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#184868 - 10/11/09 12:46 AM Urban/office EDC kit, suggestions please!
Andy Offline

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 378
Loc: SE PA
I've been putting together urban/office EDC kits for my employees who work on client sites. The goal is to put a few items in a small, rugged case that they can keep in their desks, briefcases or jackets. I've tried to include items that could useful in a variety of situations from a paper cut to a power outage to stuck in the office because of bad weather. Total cost of case and contents is about $10-12.

I'll also be including a written instruction sheet using a PocketMod custom sheet.

The case is about 4" x 3" x 1" with a rubber gasket to keep it water resistant. I have attached about 3' of paracord to the case with a storm whistle tied onto that. I'd love to braid a longer piece of paracord as a lanyard but I am a complete klutz at that sort of thing.

On the outside of the case I've put two pieces of glow tape. Here's a picture of how that looks.

It's a tight squeeze to get everything in there, I had to use a piece of Velcro to keep the mini Bic stuck in the lid of the case.

Got any suggestions? Anything new would mean taking something else out as there's virtually no empty space. (Doug, I feel your pain in packing the PSK's)

Here are the contents of the UEDC:

1. Credit card Fresnel lens
2. Lifesaver candy
3. Compressed towel
4. 5 4" zip ties
5. Disposable toothbrush w/toothpaste
6. Mini chemlight
7. Duck tape 2" x 18"
8. Coin cell LED light
9. Paper tinder
10. Moleskin
11. Credit Card tool
nail file
12. Mini Bic (Velcro holds it in the lid of the case, rubber band makes it easier to get out)
13. Golf pencil
14. Reflective flagging tape (5')
15. FAK (assorted bandaids and antiseptic wipes)
16 48" of 1/8' cord
17. Dental pick (reusable)
In a crisis one does not rise to one's level of expectations but rather falls to one's level of training.

#184874 - 10/11/09 01:26 AM Re: Urban/office EDC kit, suggestions please! [Re: Andy]
Y_T_ Offline

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Arizona
such a clever kit. smile I'm very impressed with the ingenuity and space use. and also impressed that you're bothering to make this effort for your employees, most don't.

some thoughts:

the light-charged glow tape on the outside is a nice idea. that gives the option of possibly using the case itself for signaling.

those teeny chemlights are actually kind of useless. they're so small that they don't give off much light and there's no way to hang them or clip them. you have to hold onto them, which means your hands are covering most of the light since the sticks are so small. the only way I've been able to use them was to attach them to something else with a rubberband. You have one on the lighter, so that might work.

you have a pencil, but no paper to write on (the paper is tinder, so that leaves them kinda at a loss). you may want to stick a sheet or two of small notepad paper in there. shouldn't take up room and allows the person to write down key instructions, phone numbers, etc. that they'd need to keep and not burn. Another thought: the credit card tool has a pen, so if it's effective then the pencil isn't needed at all.

personally, I'd take out the travel toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as the dental pick. for an office type emergency they're not really important and you can use that space for something else. especially since there is a toothpick on the credit card tool.

I'm not really sure what they'd need the Reflective flagging tape for. but I guess it can't hurt. though if you're stuck for space you could probably remove it to use that slot for something else.

I'd suggest having a bandanna. you could attach it to the outside with a rubberband if needed. you have that expandable towel, but that requires water and water is likely to be scarce unless they're carrying it on them.

you already have cord on the cover holding the whistle so I don't think you need the extra inside. that should also free up some space.

if possible, the thing I'd most want to see upgraded is the flashlight. those little button key chain things don't last long and I've found often the battery goes dead just sitting in your bag before you even have a chance to use it. with a few of the dental items removed you could probably put a small pinkie-sized LED light in there, which would be more beneficial.

I'd replace the lifesaver with some pain reliever: tylenol or advil (or the generic equivalent). pain reliever is much more likely to be useful and one of those little single-serving packets would take up about the same space.

additional thoughts:
- some dental floss. thinner than the cord and can be used for repairs.
- sewing needle (midweight or heavyweight) and 1 or more safety pins.

Edited by Y_T_ (10/11/09 01:28 AM)

#184877 - 10/11/09 02:22 AM Re: Urban/office EDC kit, suggestions please! [Re: Y_T_]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2026
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Originally Posted By: Y_T_
personally, I'd take out the travel toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as the dental pick. for an office type emergency they're not really important and you can use that space for something else. especially since there is a toothpick on the credit card tool.

I agree regarding the toothbrush. Given the big picture, it is low on the priority totem pole.

Safety pins are the one thing I can see adding. They require little room and they can be used for things such as improvising a sling, removing a splinter or act as a temporary solution to torn clothing.

Jeanette Isabelle

Edited by JeanetteIsabelle (10/11/09 03:36 PM)
Edit Reason: Correcting a grammatical error.
"Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble." -- Frederick Henry Royce

#184886 - 10/11/09 03:39 AM Re: Urban/office EDC kit, suggestions please! [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
EchoingLaugh Offline

Registered: 09/20/09
Posts: 156
Loc: MO, On the Mississippi
I would take out the toothbrush, use the space for pain meds. I would leave the lifesavers, or switch them to glucose tabs. Bigger zip ties. like Y_T said a better light source.

Since this is for employees I wonder if it would be a good idea to put instructions on the case, i.e. list and what its for, so they can look at it from the outside?

Have specific notice that to return to you for restocking, they are an awesome idea but not if they are not fully equipped.

Have you looked at this from a liability angle? This seems like a great idea, but in today's sue-happy world it's worth a mention.
Do you know where your towel is?
Don't Panic!
I have an extra.

#184889 - 10/11/09 03:57 AM Re: Urban/office EDC kit, suggestions please! [Re: EchoingLaugh]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Kudos for your efforts!

I would leave them as is and deploy them. You will get feedback from the field and make adjustments accordingly.

No small kit can be perfect.

Please post a report on how the kits go over and what you learn in say three months.

#184896 - 10/11/09 09:12 AM Re: Urban/office EDC kit, suggestions please! [Re: dweste]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
I would bin the tool in favour of a SAK classic.

Also: as this is issue to staff as PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) I would issue them with a separate small first-aid kit which would make room in the kit for more useful items like wire and a phone card.
I don't do dumb & helpless.

#184897 - 10/11/09 12:42 PM Re: Urban/office EDC kit, suggestions please! [Re: Andy]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Are you sure you don't want to enter the wireless consulting industry?
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


#184899 - 10/11/09 01:22 PM Re: Urban/office EDC kit, suggestions please! [Re: Desperado]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
I second the idea of a few safety pins.
I think the toothbrush is a good idea.
The life saver breath mint is a good touch.
(nothing worse than something stuck to the teeth or bad breath before a meeting, it is something most folks don't think about)

I agree with the idea a dental pick is redundant with the tooth pick already in the SAK card.

Human nature being what it is they will likely use them for things you didn't expect, lose them in drawers, quietly discard them because they just don't think they matter much and other odd responses.
But it is the thought that counts and these carry the message that you care about your employeees. so when you see them being set in the back of an office drawer or the tooth brush used to clean a keyboard don't get upset.

By the way, a large sewing needle might be a good addition.
It can be used for stitching a button back on and it takes up very little room.
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

#184910 - 10/11/09 04:36 PM Re: Urban/office EDC kit, suggestions please! [Re: scafool]
Compugeek Offline

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 392
Loc: San Diego, CA
Are you planning to have them use the back of the instruction sheet for notes? If they need to leave a note somewhere, that would require them to tear up and/or leave the instructions.

So I second adding some blank paper.

Does the keychain light have an actual on-off switch or is it push-button only? If it has a "stay-on" mode, it can free up the hands, and if you add a safety pin, it could be pinned to a shirt/jacket/whatever. If it has a decent amount of "scatter", it could eliminate the cyalume, too.

Second to adding safety pins.

It's trivially easy to fold duct tape around a business card. Make your own tape packs, and save a bit of money?

Are you going to supply replacements/refills for used items?
Okey-dokey. What's plan B?

#184912 - 10/11/09 04:53 PM Re: Urban/office EDC kit, suggestions please! [Re: Compugeek]
Andy Offline

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 378
Loc: SE PA
Thanks much for all the advice. This is a prototype mainly built with items I had on hand and with an eye to low cost. It's really meant to be a once in a while, disposible kit with the focus on the kind of emergencies that wouldn't require EMS or FD. I'll let the users fine tune the kit according to their needs. One of the ideas behind this effort is to give the employees an impetus to start their own preparedness exercises.

Responding to your comments in no particular order:

I've had good luck with these coin cell lights. They've been on key rings for a couple of years and still work fine. For incidental use they're good. Not in budget to put in Arc AAA lights or similar prtoducts. They have both a momentary and locked on switch. The battery is easily replaced and it comes with a substantial attachment point.

The PocketMod is an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper that is printed on one side, blank on the other folded in 8's. I'll put some basic instructions, list of contents, perhaps 'borrow' some of Doug's S.T.O.P copy from his PSK instructions. I'll leave a couple of sections blank for notes that can be torn off and left behind.

The mini chemlight does have draw backs but it makes a good marker especially if the seeker has NVG's. They could attach it using the cord or some of the duct tape to affixt it.

The reflective flagging tape takes no room but I thought it would useful to tie around an arm or a bag strap if you get stuck walking home in the dark or inside a Metro tunnel. The duct tape packs are cheap and I'm a klutz.

The light duty cord was for those things where paracord doesn't work, like a broken shoestring. Though I might swap the orange for black.

I made a choice to not include meds, I think that's a personal decision.

I'm stretching the rules of engagement already with the card tool knife; building rules prevent even a SAK Classic.

Safety pins! Got to find a source. I'm sure I can fit a couple in there.

Will probably take the tinder out (it's a cardboard-like material that fluffs up to catch a spark). They could always burn the instructions...

I was thinking about putting a hotel giveaway sewing kit in there but didn't have any at home. And didn't feel like buying 500 of them from the hotel supply site. Taking a trip next week, I'll try to find some.

You gotta admit that the mini-tooth brush is neat! I'm going to leave it in as sometimes an emergency is having a spinach cheese pizza for lunch and them remembering you need to brief the client at 2.

I don't really care how they make use of the kit, more important is that they start thinking about preparedness. I'll make refills an employee benefit.

Again, thanks for the advice, even if I'm too stubborn to take it all!


Desperado, can I make a living without freezing my butt off in the wilds of Canada?
In a crisis one does not rise to one's level of expectations but rather falls to one's level of training.

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