Everyday Carry (EDC)

You may have heard the term “Every Day Carry (EDC)” from self-defense or survival circles. That is where I first heard it. As a tech guy, I think this same term can be applied to the gear we techies carry on a daily basis. So, I wanted to provide a quick list of the things I carry daily to/from work and elsewhere. These may not help you survive a zombie apocalypse (whatever that is), nuclear fallout, or a foreign invasion, but they should help make your day-to-day life a little easier. Feel free to comment on this post with things you carry, suggestions, alternatives, etc. I intend to make this list a little more fluid that will update as I change gear and as technology changes, so check back now and then.

ItemUse
BookbagFirst things first...you have to carry your gear in something. Personally, I like to carry most of mine in a book bag. My favorite to date is the 17" laptop travel bag by Swiss Gear: http://amzn.to/2rrvfsQ I've had it for years, it's durable and has more pockets than you'd believe. I have various smaller pouches and containers inside that aren't as relevant to this post. Also know that you can get this book bag cheaper at Sam's.
Cell PhoneMake phone calls, take pictures, write notes, read documentation, and more.
USB CablesI have several cables of various lengths for all of those USB connected devices.
USB AdaptersAlong with the cables, I carry a handful of adapters to get from/to USB-A, B, C and even other non-USB style ports.
External rechargeable USB battery pack.This has been a life saver, restoring power to a dead, or almost dead, device many times. There are times you aren't near an outlet or PC or in your car that this can come in handy. Not to mention, it would be great in a survival or emergency scenario. The one I have I received for free with another purchase. It's been great, but I have nothing to compare it to, so I don't have a specific recommendation. Just make sure it has a good enough charge and can quick charge your devices.
Bluetooth headsetAgain, no specific recommendation here, but grab yourself one. It's great for impromptu calls, voice commands, and more when your hands need to type and you need to see your screen.
Wireless USB MouseI use this constantly in meeting rooms, when traveling, sitting at a table or on the couch, or just to stare at the pretty blue light (not really). These are a dime-a-dozen, so just buy one.
Power adapter and/or cableI carry a power adapter (wall plug with USB port) as well as a couple of small power cables for my USB devices. I use them about everyday to power and charge devices. Again, these are everywhere and really cheap.
FlashlightThese (yes plural) are one of the best tools. They help you see behind cabinets, under desks, through a mass of cables, when tracing cable, and so much more. Sometimes a keychain light or your cell phone will do the trick. Other times you need more. Personally, I use mine for more than tech; specifically, home/self-defense and emergency...even installing a USB adapter in my car. The 2 more serious lights I have are considered tactical flashlights. I have a $12 one; the Outlite A100, which is excellent and a great deal (http://amzn.to/2rUEWkS). The other is pricier ($80); the Klarus XT11s (http://amzn.to/2rrwIPZ). It is quite simply, amazing. This field is highly competitive, so if you have experience with other tac lights, please comment below and let me know about it!
Cell phone standI have used makeshift items, business card holders, case add-ons and more to get the job done. Regardless, a cell phone stand is quite handy.
Cable tiesI carry a few velcro cable ties with me to subdue unwieldy cables. They always seem to snag at the wrong time, so keep things tidy and in place!
Small ScrewdriverI regularly mount/unmount equipment from racks, open devices to swap hardware, and assemble new gear. A small screwdriver that can interchange between a Phillips and regular head is essential.
Paper clipI know what you're thinking...why would a tech guy need a paper clip? The answer...to reset those pesky devices! The reset buttons are always small and in the back generally in little holes. Paper clips make this job easier.
Pocket-knifeThis may sound silly for a tech guy, but it comes in handy to open boxes, cut cables, act as a screw driver in desperate times, and more.
Pen/Pencil/PaperFor those times you don't have your laptop, tablet, or phone handy; or when it's just easier to write it down.
HighlighterNever know when you might need to highlight some text in documentation, training manuals, or vendor material.
HeadphonesAny headphones will do to help create a distraction-free environment and pump you up to plow through the next config, 1,000 lines of packets, or update that Excel spread sheet. Upgrading to noise-cancelling ones will drown out that coworker who chews loudly or talks on the phone all day with the telemarketers. I personally use in-ear monitors produced by Shure due to my hobby in music. They are great, but I wouldn't buy them solely for this purpose.
Assorted cablesI carry a number of other cables including a spare Ethernet cable for a wired connection, serial cables for logging into devices, headphone adapters, power cable for my laptop, and more.

 

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