Arc’teryx Blade24 EDC Backpack Loadout
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
S&S Precision SlingClip
Shooting with a One-Point sling is certainly very comfortable, but when it’s time to sling the weapon system having a Two-Points really makes everything easier. This accessory allows to quickly change your configuration without having to handle any QD or clip interface. S&S Precision has had for a long time another similar product but this really seems slick and low-profile.
It is designed to fit most standard 1” slings and it effectively turns your single point sling into a two point sling with a simple flick of your thumb.
Specs and Features:
-New low-profile design
-Skeletonized design with fewer components
-Integrated hand stop/finger groove design
-Works in cojunction with single point sling systems (1” width) to secure weapon
-KeyMod & M-LOK versions available
Outdoor Research | Helium II
The Outdoor Research Helium II is a light-weight waterproof jacket ideal for many outdoor applications. This product was originally designed for climbers and runners to be worn for a short period of time during a storm. The main concept behind this product is to always carry it with you.
Due to the extremely light-weight we have kept the jacket stored in our EDC backpack every single day for the whole season. With an astonishing weight of 180 grams you literally forget about it. The jacket is so compact that can fit even in a small cargo pocket. If you actually compress it with a vacuum machine it reaches the size of an energy bar.
We have already seen some very small and lightweight jackets on the market. What makes the Helium II unique is not just the weight but the waterproofness of the fabric. We have use this jacket in many unpleasant weather conditions and it has always kept us dry. To reach this kind of excellence Outdoor Research has utilized a 30D ripstop fabric with a Pertex Shield+ 2.5L coating. At first we were quite skeptical about the longevity of the waterproof shell due to the way the fabric compresses when the jacket is stored, but even after some pretty rough use it hasn’t showed any sign of weakness.
For example if you compress some other waterproof shells on the market like Gore-Tex the layers of the PU film could break, making the fabric permeable. Gore-Tex works with a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane with a hydrophobic PU film; in some cases if the fabric is folded too much there could be a loss of waterproofness.
One of the greatest features of this garment is its breathability. Keep in mind that this product was not actually designed for prolonged use, this is why OR focused more on the weight than on the features. This is a jacket to always have in a backpack or just keep stored in a bag. Even if it does not have armpit zippers (like the bigger brother Helium HD) it still offers enough breathability to get the job done.
If you plan to wear this jacket for a longer period of time please take a look at the Outdoor Research Helium HD, it features a more complete type of hoodie and pockets, for a slightly larger size and weight.
Outdoor Research has done a great job designing the hood. It features a bungee cord that runs from the forehead to the back of the head, and if pulled tight it really secures the hood and the visor, offering a very smooth and “noise-free” motion. The visor is made of a much stiffer material allowing a very comfortable wear during storms. This feature really comes handy when shooting (both handguns and rifles) under bad weather.
We have chosen the black/hydro version of this jacket because it does not scream “tactical” while still offering some decent concealability. The blue OR logo and zipper don’t really stand out too much but are keen to make the user appear as a civilian. On the range this jacket is fantastic, due to the lightweight it can always be packed in a range-bag, and as soon as it starts raining you have backup. The elastic on the wrist allows to keep a clean motion during weapon manipulation, without risking of getting the garment in the way.
The choice between Helium II and Helium HD is only driven by the application of the user. Both offer lightweight, waterproofness and breathability. So because we like to carry this shell 24/7 in our backpacks we decided to go with the more lightweight/small version rather than the feature-richer one.
For more details about the Helium II please visit the Outdoor Research website: OutdoorResearch.com
SureFire E2D Defender Ultra
SureFire is the leader in military-grade illumination tools. One of their most versatile products is the E2D Defender Ultra flashlight. This light is made in the United States and is designed to meet the standards of the military professionals.
The E2D Defender Ultra is a 500 Lumen compact multipurpose light designed both for everyday carry and tactical operations.
Like most other SureFire lights it also feature a lockout tail cap, which prevents accidental activation during storage or transport.
With a maximum output of 500 Lumens, the virtually indestructible high-performance LED and the Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens provide 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. The TIR Lenses are designed to with versatility in mind. The 500 lumens LED combined with the lenses allow this flashlight to be effective both during tactical operations (for example entering a dark room) and for long-range urban/rural tasks or engagements. The light has both a very good throw and spill; the central hot beam has a very good range while still maintaining an optimal peripheral vision. 500 Lumens seem also a very good compromise between close quarters and long range engagements. You really don’t want to have more than that for CQB operations while still maintaining a punch for the great outdoors.
The flashlight has two output levels: 500 lumens high for maximum light and 5 lumens low for extended runtime and for admin tasks. This allows the E2D Ultra to be effective even in everyday outdoor applications. The low output setting is just enough to be able to see in the close proximity without interfering with our night vision.
The light is built with heavy duty in mind. The E2D 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 two-way clip, for easier carry when a sheath is not available.
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 personal defense scenarios. In all these months that we have been using this product (and we didn’t treat is very well) we have never experienced a failure of any kind. We have accidentally dropped this light for quite some distance and everything was fine, and even underwater it worked magnificently.
We recommend this light for its adaptability, and as soon as the sun goes down this light is in our pockets. The E2D Defender Ultra’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 probably the best we have ever owned.
We really think that if you are a professional or an enthusiast of the defense/tactical industry you must own at least one SureFire, and we think this could be the one. In the past years we have owned many SureFire flashlights; they are just the toughest! But even if they break don’t worry they are covered by a lifetime warranty.
This flashlight is made in the USA, MSRP $265. This is probably the best multiple-purpose illumination tool you can find on the market, but if you don’t want to pay this amount for a flashlight Surefire also makes some really interesting less expensive simpler models .
For more information please visit the SureFire website: surefire.com/
BCM | 300 Blackout
Bravo Company Manufacturing has released a full line of 300 Blackout carbines and upper receivers. With this latest addition, BCM has officially entered the 300 blk segment of the firearm industry. The many similarities in the components of the weapon platform between .223 (or 5.56) and 300 Blackout allow an easy and cost effective caliber conversion.
In the past few years we have seen many other companies entering the 300 Blk market; we are very glad to see one of the best firearms manufacturer following the same steps. BCM will be offering the 300 Blackout upper receiver in 16″ RECCE, 12.5″ CQB and 10″ Pistol lengths.
Approved by SAAMI on 17 January, 2011, Supersonic 300 AAC Blackout 110-125 grain 300 Blackout ammunition was designed to produce a similar ballistic effect on target of a 7.62 x 39 mm round but out of a 9″ barreled AR platform carbine. At 300 meters, 300 Blackout has 16.7% more energy than a 7.62 x 39mm round. A supersonic round fired from a 9″ barreled AR pattern 300 Blackout carbine will match or exceed the energy at the muzzle of a 14.5″ 5.56 M4 carbine.
BCM 300 Blackout carbines use the exact same components, down to the magazines, as the rest of our carbine fleet with the exception of the barrels. This also means an end user can utilize both their existing magazines and AR accessories to fine tune the feel of their carbine, same as any other M4 or Recce rifle.
The 300 Blackout line of BCM carbines are built on our 1:7 Twist 11595E Certified Steel barrels. The bore on each BCM Enhanced Barrel is honed to perfect the rifled finish prior to chrome lining both bore and chamber. With a continuous taper profile designed to optimize balance, performance and weight; each BCM barrel is fluted toward the rear near chamber, increasing strength and speeding heat dissipation. Barrel harmonics and accuracy have been further improved by removing the sharp handguard cap shoulder commonly associated with AR platform barrels. Reliable, mil-spec quality, BCM Enhanced Barrels will deliver a repeated positive effect on target, every time you press the trigger.
For more information about the 300 Blackout caliber, its conversion and its performance (also at distance) please take a look at what Travis Haley from Haley Strategic Partners has to say after one year of test and evaluation with this platform.
Kinetic Development Group | 2015 Update
Kinetic Development Group has been releasing a lot of great new products in the last few months. They have been focusing mainly on the FNH Herstal SCAR platform, diversifying from most of the other firearm accessories manufacturers on the market. We have already introduced you to the SCAR Adaptable Stock (SAS) a few months ago. Since then KDG has released some other interesting products both for the SCAR and AR platform (technically any platform thanks to the Magpul M-LOK system [Read our article]). They started by providing the FN SCAR operator an alternative extended aluminum rail system that would provide the same customization and attachment options as most ARs do, this is the MREX (Modular Receiver EXtention).
KDG has also released in the past few moths a new mounting system based on the M-Lok platform: the Kinect QD. This line of Quick-Detach mounts allows the operator to change and swap accessories on the weapon within seconds. There are two spring-loaded wedges in the base of the Kinect™ mounting point. When you press the accessory or rail section down in the MLOK™ slot, two tiny deployment triggers get pressed against the rail firing the wedges into place. There is nothing more frustrating that fiddling with an allen wrench (if you can find it) to get your accessories on an off your weapon with traditional modular rail sections. This changes the whole dynamic of the MLOK™ system and really makes every accessory truly removable with the ability to mount it in a second when needed. Due to the high quality materials and engineering skills this system does not fear recoil or hard use.
The last product line KDG has released is the Sidelock Optic Mounts. The first one to arrive on the market was designed for the Aimpoint Comp M4. The patented cam system locks the mount down onto picatinny without the need of tools, side levers, or huge knobs. The release system allows users to change out their optics on the fly with less hassle. The 3 levels of locks insure the optic will not move unintentionally, maintaining zero for the shooter, and returning to zero when remounting in the same position after removal. They have now released two other optics mounts: the Sidelock Universal Scope Riser (that features a plain 1913 rail system) and the Sidelock Aimpoint Micro Mount.
Blue Force Gear | Dapper Kit
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
Gear Review | Gerber MP1
The multi-tool is the most versatile and useful piece of equipment that can be carried, whether you’re in a urban area or out in the country you should never leave the house without one. The multiplier is the updated and more complex version of this tool and it’s usually equipped with a set of wire cutters and needle nose pliers.
Haley Strategic Partners | One Pack to Rule Them All
For more information about the Haley Strategic FlatPack:
FlatPack Release article: urbansurvivorblog.com/2015/05/22/haley-strategic-releases-flatpack/
Haley Strategic Partners website: haleystrategic.com/flatpack/
Gerber LMF II Infantry | Review
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 Kryptek Typhon Tactical Pants
Vertx Tactical Belt