Everday Wear/Carry

This is the most practical "preparation" for most people; after all, you might never go to Burning Man, and you will probably never need a "bug-out bag", but this is stuff you might use on any given day.

I drink a lot of water and tend to run "hot" due to a fast metabolism and living in a hot and humid climate. I also tend to carry around a fair amount of technology, so there's an obvious leaning that direction.


  1. Go Bag
  2. Binder Clip Cable Management
  3. Keep Heaphone From Getting Tangled
  4. Cable Wrap
  5. Headphone Wrapping
  6. Top 10 Gadgets in Your Backpack
  7. Whats in Your Backpack
  8. LifeHacker Bags
  9. EDC list
  10. 99 Life Hacks
  11. 99 More Life Hacks
  12. EDC Reddit
  13. Binder Clip Cable Management for Desks


This is a good article on backpack selection.

The civilian ones have removable mouthpieces, which tend to leak once removed (often by accident). Some silicone caulk will seal them (cure it with vinegar). Alternately you can just cut off about a centimeter of tube and wedge it back in. The military ones are made of durable Cordura, often have insulated drink tubes (great for hot climates) and permanent mouthpieces with covers. I haven't regretted buying those, but I recommend black rather than ACU for daily carry (unless you like attracting attention).

Here's an article on backpack selection for bicyclists who carry water and laptops.

  1. Camelbak M.U.L.E. 100oz Hydration Pack

    Great for day hikes; virtually no cargo space (3.25 liters), more like a large purse. Carries 3 liters of water.

  2. Camelbak H.A.W.G. NV 100 oz Hydration Pack

    23L cargo plus 3l water, military spec, has MOLLE loops. Made of 500D Cordura, nylon and foam harness. 2.75 lbs (1.25 kg).

  3. Camelbak Alpine Explorer 100 oz Hydration Pack

    27L cargo plus 3L water (for a full 24 hour hike). This is a bit small for my tastes, but may be great for people who carry less bulky electronic gear.

  4. Camelbak Urban Transport

    36.5l space, 1.5l of water (50 Oz) for you, with padded laptop compartment.

  5. Camelbak Urban Assault

    32L space, 2L of water (70 Oz) for you. 3.75 lbs (1.7kg). Has a padded laptop pocket.

  6. Camelbak Urban Assault XL

    39L space plus 70oz/2L water. Weighs 4.5lbs (2.1kg). Perhaps a bit large for everyday carry? Designed for travel with a laptop.

  7. Camelbak BFM

    100oz/3L water plus 2550 cu in (41.8L) cargo space. Weighs 5.6 lbs (2.3kg). The most space and water capacity available. Great for carrying your weekly groceries, for two people, but way too large for everyday use.

Alternately, for urban use where you often have access to water, you can get a normal backpack and some kind of water bottle or flask. This is often easier to refill at water fountains and is my current system.

  1. 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack, Black

    This is my current favorite backpack. It is airline carryon size, and has MOLLE loops, but doesn't scream LEO/MIL.

  2. 5.11 Rush Tier System (Black, 1 Size)

    This allows you to strap other backpacks onto your current one, and when not tiering them like that, you can use it as spare compression straps to cinch down to fit airline carryon size.

  3. Liberty Mountain Quick Release Strap (1 x 45-Inch)

    Works as a compression strap or a belt to support the backpack.


If you didn't get a camelbak, or you want a bottle/flask for filling in sinks, you can try this combination:

  1. Condor H2O Pouch (Black, 10 x 4Dia-Inch)

    When not travelling, this water carrier can attach to the backpack's MOLLE loops quite easily.

  2. Nalgene Narrow Mouth Water Bottle, 1-Quart, Trout Green

    Just get something with a narrow mouth so it doesn't leak as much, and who cares what color it is...

Alternately you can get one of these. This is actually my preferred method if not using the camelbak, and they can prove useful for other reasons.

  1. Vapur Eclipse Water Bottle, 1-Liter, Olive

    This is a collapsible water bottle that is useful in a variety of circumstances. When you're not using it, it rolls up! Also has carabiner clip to hang off MOLLE.


  1. Equinox Nylon Mesh Stuff Sack (7 x 10-Inch, Blue) This is a handy little mesh bag for organizing things.

  2. Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Quarter Cube, Black, One Size This is a small zipper bag for organizing things; very lightweight.

  3. Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Half Tube Cube, Pacific Blue This is a somewhat larger zipper bag for organizing things, very lightweight.

  4. Grid-It organizer

    This is handy for keeping all your cables organized


Comfortable clothing is a must. I much prefer the vented and/or moisture wicking shirts.

  1. Scottevest Transformer Jacket

    This is quite possibly the best clothing purchase I've ever made. I use it as a vest for carrying my gear, only attaching the sleeves if it gets cold.

  2. Scottevest Tropiformer Jacket

    This newer jacket seems appropriate for warmer climates. I use it as a vest for carrying my gear, only attaching the sleeves if it gets cold.

  3. Scottevest Ultimate Microfleece Hoodie

    If you prefer a zip-up hoodie, here is one for you.

  4. Scottevest Women's Trench

    For women who want something stylish, this works well. My girlfriend wears hers all the time.

  5. Rothco ECWS Gen III Level 3 Fleece Jacket

    I throw this on, over or under my Scottevest when it gets really cold.

  6. Touch Screen Texting Gloves

    These have conductive threads in the fingertips so you can work a touch screen.

  7. Columbia Sportswear Bora Bora Booney

    It may look silly, but if it's over 100 and sunny, the shade is nice.

  8. Dorfman Outback Hat

    This hat is a bit more expensive and fashion-conscious than the previous. Check out the reviews on this item for some more hat tips.

  9. Uvex sunglasses, smoke

    Very, very durable, best value on sunglasses I've bought. The lenses are plastic and tend to scratch and shortly look like... scratched plastic... but for the price, you can't beat them. Plus, they will protect your eyes from small flying fragments, since they're Army approved eyewear.

  10. Uncle Mike's Law Enforcement Kodra Nylon Web Deluxe Inner Duty Belt (Large, Black)

    A belt with velcro instead of holes. Works great.

  11. Core Survival Paracord Survival Bracelet - Hiking Multi Tool, Paracord Bracelet, Emergency Whistle, Compass for Hiking, Camp Fire Starter

    Great little bracelet with paracord and compass and whatnot. I find the wrist compass very useful when your phone won't reveal north properly.


  1. Under Armour Heatgear Compression Tactical Tee

    Heatgear means moisture wicking, tactical means no logo, so you can get white ones and wear them as undershirts. I generally wouldn't wear compression shirts alone except to the gym, and the white ones are basically clear if worn alone, so I personally wouldn't wear those alone, even to the gym, but maybe for some men...

  2. Under Armour Heatgear Tactical Tee

    This can be worn as a shirt by itself, if need be, since it's loose fit.


  1. ExOfficio airstrip lite shirt - white - REI Item# 7314440236

    This is REI's #1 selling shirt, and meant for warm, very sunny, dry weather. White is great for the desert, bone is closer to the color of desert sand and still very practical. The rust/red color is nice for the office.

  2. ExOfficio geotrek'r

    This is something like the Airstrip but lays a bit more flat and seems to appear more "professional". It is totally sufficient for my needs most of the time, and works well under a sport coat.

  3. Columbia Performance Fishing Gear Shirts

    This comes in a pleasant blue color and blends in pretty well.

  4. Scottevest Cotton T-shirt

    This has a small zipper pocket for stuff. However, it got really dirty and burning man and the dust never came out.

  5. Ex Officio Dryflylite Shirt

    This is the equivalent for women.


This article on various tacical pants is very good. This article is okay.

  1. Carhartt Men's Cotton Ripstop Relaxed Fit Work Pants Currently $45 six colors very durable

  2. 5.11 Taclite Pants For warm weather, much lighter and breathable than cotton 5.11

  3. Woolrich Elite Lightweight Operator Pants They look a little too much like fatigues.

  4. Woolrich Elite Tactical Pants A little too heavy for warm climates.

  5. TruSpec 24/7 More pockets than 5.11s and symmetrical on each side, cotton and ripstop

  6. Propper Canvas Tactical Pants

    From the makers of BDUs and military gear, these pants are teflon coated to repel stains and ultra-durable. They will probably outlive me. Too thick for summer wear though. Straight cut pocket better than the slash pocket on 5.11. Direct link to OEM is here

  7. Propper Men's Lightweight Tactical Pant, Black

    These might be good lighter weight pants for summer. Pick the right size obviously. Back pocket is straight cut.

  8. Scottevest Convertible Travel Pants

    Useful for summer, maybe too cold for winter. Thin fabric, not as durable, but comfortable.

  9. Under Armor Men's Storm Covert Tactical Pants

    Quick drying, for storms.

  10. Under Armor Men's Tactical Medic Pants

    Quick drying tactical pants with cargo pockets.

  11. Elbeco uniforms recently acquired a BDU maker in Los Angeles called Transcon Manufacturing. Their BDU's come in either poly/cotton twill or ripstop, or Nomex IIIA Fire Resistant material. LAPD METRO AND SWAT have used TransconMfg. for years, so have CHP, Calif Dept of Corrections, and various K9 units in Socal area.

  12. North Face

  13. Columbia

  14. MP-TAC

Dress Clothing

  1. Albert Ming Arctic Breathable Shirt

    These are nice dress shirts with holes in them for breathability (look like tiny polka dots, almost). Of course you must wear an undershirt with it.

  2. Scottevest Sport Coat

    This is for when you need a sport coat. I love this jacket, makes me feel like James Bond.

  3. Scottevest Hidden Cargo Pants

    These look like normal dress pants but have really large pockets.


  1. Scottevest Boxer Briefs

    Though they run rather large, these briefs are the best travel underwear I have owned. Loose fitting (no chafing), secret pockets, and easy to wash, they work great. I've decided to replace all my underwear with these.

  2. Champion Moisture-Wicking Underwear (best obtained through local stores)


  1. Wigwam Men's Cool-Lite Mid Hiker Pro Quarter Length Sock, Black, Large

    These are my new preferred standard sock.

  2. Champion Moisture-Wicking Socks (optionally with athletic padding on bottom); no-shows for summer, mid-calf for winter.

  3. Fox River Military Wick Dry Maximum Mid Calf Boot Sock, Black

    I like these socks a lot.



  1. NullO internal deodorant

    This stuff is pretty amazing; aside from chlorophyll being healthy for you, it makes your sweat, gas, and breath not smell.

  2. Mitchum Anti-Perspirant

    This stuff is the most effective anti-perspirant I've found; you can use it every other day.

  3. Tiny bottle of cologne

  4. Listerine pocket mist breath spray

Light and Fire

  1. Petzl Tikka XP Tactical Headlamp

    Sometimes you need light and two hands. I would say you need this more often than a regular flashlight. It's very, very useful.

  2. Mini Maglite LED, ACU, 2x AA

    You have to find your stuff in order to use it. Backup for the head lamp. Also works as a blunt, metal object.

  3. USB rechargable cigarette lighter

    I don't smoke, but when I do, I do it with electricity. Could also be used to start fires in an emergency.

  4. Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle - Orange You get a firestarter and a whistle for (currently) $18. How can you go wrong with this on your keychain?

Misc Gear

  1. Troika keyholder with 6 rings

    If you have a lot of keys and need to give a group to someone occasionally, this is the keyring for you.

  2. ITW 42B Black Tac Link This is a plastic D-ring (carabiner) for hanging things off of, and for attaching things. It's light and nearly invisible on a black backpack. Get several.

  3. KEY-BAK #SUPER 48 (S48K) Locking Retractable Reel, 48 inch (122 cm) Kevlar Cord, Polycarbonate Case, Steel Belt Clip, 8 Ounce Retraction, Oversized Split Ring For your belt to attach keys or a badge holder.

  4. Compass - Watch Band Clip On, Navigation, 12 Pk At $7 for a dozen, you can toss one of these plastic compasses in every piece of luggage you own so you always have one.

  5. Rothco Type III Commercial Paracord (Black, 550-Pound/100-Feet) It's hard to find substitutes for cord. And it's very very useful for fastening things, for repairing things, and so on. Paracord is great value - 550 lbs test and small diameter, cheap - I tie this up in a hanjo knot and keep it in the backpack, with one end sticking out through a eyelet, so I can pull it out without tangles and slice it as needed.


  1. Gorilla Tape To-Go This is 1" and 30' long and works really well. I take a plastic pen and wrap this and other kinds of tape (electrical, etc.) around it to save space.

  2. Gerber 22-01769 Shard Keychain Tool Very small fairly useful TSA-approved tool.

  3. Swiss+Tech ST53100 Micro-Max 19-in-1 Key Ring Multi-Function Pocket Tool This is more useful than the shard, and not explicitly TSA-approved, but should pass muster.

  4. Leatherman 831488 Style PS Multitool Not as many tools as Swiss-Tech but a TSA-Compliant design. The spring-loaded clip fails and so it will fall off a belt loop fairly easily.

  5. Leatherman Wave Black Oxide with MOLLE Sheath

    Nice multi-tool that also fits on MOLLE loops, which modern military gear has. Cannot carry onto plane.

  6. Leatherman Wave Belt Holster

    This is for when you don't have MOLLE loops on your gear.

  7. Tool Logic CC1SB Credit Card Companion tool

    Lots of tools in a small form factor. Don't forget it may be too long of a blade for some jurisdictions. The compass tends to stick and give random readings, possibly because it's right next to a piece of metal, so perhaps removing that helps.

  8. SOG Tiny convenient pocket knife 1.5" blade, nothing you're going to fight with.


  1. Kubotan, Polymer, Self-Defense Keychain Stick This is plastic and so airplane-safe. It was designed for female LAPD officers to carry around, and has no sharp points. Works great with the troika keychain above.

  2. Fury tactical defense keychain

    This device allows you to deliver non-lethal blows, or apply intense pressure in a way that will not permanently injure anyone. A folding knife might be used against you, and someone seeing their own blood and going into shock might make you an unintentional killer, but if you properly use this you won't hurt anyone in a way that won't heal. Just don't forget, it's still not legal to bring it onto a plane.

  3. OC spray, 0.75Oz

    This is a OC spray bottle, which might offer less-lethal response. The small size makes it legal in certain jurisdictions but in some jurisdictions, you can't have any OC spray. Check your local laws. I don't carry this around because of that.

  4. Tool Logic SLPB2 Tactical Folding 1/2 Serrated Knife With LED Flashlight, Magnesium Fire Starter and Signal Whistle, Black Nice little pocket knife, LED flashlight, fire starter and signal whistle all in one. I don't carry this around any more because it's a little large for the office and not airplane friendly.

Misc Technology

  1. Sony Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

    This is a great little portable speaker, and the round design means it's unlikely to crack if you drop it. I've found this to be more handy on trips than everyday.

  2. Pebble Steel Smartwatch This is basically a bluetooth remote control for your phone, but also a fitness tracker, sleep tracker, etc.

Power Technology

I've noticed for rechargable USB batteries, that NiCd is too heavy. LiIon is a much better technology. I've noticed that 12 Oz. is too heavy for a pocket, and 4.3 Oz is too light. The fastest and cheapest way to charge a phone is to have swappable batteries, pre-charged, so if you can get those, prefer those over an external battery. Note that you'll need to leave it plugged in a while so it helps to have a coat or backpack with big pockets to hold it all in. The scottevest jackets have personal area networks (basically built-in cable runs) for charging things in any pocket. That helps balance your jacket, by having a phone on one side and the battery on the other.

  1. Tiny USB cables

    Nice set of small USB cables.

  2. Torso cable

    Get the right one for your phone. It's awesome. See the video.

  3. Monoprice 3.25ft MFi Certified Lightning to USB Retractable Flat Charge/Sync Cable

    Good price on a compact, retractable lightning charge cable.

  4. Power Practical Practical Meter

    Great meter and set of max-speed charging cables to carry around. Currently mini, micro, 30-pin adapter - no lightning.

  5. Gorilla Gadgets Uhuru! 16800mAh External Portable Battery Pack Charger with Digital LED Indicator and Dual-bulb flashlight - Charcoal Black Edition The Gorilla Gadgets Uhuru! is the best rechargable battery I've found. The 16800 mAHr is 12 Oz so won't fit in your pocket but works in a backpack.

  6. Gorilla Gadgets Uhuru! 5600mAh External Portable Battery Pack Charger with built-in flashlight - Charcoal Black Edition

    This version is 4.3 Oz and so will work fine in a pocket. There are obviously other capacity/weight models as well.

  7. Trent iTorch IMP52D external battery, laser pointer, and LED flashlight

    Combination of light, laser pointer, and a 5200mAHr battery; nice combination to keep in your pocket.

  8. Anker Astro3E 10000mAh External Battery Pack (Dual 5V 3A USB Output)

    For the price, weight, capacity, and current/power output (three amps!?!) this is quite a deal.

  9. USB rechargable AA batteries

    If you have any AA gear, like the Mini Maglite, you can recharge these AAs off USB power/batteries.

  10. AC adapter with 4 USB ports

    This will charge 4 USB devices at once, but only at 500mA, so Apple products with large amperage requirements may not show that they are charging. I can't tell if it will do 2A on a single USB outlet; I doubt it. I prefer the next item these days.

  11. Fleck 3 AC Outlets + 3 USB Ports USA Travel Power Strip Surge Protector , 1625W/13A Electrical Socket 6 Feet Cord for iPhone, Samsung, iPad And More Other Smartphone and Tablet (White)

    This travel power strip is short, and has USB outlets which saves you a lot of space on power cubes. You're going to need a power strip since most hotels don't have enough outlets anyway, and sometimes the location of the outlet isn't good enough for the previous item. It has 2.1A for tablets, too.

Computer Technology

  1. Elecom 802.11 a/b/g/ac for hotel

    This is a nice portable AP. You can guess the menu settings based on the drop-down box even if you don't speak Japanese. I highly recommend the 5GHz bands (a/ac) for the US, since 2.4 (b/g/n) is so crowded.

  2. Verizon Wireless AC791L jetpack 4G LTE hotspot

    Idid some research and Verizon is the fastest and least crowded 4G in my area. You can search for cell/4G coverage in your area at opensignal http://opensignal.com/. This hotspot also functions as a USB battery backup, so it's technically in the power group too. For the best prices, prepay for the hotspot and get a month-to-month plan. Be sure to ask for the Verizon Plan, and make sure you are getting the month-to-month discount on your line fees (they should be

  3. Retractable Cat 7 Ethernet Cable

    Ethernet cable when you need to wire in.

  4. USB Wifi Adapter with antenna 1

    For when you need another wifi interface, or your driver is broken.

  5. USB Wifi Adapter with antenna 2

    For when you need another wifi interface, or your driver is broken.

  6. Anker USB 3.0 Gigabit ethernet adapter

    For when you need to hardwire up your Mac Air, or need a second ethernet interface. Actually I think this doesn't work without a driver on Macs so you're better off with the Mac one.

Thumb Drives

I buy small ones, and a bunch of different kinds.

See this Cool USB drive list

  1. LE 8GB metal USB key

    This looks like a key and fits on your key ring. Great for vital documents.

  2. SanDisk Extreme 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

    According to this review of USB 3.0 flash drives by Toms Hardware, this is the best (fastest) USB 3.0 flash drive on the market at the moment (July 2013). If you're transferring files a lot, or booting off a drive, this one will be your top choice.

  3. SanDisk Extreme CZ80 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Transfer Speeds Up To 245MB/s- SDCZ80-064G-GAM46 [Newest Version]

    This is the latest/newest version with the highest capacity.

  4. Kingston Data Traveller SE9

  5. SanDisk Cruzer Fit

  6. Super Talent Pico-C USB drive

  7. Verbatim Tuff N Tiny Thumb Drive - Green

  8. Verbatim Tuff N Tiny Thumb Drive - Purple

Portable Storag

I tend to avoid cheap SSDs and hard drives. For portable storage beyond what a thumb drive can carry, I generally get a case and a number of 2.5" drives.

  1. Inateck 2.5 Inch USB 3.0 Hard Drive Disk HDD External Enclosure/Case With USB 3.0 Cable for 9.5mm 7mm 2.5-Inch SATA-I, SATA-II, SATA-III, SATA HDD and SSD, Optimized For SSD, Tool-Free Laptop-sized hard disk enclosure.
  2. Intel 530 SERIES 480gb 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive Reseller Kit (SSDSC2BW480A4K5) This is currently (20150111) $264.95 and one of the highest-capacity SSDs on the market. There are smaller-capacity versions listed for less.
  3. Crucial MX100 512GB SATA 2.5" 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive CT512MX100SSD1 This is a bit cheaper, being only $213.99, and slightly higher capacity, with higher amazon ratings. I tend to think Newegg users are more sophisiticated so take Amazon ratings with a grain of salt if they conflict with Newegg.
  4. Western Digital 1 TB WD Red SATA III 5400 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM NAS Hard Drive WD10JFCX Decent, low-RPM 1TB HDD (not solid state). If you drop this while it is spinning, it will break. Currently $70.
  5. Samsung Seagate Momentus SpinPoint ST2000LM003 2TB 2.5" SATA Notebook Hard Drive 9.5MM $109 for 2TB - can't really beat that.