What to Carry

One of the key elements on the philosophy I’m trying to make people aware of, is to be light. When you are light and nimble, you feel less stressed, and in turn allows you to move your focus from the annoyance of carrying stuff to being more aware of what’s going on around you.

I have been playing for several years with different combinations of what is the most minimal kit I can carry with me, that allows me to remain light, while at the same time giving me the things I need for my daily commute, and in cases of emergency. The size of this kit, and how it’s packed, allows me quickly move all of it, or parts of it, between the different backpacks I use, or carry some of it in my pockets. Also, note that the kit is packed in a way that I can quickly add the things I need in a emergency, and discard everything else, allowing me to be even lighter when needed.

The kit I’m listing here is the culmination of several iterations, some done by me, some done as part of the team I belong to, and it might change in the future again. What is important for me to show you is the mindset behind it, why I chose these items, and how you can begin to think about your own kit. It might not work for you. I play a lot with the fact that I do have training, and that I rely on that training, and my mind, to solve problems as well. So, check it out, and think about any training you might need to take.

The Full Kit

Here are the contents of the full kit (not counting the laptop):

  • Glasses

  • Laptop charger

  • SureFire Backup Flashlight: Small, bright, blinding when needed, and disappears on the backpack

  • Böker Tactical Pen: Simple, durable, and can be used as a last resort weapon and glass breaker

  • iPhone / Electronics kit

  • E&E / Entry kit: Experience and real life has taught me to be prepared

  • Mini Trauma kit: In today’s world, you have to be able to stop the bleeding

I’ll list each item below, but the idea here is to cover the most basic needs: emergency, defense, power for electronics, and basics for the commute. This items are light weight and can fit on the smaller 6L backpack and on the biggest 24L backpack that I use.

iPhone / Electronics kit

These items provide the power I need to charge my phone and laptop on the go. I keep them on a pouch for both cable management and easy of handling. The items are:

  • Goal Zero Flip 20 Powerbank: Charges my iPhone and other devices when no outlet is found

  • Standard iPhone cable and charger

  • Apple Airpods

  • MacBook charger

Part of my commute often takes me to new cities, where I need to work from cafes, co-worker spaces and on customer’s offices. Having the ability to chose how I power any of the devices I carry is a must have.

E&E / Entry Kit

My past life experience, things I’ve seen over the years on different urban environments around the world, and common sense have taught me to be prepared. I was trained in survival across many environments, including the urban landscape, and not being prepare for an emergency is one of those things that was quickly kicked out of your head.

Whether it’s a natural disaster, or a man-related one, you should always have a way to open things, escape from things and communicate your location to friends and family. Not having the right tools to get to a life-saving piece of equipment that locked behind a padlock is bad. So, for my E&E (escape and evasion) kit, I chose items that can be use as both entry tools and survival tools on an urban environment.

For these items listed here below to work, you need training. Training and more training are key to both knowing how to use the tools, and how to apply the best tool: you mind.

The kit:

  • Law Industries Operators Toll Roll MK II: I carry my digital tools on USB thumbdrives inside. These include normal security tools, but also emergency tools that may allow me to procure a secure mean of communication should the need arise

  • Law Industries Executive Kit: with my E&E / entry kit

  • E&E / Entry kit items by SEREPick: bogota lock picks, handcuff shim and key, quick stick, bobby pin, and small compass

Light and Pen

I always need a pen. You need to sign stuff, take notes, and more. However, if you are carrying a pen, why not carry a pen that can help protect you as well? I’m a big fan of having gear that can have multipurpose.

The Böker pen is a good writing instrument, but also it’s a good last resort weapon, and can be used to break the windows of a vehicle or house during an emergency situation.

The SureFire light is small, lightweight but very powerful. It will allow you to see at night or in dark places, but also, can be used as a weapon, blinding an attacker, allowing you to escape. Its metal body can also be used to hit that attacker if needed.

Overall, two very easy to carry items that provide a lot functionality both for the commute, and as emergency items.

Mini Trauma Kit

This mini trauma kit is not your typical first aid kit. Far from it. The kit, developed and sold by ITS Tactical, contains:

  • QuikClot Combat Gauze LE

  • SOFTT-W Tourniquet

  • Nitrile Gloves

This will allow me to quickly try to stop bleeding on my or another person. Bleeding is one of the main causes of death, and not having the tools to stop this is not something I'm willing to go without. I have helped people on after motorcycle and car accidents, I have stopped bleeding on friends, and if I ever need it, I would stop bleeding on me. Not being prepared is not something I like.

Again, for these items to work, you need training. If you don’t know how to use these items, please seek training before you carry them.

Finishing Up

My kit is small. To me it makes sense to carry these things when I commute.
I know how to use them, I know how to adapt them, and more importantly, I know how to fall back to my mind and training when nothing else works.

The small kit allows me to remain light, safe and adapt top the various things I need on an urban environment. It allows me to always pack light, and choose the smaller backpack.

Find what works for you, train with it, and remain safe.

Gear, Tips, PackliteUrbanCommuter