changed it over and over again and I’m still not completely satisfied. The problem with this sort of kit is that it should be small enough to carry it on you all the time but it should hold enough supplies for times when shit hits the fan.

My focus with this kit was to provide everything I might need to close the gap between a terrible accident happening and the arrival of professional ambulance services. Even when response times for ambulances are really short over here there are situations where they might not arrive in time and someone providing first aid might save a life.

This focus leads to a situation where I often got laughed at by people who knew my passion for EDC but found that I carried big bandages and tourniquets won’t even carry a small bandaid. Therefore I changed that and do now carry bandaids. The simple reason why I didn’t before was because they are only made for wounds that will stop bleeding event without treatment. I instead carry stuff to treat wounds that won’t stop until the wounded has bled out completely. It’s a matter of focus if you prepare for situations that a very likely to happen but you will live through them without preparation and situations which you might never get into in your whole life but if you do, you won’t make it without the proper kit.

Another thing I always kept in mind is what I think I personally can handle. Therefore I only include items I really know how to use and I won’t do more harm then good even if I make a mistake. There are medical supplies that can inflict severe damage when used wrong so I always make sure to adjust my IFAK to my level of training.

As I said I’m not completely satisfied with my setup so I started to build my kit in levels. This way I can adapt to the situation. There are more items I want to have in my IFAK but they would make the pouch so big that I couldn’t carry it really every day. To deal with this dilemma I’m thinking about adding another level between the “EDC Pouch” and “Bigger kits”. A medium sized pouch to keep everything I miss in my EDC pouch but still doesn’t need a backback to carry.

Always on me pouch

This one is small enough to fit into every pair of pants I would wear outside of my home. It would even fit into swimwear if I wanted. It only holds the following:

  • Pair of nitrile gloves
  • Resuscitation cloth to shield me from diseases during CPR
  • A bandaid

This pouch enables me to at least try to help someone. You can always improvise, apply direct pressure and so on but if you don’t protect yourself it might not be a good idea to help at all. And this is a situation I never want to encounter.

As a pouch I’m using the Helikon Micro Med Kit. You can get yours from Perunika or Amazon.

EDC pouch

This is the one I almost always carry around. Sometimes in the cargo pockets of my pants, sometimes in a smock, sometimes in a bag or backpack – you get the idea.

  • 2 pairs of nitrile gloves (because they tend to rip, especially if you try to put them on while you’re full of adrenaline)
  • Resuscitation cloth: You get them from a pharmacy but they might have to order them
  • Bandaids: Single packaged ones “extra strong” from Hansaplast
  • Bandaids for blisters: Every brand from a supermarket or pharmacy will do
  • Dextrose: Just some no name brand from the supermarket. I chose some that are seperately packaged.
  • Personal Israeli bandage: a sterile packed combination of wound dressing and bandage. Not the most efficient one but it’s small enough to have it in the pouch. It’s smaller than the standard Israeli bandage. You can get it at Israeli first aid
  • SWAT-T Tourniquet: In fact a big flat rubberband you can use to stop bleeding even when a whole limb is ripped off. Also not the best one but the one which has by far the smallest packaging. I found it at Israeli first aid and Amazon
  • Chest seals: Literally the biggest problem for my setup because their packaging is so big it won’t fit into anything reasonably sized. They are intended to dress wounds in the chest and has vents to help treat a pneumothorax. I use the NAR HyFin vented chest seals and got them from Meier Medizintechnik.
  • Pair of emergency shears: Mostly to cut through clothing to reach a wound for treatment
  • Pair of tweezers. I got really pointy ones from a pharmacy for removing splinters
  • Dressing pad: A small no-name one just in case
  • Alcohol pads: There are way better disinfectants around but they are better than nothing
  • Steristrips / Leukostrips: small strips with a very strong adhesive. You can use them for longer cuts which need stitches. The strips might not be sufficient in the long run but the keep a wound closed until the patient gets to the hospital

I use the Helikon Pocket Med Insert for this. Again available from Perunika or Amazon. Since the chest seals won’t fit, I use a rubber hair band to connect them to the pouch.

Whenever I’m using a bigger bag or a backpack I like to add two items that wouldn’t fit into the pouch. They are bigger, better alternatives to what I have in the pouch and I might end up using both alternatives because wounds tend to come in quantities bigger than one.

  • Uriel bandage: The ultimate bandage in my opinion. It packs small, has a flexible bandage, two dressings you can move around, can apply it to yourself using only one hand, it sticks to itself but nothing else. I might write a single post only about this little wonder in the future. I got mine from several dealers but you can get it on Amazon as well.
  • SOFTT-W tourniquet: This and the C-A-T are the de-facto standards for tourniquets. I will write another post about tourniquets. I got mine from Israeli first aid but you can find it also on Amazon. Just make sure you get an original one and go for the “wide” version.

Bigger kits

Whenever I think I might up with the need for more supplies I pack bigger first aid kits in addition to the above. Especially when I’m attending group events I’m always planning that someone might hurt themselves. Call me paranoid but I won’t be the one thinkig “If I had only…” when someone close to me get’s hurt real bad.

These kits aren’t fixed but are built for the occasion. I will return to describe some of these in other posts in the future.

“Which MAXpedition pocket organizer is right for me?”

I placed links to a lot of shops on this post. Some are advertisments, some are affiliate links. Read more about this on my links page.

MAXpedition started this line in 2003 with a single pouch that was small enough to fit into the cargo pockets of tactical pants yet big enough to hold a complete EDC kit. It had lots of elastic loops for internal organization for small parts and could be connected to PALS webbing. On the outside it had a velcro panel for a patch and a mesh pocket. This organizer must have hit the right buttons because over the year they came out with more and more pouches like this in different sizes. I use one myself as my EDC pouch.

I was asked which one would fit a certain kit, so here is a short overview over most of the pouches of this line. You can get it from maxpedition.de or click the links below to order them from amazon.

The smaller ones are really flat but they “beef up” when you stuff them with items. As you can see on the pictures, the bigger ones are thicker even when empty. You can use them for fairly big items but they will only fit into really big pockets on pants. Better use the PALS webbing or put them into your bag or smock. The “right side” (when open) of the bigger ones (Fatty, Skinny and Beefy) has the elastic loops aligned vertically not horizontally and they have an extra loop on the inside of the back as well as a zipper pouch instead of the small slot. Beefy and Skinny have a small loop and a D-ring where you can mount lanyards. Micro, E.D.C. and Fatty have small carabiner for keys and the small loop.

  • The small black one is the “Micro Pocket Organizer“. As you know, I use it for my own EDC and it fits perfectly into the side pocket of a MAXpedition Jumbo or Mongo. It’s the only one of the series without PALS webbing, because it’s just too small. For the same reason it doesn’t have a velcro panel for patches.
  • The slightly bigger one is the pouch the line started with. The “E.D.C. Pocket Organizer“. There is an old tacticalforum.de patch on this in the pictures.
  • The longer one in gray with the zombie hunter patch is the “Skinny Pocket Organizer“. Despite its name it’s quite a bit bigger than the beforementioned -it’s just not as wide as the other ones. I used to use this as a smoking pipe pouch which is a perfect use case for it.
  • The medium sized black one with the “keep calm” patch is the “Fatty Pocket Organizer“. I tried to combine my EDC pouch and my IFAK into this single pouch. I succeeded with putting all the stuff into it but it was so stuffed it didn’t feel right, so I changed back to my “two-pouch-approach”.
  • The huge one in foliage without a patch is the “Beefy Pocket Organizer“. This one is huge and you might not be able to put it into any cargo pockets. It’s 4 channels of PALS wide but you can fit lots of gear into it.
  • There is another one, the “Chubby Pocket Organizer” which I don’t own. It’s mostly targeted on carrying a concealed handgun which is not legal where I live so I don’t have any use for it.

My edc pouch

I placed links to some shops on this post. Some are advertisments, some are affiliate links. Read more about this on my links page.

Besides my keys and my smartphone I try to always carry at least two pouches: One is a small first aid kit which I will cover in the next post and the other one is what I call my edc pouch.

The main purpose of this part of my kit is to have items that have proven to be reliable and useful. I keep them always in the same pouch so I’m used to the setup and I will easily find what I’m looking for if I need it. Many of the things in the pouch are mere backups for other things I carry. e.g. I always have a fancy/big/tough knife and a high power flashlight in the cargo pockets of my pants. But if they get lost or they don’t prove to be as reliable as I thought, there will always be a knife and a flashlight in this pouch that will just work. Due to its nature I very rarely use the items in the pouch. Its contents almost never changes.

This pouch is a MAXpedition micro pocket organizer. You can get yours from maxpedition.de or amazon. This pouch is small enough to fit into cargo pockets of most pants but big enough to hold all the essentials I want to carry. And it’s tough enough so I don’t have to worry about it when I throw it into a bigger bag or backpack together with other items.

Where I carry it depends on the situation. I usually have a bag or backpack with me and this is where I put this pouch. When it’s not appropriate to carry a full size bag I move the pouch into the cargo pockets of my pants. When I don’t wear pants with cargo pockets I still have some other options I will discuss in later posts.

What this pouch contains:

  • SAK (swiss army knife) – “Alpineer“: I got this from a business trip to Switzerland. I chose a SAK because it’s legal in most countries. Furthermore people know SAKs as a tool not a weapon and don’t get spooked by it. After having it for about 6 years I might replace it in the future with a Pioneer X maybe. While I like the locking blade of the Alpineer, such a feature is not legal in every country. Besides that, the Pioneer X has more tools
  • Flashlight – Fenix L1D: This is an out-of-production light with a single AA battery. I got it for quite some time now and it never let me down. I’m thinking about finally retiring it and replacing it with another flashlight, possibly a SureFire E1B. I discussed this in a thread in the tacticalforum.de . A good place to search for flashlights is selected-lights
  • Extra battery for the flashlight – Eneloop AA: I chose Eneloops because they were the first widely available Ni-MH batteries which hold their power for a very long time compared to other rechargeable batteries. I got mine from amazon
  • Pen – fisher space pen. It will write whenever I need something to write and it’s really tough. Few things annoy me more than carrying gear around all time just to see that it fails when I finally need it. This won’t happen with this pen. I have several from various sources but you can get yours from amazon.
  • Writing pad – rite-in-the-rain . This special paper will withstand lying in the water for a long time, doesn’t stain easily and is overall some really tough paper. The only thing I don’t like about it is that you can’t write on it with fountain pens. Better use a pencil or space pen
  • Multitool – Leatherman Style PS: It’s small and it’s legal to fly with this thing since it does not have a blade. Save for the Maldives where every mutlitool is prohibited on a plane. Learning this piece of information was rather expensive. Get yours from amazon
  • Rangerbands: Cut up an old tyre of a bicycle or order yours from gearward.
  • Some string – Technora: There might be many sources out there but I got mine from gearward, too
  • Dog poop bags: They are available for free in places where people normally walk their dogs around where I live but an extra one comes in handy from time to time
  • Tissues: Just some extra ones
  • Tick remover – OTOM Zeckenhaken: You find them in pet stores or on amazon
  • An extra hairband: Just a no-name one
  • Lighter – Bic: Cheap, easy, safe, everywhere available
  • Glass cleaning cloth: No-name for my glasses
  • Chewing gum: In case I really want one. Usually I get a pack of tooth cleaning chewing gum
  • Ibuprofen – Advil: The case just doesn’t fit into my first aid kit so I transferred it to this pouch. I use Advil from a trip to the US because I like the box better than the blisters they use in Europe. It’s tougher when being compressed in a pouch
  • ID card: In case I lose my passport. Sometimes I need more than one ID e.g. when doing GnuPG cross-signing or CAcert assuring
  • Some motivation: It has the size of an ID or credit card and is too personal to list here in detail. Something I got from my wife

My personal approach to every day carry

As I said in my previous post there are different approaches to EDC. A very common is trying to optimize the kit you are carrying around as much as possible. You read reviews, test stuff, buy and sell things and you’ll end up with having a fixed set of tools and things which will change very little over time. This has many benefits:

  • You’ll get used to your kit and you will know how to use it if you need it
  • You don’t have to buy more and more stuff
  • What you have will be proven and tested over and over and you know what you will get out of it

Then there’s the constantly optimizing way:

  • You keep searching and browsing for better and better gear and always try to find the best bits possible
  • This will let you end up with tons of gear in your archives but you are not used to what you have on you in case you really need it

And last but not least the fun way:

  • You don’t care about if the things you carry around are the best for the job but you just take what feels right for the day.
  • This way doesn’t consume much time or energy for planning but most people will spend quite some money on new and fun things over and over again.
Sneak peak into the useful part

My personal way of building my EDC kit is a hybrid approach which works best for me. I have a fixed set of things which have proven to fulfill my needs. I try to have this on me all the time. Even when I just take out the dog for a short walk around the block. I sometimes review and improve this kit but in fact it’s rather stable in its contents.

But I love EDC stuff and tactical gear far too much to just be satisfied with having all the same things ever and ever again. So I add things I want to give a try or things which just are fun to have with me most of the time. This leaves me with some redundancy which is not that bad save for the extra space I need or the extra weight I’m carrying. Since I’m very ok with that this way has proven the right for me over the last years.

Useful EDC

I’ll show you details about this setup in upcoming posts but for now an overview should do. I always have a small first aid kit and a small pouch with useful things on me. These include a small flashlight, a swiss army knife, a pen, tissues, dog poop bags and more. These two pouches find their place either in my cargo pants or a jacket or in a bigger bag I’m carrying. That’s the basic kit which I only review and change once in several months.

Now comes the fun part. I always add things which I want to have with me, too. That’s always a knife (normally a lot bigger and more capable than a swiss army knife), some high power flashlight, a hank, some fancy bottle opener, a beard comb and so on. What exactly I choose is very dependent of what mood I’m in, what country I’ll be visiting (remember there are different laws about carrying knives in many countries) and so on.

Fun EDC

This way might not be the most practical in terms of weight and money but I always end up with a kit I know and really can rely on in the one hand and in the other hand I have things which spark a lot of joy.

In the next posts you’ll learn about the details of this base kit. Later I’ll cover items which make up the fun part.

What is “EDC” gear?

EDC means “every day carry” so it’s basically about stuff you have on you most of the time.

But why even bother about things you carry around anyway? There are are several reasons why people like to think and plan about their EDC. The reasons differ and they depend on what sort of stuff you count in.

To me there are several categories of EDC gear.

  • The obvious things like keys, wallet, smartphone
  • The useful things like pocket knife, flashlight, dog poop bags, tissue, lip balm
  • The first aid kit like gloves, wound dressings
  • The emergency kit like pepper spray, kubotan, glass breaker
  • The survival kit like firestarter, emergency blanket, water purification tablets
  • The fun stuff like hanks, challenge coins, beard comb

If you put all these categories in one pot you get a list of things which might come handy or important. But what ultimately makes things EDC-worthy is if they are useful enough so you don’t mind carrying them all the time. Useful can mean either it’s very likely that you will need them (your keys, tissue, a small bandaid) or it’s very helpful to have them even if you only need them once in your life (like a tourniquet you can use to stop the bleeding when someones limb got ripped off). This does not mean that you have to carry items from each of the categories above. Go for the ones that are really useful to you.

In other words: Choose things which might be worth the extra weight and bulk in your pants or bag.

The reason why I want to dedicate quite a big part of this site to EDC gear is because I really believe you can benefit from thinking and planning about your kit. There are things you might want to have which are not as obviuos as others. And, first of all, it’s hobby that can be great fun besides being useful.

There’s the “level” approach which splits your EDC in things you carry around all the time, things you have in your bag, things you have in your car and so on. An article at ITSTactical gives more insight.

Two extra things to consider:

  • In recent years for some people EDC made a bit of a shift in meaning. Some people call EDC things that are nice to have and have at least some sort of theoretical use. The main focus is to show that you’re part of your community and that you like nice stuff. Examples are flashlights out of special materials like copper or titanium, hanks or bottle openers which resemble some funny animal and are made of brass or copper.
  • Lots of people build their EDC kit once and go with it. There’s not much changing over the years. This has the benefit that you get used to your kit and really know how to use it if you need it. On the other hand there are enthusiasts who collect the bits and pieces that make EDC kits and change their setup once in a while. This may lead to optimization but most of all it’s fun.

In the next upcoming posts I’ll show you my personal EDC setup and give some hints on building your own.