So I wrote two articles about my every day carry upgrades and the two significant things I changed over the last year or two. One thing I learned about myself was that I don’t like carrying a bunch of extra stuff on my person. Keys, wallet, cell phone, pocket knife, headset and I’m done. No smart watch, no pen, no field notes notebook, none of that stuff. The pen thing is a little inconvenient sometimes but I am usually in an office and there are thousands of pens.
So here’s a list of what I like to call “Semi-EDC”. It’s the stuff I typically carry every day but don’t usually have on my person. Since it isn’t on my person all the time every day, it’s Semi-EDC.
Regular old Surface 3. I don’t believe in laptops anymore. It pretty much does what I need though. I can run Aptana Studio on it, Office 365, remote into work, run Skype and since it actually charges with a microUSB port and not a proprietary cable I don’t have to carry a lot of weird cables around.
I also carry the Surface Pen too. I’ll post an article about why you should maybe consider a tablet over a laptop one of these days.
NiteCore LA10 Flashlight
I’ve got a big old school Maglite at home, but it’s not super practical carrying it everywhere. I was searching around for a smaller aluminum or steel bodied flashlight to carry with me that also didn’t use huge amounts of batteries. I found the LA10 on Amazon. It uses a single AA battery, and has three modes of operation. There is a bright setting, a super bright setting and a ‘beacon’ mode. The light also extends out like lipstick and can be used as a small lantern. This seemed ideal for server closets with no power as well as spontaneous camping trips and such.
The link above comes with an EdisonBright alkaline battery according to the description. I looked the batteries up and all I could find were relatively expensive rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Mine came with a Duracell AA battery that looked like it is labeled for the Japanese market.
I carry two in the bag. One of the 3.5″ by 5″ soft cover ones and one of the “large” 5.5″ by 8.5″ soft cover ones. The large one is set up to work with the “Getting Things Done” system and the smaller one is just for general note taking. Basically a fancier version of the “Field Notes” notebooks I make fun of in the EDC boards.
Amazonbasics 16100 mAh Power Bank
Figured out these are inexpensive, have two output ports and can charge both my surface and my phone no problem. There are companies that sell larger capacity batteries but this one isn’t any bigger than a smart phone in a good size OtterBox.
I highly suggest everyone carry one of these, or something like it. They are really useful little devices and can extend your working day from a couple of hours to all day pretty easily if you are somewhere that power isn’t easily accessible.
I like the 16100 mAh one for the value. I have several power banks and I’ll probably review them in a separate article.
Rav Power Charger
This is an upgrade from the little cheap dual port USB chargers I prefer. It’s also got some Qualcomm circuitry built-in so it can quickly charge certain kinds of devices. I don’t have any devices that are Qualcomm compatible yet, but it’s there when I need it. They make a smaller USB charger that just has the 2.4A ports on it that I like as well.
I thought it was prudent to get a higher quality charger. While I’ve never myself had a device die because of a cheap charger, I’ve heard the stories. The chargers from RAVpower advertise built-in surge protection, as well as overheating and high current protection. Something the little cheap ones just don’t have. The one I have also seems extremely durable. So while it was kind of expensive for what is basically a cell phone charger, I’d definitely recommend it.
Micro USB to Type C Adapter
You’ll read a lot of articles about how bad an idea these are. I haven’t had a problem with this specific brand though. I have two. One for the office and one for my bag. I will say that I have some pretty decent cables though and I don’t use the cables if the ends are bent up. I really suggest investing in some good cables and chargers if you go the Micro USB cable with these adapters. These look like they are engineered really well and the good cables I have fit in tightly. I have a few cheap cables that when I plug them in, they fit really loose and move around inside. I wouldn’t trust that loose connection with my phone.
These saved me a lot of money when I got my Nexus 5x. I like the Type C thing, but I really wish Google had gone with some other quick charge method.
Two Micro USB Cables
I have a retractable USB cable and a regular 10′ micro USB cable I carry as well. I got both off of AliExpress actually. I don’t seem to have a problem with either except the ends on the ten footer are a bit long.
I got a few of these on a flash deal for Christmas a few years ago. I keep one in the car too. They write pretty well and have a glass breaker tip if you need to break a window out or something. I guess this would be considered a decent self-defense item if you needed it. I like it because it’s extremely solid and has a good ink cartridge in it. So besides being a really good pen (most of them I’ve seen on Amazon have good reviews on the pen part) this one at least seems solid enough to be used for a lot of other purposes. Personally, I’ve wedged it into doors to hold them open and jammed my car’s break pedal down to work on the brake light switch.
These are what I like to write with these days. Just a preference over ball point pens.
For marking on things.