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London EDC

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Fukurai, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Fukurai
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Fukurai EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Hey folks,
    I'm doing a 5 day trip to London soon. Is there anything special I've to pay attention?
    My carry on and day pack is the North Face Big Shoot, but I'll also have normal baggage. I'll edc in London:
    - SAK
    - iPod
    - mobile
    - small light
    - wallet
    - opinel no. 6

    In my back pack maybe my laptop, haven't decided about it, yet.

    Would you add anything or do I miss something?
    Thanks in forward for you're help.
    greez
    Fukurai
     
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  2. nuphoria

    nuphoria Loaded Pockets

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    The opinel is a no no :(

    Technically it locks, and therefore carries a prison sentence (worst case scenario).
     
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  3. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    I'd select a good SAK and leave the Opinel at home. The #6 is a locking knife and could get you into trouble in England, especially in London.

    Maybe someone more familiar with London could chime in, but I suspect there are plenty of places that you can use a computer in London. I typically try to avoid taking my laptop on shorter trips. If I anticipate taking a lot of photos, I'll just bring some extra memeory cards for my camera.
     
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  4. blacmud8

    blacmud8 Loaded Pockets

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    Even if you scrap the opinel and get a sub 3" non-locking be prepared to have it taken off you or at least held by security if you're going into anywhere where your bag/pockets get scanned on the way in (I'm talking government buildings or something like that) - basically, the law is a bit wishy washy here and even something 'technically' legal to carry without reason could be seized by an officer if they see fit.

    However, the chances of this actually happening are minute, if you carry a SAK you're in the best possible situation and should be fine.

    Bring a rain coat, and enjoy it.

    Where do you plan to visit?
     
  5. Fukurai
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Fukurai EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    thanks for the replys, especially about the knives.

    @blacmud: I haven't planned anything special yet. I think some museeums like tate or some science museeum. Can you suggest something?
     
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  6. blacmud8

    blacmud8 Loaded Pockets

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    Hmm, I'm not from London, don't live anywhere near it but have been there quite a few times.

    Personally I'm not much of a city person (despite having been brought up in one) but places in London I've enjoyed and consider with visiting are:

    The British Museum - basically lots of stuff from all over the world, and lots of valuable old things that were nicked from places when Britain had a big strong empire. It's very big and very fancy and is free.

    The Natural History Museum - Quite famous, all I really remember is the T Rex skeleton but as I understand it it's worth a visit.

    Kew Gardens - you have to pay to get in but It's nice and quiet and very well looked after - would be good if you have good weather.

    Camden Market - not so much my thing but very popular with those that like markets - it's very big from what I remember.

    The Victoria and Albert - Another good museum.

    Like I say I'm not much of a city dweller. Oh, and, if there's one place I think that isn't worth bothering with it's Madame Tussauds. Didn't live up to the hype for me.

    I'll let you know if I think of any more!
     
  7. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    To Blacmud8's list I'd add the Imperial War Museum ... Impressive (plus there's a really nice pub right across the street ... duh, it's London: there are plenty of nice pubs!). This museum has an excellent bookstore on military subjects, too. Here's the museum's weblink:

    http://www.iwm.org.uk/

    As you can see it also has several related museums: the Churchill War Rooms were very cool (although a bit expensive at over 10 GBPs). And, if you get out of London two others well worth seeing (each can easily take a full day) are the one in Duxford (listed on the Imperial War Museum site) and the Royal Marines one in Portsmouth. Here's the Royal Marines weblink:

    http://www.royalmarinesmuseum.co.uk/

    As for an SAK, what I do is get on Bay and buy several of the TSA (sometimes listed as 'NTSA') seized SAKs. Usually you can buy three or four for only a few bucks. This accomplishes two things: 1) I'm carrying a SAK that I have no personal attachment to, so if it gets taken away from me it's not one I've carried for decades or a family heirloom, and 2) This may seem like profiting off of others' misfortunes, but I feel that by buying these TSA-seized knives and using them, I'm returning them back to work (scary, I think knives have 'feelings').
     
  8. stax
    • In Omnia Paratus

    stax Loaded Pockets

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    +1 The British Museum is also home to the Rosetta Stone and has one of the world's most stunning libraries.

    [​IMG]



    If you are into philosophy, you should stop by the University College London and see the stuffed body of Jeremy Bentham, the father of utilitarianism. Bentham was a founder of the College and, in his will, requested that his body be dissected, then stuffed and put on display. It's macabre, but still cool if you are a philosophy geek, like me.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Kosmos

    Kosmos Empty Pockets

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    Pick up an Oyster travel card for getting around London on the tube and buses. You can apply for one from the web site ( just google oyster card London). Look for the tourist card on the website, precharge it with enough credit and all you have to do is swipe it across the entrance and exit gate at the tube stations. This saves you getting wallets and cash out at busy stations and the risks this can bring. They'll even post it to you if there's enough time.
     
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  10. Fukurai
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    Fukurai EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Thanks for the info, I've already got a oyster card.
     
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  11. Fukurai
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Fukurai EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Would you recommend a small waistpack for the museeums? I thought about carrying it in the city in my backpack, but when entering a museeum and I have to lock my backpack, I'll just put out the waistpack to carry my essentials, I'm thinking about my digi-cam, something to jot down notes, torch, some snacks (power bar). You think that's a good idea or overdone?
     
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  12. garret218

    garret218 Loaded Pockets

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    There's not a lot of places to get free wifi in London, so unless you have a broadband card or don't plan on using the internet, then you should probably just leave the laptop behind.

    Another vote for the V&A Museum. I didn't visit many museums during my time abroad, which is something I regret, so I recommend you visit as many as possible. The London Eye is worth checking out too.

    I'm sure you'll have a great time. Cheers.


    PS: If you go out drinking at night, nothing will satisfy your drunchies like kebabs. Mmmm.. kebabs..
     
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  13. blacmud8

    blacmud8 Loaded Pockets

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    I personally wouldn't go down that road but if you think it'll work for you while you're in a museum then go for it.
     
  14. Soup dragon

    Soup dragon Loaded Pockets

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    Pick up a good map like the London A to Z and the London Tube map.

    As several people have already commented I would not carry anything more heavy duty than a SAK in the City. I live in a rural,part of the UK and can get away with something a bit more heavy duty in the country without anyone batting an eyelid. But in any city it is just not worth the risk especially as several museums require you to pass through a metal detector like at the airports and bags will be searched too.
     
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  15. neutrontech
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    neutrontech Loaded Pockets

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    Slightly off topic, but is the crime really that bad in London? From what I read it sounds worse than walking around in the ghettos of Detroit. I realize there is crime everywhere, and one should always be aware of their situation and environment, but I've never been anywhere where I felt like I had to be afraid to take out a wallet or carry a bag. I've been in some pretty crazy places too, but all in the US.

    Is this just general street-smart caution, or is the crime there really that blatant and plentiful?
     
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  16. spaceman

    spaceman Loaded Pockets

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    Crime in the UK generally seems to be more "evenly" distributed than in the US. e.g. the safer areas in the US feel safer than many areas in the UK. I also feel like there's more petty crime in the UK (even if the murder rate is far lower there). But these are just my impressions of how I feel when I'm in the US and the UK, not backed up by actual statistics...
     
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  17. blacmud8

    blacmud8 Loaded Pockets

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    I don't think that crime is that bad in London, not so bad in the areas where a tourist will be that they should be cautious about taking out a wallet or carrying a rucksack. As with everywhere there are areas where crime rates are much higher. Just try not to look like a clueless tourist.

    Something that makes me less worried about crime in the UK is the lower stakes - you basically don't have to worry about being mugged at gun point, and much less at knife point. The hype about knife crime is just that - hype.

    I think if you're street smart and cautious you'll be fine.

    An interesting point though - my sister always said she felt much safer on the streets of Dakar than Birmingham
     
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  18. TjPippa

    TjPippa Loaded Pockets

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    I personally wouldn't carry anything ith a blade in London. So many places, including the London eye and museums search you before entry and will confiscate anything now so it's just not worth it. Whenever I go up own I leave them at home.
     
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  19. Werewolf32

    Werewolf32 Loaded Pockets

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    As someone who has lived in London for something like 6 years now, I'd like to contribute a couple of things:

    Firstly, the SAK is good advice. That said, I don't sweat the whole knife thing as much as I used to. I'm never without a knife and I have never had any trouble (touch wood). You should make yourself very familiar with the law here so that you know precisely where you stand. It doesn't matter if the police think that the law is different than it actually is, the law is the law and not open to their personal interpretation. If you do find yourself in some trouble, don't accept a 'caution' no matter what they say, as this is an implicit admission of guilt on your part and constitutes an official record as such.

    As far as I know the London Eye do search you, although I've never been on it to check. The British Museum definitely doesn't, you can just swan in and out as you please. Last time I checked, none of the galleries or the natural or science museums do either. At the most they'll ask to look in your bag quickly, although it'll likely be just a glance. I wouldn't sweat it too much.

    Secondly, it's good you have an Oyster Card. Make sure you get a pocket sized A-Z map too. With that you won't be lost for long at all, just find the street name you are on, look it up in the index and you will be fine in no time.

    Crime wise, don't worry about it too much. I don't know what you guys in the US have been lead to believe but as long as you keep your wits about you and trust your gut you are unlikely to have trouble. Whilst there is crime in London like there is in any city, you are unlikely to see any in the tourist areas. If you do it will be the pick pocket and scamming type, not the "let's stab up dis yankee boy, bruv" type. No one will go after you because you are American either, London is probably one of the most diverse cities in the world, if not the most diverse.

    In short, don't go anywhere that seems sketchy (you'll know if you are in a bad area just by your gut, believe me), don't get in a taxi that isn't a normal London cab, don't get suckered in to any cons and so on.

    A few local tips, prepare for a lot of coins if you pay in cash. We don't have a £1 note like you guys have $1 bills, so you invariably end up with a ton of coinage. Stay on the right hand side of escalators, move down along the platforms on the tube, let others off trains before you get on etc. This will endear you to Londoners greatly!

    Places you might want visit aside from those mentioned might be Green Park (right next to Buckingham Palace), which is easily walkable from Piccadilly Circus along Piccadilly rather than just going straight to Green Park station. Fortnum & Mason is also along the way and well worth a look even if you don't buy anything there. If you want to see some colour, take a stroll through Soho from Piccadilly Circus to Covent Garden. It's dirty but an experience and like all of London packed with sights and history. You might get lost a little but it's all part of the fun. Hyde Park is nice too and is kind of like Central Park I guess. From Covent Garden you can also walk towards The Strand and across one of the bridges over the Thames for some photo opportunities (don't go to far south though :p!). A walk along the embankment is also nice day or night and also free!

    Hopefully that'll give you some pointers and ideas. PM me if you have any questions or need any help while you're here!
     
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  20. Fukurai
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    Fukurai EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Thanks for all the great answers again. I'm pretty sure not to get bored in this city. I'll digging deeper into planning after I've written my finals next week...;) I'll write, where I'm planning to stay.

    Still one question: can you recommend a decent knife shop? I always like to put a hand on what I'm buying.
     
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