Many years ago, I made my first everyday carry kit (EDC) using an Altoids tin. Inside, I put all of the things I thought I’d need in a time of survival. I had a small candle, some waterproof matches, several fishhooks and line, ibuprofen, and even a small flashlight, among other things.
Looking back, I had shoved far too many luxuries in there and I didn’t have some of the things I eventually recognized that I should be carrying. Nevertheless it was a good first attempt. There are plenty of places on the web for making an EDC in an Altoids tin.
Over time though, I noticed some rust beginning to develop along the outside of the tin. Not too much, but enough to get my attention. When I opened the tin, I found that much of contents were also rusting. The fishhooks, the needle, the snare wire. There were all covered in rust. If I’d been in a survival situation, I’d have been in real trouble.
I tossed the tin and many of the items and started over.
Since then, I’ve had several versions of the EDC Kit. I’ve used Altoids tins, other small tins, and even a thick, resealable plastic bag. They were all adequate and better than nothing, yet they had the same drawback. Everything was shoved inside, crammed to the point that I didn’t want to open it unless I really had to.
About 6 months ago, I decided to try something new. I bought a container for my EDC Kit rather than just scavenging something. As is my tradition, I researched my options, scouring the web for my alternatives. Many roads led one device: a Maxpedition E.D.C Pocket Organizer.
When my pocket organizer arrived, I immediately noticed how it was made. The material seems durable, the seams are well-stitched, and the zipper is rugged. It looks like it was built to survive a harsh treatment. On the front there is a mesh pocket that seals with velcro. The backside has 6 loops of nylon attachment webbing. The material appears to be somewhat water repellant, but I don’t know that to be the case.
Inside there are two large pockets, one on either side. Each pocket has a elastic organizer strips where you can slide items many of your survival items in there. In fact, I make heavy use of these. There is also a keyring and a loop. All in all, I can carry quite a few things in the kit.
The organizer does just that: it helps me keep the EDC Kit contents organized. If I have a headache, I’m not reluctant to unzip the EDC and retrieve a couple of tablets. I know exactly where they are, I don’t have to move a lot of stuff to get to them, and everything doesn’t spill out when I crack open the kit. That’s nice. It makes the kit far more useable.
After using the EDC Kit for 6 months now, I’m hard pressed to find anything wrong with it. However I do have a few observations.
First, since I make heavy use of the elastic organizations in the middle of the kit, the center section gets quite thick while the edges remain very thin. This is not a good distribution. I really need to make better use of the two large slide pockets to reduce the kit’s bulk. In fact, I almost wish the pocket and elastic strips were turned sideways to run the length of the kit rather than the width of it.
Secondly, I find that the kit is too large to easily carry in a pocket. It’ll fit in the pocket of cargo pants, but not in the pocket of a pair of jeans. That means, unless you have a backpack with you, it may get left behind. A kits that’s not with you at all times is worthless. Maxpedition makes smaller versions that may be worth while: the Mini and the Micro. More is not always better.