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Concealed Carry of EDC Gear [non weapon]

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by liquidsunshine, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. liquidsunshine

    liquidsunshine Loaded Pockets

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    Hi bag addicts,

    while looking for good carry solutions, I feel more and more that I am getting closer to appreciating your fetish. There are lots of great bags out there that I would like, just one thing keeps me from getting any: I do not want a bag that looks like it's holding valuable or interesting content.

    So here's the question for you: Aside from buying a great bag and carrying it around in a cotton shopping bag or something common like that - are there any bags that you can recommend that are both inconspicuous and highly functional? Maybe some type of bag that I just can't think of at the moment and that is very common and functional, but does not look interesting nonetheless because it's usually used for a different purpose? Example: Nappy bag (only inconspicuous if you also EDC a baby I guess), shopping bag...?

    I'm not having high hopes and am close to resorting to bag-in-shopping bag system, but maybe someone knows something like that.

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  2. Ajax

    Ajax Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    I guess the question would be, inconspicuous to who?

    I worked at a University PD in college and they would do bag theft stings. (yea, things were generally slow)

    But some of the bags we put out as bait were as unremarkable as you could imagine and thieves would still snatch them.
    So to a thief, it's not the style or look of the bag but that it's unattended.

    To a LEO, a tactical bag could reinforce a preconception about a person. We already know a Ron Paul or Libertarian bumper sticker draws a certain attitude from some agencies. So you could assume a bag with PALS or in Multi-Cam is going to set off bells. This may vary for people carrying in a mall as opposed to in a car with a DOD sticker and sporting a hi & tight.

    Personally, if you want a lowkey bag, go cheap. Buy a jansport, ebags, something you find in WallyWorld, etc. maybe even a 5.11 First Responder bag?
     
  3. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    Good idea... we used a cheap JanSport backpack (Super Break) while walking around downtown Seattle. Everyone else seemed to be wearing a fancy camera bag loaded with expensive goodies.
     
  4. liquidsunshine

    liquidsunshine Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    I guess I should have been more precise. I don't want to attract thieves attention by the looks of the bag; AND in case of a deaster I don't want to look like I'm the one who carries good gear and supplies and therefore should be stripped off it. It's certainly a good idea not to attract attention of any kind of "officials" as well. I'm not carrying anything illegal, but I still prefer to avoid annoying questions.

    However, I do NOT expect the bag to deter thieves if I put it down and forget it somewhere. I just don't do that.

    I guess it comes down to: I want the bag and me to blend in with the crowd and not look any different to what everybody else is carrying, but still be functional. What I am asking is: Is there such an item that would do both, that I may just not realise, because it's normally used for something else? (example nappy bag)

    What bags do people carry frequently that would fit the bill?

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  5. jeeves3443

    jeeves3443 Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    I carry a dakine bag.
    It's meant to hold skate boards (I look like a sheep) although I do skate, lol.
    I wish it had one or two more pockets, but that just helps keep my load minimal and the pockets I do have organized.
    Dakine and other 'outdoor' 'active-lifestyle' companies make some nice bags. Jansport was mentioned and there are plenty others, but none come to mind.
     
  6. Dizos

    Dizos Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    I use both an Eagle AIII (non molle version) and a Tactical Tailor Enhanced Day Pack in black. I've removed the the velcro patch and external logos. Maybe I'm in denial, but to me they look like simple, low-end, generic black day packs now. I think it is all the molle, add-on external pouches and the velcro external patches that make a pack conspicuous.
     
  7. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    :iagree: Backpacks are a good idea. They are harder to get stuff out of, though, but they are also easier to carry.


    An astute observation!


    Hmmm, an expensive bag that looks cheap. :thinking:
     
  8. Ajax

    Ajax Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    The First Responder isn't exactly cheap at $100 but it looks more inconspicuous than it's cousin the Rush24.
    And you still get all the great admin pockets that the Rush has.
     
  9. grimm_kaosboy

    grimm_kaosboy Empty Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    Without going out and checking out what people around you are carrying my simple advice is this: chances are if its carried in a large retail outlet chain, its good to go. If Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Sports Authority, Dick's, etc... stocks it, its stauration on the street level is pretty high and should be a safe bet. Avoid PALS webbing, it was designed for the military and tactical crowd, same reason to avoid modern issue cammo patterns.
    I would personally suggest a bright color if you can stomach it. Bright will "attract" attention, but in a good way I think. Theives will probably avoid it, as its easier to spot. In a disaster, YOU will be easier to spot. Bright colors screams "anti-tactical" to LEO...hard to imagine a theif hiding in the shadows planning a B&E with a yellow back pack on. My 2ยข, spend it as you see fit. More importantly :luck:
     
  10. liquidsunshine

    liquidsunshine Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    Hey,

    there's some really great advice here, thanks guys! I still don't know exactly what I will get, but I sure have a much clearer idea of what I'm looking for.

    I'm not sure about the bright colour yet, even though it's great thinking, as it certainly screams "non-tactical", but once someone does have you in their (proverbial or actual!) sights for whatever reason, it's extremely easy for them to follow you without losing you...

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  11. ambaal

    ambaal Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    new maxpedition messenger bags look extremely plain and inconspicuous while being ultra-tough.
    Red 5.11 EMS line of gear also does not attract too much attention of bad kind.
     
  12. Hannibal Lecter

    Hannibal Lecter Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    My Dear Friends,

    Something else I will mention about choosing EDC bags - sizing/purpose.

    One thing I have noticed is that bags that appear to be sized to accommodate a notebook computer are particularly desirable targets for thieves. I have a really great AE bag I received from my wife at Christmastime last year that I won't carry if I am out of town - it just screams "there's a computer in here!"

    I have enjoyed a lot of good luck at the local Goodwill/Thrift shops - you can often score backpacks, teardrop bags, messenger bags and other bags/cases for pennies on the dollar. I recently picked up an Ellington Otis bag (great company and amazing products if you want to avoid the 'tacticool' look of most Cordura bags) for $3.99 - the bag was brand-new and normally retails for ~$100. A year ago I managed to pick up a brand-new DC skateboarding backpack for $2.99.

    ------------
    Hannibal
     
  13. J4C3

    J4C3 Guest

    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    About ten years ago I did an around the world trip, before i embarked a got a brief of a pals old man who was worldly wise , he had been a casino manager in south Africa,Moscow and other risky sites
    he gave me some great advice, out of towners are always spotted but it's better to look well traveled than a newbie, so he sprayed my Bergen with car spray and put duct tape around the handles, it was a new pack but looked beat upon when he had done

    my next EDC will be getting the used treatment , and pouches added will not match each other , I'd rather appear untidy and clumsy than smart and military it just attracts the wrong kinda attetion
     
  14. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    If you want beat up looking, yet very strong, check out The Real Deal Brazil . The bags are made from reused Brazilian cargo truck tarps. They are environmentally friendly and the workers are treated ethically.

    Seasoned looking is an understatement when it comes to these bags. ;D
     
  15. V a a m Y o b

    V a a m Y o b Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    Off topic, but as I was reading this, my tarp hat was delivered via Fedex. I don't know why it surprised me, but the hat was originally shipped from North Carolina. I was expecting a Brazilian from address. :)
     
  16. Cervantes

    Cervantes Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    oops, maybe I should hide the Gadsden flag patch... no wonder them black helos are following me... hey, just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean AG Holdren isn't proof reading a warrant for my EDC bag...
    But seriously, I purchased the Maxpedition Lunada in black because it was less suspicious than OD. So far, haven't been tailed or harassed.. except at work since I have to go through a metal detector to ensure I'm not pilfering crap computer parts.
     
  17. tennvol

    tennvol Empty Pockets

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    Re: Inconspicuous and trashy look outside, functional inside?

    Try a Blueforce Gear DAP insert. It's a rigid insert lined with velcro on both sides. It turns any bag into something highly modular based upon what DAPPER, 5.11, Maxpedition pouches you have installed.
     
  18. liquidsunshine

    liquidsunshine Loaded Pockets

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    New (?) method of concealing gear in car and home

    Hi all,

    so after a while of pondering your feedback and suggestions, I still haven't come up with my personal perfect solution how to carry gear every day without it being obvious that I'm well equipped.

    On-person EDC:

    At the moment, I'm leaning towards making or buying an insert similar to the Blueforce Gear DAP system that tennvol suggested - basically a flat sheet of thin plastic approximately the size of a laptop that is covered all over in velcro - and then customise it with all sorts of pouches, elastic loops and whatnot's that velcro onto it. That would fit into about any bag I can think of, meaning that depending on where I go and what I do, I can put it in a day pack, a laptop case, a business case or shopping bag, making it easy to "blend in" - while always having the exact same setup inside, without the need to change anything or adapt my habits.

    Concealing a car kit in a dispenser for wipes:

    As a spin-off of this topic, I came up with a neat way of storing medium-bulky things in your car or home that makes it quite unlikely that someone breaking into your car or home would recognize and take them.

    Here is how:

    1. Get one of those large cylindric wet wipe or baby wipe dispensers; a bit larger than a 1 litre Nalgene bottle, flat bottom, flat top, with a lid that has a little second lid in its surface under which you can pull out wipes one by one through a slot. The main lid is not meant to be taken off, it just clicks on and clearly isn't waterproof - but it does come off easy enough for regular access if you pull on it.

    Example pictures:
    http://www.abilityonecatalog.com/imgLg/7930014541138.jpg
    http://www.labsafety.com/images/xl/SANI-WIPE-Food-Safe-LSS-_i_lbw144843.jpg
    http://www.canford.co.uk/images/itemimages/large/55-183_01.jpg

    2. Take out all the wipes.

    3. Find a round plastic container with screw-on lid that fits inside the wipe-dispenser, and cut off its bottom.

    4. Using epoxy or other good glue, glue the smaller container upside-down underneath the large lid of the wipe-dispenser. If you now click the large wipe-dispenser lid back onto its container, the smaller container hangs upside-down inside.

    You can now fill some of the wipes into that smaller container, feeding the first one(s) through the dispenser slot, screw the lid of the inner container back on, and put anything you want to hide from plain sight inside the larger wipes-dispenser underneath. As long as it's not obviously too heavy to be a wipes-dispenser and you make sure it doesn't rattle around, most people would most likely not take any notice of the wipes dispenser box. (Sorry, no photos yet, as I need to get a wipes container first before I can make this for myself... time, time, time!)

    If you put your car EDC into this setup, someone might take your stereo, and may even wipe their hands with some of the wipes, but they are quite unlikely to take the box of wipes.

    Your mileage may vary, but for vehicle-independent, portable, medium sized car kits, this is pretty much as good as it gets, and it's a simple quick project that you can do in a coffee break.

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  19. Timbokhan

    Timbokhan Loaded Pockets

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    I should think this would be pretty easy solution. Gazillions of people walk around with Jansport packs, or messenger bags, or even duffel bags all the time, and I hardly think that they draw any particular interest. Stay away from bags loaded with molle pouches, morale patches, and made out of multicam, and you should be alright. I think your bigger problem is going to be drawing attention to yourself by trying not to draw attention to yourself. It's like being under 21 and trying to buy beer or something. You try so hard to act 21 that you end up just coming across as jittery and weird. Once you turn 21, buying beer is just like buying a coke. Basically, and with no disrespect intended, if you genuinely act like you have nothing, no one is going to bother you. If you act weird about it, your going to get hassled.
     
  20. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Loaded Pockets

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    ya'll need to come up to BC Canada........everyone walks around with military packs, PALS webbing bags, OD , camo, black grey packs.

    NO ONE blinks an eye if you have a camo pack. half the snoboarders use em.