Put your batteries in a small zip lock. Exposure to air drains them.- George
So this is a more a review of my EDC gear than the Remora. Since I've only had the bag for a while, I'm still re-arranging things to get it settled. Suffice to say, the bag is as solid as every other bit of Maxped gear Ive seen.
As you can see, its quite small beside the fatboy jumbo, in fact if I were to remove the external pouches, I could probably fold the full remora up into the empty jumbo. I've replaced the zipper-pulls with colors (Idea care of Mercop, iirc) To help explain where things are to others.
Right now I've got a mini-roly-poly, single sheath for Vic swisstool, and Anemone pouch. I'm not sold on the anemone in this case, but I'm having trouble organizing, so maybe you guys will have some suggestions once I'm done.
This is an EDC kit, so I'm in and out of it several times a day. Right now I'm in south east queesnland, so fairly tropical climate.
These two pics show one, how full the main compartment is, and second, almost all of whats in it. Unlike the fatboy, the remora has a tall thin main pouch, which naturally falls closed, so getting things in and out can be tough, so prioritizing things is important.
So starting across the top of the pic, we've got, Tattoo covers (at least I like my job), FAK, crash shears, and zipties. those live in the back part of the pouch, which is held in place by a velcro and elastic tab. Very nice design feature. Some soap, roll gauze and gloves are in there too.
Next we've got, spare bandana, izula and AH-1 (no reason really, just because) spare 0.5L platy-bag, and elastic bandage, these are on the bottom, with the izula up one side. Then we've got meds, lighter, watch, gum, hand salve, and the yellow tube is Vitamin b energy drink tablets.
I carry the extra water bottle, as I normally only carry a .5L for use, so if I needed to do some serious walking (30km between work and home) I'd need a bit more water. I'll shortly be adding the sunscreen back to the bag, human-gear go-tubes are very handy!
Mini-organizer in the other main sleeve, sharpies, pens, spyderco stone, and 1L silnylon drybag. not shown is a hotel sewing kit, figure 9 biner, and some 2mm and 3mm static cord. Thoughts on the mini-organizer, its not biased toward the load, so once you fill it, it starts to curl up. No idea how they would fix that, but it fits that section of the bag like it was meant to be.
Front pocket, We've got rite-in-the-rain pad and pen, Vic wrench kit, snow-peak chopsticks, sunglasses bag, earplugs (attenuators and pressure relievers) CAFFEINE, spork, spare batts (AAAs for E05, and AAs in case I carry my E21) also have a pair of sliver-grippers attached to the key keeper. A couple things about the front pocket. The elastic loops press whatever you put under them into the very front slip pocket, so if you over load them, you can't get anything in or out. Not good, as I was planning on using it as a wallet pocket. Its also an odd shape, tapered towards the bottom, so it can make it hard to reach into.
And the odd junk that I've put in the anemone, the little stuff in the can is the Vic corkscrew, a scout size firesteel I busted the handle off of for space saving, ear hook for my bluetooth. Then we've got the bluetooth (blueant T1, very good unit, no complaints so far, seems pretty decent, given how good any of them seem to be. I do wish it the longer range standard though) 12v-USB, cable, and USB drive. Overkill for sure, but it was the same cost as the other high cap USB3.0 stick I was looking at, and corsair is a good name. Hella-quick too! this stuff was in the front pocket, but I was tired of taking everything out to find stuff.
Of course, a little para-cord stash! never have enough. Also hanging off the pack from all the d-rings are a Fenix E05, MSR packtowel, Spudz-cloth and an assortment of S biners.
Not shown is a small piece of Ikea cutting board in the back CCW pouch for a plate. sometimes very helpful to have.
I've been considering getting some bungee and a cord lock to attach my little otterbox to one side for a cell-phone safe. But that would involve removing the anemone, not a bad thing, and only really necessary if I'm heading out to the beach or other sand area, so not a permanent feature. Alternatly, I could use the otterbox for the electronincs and such, and ditch the anemone, again, always more options.
A couple of things I should have in the bag that I don't have, a mirror, and small magnifier. Other than that, not much else I can think of. Any ideas folks? the basic idea is to have everything to handle unexpected events during the day, and if needed, to be able to handle the more major events that could occur.
Some might see this as overkill, but I do use this stuff (partly because its there) since any given day I might be working anywhere from a hotel/resort, to a urban downtown core, to a rural area.
Thanks for the input!
Edit: the more I think about it, the more I'm concluding that there is no reason I need to make the Remora into more of a walk-home bag. My main workplace is about 30km from home, so I could walk it, and I don't think I'll be adding stuff to the remora to make that an easier task, as that over-loads the bag for EDC which is the primary goal. Figuring on about 6 hours to walk it, maybe I don't need much more kit? maybe I'm thinking it would be more difficult than it is? I'm Ill, I suspect that there will never be an end to this process.
Last edited by gadgetgeek; 08-31-2012 at 04:30 AM.
Put your batteries in a small zip lock. Exposure to air drains them.- George
I'd saythat a small overloaded bag is worse than an "underfull" larger one. So either work on reducing/streamlining, or go with something bigger. If everything isn't easy and accessible it either won't get used or it will get lost. If you have to unpack things to get to something then there's a chance of losing/forgetting them after which means you won't have them when you need them most. This has been from many years of doing this. I also know that the smaller and lighter the pack the more likely you will be to have it with you always...This is an EDC not a Bugout or Go bag... Have a larger bag for that at home and/or in the car. This will also make it easier to pare down the EDC
To pare the list down, use multifuntional items as much as possible. Go with ultralight items. Look into the crazy light camper guys gear... For instance get some spectra lines in 2 and 3mm sizes rather than accessory cord. Much lighter and WAYYYYY stronger. (Amsteel as a brand name and Camp Nano biners. Full strength less weight and size than most "gear only biners".)
For small inside pocket organizer in a large pocket you might consider the maxped pocket organizers, they come in three sizes.
Replace the various tools with a single good multi tool, it'll get you by and take up less space.
For the fire source I prefer is a blast match or similar, its one handed and more reliable than lighters, which can and do gum up, run out of fluid, fail to strike etc. Ditch the Figure 9' they are weaker and bulkier than knowing how to tie proper knots with the cord you're carrying.
I use a 6x8 Silnylon piece of cloth hemmed on the edges as a universal tarp/groundsheet/rain cover/poncho/consdensate collector. More useful and versatile than a drybag. Unless i'm actually "on the water", then consider a drybag.
Double bagged with ziplock freezer bags packs better and is more compact/lighter than an otterbox for electronics like cell phone etc. Put a couple of these in your EDC pack.
I wouldn't carry a towel, my clothes of whatever sort will do for that, especially if its shorting time i'm looking at...If its a 30km hike you're aiming at doing try to make sure you do similar ones regularly so you know about pacing, water/food/energy, etc...
If I am carrying chopsticks, I would only have a small spoon, not a spork, as the sticks will repalce the fork. And a spork is less efficeint at spooing than a spoon is.
Water treatement of some sort. Tabs or whatever works best for you.
I carry much of my "kit" on me, in a pocket or on my belt. (Camp Nano biner is my "keyring", multitool in belt holster. Phone in pocket or holster, etc) so these things don't need to be in my EDC bag.
Hey thanks for the input, I'll try to address your points in an orderly fashion so you can see where my philosophy comes from.
Mercop, the longest batteries stay in the bag is about 6 months before getting rotated into the light, so while I understand why you said that, I tend to use my light quite a lot at work, and run through batteries.
Before I start, I'm going to disagree with you on a lot of points, but I'll try to explain why the best I can, so no offense intended, I'm not dismissing what you are saying, I am thinking about it, and may change some things in relation to that.
Smaller vs, larger, I used to carry a 25L backpack as an EDC, but that often contained a parka, or other cold weather gear while in Canada in winter, during summer it was often mostly empty. I downsized to the Jumbo, and now to the Remora, as I like the features of shoulder bags (not having to take the bag off to access things) but the heavy bag has had an effect on my back and shoulders (I'm only 26 and I've had a couple medical professionals comment that one shoulder is lower than the other.)
As for over loaded, yes, that happens, but that is why I always evaluate my kit, and make changes. I have yet to leave anything behind, (I did more often before the EDC bag) and where I am, the bag is, I can leave it sometimes, but I don't like too (its not a security blanket, but I like to know where it is)
As for ultra light gear, cost for me is a concern, I often have a very limited toy budget, (which given how little I live on, its amazing that I even manage to save what I do) I looked into getting amsteel for my hammock, but the cost was just too much, and even then, the hammock was a birthday present, as things had been tight for a while before that.
I've found that the static accessory line gets me a good compromise between cost, weight/bulk, strength and knot holding ability.
I've used pocket organizers in the past, I had a couple Blackhawk ones, and while I did like them for the most part, I found that they were too bulky to be useful when space was at a premium. I get what you are saying, but there isn't anything in the bag now that I can see being improved by that system
The tools are mostly for work. Its kind of a professional faux pas to be a lighting tech with out a C-wrench. (some places its more important than steel capped boots) There are just some things that you DO NOT EVER use pliers for if you want to be employed tomorrow. And last time I looked a Vic swisstool was a high quality multi, but now I'm just being goofy.
Main fire starter is the ferro-rod, (I have a blastmatch, and like it, but its too bulky in this case) the lighter is for other people, and stuff like melting rope and the like. I'd like to get a peanut lighter, but that is a little way off yet.
figure nine: I know and practice quite a few knots, but sometimes it has its place, easier to get tension on the knot when a truck-drivers hitch is too awkward. Could leave out, but I have used it just often enough for it to remain, for now...
Drybag, Even when I didn't live in a tropical area, I used it from time to time. Plus that bag is more reliable, and smaller than any of the freezer bags I've used, difference of opinion maybe, but I find it handy. worst case, it fits my wallet and phone, and I don't have to worry about them, and we can get some serious rain here.
The towel is dual purpose, partly for comfort, partly because every intergalactic hitchhiker needs a towel. I've used it often, it is great for quick showers when days have gone stupid long, and also for looking less like a drowned rat when meeting people.
The 30km is just the "worst case" walk home distance, so I just need to be able to carry my gear that far once, not frequently. if I knew I was doing that distance, I'd be carrying my gregory pack instead.
Spork will probably go, thought I was going to start using it, but changed plans. I'm just a spork fan, spoons are lame.
I've never had good luck with carrying water treatment tabs or stuff. just never worked out, no matter how I tried. however where I live, I'll either be able to get a full bottle by holding it out in the rain, or not find any. I would be able to fill bottles before leaving work, and then head home if needed. worst case, 1L would get me through walking home at night without too much trouble. during a hot day it would be more difficult, but I would probably be able to get regular bottled water at work before leaving... I'm not planning on re-stocking from ponds is the basic story.
Because my job involves lots of kneeling, crawling, and occasionally complete pocket dumping (nothing in pockets while working on overhead catwalks without walls) and my phone is not really belt friendly, I really don't carry much besides work stuff in my pockets, or they just get too full. I carry an alox soldier at work quite a lot, plus e-tape, maybe zip-ties, and any cable adapters I'm needing at that moment. I move the multi to my belt once I can put the bag down. but then the multi is in the way for wearing the bag. I don't usually keep my phone on my while at work, as there is little reason to, and it more often gets in the way. It creates some challenges, but so does life. With your EDC in you pockets can you lay on your back, crawl backwards for 100 feet, and see how much has fallen out or gotten in the way. I love my cargo pants, but I've finding more and more I use the pockets less and less. Just need a leg pocket for my wallet as I don't use hip pockets for that sort of thing.
As for you early point about a separate EDC and bug-out bag, for me they are often one an the same. I don't always have my car at work, I sometimes switch vehicles, sometimes work very odd or long hours. I could cut way back on what I carry, but like I've said before, I use this stuff, it makes my life better, and I could not pocket carry all of this, or even the critical items without changing pants taking an hour!
Not trying to trash your ideas, just that this is nearly a 5 year process of making things more efficient for myself. But now I need to get some sleep, as tomorrow is another long day, and I'd like a night in my own bed this week.
Awesome rationale and logic behind your stuff. I do understand when I said larger I was thinking "slightly"... I'm in my 40's and have issues with lopsidedness from too many years of carrying large shoulder/messenger bags with too much weight. A double strapped backpack as long as you have both straps on, or waist pack is way better for you than any sling bag. Although cross shoulder is a little better than others.
I work with a tight gear budget too and make as much of my own stuff as I can to save money. I have three hammocks all of which I made and which cost me under $30 each including webbing and Amsteel ridgelines. PM/Email me and we'll talk about Amsteel, I can get you some and give you discount sources if you want to buy your own. There's a good forum for Hammocks out there...
I'm still trying to settle on the right bag for my EDC. Its tough to get the right balance with capacity, organization and beng small enough and convenient enough to carry all the time. Go bag is more about organization, durability/accessiblity and capacity.
I have to agree with Rapt_up about using a larger bag. Your bag now looks over overstuffed and then, you also have all the extra stuff attached to the outside. This would seem to me to make it unusable as a bag at this point, no? What I'm getting at is, if you want to bring a jacket, a book, or a sandwich, you'd now have to bring another bag. There's also no room if you find/buy something along the way.
When I got my regular fatboy, I got all excited about how much I could put in it. By the time I was done putting everything I wanted in it, there wasn't much room left- at least not enough for a book, magazine, or lunch. Anyway, that kind of killed it for me. I don't want to have to carry 2 bags, so now I'm looking at something bigger. I'm looking hard at the Jumbo Fatboy, are you saying it's too heavy?
I've been through the cycle quite a number of times... I have at the core of this building up and reducing gear, a "survival pack" that I created long before it was fashionable or cool, or had names... and it fits in a standard small ziplock sandwich bag. It contains, essential emergency things that would be hard or impossible to create in an emergency survival situation.
- small emergency blanket, razor blade, lighter or other fire source, small candle, cord/string, thread, needle, mirror, compass, energy bar, fish hook, wire, fishing line.
You will note it doesn't have other essential items like a knife, because thats a thing I count on always having on me. It also isn't a ton of things. Many of whiuch would be useful or make life more comfortable, but aren't really essential. I made it so "bare" because it covers just about everything you could need to get you other things or make other things, and is small enough to ALWAYS have with you. Its no good to have a perfect set-up if its not with you when you need it.
I am toying with moving up a little in size and making it a bit more comprehensive... like water treatment of some sort... Bad water can and will kill you in a survival situation... But it still has to be something I can and WILL carry always. If not, then again its not serving its purpose. And I don't want to look like I have my wife's purse over my shoulder...
The right pack and the items are going to be dependent on each person, their skills, their requirements and their preferences. I have a high tolerance for what many would consider low comfort, living off the land because I like it. And I do it for fun, so a survival situation isn't scary, its a challenge. I know I can feed and shelter myself anywhere within at least 6-7 hrs drive of my home with the items listed above and do it quite comfortably (by my standards). So I will run a lot leaner a kit than someone who has less knowledge/skillset, or who needs more comfort to be happy. Maybe they have more food, or water, or both. Maybe they have a small bivy shelter in their kit so they don't have to know how to make one. Again it depends.
In the cold seasons I always have extra clothes with me and my car has a down sleeping bag, candles, and other winter emergency supplies (flares, food, booster cables, etc). Its all in a bag that is a permanent resident in my car for more than 6 months of the year.
The other thing I do is use all the gear I have. I solo camp for up to a couple weeks at a time in all seasons. This is a chance to practice the skills that go with them. Fire starting, identifying and gathering wild foods (safely and without wiping out the resource for real emergencies), and preparing them. Making shelters. etc... I car camp as much as possible and practice the skills with all my family members when notihg depends on it. This is fun and empowers them too. My young daughter was thrilled when she built and started the camp fire in the rain using a blastmatch (one handed firesteel).
It also lets you know what the little things are about the gear, what lives up to its hype and what doesn't. And my choices on what is in the pack evolve and vary based on the use.
I guess what I'm saying is that being prepared is a lifestyle choice and a state of mind not a specific list of items. Having the right bag and kit will help, if you have prepared it yourself, it suits your experience and skills, and you have it with you. Thats the real key, Its only useful if you have it with you.
I'd love to see pics of people out with their packs. Its a learning process. I love Mercop's idea of different coloured pulls on the zippers.
Last edited by Rapt_up; 09-06-2012 at 02:17 PM.
Rapt, thanks for the offer, but at the moment I'm not in a position to start any projects (and everything costs an arm and leg to get shipped to Oz) I need to use my outdoor gear lots more before I need to go getting more of it!
I hear what you are saying about your winter kit, as mine was very similar in Calgary, but since I've moved, I no longer have to always pack for three seasons! I hear what you are saying about 25% free space, but I found that even with the jumbo half full, there wasn't really any room for anything I might pick up. Thats why I carry the spare nylon shopping bag. That was the big benefit of the backpack, but when 75% of the time I only had the lid pocket full, it didn't carry all that well. The perfect pack would have a separated EDC pod in the bottom, so that the generally denser stuff was down there, leaving the main body free for fluff, and make it comfortable to carry. That said, I like being able to get into my bag without taking it off. I've used waist packs in the past, but I find that I prefer the over the shoulder as I generally have to keep waist belts pretty tight to keep them on, and they are not so comfy then. Plus then you have to take the pack off to sit down, which isn't always ideal.
I get what you are saying. I found that after I took out all the cold weather survival gear that was no longer needed the jumbo was only half full. Don't get me wrong, I think the jumbo is a great bag, I had no troubles with it, and I will still use mine I'm sure. I just wanted to make everything smaller. As for the extras you mention, my kobo fits in the CCW pocket, if I'm taking a lunch with me its in a small cooler (just too hot here to just take food with like I used to) and I couldn't add a jacket to my Jumbo anyway. As for weight, I'm saying I could pack it too heavy. I was running about 4Kg with it, then adding a water bottle. That worked, but I could easily add an extra Kg if I had extra tools, or things for the day, and that would push it over the limit. If you keep the weight at 4Kg max (3kg plus 1L water) then its just fine. Keeping in mind that I used to carry it for hours at a time, something that most people probably wouldn't do. If I was using it as just a tool bag, and not carrying it long distances, then I'm sure it would handle an even bigger load. You just only get so much grace with one strap. What are you filling your bag with?
I've struggled as well with the two bag thing, but its just what I have to do. This road trip I just did, my luggage was a 25L toploader pack, the remora and my pelican laptop crate. I could have packed it all in one, but then I would have had to use my 70L pack, and thats just silly for three days in a hotel. I did make a couple of changes over the past few days though (again) mostly with moving things around the outside. I've been finding that the anemone pouch on the front acts like a bit of a kick-stand keeping the bag upright which is nice as it doesn't stand well on its own. And since the sun is getting bitey again, I've added some sunblock.
I understand the gear issue. If you change your mind I can send you some 7/64" Amsteel in yellow (20-30' ish). Its not that expensive as long as you don't mind slow boat shipping I spent some time in Oz and NZ when I was younger had an incredible time.
I have the same things i work around with the shoulder vs waist belt... especially if you're being active... and the whole accessiblity problem "on the go". I've also tried sling bags and found that they didn't hang or carry as well as I'd hoped. But the side access on them so they can be swung around to the front definitely is a good idea, and maybe other companies' takes (like Maxpedition) work better.
Keep us posted as I'm interested in new ideas for my carry as well.
Nice bag! I recently traded out my Maxpedition Kodiak for a LA Policegear Operator pack. The Kodiak was great, until you put stuff in it and lugged it around and watched as your shoulder was compressed. I LOVE my new bag. Every pocket has it's own gear and the main pocket has a notebook, space for my laptop, and any clothes or other gear I need to add in. Also, for carrying more stuff it feels great!
Everyone has stuff that others don't carry. In my case it's pill bottles. At one time I was just throwing a weeks worth in one pill bottle, but apparently the cops frown on this. So, I carry individual bottles now.
Ednemo, It really is a case of one size does not fit all! Glad you found a bag you like.
Speaking of meds, I've mentioned what I carry in other threads, but didn't here. First off, I use the little nalgene bottles, I find that they seal very well, are easy to open, and are a good shape for pills, enough lip to let a couple out, but not enough to get things stuck. I prefer them to actual pill bottles mostly because of the seal. I label them with white E-tape and sharpie. The drugs
Bottle 1: stomach: I carry Zantac (ranitadine sp?) as I sometimes get acid reflux, its been a while since I've had to take some, but if you've been through it, you'll know why I still carry it. I also keep swallowable Pepto tablets in there as well, as I sometimes get a little IBSish and it takes the edge off. I should have some Immodium as well, I think I need to check it, as I might have tossed it for being expired....(too tired to remember at the moment)
Bottle 2: Ibuprofen, Just handy to have. If I also have any muscle relaxant on hand I keep it in either this bottle or the other painkiller bottle so I know which is the second ingredient, to avoid overing.
Bottle 3: Acetaminophen, Why carry both? I have friends who are allergic to one or the other, they work a bit differently, and if worst comes to worst, you can stack them for a short time, might not be much relief in the grand scheme of things, but if it takes the edge off, its worth it.
Bottle 4: anti-histamines, I carry both Benadryl (Diphenhydramamine?) and Gravol(Diphenhydramate?) anyway, I carry them in the same bottle as a reminder to take one or the other, not both. Make sense?
The bigger bottle there is full of fishermans friend lozenges, I used to carry them in the little pouch they come in, but eventually all you have is dust, so I put them in the bottle. Occasionally I'll also carry zinc lozenges if I am having a bacterial throat, but they are not an every day thing, I just pick them up as needed.
On a related to sling bags note, I had a very effective "rapid first aid" bag done up for sport med work in a small MEC shoulder bag(mini-pod? just looked and couldn't find it anymore), it was really effective for that role as I could either keep the bag on, and work from it, or take it off quickly if needed. I much preferred it to the fannypack style that other medics used, as you have to spin the whole pack to get access, then your basics (light and shears) are on the wrong sides.. I did like that bag, it got donated during the downsize before the move, but it was the perfect size for a medium sized, basic kit.
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