Camera Bag EDC the weight on my back

camera bag every day carry

I’ve done a couple of EDC posts detailing the things I carry. I’m a big fan of being prepared, although I don’t take it quite as far as “preppers” or survivalists. I do, however, take some ideas from them and adapt it to the urban life, or in my case, the weekend warrior lifestyle. I’ve done EDC posts on my range bag (which I keep in the car), Carry Bag, and personal items. As the Coast Guard says, Semper Paratus. Here’s a list detailing the times my gear has come in useful:

  • Someone came into my workplace asking if we had duct tape. We didn’t. I ended up taking some from the mini-roll I had attached to my keychain.
  • I got a flat tire driving home from San Jose to San Francisco one night. I put on my blinkers and pulled over, but could barely see because it was so dark. Thankfully, my range bag was in the truck and I used the crap out of my flashlight.
  • The titanium spork always comes in handy for when take-out places don’t give me utensils and I’m on the move.
  • My Gerber solves everything. The scissors, screwdriver, and pliers are my most used.
  • I use the camping spork on my keychain for all sorts of minor adjustments when I need a flathead screwdriver or for opening bottles. I’ve only used the spork for eating about 3 times and as a fair warning, if you try to take it into a nightclub, they classify it as a weapon.

Now onto my Camera Bag EDC:

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Bag EDC

My Timbuk2 is starting to wear on me. I’m beginning to feel like I’m unbalanced because of the one-sided strap. Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to bags; small forces you to be smart and efficient. It’s one of those reasons why I think everyone should be broke at one point or another in their life – dire needs and lack of resources fosters efficiency, creativity, and a can-do attitude. Anyway, I made most of these purchases a while ago, but I wanted to do a quick rundown of what I carry in my bag when I’m not carrying the hefty Timbuk2. My bag EDC:Bag EDC

The bag. I opted for a leather flap CitySlicker MacBook Case from WaterField designs $149 and opted for an extra carry handle +$10 and a Suspension strap mini +$22. It’s by far one of my smartest purchases. Looks can be deceiving and this bag carries a whole lot more than it looks like it can. The strap is comfy and the carry handle makes it easy to carry around when I’m tired of having it on your shoulder or in crowded situations like public transportation.

The 15” Retina Macbook Pro is my choice of computing device. I never thought I’d be able to afford one of these babies, but after my last laptop up and died, I went over to the Apple store and walked out with a huge box. I also bought a cheap plastic case for it – protection is key. I’ve invested a lot of money into this thing in terms of software and hardware, so I want it safe and sound. The CitySlicker is padded from top to bottom, so I rest easy. I also carry the charger with me in the bag and I have several stickers from my favorite companies: Trouble Coffee Co., Foursquare, ITS Tactical, and Doane Paper.

The Magic Mouse $69. I desperately needed a reliable wireless mouse for editing videos and pictures. I didn’t really feel like lugging along a dongle either, so I opted for an Apple product. They got me at multi-touch! Like most Apple products, the mouse just works and I love the support for multi-touch gestures.

A SanDisk cruzer 4 GB flash drive. I don’t store too much on it, but it’s useful for transferring large files over slow Internet. I have it formatted so that it works for both Mac and Windows, since I ran into an issue a while ago with compatibility. 4 GB isn’t a lot, but it gets the job done. I also use it as a small backup device and I have a document in there with my information labeled “IF FOUND” – just in case I misplace it.

My personal cards from Moo. I’ve written about them before, but it’s worth mentioning again. I love the quality and durability of these cards. I always carry a few big ones and a few minis with me in my Moleskine notebook, which I’m about to get into.

This Moleskine is really small, but it serves it’s purpose. I mainly use it to jot down quick ideas during transit or when pulling out a larger notebook would be an inconvenience. It comes with a little pocket in the back and I use that to store my Moo cards.

I also carry an Apica, which I’ve previously covered. It’s small and thin and takes fountain pen ink like a champ – at least Aurora Black from a Noodler’s Ahab pretty well. I can write and write and probably never run out of room for at least a while. Apica makes great notebooks. I’m waiting to order a larger version that I can take with me. I’ve most recently started carrying my Doane Paper Idea Journal in the CitySlicker just because it’s a whole lot more versatile than the Apica. Apica, I still love you. You’re like my best friend – I’m just hanging out with Doane Paper a little more right now.

Pens! I carry my trusty fountain pen: the Noodler’s Ahab with Aurora Black ink and a flex nib for everyday writing. That’s why I always make sure I have a notebook that takes fountain pen ink with no problems. I also carry a Jetstream 5-in-1 pen that sports various colors and a lead pencil. One of my close friends got this for me a long time ago and it’s always a pleasure to use. When I’m writing on other people’s papers, I use it in place of fountain because I don’t always know how their paper will take the ink. This pen is also loaded with sentimental value and hails all the way from San Jose; therefore it’s priceless.

That’s my carry for a normal workday that doesn’t involve any picture-taking. I’ve borrowed my friend’s little point and shoot because it’ll fit into the CitySlicker and my DSLR won’t. I’m also eyeing the Chrome Niko Pack because it’ll fit my Macbook, DSLR, and accessories. That’ll probably be my next bag purchase and will replace my current camera bag.

Notebook Heaven

I have a notebook addiction. See here and here if you want to know more about my fascination with writing. Doing it all by hand is definitely the way to go. Since I write with fountain pens most of the time or fairly smooth inky gel pens like the Pilot G2, paper quality matters to me. I’m also a fan of the BIC Cristal medium gel pens. When I buy notebooks, I concentrate mainly on paper quality, followed by price, size, and aesthetics. Durability is also pretty important; brand – not so much. I love and stand by the brands that I trust, but I’m more than willing to try new brands and off-brands. Sometimes they work as well or better than brand names.

I’m in the market for a new notebook because I’m running low on pages in the large notebook I bought at Typo. It’s served me well, but I’m sad that it’s nearing the end of its lifecycle. It has only been about a month since my latest Rhodia purchase, but I’m looking for something different; a different type of notebook to serve a different purpose. But first, let me run through a few books I currently use or have run through already.

Rhodia DotPad vertical flip, 5 3/4” x 8 1/4”: My latest addition. I wanted to try out the bullet journal system in a different format. It’s working out great so far. Find out more here about the whole setup. The paper is smooth and the dots really help me out. So far, I haven’t come across any problems with it. A great cover and perforated single sheets.Rhodia

Little green memo books, 3 3/8” x 4 3/4”: I love these little green books. As a matter of fact, I carry these things with me everywhere I go. They’re a part of my EDC. The pages are all lined and they last through almost everything you can throw at them. They fit snuggly in my front left pocket.Memoranda

Moleskine, 3 5/8” x 5 1/2”: A natural-looking cardboard textured pocket-sized notebook with lined pages. I saw it over at the General Store and bought it before I noticed the Moleskine print on the back. It’s pretty tiny and doesn’t have many pages, so I don’t write in it too much. When I do, I do it in pencil. I think it fits with the cardboard. Half of the sheets are perforated and there’s a little mini folder in the back.

Off-brand white notebook, 5 3/4” x 8 1/8”: I picked this up for cheap at Daiso. The cover isn’t anything standout, but it ain’t bad either. The pages are super white and unlined, but it takes fountain pen ink very well. I use it for scratching down notes and for scrawling out diagrams of things I’m working on building.White and Blank

Eccolo world traveler, 5 1/4” x 7 5/8”: I don’t remember where I picked this book up, but I write in it all the time. The paper isn’t so great with my fountain pen – it bleeds like crazy. It comes with a little bookmark, elastic band, and a folder in the back. I carry this one in my camera bag for times when I find a nice cafe to write from.

Black unruled notebook, 5 5/8” x 8 3/4”: I’m pretty sure I picked this one up at Flax in San Francisco. I found it in the section for fountain pens. It’s unlined, so it gets hard to write long prose, but it’s manageable. I’ve tested all sorts of ink in it and it doesn’t bleed, so I keep it around to do calligraphy in.Black Blank Notebook

Clairefontaine notebook, 5 3/4” x 8”: I know I definitely bought this notebook from Flax. The binding is tight and it comes with an elastic tie to hold everything together. The first thing I noticed: the pages are extremely smooth; smoother than the pages of any other notebook I’ve seen. It takes fountain pen ink pretty well, provided that you let the ink dry before closing the book up. I’ve ripped pages out and stuffed them back in, even though they aren’t perforated.

Composition book: Yup, the kind that you use in high school science class as a lab notebook. I’ve filled it up, writing all sorts of thoughts in there. Sadly, it’s wide-ruled, so I couldn’t fit as much as I thought I would be able to. I’ve closed it up, so when these things go on sale again, I’m picking up a couple more.Composition Book

Typo notebook: I got this one at Typo when they had a sale: two notebooks for $20. Fountain pen inks will bleed through the pages, but an ordinary pen does just fine. Most of the pages are lined and there’s a handful of blank pages for sketches in the back alongside a folder, monthly calendar, and a world map. I’m almost through with this book though. Maybe Typo will have another sale on their notebooks soon.Typo Notebook

Range Bag EDC

A couple of months back, I bought a nice little olive green range bag from a military surplus store called Montara Army Navy in Montara, CA, a city with quite a view of the ocean. I’d been looking for a nice bag to carry my miscellaneous items around from place to place. After browsing a couple of bags, I settled for a $20 bag with more than enough pockets. From my talks with the store owner, the bag was meant to be a range bag. The 6 pockets in the front and back of the bag are the perfect size for holding AR magazines or tons of pistol magazines. In addition to a shoulder strap, the bag has revealable carry handles, which I make use of regularly. With the amount of stuff I carry, using the strap would put quite a toll on my shoulder.

I repurposed what was designed to be a range bag as a mini multipurpose bag I toss in the truck. It serves as a range bag, an emergency bag, and a storage bag. I bring it to work every day, bring it for all my short trips, and take it home to restock all the time. Here is the rundown on a few of the things I keep in the bag:

  1. I go to various different ranges all the time and I don’t want to rely on the hearing protection that is provided. That’s why I bring my own and extras for other people. You never know when you’ll need them. I want to maintain my perfect hearing, so I always use hearing protection. That’s why I carry both foamies, a pair of 3M Peltor Combat Arms Earplugs for indoor/outdoor situations, and my 3M Peltor H10A Optime 105 Earmuff
    complete with a Safariland Hearing Protector Holder. It’s a beautiful little piece of plastic, which allows me to hook my ears to my belt when I’m not using them, but keeps it handy if a shot startles me.
  2. I’m not superhuman and when it comes to looking at rifle targets downrange, like most people, I resort to binoculars. I use this pair of cheap Humvee binos for sighting people in. It works great for bird-watching, people-watching, and looking at street cleaning signs too. That reminds me, I carry one in my truck’s glove, but then again, I believe in redundancy.

    Humvee binoculars

    Humvee binoculars

  3. Range maintenance is kind of my thing. Working with splintering wood, rusty metal, and sharp objects aint always a party. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with all these raw materials – the way they feel and smell and all the cutting and moving around. Sadly, I don’t want to get tetanus or any more metal shards in my hand. Thank goodness I got issued heavy duty ironclad work gloves that I keep in my bag. Oh and I keep a bunch of black plastic zip-ties handy too. You never know when you’ll need them for something.Gloves and zipties
  4. It’s not secret that I wear glasses – nothing fancy or expensive. As a matter of fact, they’re pretty flimsy metal flames and that’s why I carry a backup pair of issued plastic glasses. I’ve had experiences where a flawed basketball pass would break my glasses, leaving me floundering about, blind as a bat. These military issued glasses are thick plastic and I feel a bit safer knowing backups are just a few steps away.Backup Glasses
  5. I like tools. I say better prepared than sorry. That’s why I also have a titanium spork (my friends call it the tactical spork) for eating, a knife complete with a seatbelt cutter, a swiss army knife, a generous amount of black paracord, and a firestarter. I also have a lighter and two flashlights which aren’t pictured.Tools
  6. My mind wanders fairly frequently and it gets difficult to keep track of everything. That’s why I carry a memo book and an all-weather Rite in the Rain Notebook in my bag, accompanied by a #2 pencil and a black ink pen with a comfortable grip. A few dollars in emergency money doesn’t hurt either.Notebooks
  7. Speaking of emergency money, I’ve found that quarters are extremely useful. They feed meters and it isn’t that hard to grab a few and make a few bucks. I like to store them in old film canisters. I also carry a few tubes of Mentos gum for times when I need it. Along the same lines, I carry a mini bottle of cologne. Gum and cologne go hand in hand.Mentos
  8. I’m a big hiker and I want to both document my progress and know exactly where I am in unfamiliar territory. I find that physical paper maps work well only to a certain degree. That’s why I carry a handheld GPS, the Garmin eTrex 20 to be exact. If you want to enjoy yourself, prior planning is critical for long hikes. That’s why every time I bring my range bag home, I upload a few waypoints and tracks to the GPS. I also carry spare AA batteries for the GPS.Etrex 20
  9. One of the key components of my bag is the mini first aid kit. It has all the essentials: bandages, wipes, insect bit relief, burn relief, pain medication, and gauze. It also contains a few other nonessential products like sunscreen and lip balm. It really packs a punch. I have a bigger and more impressive one in the truck. I also keep hand warmers in the first aid kit just in case.First Aid Kit
  10. Perishables. I get hungry on road trips and sometimes even on short trips. That’s why I pack all sorts of goodies to eat. I have a lot of sugary items like peanut brittle and chocolate, but also canned fruit and plain jane Ritz crackers. I only have room for one bottle of emergency water, but that’s enough. When I’m out and about, I usually bring a huge thermos filled with hot water, especially if it’s cold. That’s why I also pack tea bags and instant coffee.

That is a basic summary of what I carry. I’ve use many of the items in the bag regularly and the ones that I don’t use much still stay in the bag, just in case.

I also recently added a mini roll of duct tape, some nature valley bars, and  Winchester multi-tool to the mix. The latest addition: a bag of tinder and wood scraps for fire-starting.

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EDC

I’ve talked a little bit about the things I carry with me on a daily basis in my about page, but I thought I’d expand on it a bit here and put in some pictures. I am not a minimalist, although I do have aspirations to consolidate all the junk I have and simplify. I don’t have enough simple in my life. I’ve accumulated a lot of junk in my 23 years of life, mostly during my college years. I have already streamlined a bit, but when I get my own place, it has gotta be minimalistic, with the bare essentials. It’s a lot of work and I’ll need a drastic attitude shift to get there, but it’ll happen.

I’m big on being prepared and so that’s why I’m a semi-hoarder. I like being able to have things for emergencies. After all, who knows when you’ll need something?

Keeping all that in mind, you can see how it has influenced the items I carry on my persons. Since I find myself lost and alone in a lot of situations, traveling far and wide to try coffee, I like to be prepared. I have several first aid kits in my truck with various pills, bandages, and ointments. I also have a short-term survival pack as well, but I still carry several things on my persons. Here’s my every day carry, the short and sweet edition, but slightly expanded from my about page:

  1. A thick leather bifold wallet with a card sleeve by Fossil. It’s nothing too fancy – its just a great worn out brown that I feel comfortable with. I’m still from the school of keeping a wallet in the back right pocket, instead of a really slim card case or money clip. My wallet is bursting with membership cards, bank cards, some cash, and various forms of ID in the sleeve. I like that sleeve because I know exactly where my identification is. I basically have everything I need to get by in there. Just as a note, sometimes on long drives, I’ll take the wallet out of my back pocket and place it on the dash. This prevents any unnecessary butt pains and since it’s on the dash, I won’t forget to take it on the way out of the vehicle.
  2. A guardian brand one hand operated pocket knife with a clip. I like knives. You can find out more about my knife philosophy in this post. A sharp knife might save lives and this guardian stays in my front right pocket. I think a clip is very important so you can clip it to the pocket.
  3. Chapped lips are pretty gross, so I carry a mini Vaseline lip balm. San Francisco sucks my lips dry, especially after I have a long and involved conversation.
  4. Sometimes I need a hanky and so I carry a handkerchief in my front right pocket. Simple white with no frills, but there you have it. I also carry some loose coins in the same pocket. Damn the SF meters.
  5. A tactical pen by Humvee clipped to my front left pocket. It served two purposes: as an accompaniment to a writing pad and as a defensive weapon. Although I’ve never had to use it, I walk around feeling just dandy that I have it.
  6. I’m full of ideas and my mind goes a million miles a minute so I carry a notepad in my back left pocket. I tend to forget things unless I write them down. A notepad is my go to for all kinds of random thoughts and to-dos. It goes wherever my tactical pen goes and fills up quick.
  7. A watch and cell phone: both self-explanatory. At the moment, my phone is a dumb-phone, but it serves its purpose. I choose between two watches: my Smith & Wesson analog and my Pebble smartwatch. It’s all about telling time with the watch. Whatever works.
  8. My friend made me a paracord bracelet and I wear it on my right wrist all the time. I hope I never have to unravel it for anything because I want to wear it for as long as possible. If I need it, I have it.
  9. I carry a eatn’tool and a little mini roll of duct tape with my keys. I mainly use the eatn’tool for the spork at the end and the bottle opener, but I have used it a few times as a pry tool and a flathead screwriver. Great addition to the tools I can carry on me.
  10. I have allergies and when I had a smartphone, I programed all that stuff in for first responders, but I aso wear my dogtags because it is accessible and it won’t die on me. I wear it all the time around my neck. Simple and gets the job done.
  11. I carry my Gerber multi-tool in its pouch on my right hand side. I’m right-handed, so I can reach down to my hip, un-velcro the pouch and operate my tool with one hand. I don’t even want to go over the tool in this because it is so epically awesome. Maybe I’ll do a post on it soon.

Check out the gallery below:

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