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#152499 - 10/20/08 05:29 PM Urban/Office Worker EDC
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
This has been discussed before occasionally but I would nonetheless appreciate some fresh debate on the topic of urban EDC.

Now, I do keep a BOB at home and I always bring at least a small survival kit on any outdoor activity, even if it's just a short couple of hours walk in the woods. But it has just occured to me that I'm not nearly as well prepared for any serious contingency that might happen when I'm either at work or commuting/shopping/whatever. Which is after all a big part of my everyday routine.

I am lucky in the sense that I work at a location within an easy walking distance (20 minutes) from home. Realistically speaking it is pretty much a low risk environment. I have a desk job and short of a man-made or natural disaster I can see no immediate threats. Fire is potentially the greatest hazard of all. The folks at another department work with fairly volatile chemicals regularly and even though there is little danger of anything going badly wrong we have had a small fire a while ago, which was fortunately contained quickly.

I am in the process of upgrading my EDC kit, which I want to keep as low profile as possible. I always carry a small backpack with me so that is pretty convenient. So far, my only real EDC items in addition to my wallet, cellphone and watch were the following:
- Spyderco Endura,
- Leatherman Wave
- diamond sharpening card
- matches.

There are always some snacks and at least a small bottle of water inside my office. I have added the following items to my backpack:
- Inova X1 flashlight w/ 2 spare batteries
- small tire iron
- BIC lighter
- homemade firestarter
- about 20' of nylon rope
- some string.

Pretty much self-explanatory. The flashlight was really necessary, should have added it long ago. The tire iron may seem out of place and I hope I'll never need it, but it could be used as a small crowbar. Which I think is fairly important - my office is on the 3rd floor and the only way out is through at least two doors with electronic locks. Which have been known to malfunction now and then and the only way to open them is with an electronic card. If that doesn't work I would have to pry the door open or else I'd be trapped inside.

I'd like to keep my kit small but any further ideas would be appreciated. Also, it would be interesting to hear from others who are in a similar situation. Do you carry any survival gear on a daily basis and if yes, do you have any advice to share?

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#152505 - 10/20/08 05:40 PM Re: Urban/Office Worker EDC [Re: Tom_L]
RainHiker Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/20/08
Posts: 16
A tire iron, which could really freak some people out, and probably will have a hard time fitting into a security door jam is not a good idea. Go to the hardware store and get a small flat prybar that will be easier hidden, weigh half as much, and do a better job. Upgrade the flashlight to a good D-cell maglite, these are cheap tough and can be left in the desk drawer until need. Mine personally had to be used as an emergency hammer one day (really serious beating) and it still works. Maglites are also for handling unruly persons, thats why cops carry them.

If you want to camoflouge your gear at work think about making a five gallon bucket you can put it all in to grab and go, into a stool. Maybe a cover exist for such thing or you can make one thats just an idea.

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#152515 - 10/20/08 06:33 PM Re: Urban/Office Worker EDC [Re: Tom_L]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3556
Loc: Spring, Texas
A whistle, fleece blanket, duct tape, extra socks and a spare poncho.

-Blast

p.s. Oh, and a few bandaids for the walk home.
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#152526 - 10/20/08 07:08 PM Re: Urban/Office Worker EDC [Re: Blast]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
+1 on all of the above suggested by Blast.
Rainhiker's got some good ideas, although a D cell Maglite isn't exactly unobtrusive. I keep a 4 D cell Mag under the seat of my car.

Depending on where you live, I'd add:
-water
-hat (fleece or knit)
-gloves (1 pr. work and 1 pr. warmth)
-fleece vest (or something else fairly compact that'll keep you warm)
-sunscreen (no sense getting burned on that walk home)
-maybe some energy bars
-paper napkins (TP, fire starter, wipes, etc.)
-small radio (useful in EQ, big storm, etc.)
-maybe a map for alternate routes or to get to a shelter or food/water distribution point and a small compass
-small bar soap
-hand santitzer
-iodine tablets (in an EQ, water is really unsafe)
-reflective tape (mark your back pack or location)
-magic marker
-plastic eating utensils (if you come across canned goods, can you eat them?)
-water carrier of some sort
-possibly a bit more of a FAK than just bandaids

Some of this is obviously only applicable in a major disaster, not just a localized issue, like a single building on fire. Adjust as applicable.
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#152527 - 10/20/08 07:12 PM Re: Urban/Office Worker EDC [Re: RainHiker]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Originally Posted By: RainHiker
A tire iron, which could really freak some people out, and probably will have a hard time fitting into a security door jam is not a good idea. Go to the hardware store and get a small flat prybar that will be easier hidden, weigh half as much, and do a better job.


If by pry bar you mean a smallish flat metal pry bar I have to disagree with you here - I think you do want something a little longer with more leverage, something like this fat max wrecking bar - http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stor...ctId=100060975. The usage is to get through a stuck door, and I'm not sure the small flat prybar can do the job. Its heavy, but sits on top of my office kit to pry open my door and other people's doors after an earthquake, when the mechanics may dictate that the door frame is now off and the door would be pretty stuck. The bigger the better, faster extractions. It can also be used to remove glass partitions near every office door way, better and more safely than a prybar. The $7 wrecking bar is in my kit, not exposed where anyone can freak out. It might also come into play in a self-defense scenario, more than a prybar but that's a whole different story.

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#152546 - 10/20/08 09:37 PM Re: Urban/Office Worker EDC [Re: Tom_L]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Tom_L
my office is on the 3rd floor and the only way out is through at least two doors with electronic locks. Which have been known to malfunction now and then and the only way to open them is with an electronic card.

Unless you're in a special secured building, at first thought, requiring a card key to exit--particularly in the case of fire--would seem to violate all kinds of fire codes. And you say that these two doors are the only exits for you?

If that's the case, then I would bug management about making sure those locks work reliably, especially considering that there was just a fire, they might be more receptive to doing something about it.

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#152606 - 10/21/08 03:12 AM Re: Urban/Office Worker EDC [Re: Arney]
suertetres Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/18/05
Posts: 12
In addition to teh above- i'd keep Off Wipes, small and depending on where you live- a life saver if the bugs are bad. It sounds as if your in a pretty urban environment, Im' in DFW and still carry and use them!

Spare OTC meds too, tums, immodium, pain pills probably wouldn't hurt.

As far as your flashlight goes, i'm a big fan of the Surefire G2 series. You can get an incandescent for 35 bucks, 65 lumens for an hour of run time off Two 123A lithiums. I have since upgraded to the led version-I think they go for around $80. i think its 85 lumens and runs for 11 hours.. very bright and long lasting- I love the nitrolon body- its tough and light! Small powerful light

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#152610 - 10/21/08 03:58 AM Re: Urban/Office Worker EDC [Re: suertetres]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1913
Loc: Colorado
Stuff to carry on you:

cellphone
folding knife
writing pen
whistle
firearm w/spare mag
wallet w/contacts-meds-allergies infocard
emergency money (separate from wallet)
Tylenol/Advil
1xAAA LED flashlight

In the car/truck:

jacket/rainwear
water
snacks
car stuff (maps, bungees, duct tape, paracord, tow strap, tiedown straps, etc.)
larger LED flashlight
umbrella
folding chair

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#152615 - 10/21/08 05:08 AM Re: Urban/Office Worker EDC [Re: haertig]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
Quote:
Unless you're in a special secured building, at first thought, requiring a card key to exit--particularly in the case of fire--would seem to violate all kinds of fire codes. And you say that these two doors are the only exits for you?


Yup, that's pretty much the case. It is a fairly high security place. By the way, I have thought much about prybars. the reason why I opted for a tire iron (one of the all-steel, flat versions) is that it gets far less attention than anything resembling a crowbar. That would be a big no-no in my situation. So I basically need something small and inobtrusive that could get me through a stuck door in an emergency. Yup, I'd rather have a demolition charge and a 4' wrecking bar but... eek So all things considered I can only really pick between something like a tire iron or a big screwdriver.

Thanks for all the other suggestions! In fact, I do keep many of those at hand already (medicine, pen, rain gear..). Looks like I EDC more useful stuff than I'm aware of. laugh

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#152619 - 10/21/08 06:05 AM Re: Urban/Office Worker EDC [Re: haertig]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: haertig
Stuff to carry on you:
firearm w/spare mag
Seems like that might get you in to more trouble than out of, most places.
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Adventures In Stoving

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