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EDC (Every Day Carry) / BoB (Bug Out Bag) & Equipment



The EDC (Every Day Carry) / BoB (Bug out Bag) was inspired by a number of individuals who managed to create a singular pack containing the bare essentials required to enable an individual to get from A to B in comfort, at speed, with little weight and a plethora of equipment from which to use.


The term EDC relates to Every Day Carry, i.e. what an individual person may carry in a bag on a daily basis whether it be to work, in a vehicle or in a secure location at home. This varies from person to person and from environment to environment. An individual living in an urban centre is highly likely to require differing equipment to that of an individual living in a remote location far from other people and infrastructure. Likewise for someone living in a tundra / cold environment, their kit will be different to that of someone living in a desert or humid environment. The term BoB relates to Bug our Bag, i.e. when working in a non-friendly environment what is required to keep you alive should you be ambushed, civil unrest break out etc. Depending on country located in, available kit and equipment is highly likely to vary.


This blog isn't to tell you exactly what to pack, it's a blog to highlight a collection of useful equipment that I find myself using or would have to use if the situation arose where I was without a vehicle and having to trek a long distance safely whilst ensuring I had access to food, water, warmth and shelter.



 

Products included in my EDC backpack


In my EDC backpack I have a number of items that I feel are essential for me to be able to move over distance in most environments from one location to another safely. The products I use are through my own personal choice and experience therefore everyones' individual EDC backpack is likely to be slightly different. For my kit I took inspiration from a number of really good reviews and YouTube videos which took time to digest and research the kit that they used. The kit used is not cheap replica equipment either. If your life depends on it, you want the best. Yes you may spend more, but a broken knife when you need it most because you wanted to save money is bad, or using cheap non waterproof bags that then leak getting your firelighting tinder wet, preventing you from effectively setting a fire and getting warmth is another reason to not cheap out on your goods that go into the Bug Out Bag. Use tried and tested equipment, there are plenty of reviews out there and there's nothing better than personal use of and hands on the kit prior to packing it away so when the times comes to use it, you know what you're doing.


 

EDC Backpack


5.11 COVRT 18 2.0 - I chose this bag due to its low profile, civilian looking exterior. To blend in there are few tactical looking parts on the exterior and nothing really gives it away as a military style backpack. The expansive carriage capacity, pockets available and ability to house all of my bug out gear is why I chose this. This was also done in conjunction with having read a ton of reviews and watched videos detailing the pros and cons of the COVRT 18.



A full HAHO review of the COVRT 18 can be found here.


 

Main pocket



The main pocket is large and can house a lot of equipment, not only in the pocket area, but also in two zip pouches on the front pocket interior. A really important thing worth noting is that in the videos and reviews of kit seen online, nearly all of them have their gear stowed as is within the pockets. Through experience, all of my kit is individually separated into drytex bags. Your warm kit, firelighting kit etc are of zero use if soaking wet. If the bag is submerged i.e. when you attempt a river crossing, not only will everything inside absorb the water adding extra weight on your back, it'll take ages to dry and a soaking wet bivvy bag interior during a heavy rainstorm is not ideal. Take this advice, bag everything separately in dryrtex bags and save yourself any issues when in the field.


MIL-TEC Poncho Liner - also known as a 'Woobie', this quilted blanket weighs a mere 800g, is large (measuring 210 x 150 cm), can be compressed easily, dries quickly if wet and provides a great deal of warmth when stuffed into and used in conjunction with the SF bivvy bag.



Snugpak Special Forces Bivvi Bag - this can be compressed in its' stuff sack into 14 x10 cm and weighs only 338g. This bivvi bag is not only lightweight and compressable, it's manufactured of 100% waterproof fabric with a Hydro Static Head in Excess of 5000mm meaning you won't be getting wet any time soon and it does a good job at heat rentention as well.





Helikon-Tex Poncho U.S. Model - able to be used as either a worn poncho or turned into a lightweight makeshift shelter this 487g item is essential if shelter is needed in a downpour if a more semi-permanent camp is required.


A full HAHO review of the Helikon-Tex Poncho U.S. Model can be found here.


Windrunner Windshirt - Windpack - when you still require to be on the move but don't want to be weighed down by a poncho and want to retain some warmth preventing cold exposure, the Windrunner shirt is an excellent choice. The Windrunner is water resistant, not waterproof. It does provide a lot of cover though if in light rain or windy conditions cutting out any windchill factor. It's lightweight, compresses down small and has exterior pockets for maps / phones etc.


A full HAHO review of the Windrunner Windshirt - Windpack can be found here.


Snugpak Sleeka Elite - if you need to stop and set camp, or treat an injury in a windy area, the Sleeka Elite will definitely keep you warm as it's special inner material provides an abundance of warmth. The Sleeka Elite comes with a compressable sack so again it takes up less room in the main pocket and is lightweight water resistant.


Shelter ancillaries - Inside the shelter ancillary bag there are a number of items, namely; titanium triangular spike tent pegs, nano cord, paracord and carabiners. The tent pegs enable the poncho when used as a shelter to be properly fixed into the ground (rocky or soft). The nano cord is useful for any tying up of equipment, shelter etc and at 300ft per roll it is useful, fairly strong yet tiny. The paracord and carabiners again enable the poncho to be quickly and easily setup amongst trees.


Food (Wayfarer pouches) - whilst you can survive for a number of days without food, it is certainly advantageous to pack any brands pouched meals. Able to be eaten hot or cold and packing a hefty number of calories recommendation is to have a couple of these within your kit.





 

Top pocket



This pocket due to its size can't house much other than a phone or other small electronics, or could be used for storing a GPS handheld device if required. Primarily it's used to store my firelighting equipment and essential hands on kit.


Hudson Bay Brass Tinder Box & Tinder - whilst fire lighting can be achieved using a gas burner or a fire striker, you'll require tinder to help the fire get going. This is kept within the Hudson Bay tinder box which handily also features a 6x magnifying glass enabling you to fire light using just the sun. The tinder box contains; jute tinder sticks, natural kapok tinder, sparkfire tinder and fire plugs.


TBS Army Firesteel - an ideal large striker used to start a fire. Whilst you can light a fire with a match, lighter or gas burner, it's always good to have a backup.








Waterproof matches & Lighter - whilst reliant on fire lighting equipment, it's still advisable to carry waterproof matches and a lighter for those emergencies when fire is required straight away.





Water purification tablets - it's recommended that you carry water puri tabs with you on your travels, so if you do run out of water, these will ensure you're able to find a source, purify it and keep on going.




Petzl Tactikka Plus - this head torch I've been using for over 12 years and has been around the world with me. It's never let me down and it's white light emitted is enough to be used to navigate in the dark whilst the red light is low enough to be used covertly at night for map reading. Additional waterproofed spare batteries are also included.


Credit Card Fresnel Lens - the 3x magnification can enable you to use this to start a fire if needed. Lightweight and no nonsense means it's packed as well.



Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS - useful for navigation and being lightweight, easy to use and fitting in the palm of your hand, this is a certainly a required addition to the pack.


A full HAHO review of the Garmin Foretrex 401 can be found here.



Crye Precision SSE Bag - a simple drawstring bag used for carrying anything extra such as food and other materials. It stuffs down small and is another useful addition.




 

Front pocket


The smaller front pocket houses essential gear that's quick to hand and may be needed quickly and with a couple of vertical pockets at the rear means stowing gear securely is easily achieved.


First aid kit - a must have essential in any EDC / bug out bag. Contains enough to deal with small injuries as well as larger ones, with shears, CAT tourniquet and an FFD amongst other smaller items.






ESEE 4HM Knife - this is a good starter survival knife. It's short yet wide blade is purposefully designed to be able to be used for either fine, select cuts of meat or can be used to cut through thick branches or used in similar fashion to an axe to split wood. The one piece construction of the blade through the handle ensures the blade won't snap.





Leatherman Wave+ - as well as a survival knife, a leatherman or combi tool is a definite requirement. Having a number of additional tools available is a plus.





Arkits waterproof notebook & pens - it's always advisable to keep a notebook and pens handy in case they're required.







 

Fold down pocket



This pocket is useful for stashing equipment, though as there is no zip to provide protection against weather, take care in what you store in this pocket.


Map, Map case, Protractor & Compass - having a map of the area you're travelling in or visiting is a critical item of kit to have. If you're phone battery fails on you and you can't access the map app, you've got to rely on the traditional map reading method. insert more here



 

CCW pocket



This pocket is concealed behind the front pockets and is accessible via zips from both the left and right hand sides (as highlighted in orange in the above picture). Generally I pack lightweight flat materials / products in here as when the front pockets are full it reduces available space in the pocket.


Solarpal Portable Solar Panel Charger - we can't escape from technology whether it be mobiles or other devices. The flexible and lightweight solar panel is a useful gadget to have to keep devices topped up especially if you're avoiding urban areas. Multiple loops enable it to be secured to the exterior of the bag if on the move.










 

Left hand side pocket



The pocket is manufactured using spandex material and the top of the pouch features an elasticated band enabling the pocket to fit snugly around items inserted into the pocket.


Pathfinder Stainless Steel Bottle & Cup - water carriage is important and the 1.8L capacity of the bottle is good. The extra wide mouth makes it easier to collect water from shallow streams and the actual design and size is to enable water purification tablets to work best due to volume capacity. As it's stainless steel, the bottle can be placed into a fire and heated to boil water as can the cup. Both are contained within a small lightweight bag to keep dirt and debris off of them.



 

Right hand side pocket



The pocket is manufactured using spandex material and the top of the pouch features an elasticated band enabling the pocket to fit snugly around items inserted into the pocket.


Baofeng UV5R Radio - I carry a Baofeng radio that can be used in a number of ways; communications / listening to communications across a wide range of frequencies, use of radio receiver to pickup radio stations and the radio comes with lights which raise the visibility of the user if required.










 

Rear pocket



This pocket is designed to house a hydration bladder or a laptop. Acting as a bug out bag, I've dropped my laptop in favour for water carriage to ensure that I can get from A to B.


MFH 2.5l Bladder - another water carriage item is included here with the bladder that is medium sized and when filled doesn't distort its shape or cause issues when loaded into the rear pocket. The drinking tube must come out from between the zips of the rear pocket but can be attached to either shoulder strap if required. When used in conjunction with the Pathfinder bottle and water purification tablets, it means newly safe water can be decanted into the bladder for consumption.


 

Inspiration


The bug out bag was inspired by a number of individuals who I regularly check out on Youtube for their latest reviews of kit and equipment.


The Gray Bearded Green Beret


GB2 is an individual with a lot of real world, military and civilian experience. This helps him to setup and draw out kit and equipment required carrying only the essentials for his bug out bag.



Garand Thumb


Like GB2, the Youtube extraordinaire provides a wealth of knowledge when it comes to military kit and equipment. His pack setups are extremely useful to help with identifying what kit you may need to pack and carry.



TheOutdoorGearReview


This channel contains a wealth of reviews and whilst not necessarily focussing on an EDC / bug out bag, he reviews a lot of the gear that will likely be packed by you.




 

Thoughts and opinion


The EDC or BoB pack can be as complicated and varied as you like or it can be lightweight, simple and low profile. The setting up of the pack is entirely down to the users discretion and a series of questions need to be asked prior to it equipment being purchased and reviews read. Is this a pack designed for use over mountainous inhospitable terrain covering several days or is it to carry medical and comms equipment through an unfriendly city? What goes into the pack is scenario dependant and if this pack is being constructed for real life use where life and death features, time, money and effort needs to be spent refining down what is required and why.


The pack I've built up is able to be used to cover a couple of days unexpected travel over long distances providing me with shelter, warmth and the ability to eat and stay hydrated whilst carrying the bare minimum. Whilst it isn't the most comfortable, i.e. wrapped in a woobie tucked up inside a bivvy bag, at least I'll be dry and warm and with the ability to start a fire, keep the cold and dark away.


Equipment used in my pack is one set available, there are countless jackets, hydration bladders, bivvy bags and tools when you look in the right places and my choices are made on those manufacturers I know and trust as well as from having experience of their products. I am hoping that this blog has inspired you, provided advice or even given you an insight into what goes into an EDC / BoB pack.


 

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Final Note

I am not paid for my blogs by the manufacturers or companies that I purchase my items from. I am not offered freebies to promote a product. These blogs are purely written from my own experience in truth to help advise and inform others who may wish to purchase the items or understand more about them. If I am sent a freebie to review this will be stated at the beginning to make you aware.

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