This was, overall, a good exercise. Even after spending several hours digging through and organizing my stuff I honestly didn’t change much but what I did change is good. As a personal exercise, this really was a pretty good investment of my time. I found some items that were either expired or ruined, tons of duplication in what I was carrying and I reorganized all my first aid supplies.
Goal Number One: A Smaller “Critical Items” Bag
It is not perfect, it is not as light or small as I would like but it works and it has what I consider to be my “critical items” and a few that are not so critical but it works.
It is nowhere near what I would call “micro” but this little pouch/bag/organizer does fit in any of the cargo pockets I have tested it in. It is a little heavy but I should be just a matter of getting used to it being there as I have with my gun, knife, etc. I added a small carabiner clip which allows me to attach it to a belt loop or another bag. I can also just toss it into another larger bag. The front pocket holds a few packets of hand sanitizer.
Opening it up I have a small tube of lip balm, a little container of over the counter pain relievers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen), flashlight, over the counter antacid (rantidine), and the first truly critical item Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Wonderful wife has a sever food allergy that we have, as yet, been able to identify. One of these as soon as the symptoms start to show saves a trip to the emergency room (or worse).
In the pocket to the left I have a few first aid items to treat (very) minor injuries; antiseptic wipes, band-aid, bandage, antibiotic ointment and eye drops. I won’t be able to deal with any serious injuries but it is small and light enough to carry and will help when the grand kids (or Pappa) get a little injury. I plan on adding a few more items as there is plenty more room in the pocket. I keep all of it in a sealed plastic bag to make it easier to get in and out and to help keep the antiseptic wipes from drying out.
The right hand pocket contains a surgical mask (thanks thoughtfullyprepping for the suggestion) and glucose tablets. Both of these items could be considered “critical.” I have issues with my blood sugar and the glucose tabs can help keep my going until I can get some real food in me. The surgical mask can help protect against airborne toxins and contaminants. I plan to upgrade to a better mask shortly and to include a second mask as well.
Everything in here is TSA (and other restricted environments) safe and can be easily pocketed or carried with most of my clothes. It has just the basics and some critical items so it is not too bulky or heavy.
Goal Number Two: Better Organization
Starting out, I had visions of several small packs that could be combined and recombined as needed depending on what was going on and where I would be. That was probably just a little bout of OCD and I got over that quickly. I did however combine all my TSA unfriendly stuff into one of the organizers I bought. That way I know quickly and completely that I am safe for airport travel and I can also tell at a glance that I have restored it when I am done.
I will probably change out the knife for a better one shortly. The rest will stay.
Goal Number Three: Deduplication
This part worked pretty well. Other that work related items I only have a few things in my work bag.
Gone is almost all the stuff that is in my EDC bag and the only items left are things that make sense. Yes, everything here duplicates what I have in my EDC bag but this is WAAAYYY less that what was there before. By cleaning out my laptop bag of the duplicate items I can fit the entire EDC bag into it if I need to. The “critical items” bag can be tossed in or kept in a pocket.
All in all I am pretty please with the (small) changes I have made. I think it will go a long way to making sure I have what I need, when I need it and that it is still usable.