First Aid Kits

My ex used to ask, whenever I took gloves or a flashlight, or some other tool out of my car, why I’m “so prepared.” My answer was always, “I have this stuff in case I need it.” I’ve also been teased by coworkers for having things in my possession for dealing with minor inconveniences like hangnails. The scanner went down needing the rollers cleaned. The manufacturer sells something to clean the rollers but the employer didn’t bother to purchase it. What they did have was a can of denatured alcohol, but no swabs. I keep a few swabs in my bag. I took them out and started cleaning the rollers so we could keep working. I travel fairly light. So I have what I consider a minimum of preps, and one of those things is a first aid kit.

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I look at things like pocked knives, pens, watches, and first aid kits as little insurance policies. They’re there when I need them, but many times I don’t. All of my workplaces have been in offices and rarely do the first aid kits stay stocked. They start out new and within a few months you’re down to one alcohol wipe and a single glove. Now some businesses stay on top of this. But usually, when I need something, it’s not there.

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I take this kit with me on the trail for my hikes. I don’t get headaches or upset stomachs very often, but there’s aspirin, ibuprofen, antacids, a couple different kinds of antibiotic/antimicrobial ointments, some gauze, bandages, alcohol wipes, scissors, tape, and tweezers. If I can’t patch up my problem with what’s in here, then I need help.

Some things expire and have to be replaced before I use them the first time. That’s the idea…the having, not the use.

EDC: A minimalist approach

wpid-img_20150114_110735.jpgThis week I’m carrying the miniature, or keychain versions of my tools. Urban Prepper mentioned something called a “prepper bulge” during his video on the Altoids Smalls Urban EDC Tin. As I’ve carried tools I have become intimately familiar with this concept. I have to admit, some days I don’t use some tools at all. Does that mean it’s time to remove that item from my kit and not carry it? No. For the times when I don’t use something, it’s there in case I need it.

This selection seems to be enough for the moment. I have been considering an EDC rotation but I have not yet decided how to go about that. The random, grab-and go, scenario doesn’t seem practical to me. I may add full size tools to my bag so that when I am carrying the smaller tools I have larger ones nearby.

The LAIX B-007-H Tactical Pen – A Review

I got my second tactical pen in the mail the other day, and that led to a few minutes of internet goose-chasing.  On Amazon it is sold by a company called VKTech and lists for $8.49 with free shipping. The package ships directly from China and the actual brand is Laix model B007-H. The branding on Amazon is rather confusing: “Vktech Tactical Pen Self Defense Cooyoo Tool Tungsten Steel Anti-skid Portable (Black).” The pen consists of an aircraft grade aluminum cap and barrel with a tungsten steel glass-breaker tip. It could be used for self-defense but the tungsten tip is rather sharp and might break easily break the skin. From further searches, the term “Cooyoo” is a Chinese trademark of a very similar tactical pen model with a kubotan tip available on

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The pen comes in a dark grey box with the brand Laix in silver print and has a hard foam cutout inside, and it comes with one Parker-style ballpoint refill. It weighs 1.3 ounces, which is a bit lighter than the 1.75 oz. Uzi Defender, and consists of three screw on pieces. Laix B007-H_2The cap unscrews from a two-piece barrel with anti-slip knurling around the pen tip. The rear tip of the barrel is a punch-like point made of tungsten-steel. This is its emergency glass breaker/tactical defense. The cap can be pushed on the bottom of the pen, and holds but is not very secure. It would be nice if there were a threaded portion on the barrel securing the cap.


Laix B007-H_4I chose this one because it has a tactical look, but softer features than its more heavy duty counterparts. It is available on Amazon, and at Aliexpress in 3 colors, black, desert and grey. There are other colors available from the Sector38 eBay store in the UK.

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Laix B007-H_7I have not done extensive testing. I expect anodized coatings to wear over time. My main concern is a pen’s ability to function after being dropped.  I wrapped the pen in a thin paper towel and dropped it from about 7 feet to a ceramic tile floor and the tungsten-steel tip did not loosen. There is no click action or other moving parts to fail.

EDC – December 2014

This is the pile…

  1. Wallet: Swiss Gear Aluminum (I got my first credit card with a chip. Not sure the probability of being ass-scanned but it can happen)
  2. Phone: Samsung Galaxy S4 in an Otterbox Defender case
  3. Knife: Kershaw Shuffle
  4. Flashlight: Generic-ish 150 Lumen 3-mode. Ultra Fire clone.
  5. Watch: Timex Ironman (I’ve had this for at least 5 years. Changed the battery once. I’ve worn Timex almost exclusively. Decided to change the band rather than buying a new watch.)
  6. Pen: Pentel Client Ballpoint
  7. Pencil: Pentel Forte .05
  8. Stylus: Bamboo
  9. Altoids Tin: Work in progress. I have a separate video and will be posting breakdown photos shortly.
  10. Keys: Grimloc Carabiner with a split ring.
  11. Comb
  12. Cash