Note: updated late 2020
One of the key elements of the philosophy I try to follow is being 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 a while with different combinations of what is the most minimal kit I can carry with me. I focused on one that allows me to remain light, while at the same time providing me with the things I need for my daily commute or in an emergency. The size of this kit, and how it’s packed, allows me to quickly move all of it, or parts of it, between the different backpacks I use, or, if needed, carry some of it in my pockets. Good to note is the fact that the kit is packed in a way that allows me to quickly just grab the things I might need in an emergency, and discard everything else, enabling me to be even lighter when needed.
The items I’m listing here are the culmination of several iterations. Some done by me, and some done with my team. It's not static and it might change in the future again, adapting to new knowledge, and new gear I found. What is important for me to show you is the mindset behind it and why I chose these items. How you think about your own kit is often more important than the kit. It might not work for you, since I do have training that you might not have, but try to focus on the mindset and the idea behind it. It is important to know, though, that having the best kit without proper training will not help you. Once you identify what can work for you, please think about any training you might need to take to enable you to be more successful. Train often, and train trying to mimic real conditions as much as possible.
That is it. The kit is simple, yet versatile enough to adapt to many situations: cover the most basic needs, such as emergency, defense, power for electronics, and basics for the commute. These items are lightweight and can fit on the smaller 6L backpack and on the biggest 24L backpack that I use.
Before COVID I used to travel a lot to cities around the world, so I tried to build an electronics kit that would allow me to work from cafes and hotels without any issues. Key here is having the right charging cables and tools.
Life experiences and things I’ve seen over the years in different urban environments around the world, have taught me to be prepared. Whether it’s a natural disaster, or a man-made one, you should always have a way to open things, escape from things, and communicate your location to friends and family. That's the reason behind the entry kit. Not having the right tools to get to a life-saving piece of equipment that is locked behind a padlock is bad. So, for my E&E (escape and evasion) kit, I chose items that can be used as both entry tools and survival tools in an urban environment.
Again, for these items to work, you need training. Training and more training is key to both knowing how to use the tools, and how to focus your mind to deal with stress.
The kit includes:
You can get these at SEREPick.
I always need a pen. I always find that I need to sign stuff or take notes. So, since I'm carrying a pen, why not carry one that can help protect me as well? I’m a big fan of having gear that is multipurpose. So, I chose a pen that can serve also as a last resort weapon, and as an emergency glass breaker. I went with a sturdy metal pen.
Let's talk about the trauma kit now. This mini trauma kit is not your typical first aid kit. Far from it. Its purpose is to stop bleeding. Whether you suffered a car accident, or a natural disaster wounded you, or a bad actor started shooting, bleeding has to be stopped in order to survive. I chose things that would allow me to stop bleeding and remain light.
The kit is simple:
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 to them, and more importantly, I know how to fall back to my training when nothing else works. The small kit allows me to remain light, safe and adapt to the various things I need in an urban environment. It allows me to always pack light, and choose the smallest backpack possible.
Find what works for you, train with it, and remain safe