For those that live in or near a big city, it is much more likely to get lost in town than lost in the woods.
My EDC pocket carry reflects this. It’s more about keeping me and mine in functional repair than spending the night in the woods.
I’ve recently ‘retired’ an Altoids tin in favor of an eclipse mints tin. It’s 2/3rds the size of the Altoids tin, harder to pack stuff into, but seems more durable. I’ve only had to re-attach the lid once. The eclipse tin seems to be holding up much better after 6 months in my pocket. The Altoids tin has been in my pocket for close to a year – they can get pretty banged up!
I will list the items in their packing order starting without outside the tin.
1) The tin can be emptied and used to make charcloth or to cook a morsel in. This is a 3 piece tin, so it wouldn’t hold water for purification.
2) Some 14 gauge wire is wrapped around the tin. It’s too heavy for things like snaring, but it’s great for holding things together. Having grown up in farm country, bailing wire is the go-to repair item before duct tape!
3) A nitrile glove is folded up with the fingers wrapped inside and then wrapped up with the tin. This is for medical needs or water carrying.
4) Bicycle Tube. A large section of tube is wrapping all the above up to protect and to keep the tin quiet against my keys. A small section is used to keep the lid closed if it pops open so I don’t tear it off again. These can be cut as needed, when needed.
Now what goes into the tin.
5) Gauze pad for medical needs or fire starting.
6) Alcohol wipe to sterilize a wound that would need the gauze pad. FYI If you light one on fire and place it flat on a surface, it will promptly go out.
7) Band Aids. I’ve a 2 year old – what can I say? All these wrappers burn pretty well – even the foil lined one for the alcohol pads.
8) About 3 feet of wide heavy duty foil. Cooking, water purification, lousy signalling, big enough to even be used as a kitchen sink!
9) I don’t know how many times I’ve wished I’ve had earplugs. I keep forgetting that I do!
10) Puddle of hot glue cut into a square. Shave of a bit and melt it with a lighter. No leaks or drying out like other types of glue. I’ve used this one a good amount!
11) Sewing kit with a curved upholstery needle added and a couple of small fishing eyelets. I figure that the curved needle will allow me to sew stuff while still wearing it. As you can see, the kit’s been well used.
12) 4GB & 512GB micro-SD cards with large adapter and USB adapter. The 4GB has a bunch of books and such for reference on my Android Phone and can be wiped if I need to move files around. The smaller card has encrypted personal files and documentation on it.
13) A water activated Rayon Towel tab. Ford Prefect’s advice is to always know where your towel is. It’s also handy to clean up 2 year old kids & wounds.
14) Square Credit Card Reader – the original reason I started to carry a tin, to protect this! It’s a reader that plugs into your phone and allows you to accept credit card payments.
If taken by itself, the ‘kit’ seems a bit lacking in utility. But when combined with the rest of my pants pocket EDC, it’s a good catch-all for bits that would otherwise get lost or damaged in my pockets or poke me in the leg!
I carry a 6 foot length of 550 cord in my back left pocket with a bandanna and a micro-cloth that has a map of Chicago printed on it. These have their obvious multitude of uses, and I find that I sit better in my trucklet with both back pockets having stuff in them.
My tin kit goes into my front left pocket along with a USB charging cable for my phone, a Swiss Army Cybertool, assorted keys, key-chain pill box with Advil and Tylenol, whistle and a plastic adjustable wrench. I have a 3d printer, and being able to show people what it can make distracts them from what else I have in my pockets. Also, my 2 year old thinks it’s a fun toy and is good for 15 minutes of quiet distraction.
Back right pocket has my wallet with a few ‘extra’ items in it. Fishing hooks and a card wrapped with heavy braided fishing line with some monofilament tucked inside. A Fresnel lens. A couple of bobby pins tucked into the folds of the wallet and 1 Red Paperclip. For those unfamiliar – A guy traded 1 Red Paperclip up to a house over the course of a couple of dozen trades in a year – I carry one as tangible reminder that just about anything is possible if you try.
Front right pocket holds change, such as a Susan B and Eisenhower dollar and a half dollar. I have a heavy, metal, ball point pen which can be used like a kubotan. A sharpie with Gorilla brand duct tape around the handle which distinguishes it by touch from the pen. I have a diamond sharpening stick with floral wire wrapped around it – again for the tactile distinction from the pen, to keep my blades keen, and so I have a good amount of fine wire with me for repairs or snares or whatnot. My lighter has more duct tape on it (never seem to have enough!). I also have a SPF 15 lip balm with athletic tape around it which can be used for fires, sun protection on ears, nose, etc.
I carry an original Leatherman Wave which I love for it’s one handed operable knife blades that can be identified by touch.
I also carry an Android smartphone with a lot of assorted software on it, but a very handy one is the ability to turn on the flash as a light from the lock-screen without looking at the phone.
Both the above have hair-bands that I ‘borrowed’ from my wife wrapped around the belt loops. Handy things, rubber bands.
I usually carry a single battery LED flash light, but I can’t seem to get one that lasts for more than 6 months for me. Flashlights in dark buildings are very handy!
All of this stuff gives me the ability to fix what I have with me and modify the plentiful scrounged materials (trash) my environment provides to suit my needs.
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.