What you carry on your person everyday (or at least accessible close to you) may dictate the success or the failure of a difficult situation.
Whether it is a medical, practical or defensive scenario carrying basic or advance equipment is really important.
If you live in an urban environment and you are not always close to your vehicle it’s suggested to build an EDC kit in a backpack or a sling-bag.
In our opinion your self defense tools and equipment should be at all times on your person. We only use our backpack to store extra mags, but not our primary firearm. If the situation does not allow us to reach for our EDC backpack we sill have a concealed-carry handgun with mounted light and extra mag, a folding blade, a smartphone, a wallet, a tactical flashlight and a tourniquet. Keeping our EDC defensive tool in the same location will also provide efficiency and accuracy to the situation.
We like to divide by priority and importance our daily-carry equipment into different levels.
Level 1: the EDC items carried on your belt and pant’s pockets.
Level 2: items in your bag directly accessible from the outside.
Level 3: items organized in pouches and dividers inside the bag.
About the backpack:
One of the key features that we really like of the Blade’s design is its side-access. This allows us to open and extract the content without dropping the bag or revealing what’s inside. Arc’teryx has padded this bag like a tank, it is comfortable, light and extremely protective towards electronics or fragile items.
The Blade has many pockets, some visible and some hidden. On the top, next to the handle, there are two pockets: one specifically designed for eye wear and one for GP items. On the side there are three pockets: the admin pocket (with stitched organizers for admin tools), the main compartment and the laptop (or even ballistic plates) compartment. All the internal parts of the bag are made of hi-viz nylon for better efficiency. The hidden pocket is located on the lower back close to the body, and it is intended for documents, extra cash, copy of conceal carry permit or passport.
Even on the road this backpack is really handy, in case of an accident (especially at night) you can grab it, exit the vehicle and move towards a safe location without keeping any valuables in the car. In the admin pocket we have placed two S&S Precision V-Lites and a Manta strobe to mark our presence to other drivers or the authorities until we have access to roadside flares.
This backpack is efficient and feature-rich without screaming “tactical”. We like the adaptability of PALs webbing and we like Camo but in most urban environments it just stands out too much. The clean design of the Blade 24 allows to be “undetected” or just not to stand out too much.
Bag, Pouches and Cases:
Arc’teryx Blade 24
Maxpedition Fatty Organizer
Maxpedition Mini Organizer
Salewa Med Pouch (With personal kit)
6×6 Pals Multicam Pouch
Thule 13″ Laptop Case
Items directly accessible:
Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket
Outdoor Research Halberd Sensor Tactical Gloves
Princeton Tec Remix MPLS Headlamp in Multicam
Boker VAT tool
Princeton Tec Switch light
S&S Precision V-lite Green
S&S Precision V-lite Blue
S&S Precision Manta Strobe
Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
Oakley SI Ballistic DetCord in Cerakote
Surefire E2D Defender Ultra
Pick Lock Kit with Tecnora and Kevlar Strings
Vapur 0.7 Water bottle
Items stored in pouches:
Pelican 1010 Case
Samsung 250gb T1 SDD
Storacell 123 Battery holder
Gerber MP1 Multiplier
Gerber Shard Multitool
Surefire EP-1 C Ear Pro
Steiner T824 Compact Binoculars
Altoids Tin with basic Survival kit
Inforce 6vx backup Flashlight
Rite in the Rain notepad
Cyalume 6″ green
Samsung 13000mAh Battery Bank
Chargers for electronics
1 x QuikClot Combat Gauze
2 x Gauze Pad (4″x 4″)
1 x Elastic Bandage
1 x Tourniquet
3 x Pharmaderm Antibiotic wipes
3 x BurnFree Gel
10 x Normal Band Aids
8 x Special Shape Band Aids
3 x 3M Steri-Strips
1 x Aluderm Gauze Pad (8″x 8″)
2 x Aluderm Gauze Pad (4″x 4″)
1 x 3M Micropore Tape
1 x Surgical Tape
2 x Sterilized Gloves Nitrile
2 x Ketoprofen
10 x Ioperamide
2 x Paracetamole
2 x Amoxilline (antibiotics)
4 x Aspirin
4 x Iburofen
1 x Fine-Point Metal Tweezers
1 x Space Blaket
Inside Altoids Tin:
3 x 3M Steristrips
2 x Bandaids
2 x Iboprufen
4 x Antihistamine
4 x Water tabs
1 x 3M Ear Pro Backup
1 x Pencil w/ 1ft of tape and 20 ft of floss
4 x Stormproof matches
1 x Exotac firestarter
1 x Clip Compass
2 x BurnFree gel
1 x Alchool wipes
Blue Force Gear has now released the full line of Dapper Organization products. These pouches and panels were first introduced to the market at Shot Show, last January. Blue Force Gear is well known for smart and extremely-lightweight products. We have use extensively their Ten Speed line of pouches and we are excited to see the same technology applied to the EDC segment.
As for now the Dapper line consists of 3 series of hook and loop attachments: Mag pouches, Elastic loops and Clear zip pockets.
The Ten-Speed Magazine Dapper combines the legendary Ten-Speed performance with the flexibility of the Dapper system to provide the lightest, low profile way to carry spare magazines or other similar-sized items. Military-grade elastic pockets hold most double or single stack pistol magazines, lights, multitools, or other similar-sized items secure and in place. The Ten-Speed® pockets lie flat when not in use for reduced bulk and greater storage flexibility.
The Utility Dapper Pouch is a larger utility pouch to hold most everyday items and mission gear such as chargers, personal items, computer equipment, medical supplies, tools, magazines or almost any other item one would carry in a bag. The Large Utility Dapper can be quickly installed and removed on any loop field to quickly change the load out, making it the ultimate in discreet, modular load carrying.
The Pouch has two blue zipper pulls that are easily located and a top rubberized carry handle for easy opening and transporting. The carry handle can be hung around most US door knobs for use when traveling. The top is transparent, allowing you to see the contents without opening the pouch. The inside is a loop field, allowing the installation of Dapper Loops for even more organization options. The pouch comes in two sizes.
The Accessory Loop Dapper uses military-grade elastic to keep smaller items in place and organized. The smaller loops hold cables, batteries, chem lights, medical supplies, pens and other smaller items in place.
The Large Accessory Loop Dapper holds larger items such as tourniquet straps, bandages, large bundles of cables, 550 cord or smaller electronics such as GPS units, point and shoot cameras and most phones. The Accessory Loop Dapper is available in three different sizes: small, medium and large.
What we really like about the Dapper Organizers is the flexibility of it. Where you are an Operator overseas, a First Responder or even just a student who wants his backpack neat and organized this is the right product for you. The fact that the same product could be used for a Direct-Action backpack, a EDC Bag or even a car (or TacticalWalls) makes your kit very versatile and efficient.
For more information please visit BlueForceGear.com
Sometimes dangerous, and potentially deadly, environments surround us. Whether you are overseas behind enemy lines, lost in the wilderness or a survivor in natural disaster a fixed blade knife is the tool that will always get you home safe and sound. A survival knife can provide the right help for water, shelter, fire, food and protection. It is the most versatile piece of equipment that we can carry. Gerber produces one of the milestones in the mil-spec survival blades: the Gerber LMF II Infantry. The Infantry is the definition of the survival knife, with an overall length of 269 mm, a blade length of 123 mm and a well-balanced weight of 330g this beefy knife can be utilized for tasks of different nature. The Gerber team is well known for providing the user with well-engineered products, and they seem to have reached a very good standard with the LMF II Infantry. They have chosen a 420 high carbon steel for this blade, which makes it very good against corrosion and hard use; in fact the Infantry can be even used as a prying bar in an emergency situation. To meet the compliancy of the aircrews’ standard issue, Gerber had to design the LMF II with two main features:
- It had to be tough (so that it could be used, by the crew, as an escape tool from the aircraft after a crash).
- It had to electrically insulate the user from any live wire he could find while escaping through the fuselage or the cockpit.
To accomplish these two requirements Gerber developed a very interesting design that meets both strength and protection using a combination of 420hc steel and hard composite materials in the body of the handle. The Blade: The use of the 420 High Carbon steel makes this knife incredibly resistant against rust, especially with application of the black non-reflective coating. Even though the Tanto design looks much cooler on a tactical knife, thankfully, the LMF II has a drop point design, which makes it a much stronger knife for any bushcraft or survival use. Due to its design and the 5 mm blade thickness, this knife is a great tool for chopping, prying and digging. The spine of the blade has a 90 degrees angle with no chamfer applied, which allows to light a fire with a Magnesium bar or flint fire starter. The blade has a drop point plain edge with 47 mm of serration closer to the handle. Even though some people believe that a knife has to have a plain edge, we know that a survival/bushcraft knife MUST have a serrated edge. The serration of the blade makes it much easier to cut through harder material, cords, fresh vegetation and it retains much better a sharp edge. Serrations are mandatory on a 420 HC steel survival blade to help maintain sharpness in the field, since this material could lose edge after some use. Sharpening this knife in the field is very easy. The sheath of the knife houses a V-shaped sharpener for the drop-point part of the blade that allows the user to carry an always-sharp blade, no matter what. If you really need to sharpen the serrated edge on the field, Gerber makes a great tool that makes it very easy: the Bear Grylls Field Sharpener. The blade also features two lashing holes to use the knife as a spear; this feature becomes very interesting when you have to find some food in the wilderness. We have used this method in the past to catch fish in a small river and it really can change the situation from a disaster to a memorable moment. One of the basic rules of providing food in the wild is that you do not have to use more energy than the one you’re going to gain from what your catch will give. To accomplish this goal the spear is the perfect tool since it doesn’t always require much running. The spear is very easy to make with very little cordage and it can also be used as a self-defense tool from wild animals. The Handle: Because of the large production scale of these knives, Gerber was able to use an injection molded handle with a diamond texture on its surface. This handle has a rubbery feel and really sticks to the user hand even when the surface of the handle is wet. The large pommel at the end of the grip allows a much more secure and firm grip. It also functions as a striking tool and a hammering surface. When working on bushcraft tasks, quite frequently, we have to grip the knife from the very end of the handle and strike on the back of the blade with a large piece of wood in order to chop down through a log; with this design, it is much easier and faster to do so. The Sheath: We believe that one of the most important parts of a knife is its sheath. For us, good retention, slickness, protection (both of the user and the blade) and different attachment options are key features in a good quality sheath. The sheath is made of ballistic nylon with a fire retardant coating. The retention of the knife is due to a friction lock mechanism that secures the knife in place even if attached tip-up on a plate carrier or a chest rig. The Infantry can be carried both right-handed and left-handed since the knife can be stored in the sheath either ways. The LMF II comes with many different mounting options. The knife can be carried on the belt, on a MOLLE system and, because of the leg straps, also thigh and calf carry. We gave this knife a very hard time, we have used it for a while now and we are very happy with the results. The overall package seems very durable and stiff and even the sheath after many drops seems to retain the knife without any wobbling. At first, we were quite worried for the black coating of the blade but even after hitting some rocks it did not seem to peel off at all. This, for sure, is not an EDC knife: it’s beefy and not light. But when you will need it, you will be glad of its weight especially when chopping wood or cutting down a tree. One of the features that we like the most about this product is its 25 YEARS WARRANTY and the fact that it is MADE in the USA (Portland, Oregon). If you are looking for an excellent-quality versatile survival knife for an affordable price, the Gerber LMF II Infantry is the perfect choice. For more intel please visit Gerber’s website.
Clothing featured in this article:
Vertx Tactical Belt
The Haley Strategic Partners D3 FlatPack is an expandable compact assault pack. Designed with a unique expandable gusset system, the D3 FlatPack is an assault pack that can go from an almost flat profile when compressed to 600 cubic inches when completely expanded. It is Available in four different colors: Black, Coyote, Multicam and Ranger Green. In its compressed state, the D3 FlatPack can run a 1 liter hydration bladder in the main compartment with additional small items like batteries, energy gels and chem lights stored in the dedicated admin chamber. Expanded, the main compartment can fit a fully loaded D3CR, a helmet or a jacket while the admin can fit electronics and/or small binoculars. The FlatPack integrates with a D3CR or D3CR-H, replacing the H harness with the pack straps, to create a light reconnaissance, patrol or an EDC worst case scenario rig. The FlatPack will also molle into any PALS based nylon system including plate carriers, assault vests or other packs with external PALs webbing. Although designed with the Special Operations end user in mind, the D3 FlatPack also makes an excellent everyday pack for civilians looking for a very compact carry bag that doesn’t scream military. Able to safely transport electronics such as the iPad, MacBook (12″) or any laptop or tablet up to 8″ x 12″, the padded inner chamber can also hold a number of items ranging from books and periodicals to digital cameras.
The D3 FlatPack can hold the HSP D3CR making it a very compact and reliable pack to carry a chest rig in a covert situation. During the transition from covert to overt, one the D3CR is deployed, the operator is able to slim back down the pack and integrate it with the chest rig, making this system a great site exploitation bag. Materials and Weight:
500D Cordura Mil-Spec nylon
200 cubic inches expandable to 600 cubic inches
Computers (max size 8″x 12″) will fit when fully compressed
50 cubic inches that can also be expanded to 100 cubic inches
With the HSP D3CR to create a patrol system
Any PALs based systems (such as plate carriers)
This year at SHOT Show Magpul has released some very interesting products. The first segment is dedicated to the “marriage” between Uncle Sam and Mother Russia with the release of some new rifle furniture for AKs.
Magpul ZHUKOV-S Stock
The Magpul Zhukov-S Stock is a no-compromise folding stock for the modern AK. The Zhukov-S Stock casts aside traditional AK stock shortcomings and offers a folding, collapsible stock with QD sling mounts, modular Cheek Risers, and a shock-absorbing rubber butt-pad for superior traction. The Zhukov has right-side folding for compatibility with side-mounted optics. Designed to fit most common stamped AK receivers without modification via a unique wedge block, the durable injection molded polymer Zhukov-S Stock redefines the human interface with the AK platform.
Magpul MOE AK Stock
Providing Magpul construction and ingenuity to the venerable AK platform, the Magpul MOE AK Stock is an optimized fixed stock for most stamped-receiver rifles. Featuring the unique wedge block fitment of the Zhukov-S Stock, the MOE AK Stock provides internal storage, optimized QD sling swivel placement, a shock absorbing rubber butt-pad for positive placement, and user-selectable snap on Cheek Risers.
Magpul PMAG D-60 AR/M4
The PMAG D-60 is a durable, lightweight, highly reliable 60-round 5.56×45 NATO/.223 Remington polymer magazine for AR15/M4 compatible weapons. With a larger capacity than previous PMAGs, the PMAG D-60 gives the shooter 60 rounds of ammunition, effectively allowing the same round count as two standard capacity 30-round magazines without requiring a critical reload. The unique drum configuration keeps the height of the magazine manageable as well, allowing prone firing and easier storage. Features a paint pen dot matrix for easy marking and a rear window for instant capacity indication. Compatible with a wide range of NATO firearms such as the M4, M16, SCAR MK16/16S, HK416, MR556, M27 IAR, and others.
Magpul PMAG GL9 – Glock 17
The PMAG 17 GL9 is a 17-round magazine featuring durable polymer construction, paint pen dot-matrix for labeling, tool-less floor plate removal for ease of maintenance, and a visible capacity indicator hole on the body. The PMAG 17 GL9 is compatible with all full-size 9mm Glock handguns, as well as compact and sub-compact variants with some protrusion below the grip.
Magpul HUNTER 700 Stock
Made from reinforced polymer and a machine finished, anodized A380 cast aluminum bedding block, the Magpul Remington 700 Hunter Stock offers users a fully adjustable length of pull, comb height, and enhanced ergonomics. Compatible with all Remington 700 Short Actions, this stock requires no bedding and is a true “drop-in” solution for the end user. This stock is also M-LOK compatible to accept a broad range of accessories. Also available is our Bolt Action Magazine Well, which allows the rifle to be used with detachable box magazines without the need for custom inletting.
Gerber is a recognized leader in military-grade tactical products. We had the chance to test for a few months one of their new Cortex flashlights.
These lights are proudly built in the US and are designed to meet the needs of the military professionals. The Gerber Cortex series is comprised of three flashlights: the Cortex, the Cortex Compact and the Cortex Rechargeable. This line of lights features the Gerber’s patented Omnivore technology, which allows them to operate on multiple powers sources. The Cortex and Cortex Compact can operate on either AA or Lithium CR123A batteries, while the Cortex Rechargeable runs on Lithium Ion 18650 battery but will also accept disposable CR123A batteries.
The Cortex Flashlight is built with adaptability in mind. It can run on either three Lithium CR123A batteries or two AA batteries. The Cortex accepts both alkaline and lithium, providing the operator with flexibility when battery choices are limited. With a maximum output of 675 Lumens (when running on three CR123 batteries), the Cree XML LED provides a level of light than can be effectively utilized to overwhelm an aggressor or identify a threat. In an outdoor environment this light can be effective for hundreds of yards.
As you can see from the images above the light has a very wide outer beam, while still having a focused hot spot in the middle. We believe that Gerber has found a good balance between wide-external and focused-central. This fine combination allows the operator to enhance its situational awareness while still being able to utilize the tool actively and selectively. The tail switch cap allows to select between three modes: high, low and strobe. The low mode provides an output of 40 Lumens and is well suited for administrative tasks.
The light is built with heavy duty in mind. The Cortex is made of aircraft grade anodized aluminium which feels solid and tough as soon as you grab it. Because of its aggressive design, the bezel can be used as a striking tool or even to brake glass, in case things go very south.
The light is also provided with a built in clip, for easier carry when a sheath is not available.
We believe that this flashlight could be very interesting especially for those who live in Europe, while other US made flashlights are very expensive this seems to have an excellent Quality/Price ratio. For the pure tactical application (CQB, even weapon mounted) we prefer to have a momentary only switch. But this product still does a very good job for a personal defense task. In all these months that we have been using this product (and we didn’t treat is very good) we have never experienced a failure of any kind. We have accidentally dropped this light for quite some distance and every thing was fine, and even underwater it worked magnificently.
We recommend this light for its adaptability, and we would definitely keep it in my car or in a Go bag. The Cortex’s adaptability and versatility make it a tool you must have. The fact that you can utilize this light for personal defense, search and rescue and general outdoor/tactical applications definitely make this flashlight one of the best we have ever owned.
So if you need to purchase a flashlight that can do the work of 3 or 4 we strongly recommend this. If you are looking for a light to keep on your person when hiking in the mountains, operating overseas, rescuing, hunting or even as and EDC tool, this is the one.
The Gerber Cortex flashlight is available at GerberGear.com
Haley Strategic Partners has just released the Disruptive Environments Chest Rig Heavy. This new chest rig will allow a more mission specific set up for those who operate with a 308 platform while having the same slickness and low profile of an HSP soft good.
The D3CR-H addresses the same mission as the original D3CR, but has been slightly redesigned to support .308 platforms. Optimized for work in urban, vehicle, rural and other confined settings, the Disruptive Environment Chest Rig was built to be worn as a stand alone system with a detachable H-harness or clipped into a armor platform equipped with a quick release system.
When run as a stand alone, the platform is low profile enough to be worn fully loaded and not print on a normal/loose fit jacket or sweatshirt. When run on a armor platform with a quick release system, such as SwiftClips™, it can be attached or stowed in seconds, giving the end user the versatility to transition from low vis to high vis or vice versa.
The rig intentionally does not include a radio or dedicated full size medical pouch so no matter the posture, essentials such as communications and medical kits can remain on the end user at all times. The D3CR-H is also compatible with the Haley Strategic D3 Expansion System allowing the end user to add features including the holster wedge or multi-mission hanger pouch.
The rifle magazine pouches accept almost any .308 magazine. The Multi-Mission Pouches accept 1911, Glock, Sig, M&P, XD and other standard double or single stack pistol magazines, as well as many handheld lights and multi-tools.
The system features:
4 .308 Magazine Pouches with Hypalon® magazine retention tabs (Pouches support SR25, SCAR, FAL, AR10, M14, Lancer Systems, PMAG LR)
2 Multi-Mission Pouches with Hypalon magazine retention tabs (Fits standard double and single stack pistol magazines as well as other equipment including flashlights and multi-tools)
Zipper GP Pouch (Medical, compass, GPS, phone, batteries and other various small electronics)
Zipper Tool Pouch (Includes elastic keepers for more mission specific essentials, such as Kestrel wind meters, ballistic calculators, dope cards, batteries, tools and various electronics).
The D3CR-Heavy will be available in early December in Coyote and Multicam for $179.