In addition to my signature 72 Hour Bag I keep in my car I always carry an EDC bag. This is the bag I carry to work everyday and it has an extra layer of clothes, pens, sunglasses, etc – all the junk you generally use on a day to day basis. Because in the film industry we don’t have a desk or a usual place of work our location and environment changes daily. One day we may be going to work in the morning for a 7am call time and the next day we may be heading out for a 4pm call time and working all night. Because of these variables we never know what the conditions of the days work will bring so it’s a good idea to have a catch all bag capable of sustaining you with little planning or forethought.
In the EDC I have experimented with various containers to hold the essentials to bridge the gap between my ever changing work place and my 72 Hour Bag which can be up to several miles away locked in my car at crew parking. I started out on the Altoids tin bandwagon and crammed some good items in there, I liked the size but felt I wanted a little more versatility. I then went to a Condor Pocket Pouch I got from LA Police Gear but it was always getting hung up on the outside of my bag and wouldn’t ever really fit in an internal pocket of my EDC bag. Also when I would open it things would spill out. Because it had so many pockets I would forget what I had where and inevitably have to dump the entire pouch out to find what I needed anyway.
After a little research I discovered this handy little unit, it’s available at Amazon and goes for about $15. Because it’s metal it will work as a device to boil water in, and it slides in and out of an internal pocket in my EDC easily. Let me walk you through what I keep in here.
You can see things go inside very neat and organized. I took off the top few bandaids so you could see under them.
In this picture I have a ReadyMan Survival Card my buddy gave me, it has a lot of options for saws, hooks and arrowheads all on a flat card. Not sure if it works in the field but its a nice addition, weighs almost nothing and lies flat at the bottom of the tin so I figured what the heck. I also carry Steri Strips instead of sutures because sutures have way too much risk involved in an emergency situation and a Navy SEAL Corpsman buddy of mine says he would use superglue or steri strips any day of the week over taking the time to suture in the field. Note to self, add dental floss and super glue to this kit (I used my last single use tube of super glue during a minor emergency at work and never replaced it). Also, you can see at the top of the picture the P38 can opener I always have one on me.
Below is a picture with some jute for tinder and a tampon which has many uses and you can read that article I wrote here.
Also in the pack I carry an unlubricated condom, which looks like it needs to be switched out and you can read about the uses of a condom in a survival situation here. I carry two large safety pins, a swiss army knife, a 9 volt LED light which is freaking awesome. I got them off Ebay – the one in the link is about $5 but I think I paid about $1 each so if you hunt a little you can find them cheaper.
As you can see I carry two Altoid mini tins to hold smaller items and keep them organized. One caries a whistle my buddy whittled down to its smallest size possible while still being functional – just don’t swallow it. There is also a button compass and some matches, if you look closely I have two brass brads. These are the perfect size to defeat a Master Lock that we commonly use in the film industry. Occasionally we need to get into some locked places where we actually have permission to go but the owner of the lock can’t be contacted to get the combination so instead of destroying the lock we’ll just defeat it. On the top left of the pic I carry the mini leather man squirt tool – it’s actually the driver I use to suture but its small and fits nicely in this kit. Just next to it is my pocket lock pick set and in the Altoids tin at the bottom contains some cotton balls with petroleum jelly in a tiny zip lock baggy and also a supply of my daily meds in case I can’t get home.
So there you have it, that’s the tin I carry on a day to day basis in my EDC.
If you are new to this series here is the link to Chapter 1 Part I.
Chapter 8, Part III
Mack looks up. “Yeah, here.” In his a canteen pouch on his hip he has about 10 v40 mini-frag grenades packed in there. Pulling one out and grabbing my med kit I make my way back to the U Haul. While finding a good line of sight from the Bug to the fuel tank I unzip my med kit pouch. Rummaging through I found the spool of dental floss. Carefully jamming the grenade under the grating between the side step and fuel tank I align it so the pin will pull out in the direction of the Bug making sure the spoon will fly off the grenade when the Zombies trip the line. I tie the knot on the round pin and leave the dental floss pack next to the grenade.
At the Bug, Mack is trying to start it. Tinker Bell is still acquiring targets and burning through ammo, there are shell casings littered all over the hood of the car and on the ground around her with four empty magazines. The Bug can be heard straining to crank over. Because it ran out of gas the fuel lines are probably empty and need to be primed.
“You going to get that thing running?!?” I yell. I could see him nodding through the windshield. Picking up targets Tyler is moving closer to Tinker Bell. Her suppressor is smoking and you can see the heat coming off the upper receiver.
Just then the Bug fires up coming to life. Mack gave a loud long blow of the horn. Tinker Bell rolling off the hood and gathers her empty mags in one motion. Not something you had to worry about in years past but it’s not a bad idea now to conserve assets like that nowadays.
“Get the Bug past the sedan and I’ll run this trip wire.” The Bug crept gingerly along the the shoulder past the abandoned vehicles. Turning back towards the U-Haul I step off some uneven pavement and my back gives out. Collapsing to my right knee and in intense pain I gasp for breath. The moans are louder than the sound of the Bugs engine, they’re getting closer. Using one of the bumpers I manage to get to my feet and stumble to the U-Haul. Grabbing the floss I make my way back over to the first car in the pile up. I see the tops of the heads of the Zombies coming up the road. Tying it off I make sure the floss is tight, but not piano wire tight. Carefully stepping over the wire I go back once again to the fuel tank.
This is the trickiest part. With my knife I carefully pry the ends of the safety to make the cotter pin a straight piece of wire with only the slightest of bends on one side giving it just enough tension to hold but allowing it to pull through when the zombies get there. If there’s too much of a bend in the pin the floss will just break and not trip the grenade. Making sure the whole thing is precariously balanced I peel off and try to make my way to the Bug. On the way my hip make solid contact with a quarter panel sending an explosion of pain up my spine and I drop again. This time I go all the way down landing flat on my back. I can’t move. My spine is in spasm and immobilizing me. Laying there I wonder if the blast radius will get me or will there just be a loud bang then I’ll burn to death from the cars catching on fire. As I pondered this, the sound of suppressed shots coming from the direction the Bug began to get louder.
“Are you on vacation or did you want to get back to work? Do you need a minute to take a nap? Cause I’m not sure we have that kind of time.” Opening my eyes Tinker Bell is standing over me with her hand extended.
“No, I said. I can’t get up that way. Help me roll over.” Pulling on my belt and shoulder she rolls me on to my stomach. Slowly pulling my knees under my chest and using a car as a crutch I begin to rise.
“A little quicker please.” Looking back to the horde she begins firing off some rounds. “They’re about ten meters from your trip line.”
I take a deep breath while rising, I can see the Bug just ahead. “Fuck it, let’s go.” I say wincing with pain.
“Tyler! Let’s move!” Tinker Bell yells to Tyler as he zips past us getting into the Bug. Falling into the back seat I let Tinker Bell take shotgun.
Flooring the little Bug it responds with an aggressive acceleration faster than any Bug, ever. Mack is working through the gears bouncing from second to third and back down again. The engine screams in that German sputtering as we are making our way up Decker Canyon towards the peak of the Santa Monica mountains. Thirty seconds later we hear the explosion from the mini frag go off. Looking back I can see the U-Haul explode. The truck rises into the air and lands with a crash. The fireball grows and in a chain reaction other cars in the pileup begins to catch on fire and their fuel tanks begin exploding, taking the horde of Zombies with them. Turning forward I slump down in the seat. The glow from the fire illuminates the white interior of the bug from a half mile away.
If you are new to this series here is the link to Chapter 1 Part I.
Chapter 7, part III and the beginning of Chapter 8
“You good?” I yell to Tinker Bell.
“Yeah, go. I got this.” I hit her on the shoulder and run back to the bug.
Seeing the VW bumper wedged under the front bumper of the Ford Taurus I know Tyler is in need of help. Trying to get it to pop out from under the Taurus’ bumper Tyler doesn’t have enough weight on his own. Climbing on to the rear bumper I see the crowd is growing exponentially.
“Okay, lets do this, ready? One, two, three!” Starting to hop up and down we jump in unison. On the fifth jump the Bug’s tires grab. Swerving to not hit Tinker Bell Mack veers the Bug left causing both Tyler and I to fall off the rear bumper. “God damn it!” I yelp. Landing I feel my back give and a shockwave of pain runs through my pelvis. Getting to my feet I begin to fire again limping up to the VW. By this time Tyler and Mack are also firing.
“What do we do now?” Mack yelled.
Looking towards the cruise ship I can see Decker Canyon is pretty open.
“Get the bug turned around. We’ve go to make a break for that route going through the mountains, we can double back to the base on the other side of the pass.” It’s getting so loud from the moaning over the roar of the ocean waves making me yell at the top of my lungs. Running over several bodies, Mack negotiates the cars and debris in the road. The VW lurches and it’s tires spin creating a mini smoke screen for us in the middle of the road. Selecting targets as fast as I can I see thousands pouring out of the cruise ship and emptying onto the sand.
To my right I see a Zombie flanking Tinker Bell and approaching her on her six. I can’t take the shot, I haven’t had enough trigger time to risk hitting her or the having the round pass through the Zombie and hitting her. I sling my carbine to the side and reach over my shoulder to grab the tomahawk. My back screams at me with a pain shooting so powerful I almost drop to the ground. Exhaling I try to close the distance as fast as I can. Catching up I send the blade of the tomahawk into the back of the Zombies head with such force it decapitates the Zombie leaving half it’s skull and lower jaw still attached to it’s body.
Turning Tinker Bell sees me over the top of the Zombie as it falls. “Thanks, we gotta move, there’s too many of them.”
“Get to the Bug.”
A Zombie trips and falls towards me. As his momentum carries him forward I time it and swing down planting the tomahawk into the back of his head making him face plant on the asphalt. With the thud his putrified brain splatters across PCH. I turn and see a big one coming at me mouth open, moaning loudly. I front kick him in the pelvis and he stumbles backwards into several other Zombies.
I’m running forward at a slow rate of speed because of the pain in my back, really just limping and breathing in short gasping painful breaths. Getting to the car I see them all inside slowly rolling the Bug forward keeping it’s momentum with the passenger door open ready for me to jump in. Hanging out the drivers window Tyler is shooting at the Zombies coming up behind me. Struggling to limp faster I finally make it to the Bug and fall into the passenger seat. With the door still open I’m able to shoot taking out a couple more of them at point blank range as Mack floors it.
Slumping back in the seat it’s too much effort to even reach for the door so I let the momentum of the Bug close the door. Resting the carbine on the door frame I take out any Zombies passing close by. With a couple of evasive maneuvers Mack makes the turn up Decker Canyon into the mountains of Santa Monica. “I think we need to figure out how to make this car a little more tactical.” I say as the Bug hits a bump making me wince in pain.
“Aw fuck.” Tyler said.
“Did you get bit?” Tinker Bell says looking down.
“I don’t think so.” Tyler takes a beat then realizes what must have happened. “No I’m good. It was when Mack got the bug to pull away from the car, I slid off the bumper and must’ve caught my leg on the Bug’s bumper.”
Pulling up his pant leg he has a four inch gash on the outside of his right calf. The metal bumper must have snuck up inside his BDU’s and just sliced him open. Everything happened so quick I bet he didn’t feel it at the time.
“In the med kit there’s an H bandage, do you know how to use it?” I said to Tinker Bell.
“Yeah, just make sure there’s no other Zombies up ahead.” I nod while she goes to work. Looking ahead it’s actually pretty serene and picturesque. The bug continues to work it’s way up the grade sputtering along. Turning in the seat and getting to my knees I hang my torso out the window. If feels good to lean forward and stretch the muscles around my pelvis. Looking back I see a swarm of slow moving Zombies following the sound of our engine. The Bug hit a pothole and it immediately reminds me not to try to do yoga in the front seat.
“They’re following the sound of the Bug.” I say to Mack. Turning on the switchback we can see the water below then see just how many there are.
“Holy shit!, it looks like a swarm from up here.” Mack was driving slowly but steady looking over the edge of the road. Coming back around on a switchback to the mountain side we see a traffic jam ahead and have to come to a complete stop. Mack lets the bug idle and sets the E brake. “Fuck, we’re going to have to push some of these out of the way.”