EDC Kit - The Maxpedition Fatty as an Everyday Carry Kit
While definitions of an EDC kit vary from “only things carried on your person”, all the way up to what I call Get Home Bags; I prefer to think of an everyday carry kit as a small container or organizer that makes it to work with you but isn’t always necessarily on your person.
While there are endless ways to pack one of these containers I choose to stock mine in a way that provides redundancy of important items when added to my Bug Out Bag, or will complete my Get Home Bag when the two are combined.
I had heard many good things about the Maxpedition line of products and decided to give their Fatty Organizer a try. While still putting it through its paces and constantly making minor adjustments to the gear I carry; I have initially been very impressed with the quality as well as the capacity of this organizer. The Maxpedition Fatty Organizer has listed dimensions of 7” x 5” x 2” and has numerous holders and pouches which make for a large number of possible gear combinations. The back of this edc organizer features webbing that is compatible with MOLLE systems and therefore with the proper attachments can be added to larger packs, vests, etc.
For size and effectiveness in a small and inexpensive package it is hard to beat a survival straw. While there are numerous models available the LifeStraw that is so popular among survivalist appeared too large to fit in my Maxpedition. After much research I decided on a Seychelle Pure Water Straw as it appeared well suited for my needs. Besides the straw and protective cap, the Seychelle also came with a small carrying case and a rubber faucet adapter of back flushing the unit.
When packing this kit I took into consideration items that I would already have on me such as an Energizer keychain light, which is more than adequate for navigating around obstacles in the dark. However, I also wanted a tactical style flashlight that would provide more light as well as self defense capabilities. After much searching I went with the Streamlight ProTac 2L which operates on two CR123 batteries. Compared to my old Cabela’s branded light, which was either a re-branded Surefire 6P or a very close replica, the Streamlight was as impressive, being both significantly brighter and more compact than the Cabela’s light. Look for a full review of this Streamlight model in the near future.
While many people tend to pack a wide variety of writing instruments, I decided that a Sharpie Twin Tip would best suit my needs. It is pretty much like any other Sharpie in that it has fine tip that will write on almost anything. However, on the opposite end is an ultra fine tip that writes more like a pen, and its ink tends to dry faster and smear less than most pens I have used. Although, with as many small holders as the Maxpedition Fatty has it shouldn’t be much of a problem to sneak additional pens or pencils in if needed.
What can you say about Bic Lighters, they are small, inexpensive, and generally get the job done without much fuss. In this case I opted for a Mini Bic because of the smaller size, and it fit nicely in one of the smaller holder spots I had available on the left side of the organizer. A quick side note, there is a definite tendency to overstuff the Maxpedition as it keeps making room for more and more gear, but cramming unnecessary items in both adds to the weight and runs contrary to the “organizer” aspect part of the kit.
I’m not quite as paracord crazy as most EDC fans and have yet to bite the bullet and succumb to the whole bracelet trend; but I do realize the value of having cordage and lots of it in survival situations. I had an abundance of olive drab paracord lying around and reserved the holder placed in the middle of the organizer for storing it. Keep in mind that this kit will also be used to complete my Get Home Bag and provided redundancy in my Bug Out Bag. I spooled off 40 ft of paracord and simply started wrapping it around itself, as the idea of unbraiding paracord every time I need cordage doesn’t appeal to me. After wrapping about 30 ft of cord, judging by the what was left over, I had enough to fill the holder and still allow the Maxpedition to easily close so I decided that 30ft would be fine.
Having a good Multi-Tool is like having a little portable toolbox, and while it will seldom be the first tool you reach for when at home working on a project it will seem like a pretty handy tool if that is all you have with you. I own a pretty nice older Gerber multi tool but it is already commissioned for another use, so I elected to purchase a Leatherman Sidekick both because of price and the fact that it had a saw which was important for me. Additionaly, it features pliers with built in wire cutters which is a nice feature to have.
While I have never really been around rescue whistles, I can see how one could save you a lot of energy as compared to constant yelling. The SOL Slim Rescue Whistle seemed like an affordable and compact choice so I got a two pack one for use in this EDC Kit and another for an Altoids survival tin project I have in the works. These whistles are loud and do not utilize a pea to make noise which is supposed to help them perform even in freezing conditions.
In case you missed the memo Duct Tape is out and Gorilla Tape is in. Some of you might be familiar with Gorilla Glue, yeah well they started making tape and it is awesome. Admittedly, some Duct Tape is much better than others and maybe it was one too many bad experiences with some sub par brand of Duct Tape that caused me to look elsewhere, but if you haven’t tried Gorilla Tape it is worth putting on your radar. I wrapped up a 3 ft foot chunk and placed it in a small holder on the right side of the Maxpedition Fatty.
If you are like me your pockets are probably already pretty full with keys, phone, knife, gun, wallet, etc.; so an EDC Kit is a good place to stash an extra magazine or two. While both my single stack Kahr and Kel-Tec magazines fit in a top holder on the right side of the organizer, double stack magazines would probably have a better chance in one of the larger holders. For those of you who want an EDC kit to support your CCW gun(s) you could fit a staggering number of magazines, spare parts, take down tools, and cleaning supplies in one of these kits.
Cell Phone Battery
Having a spare cell phone battery is probably the cheapest and easiest way to keep you cell phone going, because you know that when things go bad you will probably be running on one bar already. I would look for spare batteries online as cell phone dealers seem to want 4-5x times what they commonly sell for online. I think my last phone the dealer wanted $30+ for a single spare battery and I ended up getting two online delivered for under $15.
I’m new to the world of signaling mirrors but they are growing on me fast. Being able to get someone’s attention at a great distance has obvious advantages in a number of outdoor rescue scenarios. They are also pretty affordable at around $10 for an Ultimate Survivor model which is a decent quality signal mirror that is both compact and lightweight. While, the survival mirror is primarily a rescue device, it is also useful as a plain old mirror as well; which can have many uses, from checking out cuts you can’t see to getting a contact back in.
The black garbage bag has a ridiculous amount of uses for survival applications and one fit nicely in the zippered pouch on the right hand side of the organizer. While there are many uses for a trash bag, I’m not going to launch into a 101 survival uses for a garbage bag list. One of these made it into my kit primarily with an emergency poncho, or ground cloth in mind as the most likely uses. When considering their versatility and multiple survival applications combined with the fact it took up little space in the organizer it was an easy decision to include one.
Other items that have currently found a place in my organizer include a micro fiber lens cloth which obviously could be used to clean optics, but could also be used with the Gorilla Tape to crudely dress a wound. I also clipped a Photon II key light to the top of the organizer so I can find my way around the kit in the dark. Finally, a Gerber Shard also made the cut because sometimes you just need a little chunk of metal to pry stuff with. Hopefully you have picked up a few ideas for your EDC kit.