everyday carry, but actually interesting?
March 29, 2014 11:30 PM   Subscribe

I like reading about people's everyday carry, but a lot of everyday carry posts seem to be written by office workers excessively concerned with close-quarters combat and losing their Metrocards. (At least, that's how I interpret the people who carry two pistols, no spare magazines, and a hand-tooled full-grain leather wallet from some artisan in Brooklyn.) I'd like to read the everyday carry of interesting people. I want a new parent to inventory his diaper bag. I want a firefighter to strip from full bunker gear and breathing apparatus, ready to make entry, down to his boxers. I want a stage manager to turn out his mysterious pockets. Where do those everyday carry posts get written up?

Alternatively, assuming the mods don't consider that chatfilter, if you happen to do something moderately interesting and carry specialized (or surprisingly non-specialized) equipment for that purpose, you can write that up as an answer too.
posted by d. z. wang to Grab Bag (22 answers total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
Here's more than a million videos of parents showing what's in their diaper bag (spoiler: it's not interesting).
posted by acidic at 11:49 PM on March 29, 2014 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Here's James Gurney's travel drawing kit.

I want a firefighter to strip from full bunker gear and breathing apparatus, ready to make entry, down to his boxers.

what does it have in its pocketses? And why?
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:58 PM on March 29, 2014 [9 favorites]

Best answer: I am a new parent and I guarantee that my diaper bag looks exactly the same as those acidic linked above. It is basically purse contents + emergency poop blowout supplies. I think parents of toddlers or older children might be more interesting, actually.

Here is a description of what a forester might carry with her.

Here are some wedding photographer gear bags.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 2:01 AM on March 30, 2014

Also: have you seen this video of Adam Savage (that Mythbusters guy) emptying his pockets?
posted by lollymccatburglar at 2:06 AM on March 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Are you interested in things carried in bags? Lifehacker has occasional posts where people show what is in the bags they usually carry.
posted by fireoyster at 2:52 AM on March 30, 2014

Best answer: > Where do those everyday carry posts get written up?

Like you I've seen that as soon as you mention "everyday carry" you tend to get a lot of people with handguns and military-style packs. I've yet to find a place collecting comprehensive overviews of what people in different professions carry around. I think this might be because what (for instance) a firefighter might carry when on the job probably has little overlap with what they carry all the time/every day.

If you have specific professions in mind then you're probably better off looking for places where people discuss that profession as opposed to places where people talk about what they carry around in general. Google is pretty good. Try searching for a profession in combination with "everyday carry", "edc" or "kit". Doing so with "stage manager" gave me this as a list, or from someone else with pictures. If you're interested in some tech/office people have, The Verge has a recurring feature called What's in your bag. It might veer into artisan wallet territorry.

You might enjoy this Flickr set called Persona, with photos of people and what they were carrying (also includes some animals like a squirrel with nuts, twigs and a copy of Animal Farm).

As for general things, you might still find some interesting pictures in places like Maybe you'd like the What's in your bag blog by Timbuk2, or the Flickr pool What's In Your Bag? [but NOT camera bags].
posted by bjrn at 4:04 AM on March 30, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: At my engineering job I don't have an EDC yet. Mostly I grab a tool or measuring device as needed.

At my bike shop job I wear an apron that has a few pockets. In the chest pocket I have a 3 Way. In the right pocket I carry a JIS screwdriver, handle down. In my center pocket I have a Petzl Zipka Plus 2 headlamp (mostly for looking at black brake pads against black anodized rims), and a roll of very thin masking tape (about half as wide as that pic) to mark the height of the seat post in case I need to change it to clamp it in the stand. I also have a clean shop rag in there.

In my left pocket i have a 5' long cloth measuring tape and a pair of Pedro's cable cutters.

Everything else I need is on a pegboard an arm's length from me. If, for whatever reason, I don't have my apron on, I'll put the JIS and 3 Way in my shorts pockets, because they're both incredibly useful on a bicycle. JIS fits high/low limit screws, reflectors, bells, cyclocomputers, lights, and the 4/5/6 3 way fits 99% of everything else.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:23 AM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

I too have noticed that the everyday carry "subculture" has a weird paramilitary fantasy macho bent. I think you have to decide if it's the everyday carry part that really holds your interest (in other words, the notion of being prepared for things) or if it's the tools of other professions that you find interesting.

If it's the latter, industry catalogs can be a great source of info. For example, what do professional arborists carry? Check out the Samson Rope catalog!
posted by werkzeuger at 5:24 AM on March 30, 2014

I've talked about the hipster/Suburban Commando division of EDC blogs before.

Here's some hipster/design spectrum ones:
I Am Packed
The Burning House
The Setup
posted by zamboni at 5:35 AM on March 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

As a former stage manager/theatre pro here is what I carried:

*Crescent wrench (always referred to as a "crench")
*Easy open one handed knife (can't use two hands when you're rigging)
3/16" nut driver for adjusting/tightening *wire rope clamps
*several lengths of parachute chord.
*maglight with blue lens (cuts the brightness, text is still readable, makes spike marks glow really well)
*roll of gaffers tape (usually on a length of parachute cord hanging from my belt)
*script during show days
*greenie screw driver (tiny flat screw driver - usually for wireless mic adjusting)
posted by chasles at 5:52 AM on March 30, 2014

Spin magazine has a series where musicians talk about what's in their bag or pockets or whatever. My half-awake ipad noodling hasn't turned up a good link, but I'm pretty confident it exists.
posted by box at 5:57 AM on March 30, 2014

Some years ago, doing laundry, I saved the contents of my son's (6 years old or so) pockets. Something like a marble, some stones, a small plastic toy or 3. This lived in a small dish on a ledge until I moved, when I put it in a container and put it in his 'memory box'.
posted by theora55 at 6:34 AM on March 30, 2014 [5 favorites]

I'm a teacher, and there is almost always a puppet in my purse. That's probably fairly unusual.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:34 AM on March 30, 2014 [6 favorites]

I seem to remember GOOD magazine having photos and descriptions of what was in the bag of interviewees. Can't think of an example of a person they interviewed, but they were not famous (at least, not outside their field, perhaps)... think more like "architect of sustainable microhousing" and less "recent Oscar-winning actor". These were early issues, not sure if this is still a feature.

This flickr group might be of interest.

theora55's post reminded me of this lamp a mom made with everything she found in her son's pockets growing up. Not exactly everyday carry, but might be of interest anyhow.
posted by jorlyfish at 7:38 AM on March 30, 2014

Best answer: If you have specific professions in mind then you're probably better off looking for places where people discuss that profession

I'll second this point made by bjrn above.

Various forums populated by musicians and/or live sound technicians and/or roadies and/or stage crew seem to have fairly regular discussions about "What do you carry in your gig bag/workbox/toolbox/pockets?" And websites aimed at these professions will sometimes have articles on the topic.

Browsing the web for info & reviews on work boots and pocket knives has landed me on some boards that seem to be populated with various first responders (medical, fire, police) who will often talk about how they tool up for their work day.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:10 AM on March 30, 2014

Your question made me think of the movie The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez. There is a famous scene in there where she pulls out her kit and it has everything you might need for the events of the day. Here's a blog post by another wedding planner that based her kit on the movie.
posted by CathyG at 9:56 AM on March 30, 2014

Lifehacker routinely has posts showing the contents of various readers' EDC, even if they don't call them that.
posted by maxim0512 at 10:06 AM on March 30, 2014

I sometimes work as festival crew (an odd mix of site jobs and stage management). For these things I carry gaffer tape, electrical tape, cable ties, big pocket knife, small torch, paper and a marker pen, and a variety of sizes of batteries.
posted by emilyw at 1:56 PM on March 30, 2014

Reddit's /r/edc has probably got a lot of stuff you don't like, but there seems to be a convention of titling posts with demographic information (so age, gender, location, profession) so that the interesting ones might be filtered out. As I recall from passing my eyes over it sometime back, there are some folks on there who have interesting jobs.

I keep one of those superabsorbent tiny towels in my bag, because Reasons. It's amazingly effective at containing soft drink spills, and can then be rinsed out in the break room sink and draped over something to dry. Not that I have done this a lot or anything.
posted by sparktinker at 5:49 PM on March 30, 2014

Google phrases like "What's in my handbag" and "What's in my diaper bag" (or 'nappy' instead of diaper). It's a reasonably common instagram/bb thread photo bonanza of what people are carrying around (mine from a while back).

Rarely features guns though.
posted by geek anachronism at 7:19 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As a former endurance rider and now long-day/distance trail rider, my saddle's rigged with all sorts of good stuff.

I have four water bottle holders rigged two to the front and two behind. My Gerber knife has it's own carrier behind my thigh. My cantle pack which measures 12"x8"x6" carries a light weight poly rope and halter. There is also a bag with various items: water proof matches and a bit of dryer lint; a large, heavy plastic black garbage bag; rolled up duct tape; a couple zip ties; several feet of parachute cord; a whistle; water purification tabs; toilet paper; a power bar; and a space blanket. The bag is about eight inches long and three inches in diameter, so doesn't take up much space. In a zip lock bag, I carry a neck gator, winter wool gloves, a wool hat, and a waterproof windbreaker. There's usually a collapsible plastic dog water dish, a few dog treats, and piece of baling twine stuck in there somewhere, too.

The pommel pack is quite small, and holds the "first aid" kit. The main items are a bandana and chap stick. I carry a few sunscreen and bug screen packets, big band aides, a packet of neosporin; pain killers, allergy tablets; Tums, bee sting pen, mini bottle hand sanitizer, and lately I've started carrying a small bottle of eye wash, because the dust can bother me.

The above goes with me rain or shine, summer or winter. People laugh because I carry wool gloves, hat, and a windbreaker when it's high summer, but I've been on a mountain in a freak snow storm in July. Same deal with carrying so much water--even in cold weather you can get pretty thirsty. Black plastic bag keeps you dry, zip ties fix bridles, rope can be used as a pulley to close stubborn wire gates. Space blankets are useless for warmth, but they're great for windbreakers, improvised rain ponchos, and to sit on. Sometimes I get a bit disgusted at being personally prepared and then winding up bailing out someone that just won't get a clue while I go cold, hungry, thirsty, or uncomfortable. My rule is for adults I'll do it once, then they better figure out what's what.

I have extra saddle strings/ties that I use for tying on sweatshirts, a jacket, etc. They're also useful for carrying home antlers, cow skulls, and the occasional lost thermos or other item off ATVs.

I usually have a hat with a brim, a bandana, sunglasses, and leather riding gloves.

Other things to carry depending on the weather and where we're going are light weight nylon outerwear pants, waterproof Outback riding slicker, lunch or snacks, binoculars, a compass, and occasionally a map.

You might notice there's two bandanas listed up there, and my grandkids wear one, also. You need them for reasons!
Lots of reasons.

You'll notice I don't list a gun anywhere.
I've seen wolves, bobcats, bears, mountain lions, hundreds of coyotes, and a metric buttload of rattlesnakes, but never felt I needed a gun to handle any of it.

The only time a gun was ever necessary was when a horse (not mine) broke its leg one summer. A gun was sent for, and the horse was dealt with. Sometimes shit happens, but I still don't feel the need to carry one, unless it's for hunting in season.
posted by BlueHorse at 10:00 PM on March 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Are you searching under the specific phrase "everyday carry"? I have only ever heard the verb "carry" used as a noun in this way among the subset of Americans who think carrying guns around in daily life is normal; and since this view is basically not held anywhere else in the developed world, nor much of the rest of the world, it's inevitably going to generate militaristic search results.
posted by oliverburkeman at 4:39 AM on March 31, 2014

« Older NYC Weekend Getaway - Consideration for mobility...   |   Need help defeating wire fraud. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.