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What's your EDC stuff grouping vs. splitting practice?

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by FiaOlleDog, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. FiaOlleDog

    FiaOlleDog Loaded Pockets

    Oct 27, 2017
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    Maybe the subject is not self-explaining ... :)

    Example: to provide power to a smartphone while away from power outlets we usually carry an USB powerbank and a cable (micro USB, USB C, whatever).
    • Grouping method: keep USB powerbank + cable together.
    • Splitting method: separate USB powerbank and cable in different parts of ones EDC.

    Your very valid question may be: "Why the heck should I not keep the powerbank and the cable together?!" The simple answer is: limited space or carrying capabilities.

    Let me explain why I split some of my EDC stuff, reusing the powerbank/cable example:
    I carry the USB cable in my EDC pouch almost everywher, even to places where my EDC should bag doesn't go. In the EDC shoulder bag i keep the USB powerbank.

    So what would the USB cable without the powerbank be good for? Well, usually the EDC pouch is carried also into buildings (shopping, restaurants [when not closed as right now in lock-down], customer sites, etc.) and those often provide a why to USB-charge a device like from a computers or smart TV USB port, etc. This of course would be only used for emergency - and the best way to prevent this need is to fully charge the smartphone before leaving the house/going on a trip.

    Another example: titanium mug and an alcohol stove. The titanium mug can be (and has been) used in an office-type setup to get coffee/tea from the self-service bar (usually there are either no mugs or only personalized ones available). This does not require an alcohol stove - at least as long as there is no power outage ...

    Logially, I would not split my EDC stuff IF i would have enough (unlimited) carrying capabilities ... but depending on the situation, environment, etc. I consider to bring "half of the EDC" a better way than leave some EDC parts at home to carry other EDC parts in complete.

    Is this a wired practice, or are the other EDC'ers that have a similar way to optimize the (limited) carrying space?
    Last edited by FiaOlleDog, Nov 24, 2020
    #1 FiaOlleDog, Nov 24, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  2. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Dec 3, 2012
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    I have found this to be really handy recently for sure!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    FiaOlleDog likes this.
  3. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

    Jan 7, 2017
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    EDC is a balancing act, there's no perfect way, just least imperfect.

    And it's always changing, because ...life.

    I try to keep things modular and flexible, because as you say, we want to adapt to different needs and not carry all our gear, always.
    The challenge with modularity is, for me at least, complexity, accessibility and to some extent redundancy.
    If the system gets too complex, I loose track of what's where and their maintenance status (depleted batteries etc.)
    If the system is too organized (or too modular, I guess), it hurts accessibility. Because of this I've mostly ditched the pocket organizers. There is just too many steps involved to retrieve an item from my backpack if I have to open the backpack, locate the correct organizer, unzip, locate tool, zip up, use tool, and everything in reverse.
    The redundancy issue is closely related to the complexity issue. If you organize down to a level of very specific activities or tasks, there will inevitably be some items that are very generic that you want to use for more tasks, so as to not have to bring additional kits just for that one item, or worse; mix and match from different kits, the easier solution is to keep duplicates. This means more cost, more weight, more maintenance etc.

    My main EDC backpack is pretty dialed in to my current needs. It looks kind of messy, but I know where everything is, and I can just reach in with my arm and get it.
    More about the backpack here:
    Aicolainen's EDC and more
    (Added a bit kit to the internal molle panel after this post. It's a bit comprehensive to be ideal, but it's not too crazy and a lot better than having nothing while I look for something more suitable)

    My power system is a three part affair.
    The basis is an old, but decent enough power bank that came with a small pouch. Inside the pouch I can just barely fit a 5W apple charger, and the two output ports are pre-fitted with very short cables. A Lightning cable in the high output port and an micro-USB cable with a USB-C adapter in the other port. This cable can also be used to charge the power bank if needed, i.e. a very compact and self contained power system to power my most crucial devices. This one goes with me pretty much everywhere, so I just move it from kit to kit.
    Here's a link to a separate post showing power bank
    Aicolainen's EDC and more

    The second "layer" is a cable- and adapter kit, that usually lives in my EDC backpack, but also go with me on vacations, weekend trips etc. (it can be seen in the lower left corner of the picture showing my backpack, first link). This will get me hooked up to most meeting rooms, photo gear as well as devices with proprietary cables etc.

    Third "layer" is the power supply for my work computer. I keep it in the front pocket of my EDC bag for easy access and minimal distraction if I need it in the middle of a meeting or something.

    That's just a quick look into my EDC, there's obviously a lot more grouping and splitting going on, but this post would just get too long and no one would bother to read it :D
    I've been meaning to write more about this on my personal thread (which both links point to), so maybe this was the reminder I needed. Or maybe not. We'll see..
    FiaOlleDog likes this.
  4. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

    May 1, 2010
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    Through the years I’ve whittled down my edc to the point that I really no longer have need for compartmentalism. It just got to be too much of a hassle for day to day edc. I do try to choose items, that if they use a battery, have decently long runtimes before needing a recharge. Both my phone and flashlight can get me through the day and night without running out of battery.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  5. earthman

    earthman EDC Junkie!!!

    Jan 12, 2014
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    I wish that all products were designed to contain/carry such cables at least, most annoying that they can all have different connectors too. I've just bought several mini usb to usb c adapters for my new phone for example, just to keep in each vehicle etc because sods law says that I won't be carrying the correct cable at the very time I need it.
  6. LivingUpNorth

    LivingUpNorth Loaded Pockets

    Sep 8, 2009
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    While I do have several small organizing pouches for my backpack (Vertx Gamut), the one most pertinent to this discussion contains a firestarting kit, sewing kit, backup knife, and a few other things. Basically, if I'm traveling on an airplane, I can leave that pouch at home, and I'm good to get through TSA. The bag itself has just a couple pockets for my charging cables, ear pods, and some admin items, so I don't have to dig around for those. The rest of the pouches contain things I don't get into super often, so it's not a big deal to me to compartmentalize those things.
    FiaOlleDog likes this.