RadNomad EDC [Every Day Carry] 2017

WTF is EDC?

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EDC

=

Every Day Carry

The stuff you carry with you every day.

Wallet, phone, keys, etc.


Some people put a ridiculous amount of time, money, and thought into their EDC.

I am one of those people.

This is my EDC.

RadNomad EDC – List

23/m/nomad

  1. Jaybird X2 bluetooth water-resistant headphones
  2. MinWallet minimalist wallet
  3. TrueUtility FireStash (repurposed into joint stash)
  4. Rite in the Rain Notebook waterproof pocket-sized notebook
  5. TrueUtility KeyTool discrete 8-tooled multitool
  6. Otterbox 5s Commuter Shell bulky tough iPhone case
  7. NiteIze Inka Pen all-weather quick-draw minimalist pen
  8. Handgrey KNOX hand-crafted aluminum side-splitting keyring
  9. Ledger Nano S uber-secure cryptocurrency hardware wallet

Note: Every item in this EDC will either have a full fledged deep-dive RadNomad Gear Review written about it in the future, or is already linked to it’s review.

1. Jaybird X2

RadNomad EDC - JayBird X2

A pair of super-durable & super-minimalist headphones (that I wish I got in black, not Shrek-ear green). The Jaybird X2s have a lifetime warranty on sweat damage… which really means water damage, to a point.

To test the limits of that, I’ve worn them directly in the shower. Over 10 times. I’ve also had more than a few sweaty workout sessions. No lasting damage whatsoever.

The sound isn’t audiophile quality… but for my use of mostly work EDM and podcasts, it’s perfect.

Those strange fins you see also hold it in the ear securely. From running to shower to parkour to workout they’ve never once fallen out of my ear. Though they do loosen over time and become a bit less effective.

The Bluetooth can only connect to one device at a time, and it’s pretty finicky about switching between them. Can get annoying.

The mic is high enough quality for video calls as long as the background isn’t too loud.

All in all, I’d say that the engineering is excellent for durability, minimalism, & average listening usage But there’s a few design flaws in comfort & ease of use.

You can grab them for around $100 on Amazon.

2. MinWallet

RadNomad EDC - MinWallet

So it turns out that making a well designed minimalist wallet is quite a challenge.

You have to decide whether to include card slots, bill pockets, and coin pouches. Everything has to be really compact yet easy to access. It’s gotta be durable yet super light.

No one’s quite perfected it yet. But MinWallet, which was funded on Kickstarter in Dec 2014, is pretty damn close.

I’ve tested out more than a few minimalist wallets. I keep coming back to my MinWallet.

It’s so durable that it actually took a friend grabbing it in both hands from the middle pocket and pulling hard for it to break. And even that didn’t make the wallet useless, just one of the card pockets. Which was fixed as soon as we ran into a friend with a sewing machine (thanks Samuel & Caroline).

It’s seriously small. The size of a credit card a width that can expand to about 1 cm thick if you fill it with quite a few bills and 3-8 cards. My record is 9 cards, cash, and a key without breaking a sweat.

And it’s made of some thin & light yet durable fabric.

Only two downsides:

No coin pouch, so you gotta carry change some other way. I hate change.

And, when there’s a lot of cash or a lot of cards, it can be hard to fit it in the little cash slit. So you’ll have some time lost fiddling with it.

Those aren’t a big deal, and all told MinWallet is the most accessible, minimal, and well designed I’ve found. I 100% recommend it.

You can grab one yourself for $15 at minwallet.com

3. TrueUtility FireStash (repurposed)

RadNomad EDC - FireStash

I won’t go in depth here, but suffice it to say that the TrueUtility FireStash is no good. The idea of a waterproof, always ready, minimalist lighter is cool as hell… but it ran out of fuel every few days and broke completely after a couple months.

But when the lighter did go kaput, I was able to remove the lighter part (usually done so you can add fuel) and repurpose the casing into a small joint holder. So now I’ve almost always got a half-joint on me for when the mood to smoke strikes.

If you wanna get a FireStash, they’re going for $10 on Amazon.

Or you can just get some kind of pill-pot that achieves the same purpose. Aim for a long and thin one like this.

4. Rite in the Rain Pocket Notebook

RadNomad EDC - Rite In The Rain Notebook

You know, I see a lot of FieldNotes in EDC posts… But I have no idea how hell FieldNotes became the de-facto EDC notebook when there’s a company like Rite In The Rain around.

This thing is completely waterproof (in that it’ll swell up and then dry out and be completely back to normal in a few hours after a soak), plus you can write on it when it’s wet.

No pens smudge when writing on the RITR notebook, while the FieldNotes Expedition (their waterproof model)is half-useless without an all-weather pen. It comes in discrete black & other options as opposed to FN Expedition’s black & orange. It has more pages. Those pages feel more pleasant to the touch.

For the love of god if you have a FieldNotes now, try a Rite In The Rain next.

You can grab them at Amazon for around $7.

5. TrueUtility KeyTool

RadNomad EDC - KeyTool

I’ve smashed TrueUtility a couple times on RadNomad. For their absolutely useless CashStash (they still owe me $50) to their sadly underperforming FireStash above this.

But… They fucking nailed the KeyTool.

This is an excellently designed, highly functional, wondrously minimalist, and almost completely unnoticeable piece of key-shaped metal. I haven’t seen anything as good for minimalism + utility anywhere so far.

So, first off, let’s talk minimalism. Because when you’re carry-on only, that doesn’t just mean light & tiny. It means the TSA won’t steal it or won’t notice it.

For the KeyTool, it’s the latter. It’s made to wrap around a key, making it nearly invisible as long as you’ve got another key or two on the ring.

Now utility. This fucking thing has 8 functions. Smaller than your pinky, 8 functions.

  1. bottle opener
  2. nail cleaner
  3. nail file
  4. flat eyeglass screwdriver
  5. small flat screwdriver
  6. flat screwdriver
  7. knife
  8. tweezers

I’ve tested them all numerous times. They all work. The knife is a small one in a niche, so only useful in some cutting situations. The nail cleaners work better as a secondary tiny stabby knife. The ‘eyeglass’ screwdriver doesn’t fit my eyeglasses. That’s about all that’s wrong.

You can get one for $10 at Amazon.

6. OtterBox Commuter Shell for iPhone 5s

RadNomad EDC - OtterBox

The iPhone is the iPhone. Basic, high quality, some glaring limitations like non-expandable memory. I hardly need to review it here.

The OtterBox Commuter Shell is built to be an affordable, durable, not too bulky case that gives your iPhone 360 drop protection.

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even react when I drop my phone. The OtterBox has protected from probably over 100 falls, losing a few bits of itself along the way but never losing its functionality.

It’s quite bulky compared to the naked iPhone, and so damn hard to on/off that I cracked a part of it trying to do just that, though the damage wound up being mostly superficial.

Overall, good but not great. You can get an Otterbox case for $30-40 on Amazon.

7. Nite Ize Inka Pen [v 1.0]

RadNomad EDC - Inka

The first EDC item I ever bought, at a time when the $15 price tag was expensive for me.

I’ve had it on me almost every single day in the 4 years since, and it’s earned a place in my design hall of fame…. which is why I’m livid at Nite Ize for discontinuing it and creating a v 2.0 that is a piece of shit.

It’ll work in just about any temperature on earth, under water, and in space. It can be quick-drawn for jotting notes & filling forms in half a second, and assembled into a full-sized and beautifully weighted pen in <10 seconds.

If you want to know absolutely evvvverything about it , read the Nite Ize Inka Pen RadNomad – Gear Review.

If you want to buy one… well, I recommend you check eBay and Amazon. Every now and then one pops up for some extravagant amount of money that I would still happily pay if I lost mine.

8. Ledger Nano S

RadNomad EDC - Ledger Nano

At any given time about half of my net worth is stored on this device.

No bank or third party has it, it’s as if I’m carrying it all in cash.

Now, if you don’t give a damn about cryptocurrency, you can skip this.

The Ledger Nano S is a near-perfect device for secure storage of bitcoins, ether, litecoins, zcash, dash, any ether-based tokens… you get the idea. It also works as a two-factor authentication device.

And all that shit is incredibly difficult to steal or hack.

If you stole the device itself, without the pin, you couldn’t access it.

The pin itself can’t be spied on via a keylogger or screen recorder virus, because it uses the Ledger Nano S’s own screen and buttons.

Same with all transaction confirmations & thereby your private keys. None of the important data ever actually interacts with the computer or leaves the Ledger in any way.

And if it is lost or stolen, I can get another one and regain access to all my shit with a 24 word passphrase that was randomly generated when I activated my Ledger.

Which even has a neat little trick for avoiding a $5 Wrench Attack by creating a 25th word that unlocks a hidden set of wallets. So anyone who forced the pin out of you won’t know that they’re only accessing a part of your funds. You could keep a few hundred/thousand worth here & the rest hidden behind the 25th word.

And all this comes in a tiny & durable USB stick.

God damn excellence.

You can get one yourself for €58 at ledgerwallet.com

9. HANDGREY KNOX Keyring

RadNomad EDC - KNOX

This is possibly the most expensive keyring out there, clocking in at $19 USD. It’s literally hand made by the guy who owns the company. It’s just him, and he launched the KNOX via a Kickstarter that Asha sent to me. [Side note: tell me that Kickstarter video isn’t the most relaxed you’ve ever seen]

Before finding it, I’d left a trail of bent, rusted, loosened, or just plain badly designed keyrings in my wake in a quest to find the perfect nomad’s keyring. A keyring that would survive with me until the day I die.

Yes, I am aware that I’m weird.

The KNOX looked like it might be it. It’s made of Gr. 5 Titanium, which makes it light (which doesn’t really matter… it’s a keyring), durable, and rust-proof. Nice.

It’s got a 10-sided side-splitting design (see the pic). Which makes it even more durable, easier to add things to, and less prone to stretching out of shape when you put something big on it. It also looks way cooler than a normal keyring.

In the almost a year that I’ve had it, its shown absolutely 0 wear and tear. The rings haven’t loosened, there’s no rust (despite it getting wet plenty of times)… nothing at all.

You can buy your own from handgrey.com for $19.

As a final note, let me just point out that, if you think I’m weird for giving this many shits about a keyring… what about the strange EDC genius who invented this thing?

Outlier Slim Dungarees – RadNomad Gear Review

What if you only needed to own one pair of pants?

A pair that you could wear every single day, no matter the occasion.

Be it rock climbing, pitching a project to a client, or getting drinks with that painfully attractive Tinder date… these pants could go from one to the next without a loss of style, comfort, or utility.

What would they look like?

Well for starters, they’d have to be hella durable, right? Durable enough to be worn every day, in every situation, without breaking down. Durable enough to withstand a life of reckless abandon, survive thousands of rough falls & rusty metal, and stay in top shape a year later. No holes, no wear down, no marks at all.

And more than just durable, the material would have to be anti-bacterial enough that you can wear it for a week straight of hiking the Bhutan mountains without washing them before they begin to smell.

And, while we’re talking about ideals and not reality, these pants would somehow manage to be flexible enough to climb cliff walls and practice yoga at their top, while looking classy enough to wear to a craft cocktail bar after sunset.

They’d also shrug off spills, of course. Able to repel any liquid from water to coffee to wine like it’s falling on a glass window. And when some tropical storm actually manages get them wet, they’d be dry and ready to go after an hour or two hanging.

Oh, and did I mention that they’d have to be more comfortable than any pair of jeans you’ve ever worn; soft and gentle against your skin despite their rugged durability?

And, of course, they’d be imbued with the spirit of legendary heroes and warriors, imbuing your every step with greater grace and agility than a mere mortal should be able to attain.


This ideal of the pinnacle of pants is what the Outlier clothing company pursues. They’ve laid claim to each of the above seeming miracles in their Outlier Slim Dungarees… well, except for long dead heros bit.

outlier-slim-dungarees-abandoned-buildingSo, for the last 25 months of my life, I’ve worn the same pair Outlier pants almost every single day to test this out.

At one point, I didn’t wash them for 8 weeks.

They’ve seen me sweating buckets in >30C Singaporean weather, driving through the flooded streets of a Balinese monsoon, waist deep in the snow drifts of Toronto’s coldest winter month ever (going below -25C plus wind chill), hiking through mountainous Indonesian forest, exploring & climbing around abandoned theme parks, hotels, and towers, working knee deep in muddy rice fields, practicing parkour on concrete surfaces, falling off my penny board, and going through more tumbles, tight squeezes, and scrapes than I can count. They’ve even been with me through a couple scooter wipeouts (the scooter that looks like a motorcycle, not the kid’s toy).

I’ve gone to multiple weddings (including my own), dressed up for dates, and attended formal religious events…in the same pants.

outlier-slim-dungarees-radnomad

All in the name of discovering the best pair of pants ever created for the digital nomad.

So….do the Outlier Slim Dungarees measure up? Are they worthy of being named the very best pants ever designed for the digital nomad?

After 25 months of grueling testing, here’s what I’ve learned…

Disclaimer: This review is not paid for or related to Outlier as a company in any way. Everything here is 100% my opinion, and I am under no obligation or expectation whatsoever to give a favourable review (and have given unfavourable reviews to crappy products in the past). I don’t even get an affiliate income off of this one. The following is my unfiltered and honest opinion, and nothing else.

TrueUtility CashStash – RadNomad Gear Review

True Utility CashStash Pink

You just got robbed.

They took everything. Your wallet, your phone, your bag with your passport & keys… gone.

What are you going to do now? You have no money, no way to call for help, no idea how to speak the local language, no clue where you are or how to get back to your AirBnB, and you’re quite obviously not in the best of neighborhoods.

But you’re not completely unprepared…. you’ve got $100 USD that they didn’t manage to take from you.

See, you knew something like this might happen. So you got a CashStash. A little nondescript, durable, waterproof capsule hanging from your belt-loop, the perfect size for a single rolled up Benjamin.

You’ve been carrying it for months, through rain and snow and sand and even completely submerged in muddy water, and it’s kept its bill undamaged and always ready.

Now, instead of spending all day and maybe all night on the streets of a strange city trying to communicate in a foreign language to get directions to your embassy and maybe a bite to eat that you have no money to pay for, you can just trade in your $100 USD for smaller notes in the local convenience store or money changer (perhaps not in the same neighborhood you just got robbed in).

Now you’ve got the money to get internet access at an internet cafe. Boom, you’ve now contacted your embassy, reported your missing passport & credit cards, and sent out a call for help (food and a bed) to the local CouchSurfing & Reddit communities. You’ve got the money to grab a meal and perhaps a beer (you could use it). You’ve got the money to grab a taxi to the embassy and have them take care of you.

Compared to where you’d be without that CashStash, you’re living the good life.

And, of course, it’s not just useful in emergency situations. Reaching into your Cash Stash when you forgot your wallet at home, don’t wanna hit the ATM, or just need a quick $100 can be incredibly convenient.

So TrueUtility sent me a BulletStash (a version of their classic CashStash that looks like a bullet) to test out for RadNomad.

Is it an excellent way to keep emergency funds around? Here’s what I learned.

Read More

Bucky 40 Blinks Sleep Mask — RadNomad Gear Review

Bucky 40 Blinks Sleep Mask in Testing

I lifted my fuzzy pink sleep mask off of one eye and mumbled, “I’m not sleeping. Just taking a 25 minute nap.”, to the bleary-eyed 24-hour coffee shop worker who had disturbed me from my slumber.

As they almost always did, he shot me a quizzical look and left me alone.

A year after running away from home at 17, I was broke, homeless, and practicing the Uberman polyphasic sleeping schedule. That is, I was napping 25-minute chunks six times a day where ever I could.

After I woke up from this particular nap, I would come up with the idea of trying dumpster diving for food for the first time… but that’s a story for another day.

My thoughts were not on how hungry I was though, or how I might solve that problem. Not yet.

As I fell back into my nap, blocking out the florescent lights with the darkness of my sleep mask, my last thought was of appreciation. With this little bit of cloth and elastic band, I could sleep anywhere. Read More

GoToobs by humangear — RadNomad Gear Review

GoToobs Banner
Liquids are the bane of a nomad’s existence (well, those and border guards).

They have a tendency to escape their containers and spread all over your gear. Airport goons confiscate them with kleptomaniacal glee. They occasionally decide to re-enforce the TSA’s fears by exploding due to air pressure. They always seem to come in bulky and horribly designed containers. Containers that are useless for re-use.

Liquids are, in short, the least packable and least portable of all nomadic necessities.

Liquids suck.

…But what if they could be harnessed?

What if your liquids could travel the world with you leak free, TSA-immune, and in excellently designed reusable containers that always dispense the right amount?

GoToobs by humangear

These squishy little silicone tubes, playfully named GoToobs (I know, I pronounce them “GooToobs” in my head too), endeavor to accomplish this.

Designed with the globe trotting nomad in mind by Chris Miksovsky and his team at humangear, the GoToob aims to simply and quietly perform exactly as it should throughout every adventure.

If you’ve ever tried holding water in your cupped hands, or tried travelling with a disposable shampoo bottle, then you know this is no easy feat.

So how do the GoToobs measure up to their deceptively complex purpose?

Let’s take a look.

Read More

Nite Ize Inka Pen — RadNomad Gear Review

Nite Ize Inka Pen Gear Review

What if you bought one more pen…and that was it?

What if, from now until the day you die, you had a pen that could go on every adventure with you, never got lost, never had to be left behind, and was ready in 10 seconds?

Even when you’re sketching what you’re looking at during a deep ocean dive (on waterproof paper, of course).

Even when you happen to be writing your latest journal entry beside a flowing river of lava.

Even when jotting down a haiku while on the International Space Station.

Designed and developed for “reliable performance in the harshest environments” by military, NATO, de-mining, & oceanography engineer Greg Adelman, the Nite Ize Inka Pen claims to able to write under water, at any altitude (yeah, that means space), any angle, and in temperatures between -30 °C (Siberia’s coldest average monthly temperature is -25 °C in January) and 300 °C (according to NASA, the hottest temperature ever recorded on the surface of the Earth, without an event like a volcano, was aprox 70.7 °C in Iran’s Lut Desert).

It’s crafted out of stainless steel and carbon fiber, backed by a lifetime warranty against mechanical failure.

Read More