Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kits: ECB (Everyday Carry Bag)

     The ECB, or everyday carry bag is a bit more involved then the everyday carry items listed and explained in previous posts.  It’s more of a daily safety bag for a number of things that can happen to you throughout the course of a “normal” day.  It goes a bit beyond the basics, and should be on you if you are leaving for work, or will be away from home for a few hours.  It may seem like a lot of stuff, but with a bit of ingenuity, you can fit it all into something like a small nylon pouch that can be transferred into bigger carrying cases like a purse, backpack, briefcase, etc.

  • 12-27 oz. stainless steel water bottle - This obviously won't fit into the bag, but I mention it because you should always have a full water container on you at all times.  You can boil water in this in an emergency situation, it helps if you spray paint the outside of the bottle with a high heat enamel spray paint.  Don't buy aluminum bottles, which are cheaper and lighter, because it leaches.  I like attaching a carabiner to the top and hanging it from my backpack, or belt.
  • Spork - These are lightweight, and very useful if you find yourself without a utensil while getting a quick bite on the go.
  • Pen light or small flashlight - Though you have a light on your EDC Key-chain, a small lightweight pen light can be very useful for more reasons then I can get into.
  • Food - Dried fruit or nuts, Cliff Bar, Lifesavers, things that won’t spoil or melt.  Here is a post on the power gel I make, and carry.
  • Passport - Though a lot of people won't agree, having a few forms of ID on you at all times is very important.  Passports don't have personal information, like your home address, on them.
  • Lighter or matches
  • Pen and paper - Useful for many things in daily city living.  In a survival situation, they are excellent for leaving notes to friends or family if real-time communication go down.  If your in unknown backcountry, you can draw a patrol map of your area so you know where places of interest are i.e. watering holes, shelter etc.
  • Ultra small packable waterproof windbreaker - Can be substituted with a nylon “reusable” poncho, which I prefer, but the windbreaker looks a bit more fashionable.  You can also substitute a small umbrella, even though I think most are fragile and too big.
  • Compact signal mirror - Optional because you have one in your wallet, but since there small and very useful, it never hurts to have more than one.
  • Mylar space blanket - One or two, they take up no space at all and they have unlimited uses.
  • Bandana - Multiple uses like a sling for broken arms, filter water through, keep the sun off your head, wipe off sweat, snot rag...on and on and on.... These things are priceless!
  • Wool hat - You can take this out in the summer if you would like.  This amazing piece of equipment is explained in this post.
  • Quart sized zip-lock bag - I use for many things, but I most often thrown my phone and wallet in one of these if I get caught in the rain.
  • Un-waxed floss - Can be used as thread, or its intended use.
  • Small first aid kit - Any of your own medication, a few Band-Aids, aspirin, Benadryl, alcohol wipes, sewing needle (You can use the above floss as thread), ginger pills (great for upset stomach and motion sickness), feminine hygiene products i.e. tampons and maxi pads (many uses like wound compress, and fire tinder.)
  • $100 in cash - Left in bag, not in wallet.
  • Rubber bands - Just a few.
  • Safety pins
  • Condom - Non-lubricated for transporting liquids in an item like a hat or glove.
  • Spare set of apartment keys
  • 55-Gallon contractor bag - I carry one of these in my ECB, and in all my other kits as well.  They have limitless possibilities.  I fold it up and attatch it to the the Mylar space blanket with a Ranger Band.
  • 50 Feet of 550 Paracord - This is optional because I wear about 10 feet on my wrist in the form of a paracord bracelet, but it's just so useful, I tend to carry around extra.

Here are a few links of other peoples ECB:  

     Here is the post on what backpacks and or nylon pouches I suggest using for your ECB. 



Anonymous said...

I use the Passport Card for all ID needs.

JV said...

The Passport Card is convenient because it is small and can be left in your wallet. They can only be used to travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Useful as an ID form if you prefer people not to see your address. I still prefer to carry my full Passport, but this is a great option for people looking to carry something small and compact. Thanks for sharing what you prefer Anon!