I’ve written a few articles about EDC, and I’ve mentioned having an EEDC bag. This of course brings a few emails asking questions about it. Questions like: What is it? What is in it? Should I have one? I have received enough emails over the years that I thought I’d take a look at the bag, what it is and the purpose behind it, and the contents I keep in it.
To answer the first question, EEDC stands for Extended Every Day Carry. This is gear that I have with me in situations where I might be away from home for more than just a short period of time. I also make sure I have these items on me/in my vehicle when I’m going more than 5 to 10 miles from home.
For all intents and purposes, it is really a GO bag or Get Home Bag. It is a bag with the gear and supplies I would need if I found myself in a bad situation and needed to get home. (Or help me through the bad situation.) I’d like to think that I would be able to drive home in emergency situations, but we all know this is not always the case.
Atlanta, Georgia residents found themselves in weather induced traffic gridlock back in 2014. Thousands of drivers were forced to abandon their vehicles and go out on foot. So for potential situations like these, I have my EEDC/GO bag.
I want to clarify a few things before going into how I built my GO bag. The first is that I do not consider this a Bug Out Bag. This bag is designed to help me out/get me home in various emergency situations. It is not designed for long-term sustainability in a massive SHTF scenario. For that I have my I.N.C.H. bag. (I’m Never Coming Home.)
The second thing to add is that I do carry a few law enforcement related items in this bag. I have my department issued IPad and subsequent charger. The Ipad is programmed with a few different GPS and map programs and apps. Great for finding my way were I to become lost. I also have a 300w power inverter that I use to charge things like my cell phone and IPad while in my vehicle. In addition to two AC outlets, the inverter also has 2 USB outlets as well.
And finally, I have a small 9 quart Coleman cooler with a chill pack that I keep in my truck. I carry things like bottled water, a few Clif bars and protein bars, and over the counter meds like aspirin, etc. In the event that I have to take off on foot, I can transfer these items to my pack, and leave the cooler itself behind.
The bag itself is a Voodoo Level III Tactical bag. The pack is 18′ inches tall by 10′ inches wide by 10′ inches deep. This comes out to about 29 liters of content space. The Voodoo Tactical Level III assault bag is made with rugged, heavy-duty nylon. It also has large, heavy-duty rust proof zippers. The bag has two full length compartments, each with two added pockets on the inside. This is handy for organizing small items. There are also 2 smaller pockets on the front of the bag.
The back of the pack has a foam pad for comfort. But it has also been contoured to allow air flow between the pack and you. The bag has MOLLE, ALICE, and D ring attachments so that you can add other attachments to it which is nice. The shoulder straps have a foam padding on the underside, which is designed for added comfort. It has an adjustable waist belt, compression straps that allow you to cinch down the contents securely, and chest clips to help secure the pack for longer treks and/or heavier loads.
While the pack does have a “tactical” look when up close, I got it in black. From a distance it looks like a standard “college” backpack. Sure, it’s not perfect for Opsec. But because I use this bag every day for work, I needed something durable and rugged. Something to stand up against daily wear and tear. This bag fit the bill.
I treated the pack with Atsko silicone water-repellent. This helps to repel water and will help keep the items inside dry.
As I stated above, the items in this bag are there to help me in an emergency setting, or to get home if everything goes completely sideways. My goal was to try and keep the bag as light as possible so that I can move quickly and quietly! The faster you can get to a safe location, the better off you will be. I won’t be living out of this bag either. So for that reason I don’t have much in the way of bushcraft items or hunting/fishing gear. No tents or sleeping bags either.
When designing and planning this bag, I chose contents that can be used in conjunction with my EDC items. I also tried to find items that I could use both in my job and in emergency situations. So I looked for items that could serve multiple purposes in many different situations. I also had to try and keep the bag light. I have categorized the items listed below.
I have mentioned before that I keep a small cooler in my vehicle. In it I have 4 or 5 bottles of water that I could quickly transfer to my pack.
I can dump the Clif bars and medications into the pack as well. That gives me enough water and food for at least a day or two. I also have a Sawyer Mini water filter should I found myself running out of water sooner than I expect. (Summers here can reach triple digits!) Fortunately for me, the area that I live in has multiple bodies of water. (Oklahoma has over 200 lakes, many of which are in my area.)
Should I need to heat water, I have a Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Bottle. This 27 oz bottle weighs a little over 7 oz and will let me boil water. Inside the bottle I keep a few Great Value water flavor packs. These are the energy packs that have a little caffeine in them. I also keep one or two 5-hour energy drinks in the cooler as well.
I initially put in some Emergency food bars…ie Life Raft bars. But when I started running out of room in my pack, I decided that I could make do with the Clif bars.
I have a Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel in my pack. This would allow me to charge things like my cell phone and/or other mini USB items while on the move. I have updated some of my gear to take advantage of this. (I’ll cover this more in a bit.) This particular package came with 4 rechargeable AA batteries, and the necessary cables to recharge other portable devices. This solar panel weighs a little over one pound, and can easily be attached to my backpack via the loops. It can put out about 5w of energy.
I use a 13000mAh Anker USB battery. I can charge this via the solar panel during the day, then charge my items with the battery at night. (You can also charge this battery from your vehicle.) This particular battery will charge an IPhone or Samsung phone multiple times between battery charges. It is small and light weight, coming in at about 8.5 oz. One thing to note…the battery will not charge other items while being charged itself.
I always dress appropriately for the current weather conditions. By wearing the right clothing, you can save yourself a lot of headaches (and not have to carry extra clothing in your pack.) So when it’s cold for example, I always have a warm coat with me…even if I’m just driving a short distance away.
I keep a pair of wool socks in my pack. Protecting your feet is extremely important if you are having to hoof it home. I go with wool because it is hydrophilic, meaning it easily absorbs moisture. Moisture can destroy your feet when walking. Hence if my feet get wet, I can change out to dry socks and keep on moving.
I keep a Frog Togg rain suit in my vehicle. But if for some reason I can’t get to it or have to leave it behind, I have a cheap rain poncho I bought at Wal-Mart in my pack. It takes up very little space and weighs next to nothing. For a one time use it could come in handy.
For potentially hazardous conditions, I have a 3M Particulate Respirator 8233, N100 mask. (See picture to left.) It will filter out almost all particles in the air. It WON’T filter out a lot of chemicals or toxins. But it is certainly better than just a bandanna. I can also use this at work in case of disasters. This is much more work appropriate for me than a bandanna.
Now I do have a shemagh. I love this thing because it has so many versatile uses. Not only can it protect your head and face from the elements, you can use it as a filter for water (filter debris out of water before boiling), use it as a towel, a sling or bandage for wounds, an improvised sack (tie the ends together), improvised rope, etc.
I also keep an extra hat in my vehicle. Although it is not in my bag, it is usually easily accessible from my vehicle. Having a ball cap or brimmed hat will help protect you from the elements. I have a pair of clear goggles in the bag. While I usually wear sunglasses outside, these goggles help protect my eyes in low light situations. They are foam lined, which allows them to help seal to my face. They are also fog resistant.
As I said before, I do not carry a tent. But should I have to hunker down for any reason, I have a cheap shower curtain I bought at Wal-Mart. Like the poncho, it is extremely light weight and takes very little space in my pack. With the rope I keep in my pack, I can build an emergency lean-to, and could use the poncho as a ground cover. For just a night or two this will help keep me dry.
I keep a small blanket in my truck as well. Although this is not designed for extreme temps, I can wrap this around me as an addition layer should I have to rough it home in cold weather.
I have the EDC Core Plasma Lighter. I absolutely love this lighter. It is electric and requires NO fuel. It is windproof and will light in the most unfavorable conditions. This little lighter is rechargeable using a mini-USB charger. (I can recharge it using my battery/solar panel.) You can use it between 200 to 300 times before needing to recharge. I also keep a small box of waterproof matches….as a backup.
In a small zip lock bag I keep some dryer lent I could use as tinder. Cotton balls covered in Vaseline also works well.
I have multiple light sources as a part of my EDC. On my duty belt I carry the Streamlight 75458 Stinger. This flashlight is very bright (800 lumens) and is rechargeable. It has a high and low setting, as well as a strobe. I’ve carried this one for years and absolutely love it. Of course I don’t carry this when not on duty.
In my pocket (EDC) I have the Olight S1 Mini Baton. This small (less than 2 inches long, weighs 1.6 oz) 600 lumens mini light has many great features. It is rechargeable (mini USB), has a high, low, and strobe setting, water proof to about 5 feet, and has a magnetic end cap that easily attaches to metal. The clip makes it easy to attach to a pocket or ball cap (frees up your hands) yet holds it firm. I LOVE this light.
Because the battery is rechargeable with a mini USB, I can recharge this light via the battery or with the solar panel.
In my pack I have a backup Cree Ultrafire. This light uses 1 AA battery and puts out around 300 lumens. It clips firmly in my pocket, and it has never accidentally fallen out. It is sturdy and well-built. The power button is “subdued” and I have never accidentally turned it on while still in my pocket. My model comes with three different settings, including a “strobe” mode. This was my EDC light until I discovered the Olight. But I put the Cree in my pack as a backup. I have the rechargeable AA batteries from the Goal Zero Nomad that will work in this light.
I have the Leatherman Wingman tool. This is a rugged, well-built multi-tool that comes in very handy. It has a good blade on it, which I could use as a back up to my EDC knife, the Kershaw Tanto. Included in the pack is a small full tang boot knife. I like this because it is a fixed blade, full tang backup.
I have a cheap pair of binoculars that I purchased at Wal-Mart. These binoculars are for work, but they could certainly come in handy in a bad situation that I might be trying to avoid.
I have a Rite in the Rain All-Weather notebook and a carpenter’s pencil. Both work in all kinds of rough environments and elements.
I keep my vehicle emergency bag in my truck. It has things like tools such as screwdrivers and socket sets, tow rope, jumper cables, etc. The things I would need to help me and my vehicle out in a bad situation. However, if I find myself having to abandon my truck and walk on foot, I can leave it behind.
I also keep a 4 Way Sillcock Water Key in my bag as well. This is great for unlocking water faucets outside of industrial and public buildings. In the first day or two of a really bad situation, you could still find water in these outdoor hydrants. Having a key to unlock them could be invaluable.
I also have about 25 feet of twine. It is rated to about 80 lb strength, and would certainly come in handy in a lot of different scenarios. I also have 2 aluminum carabiners and a large handful of small plastic zip ties. A small roll of duct tape is also included in this. I also have several feet of aluminum foil folded up into a small square.
I have a small state map, as well as several GPS programs on my Ipad. A cheap Wal-mart compass and small signal mirror round out this category.
I carry a small trauma kit in my bag. This includes things such as a tactical/combat tourniquet, (with a little practice you could put this on yourself one-handed), Quick Clot combat gauze, Israeli bandage, regular gauze, medical tape, medical sheers, chest seal (for entry and exit wounds), latex gloves, etc.
I am not a paramedic, but I have had some trauma first aid training. I should be able to treat major wounds long enough to hopefully reach medical help. (There is a second IFAK on my tact vest.) I would encourage everyone to get some first-aid training. Your local American Red Cross is a great place to learn more.
When building a first aid kit, there are some things to keep in mind. First, if you keep latex gloves in your bag, they will be susceptible to the heat. The heat will degrade them. So during the warm months of the year, you may need to change them out from time to time.
Second, the CAT tourniquets are great. But be sure to get them and NOT the knockoffs. The knockoffs will not hold up under duress.
I also have some zip stitch sutures. These are great for closing wounds in a pinch. (See video below for more details.)
I also have things for minor emergencies, such as band aids, mole skin, etc. In the cooler I carry items like Ibuprofen, chap stick, and sinus medicine.
I will include my small bottle of hand sanitizer and about a 1/3 roll of toilet paper in this section. You know…for when nature calls.
As I mentioned above, this is my Go bag. This bag and it’s contents will help me get home should I ever find myself in a bad situation. Weighing about 12 lbs (before adding my water), it is something I can easily (and comfortably) carry for quite some distance. Again, I don’t consider this a Bug Out Bag. I actually have an I.N.C.H bad (I’m Never Coming Home) that I can grab in 3 seconds and be out the door. But I’ll save that bag for another article.
I use this bag in conjunction with the items I already carry EDC. (Click the link for more details on my EDC.) Many of these items I have used in some major situations. I won’t leave home without them, as I have learned just how invaluable these could be if and when things go south.
I would encourage you to build and keep a Go bag somewhere close to you….be it in your vehicle, your office, etc. You never know when disaster might strike!