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Office / Urban EDC in the UK?

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by bigmul, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. bigmul

    bigmul Empty Pockets

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    Hi all,

    Whilst I whoilly support EDC and love the outdoors etc, I find myself in something of a quandary. I live in a town centre and work in a city centre (Whitley Bay and Newcastle in case you need to know!), and find myself drooling over things like Maxped bags etc but I can't really see how they would fit into my life - do any of you also find the same thing?

    What I mean is, I carry 2 laptops to work and back every day on public transport. In the UK we can't carry fixed blades, guns or pretty much anything else that coudl be considered to be a weapon for self defence. A multi tool and SAK you'd get away with, but not much else! So, in my rucksack which I carry the laptops in I also carry a Leatherman, and on my keys I carry a Maglite Solitaire (terrible nowadays I know!)....

    I carry other bits and bobs like waterproof trousers and computer/mobile stuff, but not much of the other EDC that a lot of you show in the various show and tell threads. I'd love lots of other kit, but I can't really justify the cost of it all. I have a Snugpak Response Pak which has other stuff in it such as folding saw and fixed blade for when I go wild camping with my son, but that's certainly not every month, let alone every week or day!

    So, do any of you feel either like you'd lovwe all the kit but can't justify the cost, or you actually bought it but find that you use it incredibly infrequently?

    Thanks!
     
  2. bigmul

    bigmul Empty Pockets

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    By the way - I didn't intend to sound negative, far from it - I'm probably just a s much of a kit monster as you all are, I suppose having kids and a family, mortgage etc makes you think twice about how much things cost!
     
  3. mrsean2k

    mrsean2k Empty Pockets

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    I think scale has something to do with it. The UK is small enough that you're never far from anywhere very much, no matter where you go, and this is especially true for an urban environment. I do some wild-camping and a fair bit of hiking in the Lakes etc. On those occasions the gear is justified, but day to day it's hard to find a "real" reason to carry it.

    Every time I think of a reason to carry something I also seem to think of a reason why it's redundant - I don't EDC a keyring, my one front-door key sits in my wallet. So I was going to put a few things on my car keys for instance, but I realise if I've got my car keys, I've got my car, so the car is the place for half decent tools, the car key gets a utilikey and that's it.

    My aim now is "what can I fit in two slim wallets that might be useful to someone" and that's more or less it. I can't see I'll ever EDC a special bag because it would always be rendered redundant by better equipment in the car, in the house, or in my rucksack.

    Annoying, isn't it?
     
  4. bigmul

    bigmul Empty Pockets

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    I think you hit the nail on the head there mrsean2k. The UK just isn't big enough to wartrant bug our gear etc. I also frequent a bushcraft forum where some people have those emergency survival kits in tins, but frankly if ever I have to survive on fishing line from a tin then I'm in bigger trouble than I can ever imagine!

    It's not to say that I can't see the point of these things, and I've spent some time in the TA (just pretend you know! ;-) ) but not in the UK.

    I carry my car key on my key ring even though I take public transport to work, so maybe I'm already over the top! If anything, a cash card or some money is probably the no 1 need as an EDC in the UK. Shame really, as I do love all these toys!
     
  5. tinyblob

    tinyblob Loaded Pockets

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    The way i see it.. Every time i find myself thinking "oh, i wish i had a..." then i should try to fit that item into my every day carry.

    These days i don't carry anything lavish, my keychains carry the things i find myself needing a lot, my bag carries anything i need at work (laptop, cables, moleskine, pens) and i make do with that.

    From a geeky edcer perspective there are a lot of things i'd love to carry. If i was american i'd have applied for my concealed carry permit, and would probably carry a nice folder too, but they're not necessary. I don't need anything to survive in the mountains, or in the bush, because i live and work in the city.

    I get by just fine with my urban EDC, but when i relocate - you can be sure i'll rethink what i carry.
     
  6. bigmul

    bigmul Empty Pockets

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    Sounds about right really, which is a shame! I'd nearly convinced myself that I need a Maxped bag......nearly.....
     
  7. SBloke

    SBloke Loaded Pockets

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    In the UK (and over here in The Netherlands) You're always within a 24 hour hike to civilization. In an urban setting almost everything is on hand one way or the other.

    You can really minimalize in this environment. Back to the basics (more of a list of my edc):
    -Something to cut with (a SAK)
    -a simple band aid if you cut the wrong thing :rolleyes:
    -a phone
    -a small lightsource (nitecore EX10 for me..)
    -your electronic gadgets
    -perhaps a simple water bottle (to me, an essential item)
    -a bit of cash, your ID card and insurance stuff, ATM card. (I use a simple "bigskinny" wallet, more than enough room)
    -house keys
    -pen and paper (moleskine and spacepen for me)
    -a book to read while commuting
    -a small bic lighter tucked away somewhere (So small and cheap, why not...)
    -a piece of rope (Thinking of dumping this, used only once this last year, could have solved things without it.)
    -a comb
    -basic meds (pain killers, though you can buy them if needed.)
    -that alcoholic hand wipe stuff. (public transport is filthy)

    and last but not least: a bag to stuff it all in.

    I think that just about covers everything you'll need in 24 hours. perhaps clean underwear and a pair of socks could complete things. In case you have to spend the night somewhere from home due to problems with public transport. Happens over here about once a year on the train station I frequent. (Never caught in it though)

    Less is more, and you don't have a bulky bag to drag along. Keep things simple and light and apply the Pareto principle:
    to cover 80% of your needs you only use 20% of what you edc.
    Dump the 80% you don't frequently use and instead edc the most powerful tool of them all: your creativity in handling with the unexpected.
     
  8. bigmul

    bigmul Empty Pockets

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    Again, sound advice. Even I was caught out with public transport problems, I only live 10 miles away from where I work, so even if I was unable to get a taxi (or get the Wife to pick me up) I could easily walk or run home. Of course, I still have a ricksack with me every day due to needing 2 laptops!
     
  9. phaserrifle

    phaserrifle Loaded Pockets

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    I think that half the thing is that the guys from the U.S. have access to gear that we can't edc. firearms and knives being a good examples, as guns are compleately out of the question for UK citizens, and knives are heavily restricted. same with any other self defence items (pepper sprays, batons, ect ect) equaly the lack of wilderness to get stuck in is also a factor.
     
  10. bigmul,

    I live in Surrey and commute to central London daily. My journey involves train and tube, hence the reason for a couple of the items on the lists below.......

    I know exactly the issues you are getting at. However, I approach the EDC concept from a different angle. I do not try to carry everything that I might need for every situation - theres no bag big enough for kit to cover every eventuality. However, as the environment changes so does what I carry. I try to carry what I might need for a particular days possibilities. As fellow posters here have noted, improvisation and adaptability are a must and so I try to pack items that are multi functional both by design but also in possible use.

    As such I have a setup for EDC to and from work. I have an EDC setup whilst at work, one for EDC when on holiday and an EDC when out and about in or based from a vehicle. Each is fine tweeked depending upon circumstance.

    From the above it may appear that I have loads of kit. I wish this was the case. In reality I have a pool of kit that gets added to or detracted from dependant upon my needs. This approach is very like the UK military thinking around CEFO/CEMO. For example EDC on holiday will include a phrase book and suncream, not items I usually carry in London.

    There are one or two items that are constant and these are my pocket/belt kit and my to and from work kit. The items below are very much like a kids favourite toy or comforter. Wether they will actually be needed or of use (or not) is unknown at the start of the day. The fact that I have then to hand makes ME feel prepared and puts me in the right frame of mind. Preperation is as much a state of mind as is having loads of gadgets and kit.

    ALWAYS CARRIED ON PERSON
    Keyring with keys, SwissTech Utili-Key, County Comm peanut lighter, Nite Glowring.
    Leatherman Mini Tool (This is by far the most used item I carry)
    Wallet with cash, cards and ID.
    Mobile

    ALWAYS CARRIED TO & FROM WORK (carried in a PLCE patrol bergan)
    Small Personal First Aid Kit
    Two FFD's
    Latex gloves/Face shield
    Potomac emergency face mask
    2 Cas. straps
    Leatherman Micra
    Jewelers Loupe
    Small UV torch
    NiteIze clip on marker
    Sharpie permenant marker
    Mauser penknife
    Anti bactirial handwash
    Inova 24/7 torch (in yellow)
    50' Paracord
    Palm Tungsten E2 personal organiser in aluminium case
    Phone in car charger
    Micro fibre towel.
    US pilots flask (1 pint) water
    Pair of NI leather gloves
    Shamagh (on of the black and white ones but dyed black)
    Carabiner - screw gate
    Waterproof coat (if not worn)
    London A-Z
    ..........................and an I-Pod.

    When listed this appears to be a lot of stuff. However, apart from the wetproof, gloves and shamagh, this little lot fits into the top pockets with room to spare.

    As for the bergan see; Pics Of your edc Bag! « Reply #339 on: January 21, 2009, 02:14:42 PM »
    Not too military in apperance and plenty of space in the main compartment for the changing day to day essentials. One of the reasons for choosing this particulat bergan was the zip on side pouch feature.
     
  11. bigmul

    bigmul Empty Pockets

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    Funnily enough I saw your post the other day when browsing through the list Beer Trip Vet. I fancy a Karrimor Sabre 45 myself which is very similar to that bergan, however I wouldn't get the use from it so have stayed away thus far.

    I really need a bag with at least one laptop insert and most laptop bags just look, well - like a laptop bag! I'll post a piccy of what I currently use later on tonight.
     
  12. RichFish

    RichFish Empty Pockets

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    For me it is a matter of what you consider the objective of your EDC is: Whether you need to 'survive' or just make life a little more comfortable.

    I'm principally office-based in the UK and live three miles from work and regularly walk it so EDC for me is a little bit of 'survival' kit and a lot of things to make life easier/comfortable.

    A spare mobile phone battery is better than a fishing kit;
    A sat-nav more appropriate than a GPS;
    Plasters more than field dressings;
    Swiss Army Knife more usable than a folding saw;
    A bottle of coke rather than a litre of water;
    ... and I could go on.

    I also carry spare memory cards for my PDA, glasses, spare contact lenses and so on.

    I carry all this in a Maxpedition Jumbo and while it may seem a little Tacti-cool, it is practical for me and works better than a rucksack or briefcase. When I have to carry a laptop, I make sure it is not a day when I intend to walk to work so just plan my diary around it. I do carry an Advent 4213 Netbook as well sometimes if I want something a little bigger than my PDA but can't be bothered with the full-blown laptop.

    If i'm going walking on a day off, I can just use the basics, perhaps take out 'office' things and put in water, some food, perhaps more of the hiking items. It also acts as my 'ready-bag' when using a rucksack, so I carry my camera, phone, dextrose tablets. This keeps it familiar and all the regular items are in the same place as every other day of the week.

    Hope this all makes sense.

    Richard
     
  13. nuphoria

    nuphoria Loaded Pockets

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    Some really good points from you chaps, ta.

    I am not working due to ill health but I do have a Jumbo for out and about ventures. I think sometimes you don't have to entirely justify what you feel the need to carry. Let's face it, the chances of me needing my survival blanket or firesteel is probably 1000-1, however, they arepart of a simple covering bases kit that I feel like carrying. It's ever changing, being pared down and the odd thing added but overall it's what I call my urban survival kit. Got the basic stuff like needle and thread, plasters, alcohol wipes, meds etc and various specifics according to immediate needs.

    Then there's wants! I carry a Fenix L1D and a SOG Paratool amongst a few other tools because I do find them useful occasionally. I could do without them, and often leave the house without the bag, but then there's the EDC in its pockitses ;D

    I feel utterly naked without my mobile, wallet (containing the obvious plus gaffer, needle and thread, 4GB USB and a safety pin - all on a credit card sized package), a small knife (currently SOG Blink), LM micra and my keyring which has various tools and capsules. That's my bare minimum and has all been very useful.

    It's a need beautifully combined with an obsession for me :idiot2:
     
  14. Dynamik1

    Dynamik1 Empty Pockets

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    I'm not in the UK, but am an urban office rat.
    I consider my "on body" EDC items, "in bag" EDC items and "in car" EDC items.
    To get the "in car" bag out of the way, its a kit of things I might need if for some reason I could not take transportation home and needed to make my way back to my family overland.

    Here is my list:

    On Body
    Pen – in shirt pocket (sans protector)
    Blank business cards for quick notes
    Pocket knife
    USB Flash Drive
    Cash in wallet
    iPhone (Wk)
    Motorola Q (Personal)
    HighGear Summit Compass/Watch

    In Bag
    SIGG Water bottle
    Calculator
    Shears
    Pen/Pencil Pouch
    - Highlighters
    - Sharpie markers (fine/med/fat)
    - Dry Erase Markers
    - Space Pen
    - Pilot G2/G6/G7
    - 6” Straightedge/Rule
    Zipper pouch for stamps, clips, coins
    Moleskine/Journal
    - Sticky notes (sm/med/lg)
    - Envelopes
    - Reference lists (Dr phone #’s, work #’s, membership#’s, etc)
    Breath Mints/gum
    3x5 cards
    Zipper pouch for Medical Supplies
    - Tylenol/Goody
    - Visine eyedrops
    - Inhaler
    - Glass cleaners
    - Band-aids
    - Cortisone cream
    - Triple Antibiotic ointment
    - Alcohol swabs
    - Baby wipes – individual packets
    - Nail clipper
    Duct tape squares
    Pocket knife sharpener
    Surefire flashlight
    USB Flash Drive
    Bandana
    Zip Ties
    Para cord
    Small tape measure
    Pocket widgy bar
    Fox 40 Whistle
    Digi Camera
    Pocket sewing kit for emergency repairs
    - Black / Brown / White thread wrapped around a business card
    - Straight / curved sewing needles
    - Straight pins stuck through a business card
    - Several sizes of safety pin stuck through a business card

    I cant say I use everything everyday, but the little things are what I find myself longing for when I dont have them.
     
  15. bigmul

    bigmul Empty Pockets

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    I think that if I didn't lug a couple of PC's around with me then I could consider a great many more bags that I could use. I suppose it's because I do lug them about that I started to think that the kit I wanted to buy for EDC would never really get used as like most people I spend more time working than not! Even the gear slingers are probably not suitable for my needs which is a shame, but then again they are kinda expensive too!

    I think that I might have to look at what I really need against what I want. Perhaps something like I mentioned above (Karrimor Sabre 45) with a few pouches inside would let me carry my work gear and gym kit all in the same bag, whereas when taking gym kit at the moment it;s a separate bag.

    If nothing else, this forum has certainly got me thinking! I'm not sure that an ideal bag actually exists yet....
     
  16. Manatakui

    Manatakui Loaded Pockets

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    Random question, but is there any way you /could/ par down your EDC to a single laptop instead of two? If so, you'd save your back... and have more room for toys. ^^;
     
  17. One laptop and two independent hard-drives.........?

    Especially now they come so small !
     
  18. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    Thats the best advise I've seen here. You can't plan for every senerio out there, but think how our fathers and grandfathers got by in times harder than we have, with very little. They knew how to improvise. If you get to the point where you need a bag to carry all the stuff, you're carrying too much.
     
  19. phaserrifle

    phaserrifle Loaded Pockets

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    If you can do this would it even be possible to leave on laptop at home, annother at work, and just carry the hard-drives? that way you remove both laptops, and (I assume) alot of the attendant power cables, mice ect.
    hell, if both hard-drives used the same connections you could even leave a link up cable with each laptop, and not even have to carry that (although that would be a little weight obsessive)
     
  20. mrsean2k

    mrsean2k Empty Pockets

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    Lots of good points made here. At home I use an old Dell M60 with a hires external monitor, but all it does is act as a host for VMWare workstation. I run a number of VMs, some off the laptop HD itself, but many off an external HD that's attached using a Sharkoon docking station.

    This means that I just need to cart the VMs around on an external HD and have a copy of VMWare Workstation or VMWare Player to go with it. As well as making your setup easily portable, it also makes backups very easy - you can copy and snapshot VMs etc. with a few clicks. Various company / security policies might stop that from being a solution for you of course.