pig-monkey.com

You are currently viewing all posts tagged with edc.

USB Type-C Multi-Cables

I started carrying the Anker PowerLine II 3-in-1 Cable in the latest iteration of my Electronic Support Package a couple years ago. It has a USB Type-A connector on one end, Micro USB on the other, with a USB Type-C and Apple Lightning adapter that pop on to the Micro USB connector. It makes for a nice little multi-cable to charge all my gadgets and transfer small bits of data around.

As I began to acquire more devices that supported USB Type-C, I found that I desired a multi-cable that was Type-C native. A quick survey of the market offered some options, but nothing that struck my fancy. However, during that search I happened to discover that Cozy (the same company that makes those USB Type-A covers I use on my bike lights) offered something they called LightningCozy which would allow me to put together my own multi-cables. So that’s what I did.

USB Type-C Multi-Cables

I have one model built around the Cable Matters USB-C Cable, 60 watt, 3.3 ft. On one end it has a Satechi Type-A to Type-C Adapter attached via a LightningCozy. On the other end it has a JXMOX USB C to Micro USB Adapter attached via another LightningCozy. It is bundled with a Ringke Silicon Cable Tie.

This creates the perfect package for my needs. I can use it to charge all my USB-chargeable things, including the Thinkpad X270. (I have no Apple devices in my life, so I don’t need the Apple Lightning adapter, but could easily add that if I find the need.) The cable doesn’t provide the fastest possible data transfer, but it is more svelte than a fast data cable, and is perfectly acceptable for my incidental data use. It doesn’t do video, but as of yet I have no USB Type-C monitors in my life, so I don’t care. One of these multi-cables is my EDC in the Electronic Support Package.

My second model of multi-cable is built around the Cable Matters USB-C Cable, 100 watt, 6.6 ft. On one end it has a Base Sailor USB C Female to USB Male Adapter attached via a LightningCozy. On the other end it has the same JXMOX adapter as the previous cable, attached via a LightningCozy. It also has a USB-C to Lenovo Slim Tip power adapter I bought a few years ago on AliExpress, attached via electrical tape and a piece of Type 1 Paracord. The cable is bundled with another Ringke Silicon Cable Tie.

I keep this second model in my laptop kit, along with a HyperJuice 66W GaN USB-C Charger. (I also have a Satechi 72W Type-C PD Car Charger I can throw into the kit if I’m going on a trip and think I might be spending a while in a car.) I don’t carry this kit unless I’m also carrying my laptop. This cable allows me to power either of my Thinkpads, or anything else USB-compatible, and gives me more reach than the short EDC cable. Both the X260 and X270 only want 45 watts, so the 100 watt cable is overkill, but it is occasionally useful to have the capacity to deliver more juice to other devices. As with the previous cable, this one doesn’t transfer data at blazing speeds, nor does it do video. I have no need of those capabilities, so I stick with thinner cables.

This post was published on . It was tagged with gear, edc, hardware.

The EDC Toiletry Kit

Over the years I’ve developed a small toiletry kit that satisfies the needs for my every day ablutions. I carry it in a small Mountain Laurel Designs Cuben Fiber Packing Cube (the same model pouch I use for my EDC tool kit). There’s some crossover between this kit and my first aid kit, but that is to be expected. Health and cleanliness are closely related.

If I know I’m going to be gone overnight, I’ll grab another MLD cube that I keep packed with a toothbrush, a small bottle of toothpowder, and floss. If I know I’m going to be gone multiple days, I’ll add a bar of soap and shaving supplies. The following is just what I find it worthwhile to carry in my backpack everyday.

EDC Toiletry Kit

Hand Sanitizer

I use hand sanitizer infrequently, always preferring soap and water, but it is still a critical tool to carry.

I carry hand sanitizer in a 15 mL Mini Dropper Bottle with a Streaming Dropper Tip. I don’t have a specific product recommendation here. My all time favorite hand sanitizer was the All Terrain Hand Sanz Gel. It was effective, did not dry out my hands, and did not stink. But I went through the last of my stash last year, and the product has been discontinued. Next I went with Elyptol, which has an EWG rating of 1, but the eucalyptus scent is too overpowering. If they made an unscented version I’d buy it. Currently I use Pipette, which has an EWG rating of 1. It leaves a bit of sticky residue behind, but otherwise seems fine.

Soap

These days it seems like everybody carries hand sanitizer, but few carry soap. I don’t get it. Soap is pretty useful stuff to have when out and about in the world. A good, versatile soap will clean tools, clothes, and body.

I carry Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Pure-Castile Liquid Soap, repackaged in a 10 mL Mini Dropper Bottle. It has an EWG rating of 1.

Sunblock

Protecting the meatsuit from ambient radiation is important. For much of the year my sunblock goes untouched, but if I take it out I’ll forget to put it back in when the seasons change. Or I’ll find myself on a snow field and think “Gee, it sure would be nice to have some sunblock right now.” It’s easier to just leave it in the kit year-round.

I use Thinksport SPF 50, repackaged in a 15 mL Mini Dropper Bottle with a Streaming Dropper Tip. I have also carried it in screw-top capsules, but I’ve found that the plastic containers can be cracked and the tin containers can be dented such that they become difficult to open. So I’m back to using dropper bottles, despite them being impossible to clean out. Thinksport has an EWG rating of 2.

Lip Balm

I rarely have a problem with chapped lips, and thus rarely use lip balm as a moisturizer. My only interest in lip balm is as sunblock.

I use All Terrain Lip Armor SPF 28. All Terrain has been steadily discontinuing all their best products, including this one. I recommend stocking up. This product used to have a high EWG rating, but it seems to no longer be listed.

Skin Balm

Before I started dosing myself with omega, a good skin balm was critical to keeping my hands operational in the dryer months. Now its criticality is diminished, but I think it is still important tool to address small cuts, scrapes, burns, and bites. Balm is best thought of as an artificial scab: it encourages healing, and provides a protective barrier. A good skin balm coupled with some soap, clean water, and bandaging material is going to take care of the vast majority of minor first aid issues. (Throw in a syringe and some steri-strips, benzoin tincture, and a semi-permeable dressing and the world is your oyster.)

climbOn is my favorite skin balm. I find it to be highly effective. It is available in two scents, both of which I find unoffensive. Most important for something that is to be used on the hands, it does not feel greasy. I hate applying a balm on a finger and then feeling like I’m leaving residue on everything I touch. climbOn does not have an EWG rating, but its ingredients are few, easy to understand, and food-grade.

I carry the 0.5 oz climbOn Lotion Bar. I generally find that my happiness is inversely proportional to the amount of cardboard in my life, but I make an exception here. The tube is a more convenient carry format than the old tins.

I have tried using (non-SPF) lip balm as skin balm, since the form-factor of lip balm tends to be great for EDC, but I’ve not found any lip balm that I like as much as the climbOn skin balm. (I have tried the climbOn lip balm and do not like it for this application.) The stuff made for lips tends to have a softer consistency and be too greasy for me to want to use on hands. A good skin balm, however, is perfectly serviceable as a lip balm if you’re not looking for sun protection.

Scissors

As previously discussed, I carry 2.5” Westcott Titanium Scissors.

Tweezers

I carry the titanium version of Uncle Bill’s Sliver Grippers. Tweezers are something I almost never use, but when I need them there is no substitute. The titanium offers no functional advantage over the stainless steel variant, but titanium is cool.

EDC Toiletry Kit

Velcro cable ties are useful.

But I’ve become quite smitten with Ringke Silicon Cable Ties. Unlike hook and loop, they don’t stick to things that you don’t want them to stick to. Most importantly, they are easy to open and close while wearing full-fingered gloves. This makes them great for cables you carry around while out and about in meatspace, such as earbuds and power cables. I’ve only been using them since July, so I can’t speak to durability, but I see no reason they should not satisfy in that department.

Ringke Silicon Cable Ties

For thicker cables that need to be restrained with a bit more vigor, I am fond of the new Voile Nano Straps.

Litespeed EDC

Optical Support Kit

I use an Ultralite Sacks Trail Wallet to carry a few items that support my Rudy Project Rydon eyewear. I have six or eight of these simple cuben fiber zippered pouches floating around for different uses, either from Ultralite Sacks or Zpacks.

Optical Support Kit

I’ve previously mentioned my infatuation with the ImpactX2 Photochromic Laser Red lenses. These remain my lense of choice 99% of the time. But sometimes I want a polarized lens (such as when on water), or one with lower light transmission (such as when the sun is low during the equinox), or one with higher contrast (such as when on snow), or one that is not photochromic (such as when in an enclosed vehicle for an extended period of time). All of these conditions are satisfied by the Polar3FX brown lenses. I carry these in the wallet inside of the small microfiber lens pouch that Rudy provides.

A microfiber bag is useful when I want to put the Rydons inside my pack. The bag doesn’t provide any crush protection, but prevents the lenses from getting scratched. I use the bag that came with my old Revision Sawfly optics.

I also carry a full-size microfiber cloth. This is the same large model I use to protect my laptop screen. It is slightly redundant with the microfiber bag – both can be used to clean the lenses – but I find the larger size of the dedicated cloth useful.

There’s enough room in the wallet to store my Cablz retention strap. I have kept this attached to the Rydons most of the time since purchasing the strap last year, but if I remove it, it goes in the wallet.

The wallet can fit a 5ml spray bottle filled with ROR. That’s not something I carry around on a daily basis, but I’d consider tossing it in for an extended trip.

As you may have gathered, one of my pet peeves is dirty optics. I want to protect my corneas from UV radiation and impact, but I also want vision that is high definition and high fidelity. The Rydons, coupled with this small and lightweight kit, support that objective.

Optical Support Kit

This post was published on . It was tagged with gear, eyewear, edc.

Every Day Pliers

I carry Fix It Sticks for screwing and small Westcott scissors for snipping. Since learning about them last year on Jerking the Trigger, I’ve carried Knipex 87-00-100 Cobra Pliers for gripping. There are times when a classic multitool, like a Leatherman, is preferable, but I find this selection is more functional for most of my mobile tool needs.

Knipex 87-00-100 Cobra Pliers

I measure the baby Knipex pliers at an overall length of 103 millimeters and a mass of 60 grams. They are an excellent purchase.

Rema Rotation

I previously outlined my patch kit, which is based around Rema patches and vulcanizing cement. Ensuring the health of the vulcanizing cement is key to the functionality of the kit. As with any liquid adhesive, it can dry out in an open tube. Or the tube may sprout a leak, causing the liquid to leak out and vanish. I have taskwarrior tell me to replace the cement in my patch kit every 3 months:

$ task add due:2020-01-01 wait:due-3weeks tag:bike recur:quarterly replace rema vulcanizing cement

The task is really just a queue for me to evaluate the condition of the kit. Because I do not get flats often, there’s a good chance that the cement tube in my kit will be unopened when I perform this evaluation. If the tube is sealed and appears in good condition, I’ll leave it in without replacing it. If it is open, I remove it from the kit and replace it with a new tube. The old cement goes into my toolbox at home. When I apply a patch at home, I’ll first try one these old, retired cement tubes.

Rema Vulcanizing Cement: Old vs New

Before marking the task as complete, I’ll also evaluate the patches in the kit, replenishing or replacing from my bulk supplies as necessary.

This process gives me extreme confidence that my patch kit will be functional when I need it.

This post was published on . It was tagged with bicycle, gear, edc.

YubiKey Cleaning

I’ve carried the same YubiKey NEO on my keychain for five years. On average it gets used dozens of times per day, via USB, as an OpenPGP card. The YubiKey looks a little worse for wear, but it almost always works flawlessly.

Occasionally, it requires a few insertions to be read. When this happens I clean the contacts by rubbing them gently with a Pentel Clic Eraser, wiping off the dust, spraying them with isopropyl alcohol, and then wiping them dry. Afterwards, the YubiKey is registered immediately on the first insert. I perform this procedure about once or twice per year.

YubiKey Cleaning

Using the eraser is potentially dangerous, but I’ve had good luck with it over the years. The white vinyl in the Pentel Clic feels very smooth compared to the abrasiveness of the rubber found on the tops of most pencils.

Pocket Shield EDC

I’ve used the Raven Concealment Systems Pocket Shield on and off since 2014. In the past I would outfit it only in specific environments where showing a pocket clip would be inappropriate, such as night clubs and weddings. Towards the end of 2019 I decided I wanted to try never showing a pocket clip, which meant incorporating the Pocket Shield into my everyday carry. For the past few months I have been happy with a setup utilizing two different Blue Force Gear pouches: the Single Pistol Mag Belt Pouch and the Ten-Speed Single Pistol Mag Pouch.

Pocket Shield EDC: Rear

The former pouch has a Velcro strap on the back, intended to be attached to a belt. The latter has Blue Force’s MOLLE strap on the back for attaching to any PALS grid. The pouches have other minor differences, but the attachment method is the only difference that matters. Both work equally well on the Pocket Shield.

I use the Ten-Speed pouch to hold my ASP Key Defender OC (which I carry in addition to my pack mounted OC) and a Fisher 400B Bullet Space Pen (loaded with a fine cartridge and, obviously, a clip because pens without clips are dumb).

Pocket Shield EDC: Front

The belt pouch is used to secure my Triple Aught Design Dauntless MK3. When attaching the belt pouch, I roll over the top of the lower Velcro loop, which causes the Velcro to stick out a bit from the Pocket Shield instead of sitting flush. This acts as a stop for the knife’s pocket clip, preventing the knife from sitting all the way into the pouch. Increasing the ride height of the knife makes it much easier to deploy than it would be if it were completely inserted. The pouch keeps the knife from wandering around, which it is wont to do when just clipped directly over the top edge of the Pocket Shield.

Pocket Shield EDC: Knife Stop

Lately I’ve also been keeping my Elzetta Alpha on the Pocket Shield, but I’m not entirely convinced that I like it there.

This post was published on . It was tagged with edc, gear.