Tag Archives: EDC bag

Keys to protect yourself

self-defense-with-keysWe all have keys in our pockets. So I’d like to remind a simple trick for anyone, who feels unsafe out there in the world – your keys.

What prompt me to share this image, is reading yet another article, where the comments below express surprise over “insecurities of women” and how surprised they are people “actually do this”.

First – it has nothing to do about being a woman. Anyone, who feels threatened can use this quite easily and safety doesn’t care, who you are. Secondly – yes, we do use them like this, because times have changed and I rather risk scratching some potential harasser, who doesn’t take a no as an answer than shoot him dead and go to jail for it.

This was taught to me by a policeman when I was 9 years old (that is more than two decades back). Given, I had no keys back then, and I have no idea why he showed it to me, but I have never forgotten the lesson. When I was working with an ex-security man, he always asked me, why I would carry my keys in my pocket instead of my bag. Seems logical to put them deeper where thief has hard time getting them, right? Until I showed him, why, that I never let go of them in the first place.

I have been attacked before. Several times, even, but that’s the story of being human. So I can vouch on this method – it works. I always carried extra key or two along the rest of my necessity keys, because this way I had one key between my every knuckle. On both occasions the guys were too drunk and simply “joking” around. On both occasions I walked home at night after work and keys set in my pocket between my knuckles. Both cases ended up with them being scratched enough to pull back, giving me enough time to get to safety.  The last time I later realized I’d bent up my room key while doing it. I have never been happier to pay that fee to replace that key. It could have been me instead.

The point is – it is illegal in most parts of the world these days to carry a knife or fire arm. And even if you do – you can easily be sued, not to mention your own guilt over hurting another human being. I know that doesn’t make sense, but you will feel sick for being put in a situation, where you had to hurt someone. The keys help to support your hand as good as knuckles. Unless you want some bulky thing in your pocket – if you hold them right (for that – click on the image and it will take you to the self-defense site talking about this), they will save your life without having that senseless fear in the back of your mind if poking your attacker with a knife was a good idea or not.

Don’t be stupid! Use this, give yourself some protection!

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Vacation is over

I – the mighty as an ox and deadly as a lion – was on vacation.

No, seriously. I WAS on a schedule, where I only sat behind computer, wrote, cooked, did housework and went on a field trips. And helped brother with his firm, but hey, if you work on two jobs, having only one for change means vacation.

The weather, as was expected, was disastrous. I would call it raining if it wasn’t pouring constantly. In the end neither Madli or niece cared and we all happily played in the rain as well as in the sun. For the latter we saw only for few minutes. That’s northern summer for you.

I did keep to promise not to look at the mail. Not that my internet really tolerated anything that demanded more than checking news.  At some point it got so frustrating that I saw the mails, but had no way responding. In long term it was rather nice – problem free! Well, as far as work went.

The Wombat, btw,  is perfect when travelling, although I need to learn how to pack it more efficiently. However, one thing thrilled me beyond clouds! The two water bottle pockets? In one fits my water bottle and in other my EDC. And I can get to it easily! It isn’t pressed in it tightly, so I had no problem taking it out even if it was full.

At some point I took my knitting and crochet needles out of it. Yeaaaah, and then I got this graving to work on something and didn’t have them with me again. So they kind of go back in the bag. They only weight around 50 grams anyway :P.

Learned how to make Paracord bracelets. It started off as planning to make Paracord bracelets, but then we ran into a bit of a dilemma – I didn’t like the idea of cutting the 8 meters I had bought. You can always make it shorter, but lengthening it again is the problem. So instead I made one bracelet that is too large for my hand, but in which I didn’t lose the length. I used this instruction, peace of firewood to attach the nails to keep it in place and some jig brother found me. Oh, mom and brother didn’t hold back – they were humored throughout the entire experience. I used x-equation to figure out the length for the inner cords (got about 30 cm for 8 m cord) and then off I went. The instructions were very easy to follow and despite the looks it was nice and easy pattern. After you get it fixed down :D.

This is my result. I apologize for the colors, but I don’t have better camera. It was in forest camouflage – not because of camo, but I liked the colors. I seriously like the color code of that cord.

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There was one thing I didn’t like about the Wombat bag. The grip handle (guess it’s the right word?) is a bit thin to be taken seriously. If you have heavy bag, it is very hard to hop it around holding from that handle. So I improved it and that’s where my second cord went:

1589d22158600ec9bbc3903ffe5b777b I set it in the right length (had to break up one of the seams to turn the twisted band and re-sew it first), saw that the thickness of the small handle and the cord made even thickness, so I did a simple bracelet weave and voila! I have thicker handle that sits better in my hand and doesn’t feel like the heavy bag will fall off my hands, because the handle would tear. Not that I think it would. As I still had about half a meter cord left, I searched out some pretty Chinese knot and had some fun. In the end I only lost about 20 cm of cord altogether. It looks as if it came with the bag, so I am very happy with the outcome. You wouldn’t think it has bolstered handle in it.

The bag is actually lovely dark black, not as the gray my camera has made it. Bright light, bad camera angle and so on.

I was seriously impressed with the seams on this bag! Thumbs up that I would see more bags like that!

The new handle wasn’t the only improvement I made – added several quick-release buckles here and there and stitched few elastic bands for pens that actually keep them intact.  That’s my itchy, none of the improvements were made because the bag would be insufficient in some part. They were made to indulge my organizing itch.

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Medicine cabinet

I was asked, why is my medicine cabinet so small, . I promised I’ll explain it a bit longer here. I hope it helps, Mari. 

It is small, just a small box on top of the shelves, and it is most basic one can get. It is actually based on first aid kits we found from World War II. 

  • Gauze bandages – classic. I tend to keep at least 2 rolls of the most basic gauze material bandages there at all times. You never know, when you might get a bigger cut that needs bandaged.  I tend to have two types – sterile and non-sterile.  Sterile for straight-on-wound things (like making simple band-aid with small gauze piece) and non-sterile for general bandaging and for wound cleaning instead of cotton balls. I prefer it, because it leaves less fiber around the wound than cotton balls.
  • Medical plaster tape. Same reason as above. Accidents happen, it is good to have some plaster that you can cut in meters should the need arrive. Fabric based. The new types nowadays have zigzag edge which you can easily tear if you need. Love it!
  • Punch of safety pins. Though I was taught how to knot up the gauze bandage, it is good to have those pins together with the bandage. I am skilled at knotting that thing, but oh the frustration if you must do it yourself on yourself! So, yes, seems legit to have a shortcut. At least until you get to someone, who can help you with it.
  • Band-aid plasters. The type that is on fabric and can be cut in shape. Plastic sort comes off with every little move and I really don’t like them. Fabric ones are more resilient to sweating and working with water conditions. Plus you can cut them as you please – so you don’t need them in hundred different sizes only to discover they still don’t have the one you need. 
  • (Scissors) – I don’t keep them in the box, but my place is always infested with at least two pairs of surgical scissors that I can clean with boiling or burning or alcohol. If I move, I tend to keep them in the box.
  • Alcohol wipes – It’s not so much part of the kit itself, I just store them there. They are nicely packaged, so I can always grab few to add in my EDC bag or so sis can find them and supply herself if she needs. With kids, we’ve discovered they are a must have and so it seemed natural that instead of buying 1 or 2 at a time, I can simply get the whole package and we can both go and grab as many as we need.
  • Antiseptic spray – self explanatory. 
  • Fastum Gel – Pain relief for pulled muscles and tendons. Must have if you have tendency to do that often. I’m not clumsy, but in my case even a small rip can cause arthritis to bloom for two weeks. So it’s a good thing to have to lessen the symptoms.
  • Panthenol – against burns. 
  • Oak, ginger and blueberry tablets – these are actually what’s used often for traveling sickness. They are natural tablets and so far the best remedy for stress-reacting stomach. Oak powder is used for runny bowl, so one must be careful with them or you might end up with hard case of constipation. Still, one of the fastest way to stop diarrhea. Ginger calms upset stomach and blueberry is actually more against constipation (I’m guessing, duo oak, you need something to balance it a bit), but also eases the nerves a bit and calms your stomach.
  • Charcoal tablets – mild food poisonings, vomiting, easing the stomach… Rudimentary even, but worth each and one of them. 
  • Cold remedy tablets – Though it is known fact that normal cold takes about 2 weeks to get out of your system and if I can, I have way better and milder ways to deal with the symptoms, I am still working person, so I tend to have them in the kit. I’m not fond of them, but I like other modern cold medicals even less.
  • Tea Tree oil – Antiseptic and good for closed nose if you happen to have a sneezer. Plus all the other 20+ ways to use it. I mostly have it for antiseptic reasons.
  • Brilliant Green – Antiseptic for flaming up wounds or mouth ulcers. There are restriction, when and how you can use it, but if used correctly, it is a lifesaver. 
  • Glucose tablets – For blood sugar and for those kids, who have been good little kids while being mended. 
  • Golden Star – Ointment for scratches, on insect bites, for rubbing on the back to ease breathing with cold, etc, etc. It reeks bad enough that no kid volunteer to touch it, so it is quite safe to keep it there.
  • Thermometer – self explanatory.
  • (Beeswax ointment) – That thing is natural and I can tell for hours what good this simple, old recipe can do. This one has no extra infused herbs in it, but it is still one of the best ways to help the wound heal better. Plus it is perfectly safe to children. I keep it in refrigerator and yes, it is accessible by children. 🙂 But with those ingredients, I am 100 percent sure that nothing bad will happen if they even eat the bulk. Plus my niece already knows why it is used for and how to use it. She may be 3, but she is smart girl.
  • Pain killers – I’m prone to headaches, I guess it has a stable presence in the box. But I always have them in the same dosage and I toss out any that appears there with different one. This way I can be sure I know what I’m taking and I can change the dosage according to the need. 

And that is all. As you can see, it doesn’t have any antibiotics in it and nothing elaborate, but it has stayed nearly unchanged for most of my life. I don’t have many tablets in it, because I don’t use any if I can. They tend to expire too often too. Except the ones for belly and head, because these are my weak spots. Unless it was winter I didn’t even have cold tablets. Well, I am keeping some around nowadays, because of niece.

Also, if someone asks about the tablets, I open my kitchen cabinet 🙂 – and oh the wonders you can encounter there! Most of my tablet needs are covered with the natural remedies you can find from there. Most headaches can be cured through them as well.

I also have alcohol hand wash near the sink. I got it few years back, because there was bigger stomach virus outbreak and we got them at work. So I got myself one at home too. Very helpful thing so far.

It follows 3 rules: 

  1. Bandages must be multipurpose – they must be adjustable in size and I must be able to cut exactly the size I need. You don’t need to toss the entire package upside down on the table to find one suitable band-aid when you can simply cut it. Opening the sterilized packages of those one-portion-band-aids can be hard as well while you can still manage to press one end of scissors between the table and you and cut that long strip with your one hand. I know, because I’ve done it.
  2. As less expiring as I can have – being inspired by WWII bags, I saw what can happen over time.  So I decided that I take the expiring tablets to as minimum as I can, including things that can go bad over time. Most medical tablets are temporary, so I don’t keep the left-overs for safety reasons. Keeping tablets there just-in-case creates bulk and most of it never gets used. I need something, I go and get it. And in situation of no-apothecaries-available, I know what to replace most that is used for daily problems. Knowledge is what you need, not endless supplies of medicament for just in case.
  3. You must be able to sterilize your medical kit if the need arises. This means anything besides tablets and plaster tapes, which in that case would be all simply tossed out or burned, I must be able to boil the bandages and sterilize all the rest of the equipment (think knife, scissors, safety pins) and I must be able to do it without thinking if the method chosen will destroy it or not. It might sound odd in today’s world to talk about boiling bandages, but if done right,  they are perfectly safe. I have done it with women in my family.  As always – there are rules for it and solid info on why and how and when.  So if I have the knowledge, I might as well choose my equipment accordingly and with minimized losses on the way. 

I know it doesn’t seem to be much and there would be many preppers, who laugh at it, but that’s how I choose mine. In SHTF situation, perhaps, yes, I would prefer to have some basic antibiotics for the sort of problems that can’t be mended with herbal remedies and some wound glue, but the good side with having less bulky medical kit, is that I can toss in there the scissors and the meds I might be taking at that time and it will still weight much less than most that I’ve seen out there and it is still variable enough to cover the most problems I might encounter. Plus when I open it up, I don’t have to spend another thirty minutes packing it up again. I might not be ready for nuclear blast, but sorry – those tablets will not save you from radiation poisoning. You encounter something like that and all you can do is pray your heart’s delight. But the small cuts that can go bad, common cold, infections and cuts and bruises – I have help for that :). Plus what I don’t have, I look around and find.

 

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