March 2019 EDC Update

Apparently, it’s all about the EDC (everyday carry) these days, and people are getting out of control. According to the internets, some folks are carrying bags of ready-mix concrete in case they have to build an emergency birdbath, and everybody (everybody!) carries multi-tools, knives (all kinds of knives!) and bottle openers (why?) — such as one might use to open a bottle of whatever beverage one might enjoy with a bacon and lettuce and tomato sandwich.

I carry stuff, too. And I carry too much.

That realization led to an amazing series of actions:

  • I got two chairs
  • I put my 900-pound backpack in one chair, and a small briefcase in the other
  • Out of the backpack, I pulled only those things which I actually use (no “just in case” stuff), and put them on a table
  • Then I attempted to fit those items into the small briefcase… and succeeded

Because this genius technique is so incredibly ingenious, I have decided not to patent it, but instead am “open sourcing” it to the world in the hope that we all can get along and lead better, more productive and — above all — happier lives.

You’re welcome.


Tom Bihn Cadet 13.5-liter briefcase, with optional neoprene laptop CacheAbsolute Shoulder Strap, three Halcyon Organizer Pouches (one small and two minis) and a Key Strap, which I think came with the Cadet. The briefcase ships with a standard shoulder strap, but you’ll want to upgrade to the “Absolute” model for an additional $20.

I don’t remember how I learned about Tom Bihn, but I’m a convert. In addition to the Cadet, I own two of their backpacks and the insanely great Aeronaut 45 carry-on bag. Tom Bihn products are thoughtfully designed, handmade in Seattle, tough as nails and guaranteed for life. I’ve owned Hartmann (when it was good), Tumi (when it was good) and Briggs & Riley — which still is good, but not always as thoughtfully designed as Tom Bihn.

Believe me now and thank me later.

Here’s what I have in my Cadet main compartment:

Second compartment:

Tiny “cellphone” compartment:

  • hand sanitizer
  • key to my office filing cabinet

Backpack items not included in the Cadet:

  • a two-inch thick Redweld folder of printouts of online articles about….
  • two empty file folders waiting to be filled up
  • a heavy-duty (and heavy), bomb-proof laptop case
  • a foam insert organizer sheet thing full of things that had to be organized
  • two different types of 3×5 index cards (100 count)
  • a marine whistle, in case I found myself adrift at sea
  • two velcro reflective tags to attach to the backpack for when walking home from the train station at night; I drive home from the train station
  • a Tom Bihn Snake Charmer organizer pouch in which I had my MacBook charger and Focal earphones, but also a miniature tripod and iPhone clamp for taking still photos or videos with the iPhone, and… a Lightning-port powered auxiliary speakerphone for those times when… jeezuz
  • several additional pens and mechanical pencils; I don’t use pencils
  • a small, climbing-grade carabiner for my keys and other “clip” items
  • a heavy-duty, steel luggage tag, attached (inside) with a steel cord
  • two round aluminum caribiners — one in each shoulder-strap thumb loop — to ease tightening the straps after heaving the backpack on
  • noise-canceling headphones in a hardshell case; no longer needed, as I’ve moved to a quieter work environment
  • the occasional “research” book; I read e-books

Hope this helps!