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View Full Version : How to organize my EDC stuff in the Smart Alec?



debschwartz1
11-29-2016, 10:40 AM
Initially I thought 'oh, this is way too anal a thing to worry about/ask for help on' and then realized that this is The Ultimate Safe Space for Anal Questions re Bag Organizing! So...

I am eagerly awaiting notification re availability of my preferred Smart Alec color combo (black/Iberian) and in the meantime am mulling over what accessories to get to organize my EDC stuff (aka bits and bobs) pictured here.

I know that some of these things that I want quick access to might be able to be stashed in the SA's existing pockets—I'd appreciate thoughts on that and also on what sorts of pouches I might consider to house the other things and where in the SA I might house them.

I am going to get the UMP but imagine I will only need that for weekend trips/hiking. That's what I hope, at least, since it's kinda odd looking and I'd rather not cart it around in the city.

Personal details: I don't like a lot of little things thrown together in one pouch because a) it's confusing for my brain and b) I live in New York City, which means that a lot of my stuff-wrangling happens on the go: while standing in a crowded subway, in an elevator, on the sidewalk—places where I'm likely to drop things and don't want to do a lot of fiddling.

In the photo, clockwise from upper left:

-Spare battery and cords, currently housed in small Halcyon pouch
-glasses cleaning cloth
-contact lens case
-reading glasses
-sunglasses
-2 pillboxes
-pad and pen
-headphones in hard case
-Purell wipes
-2 lip balms
-hand cream
-napkins

Thanks so much in advance.

sturbridge
11-29-2016, 11:02 AM
I can share my general philosophy, if nothing else. I group items together in "kits" by either type of item (eg hiking) or frequency of use (I have one kit for purse stuff I use all the time, and a separate one for those emergency items that I rarely use but make for a more comfortable experience when I need them). My edc also varies depending on where I'm going, and how long I will be away. A quick trip to the grocery store has different items that a day out full of adventure where I'm not quite sure exactly what I'll be doing.

That said, I use mini pouches and Q kits (both sizes) the most for these kits, with an occasional 3d organizing cube thrown in. Mini pouches for mostly flat items, Q kits for 3d/odd shaped objects. I have a mini Q kit for the frequently used purse stuff (mints, small lotion, ibuprofen, band aids), and a mini organizing pouch for those aforementioned emergency items. Knives/swiss army tools are just tethered in my side effect as is. I have a small (the larger size) Q kit for a bunch of hiking stuff that I can throw into whatever bag. I have additional small Q kits for travel: one has travel items like a massage ball, and some essential oils; another has my coffee kit with an immersion heater and a few tea bags.

tpnl
11-29-2016, 11:15 AM
If I may ask, what else do you carry that may sway what type of pouch / accessory - e.g. laptop, binders, coat, umbrella, water bottle, lunch?

Just FYI - I did find a Side Effect (SE) or Guide's Pack Lead Pocket (GPLP) looped into the Cache with Rails loops or Annex Clips added a lot of good organization (SE has pockets inside). The new Side Kick would be the Uber version (though I have not tried it yet for fit).

Just off the top of my head:

Guide's Pack hooked using the Annex Clips to the back of the SA - lots of pockets and places to put things in:

GPLP in SA (https://forums.tombihn.com/questions-about-bags/11171-guides-pack-side-pocket-leads-pocket-smart-alec-post126830.html#post126830)

https://forums.tombihn.com/attachments/questions-about-bags/15778d1465445762-guides-pack-side-pocket-leads-pocket-smart-alec-sa_gplp_top-jpg

https://forums.tombihn.com/attachments/questions-about-bags/15777d1465445756-guides-pack-side-pocket-leads-pocket-smart-alec-sa_gplp_front-jpg

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1089/8530/products/The-Guides-Pack-Leads-Pocket-Navy-Parapack_1024x1024.jpeg?v=1457893819


Secret section behind laptop using a 3D Organizer Pouch:

3DOC in SA (https://forums.tombihn.com/photos-videos-and-reviews/10720-my-new-smart-alec-post117724.html#post117724)

https://forums.tombihn.com/attachments/photos-videos-and-reviews/14569d1455414874-my-new-smart-alec-sa_3dfoc_hidden-jpg

https://forums.tombihn.com/attachments/photos-videos-and-reviews/14567d1455414746-my-new-smart-alec-sa_3dfoc_keystrap-jpg


Lately, I have been using mini Organizer Pouches (OC) to put "like" functional items (e.g. phone stuff in one OC, Laptop adapters in another, medical in another, etc). Attaching the pouches on the O-Rings makes them so accessible. Using different colors also helps me quickly determine which OC I need. Also, it makes it easier for me to transfer things to other bags as the need arises.

Another idea is using the Field Jounal inserts - hooked to the O-Rings. Here is an example of it in my Daylight Backpack:

https://forums.tombihn.com/attachments/general-bag-discussion/15784d1465519581-share-your-bag-hacks-creative-uses-dlbp_fjn-oi-jpg

Hope this helps

Cheers!

Ilkyway
11-29-2016, 11:25 AM
The Small Q-Kit (it is the LARGER of the two available) fits very nicely into the pockets that are inside the SA under the lid. I tent to cary everything power related (cords, adapters, batteries) in a Q-Kid inside one of thouse lid-pockets.

Your sunglases could go either in the side pocket with the penloops or if not oversized I belive into the other lid pocket. Inside the SA there is a smallish sleeve pocket that can fit a 3D Organzer Cube or I would guess your two glases-cases.

I carry a Pocket Pouch cliped to the middle Oring in the main compartment I carry binbags in mine but it is obviosly usefull for other small items that you do not want to hunt for in the main compartment.

Maybe you want to consider hanging a Guardien Light inside the main compartment. It is a cavern and sometimes I am glad for that light always hanging there.

Just a few thoughts
Ilkyway

threeteez
11-29-2016, 01:19 PM
https://forums.tombihn.com/questions-about-bags/10077-new-sa-not-sure-its-right-bag-me-post108233.html#post108233

That links to Ilkyway's photo showing the UMP inside the SA as interior organization at the top of the bag. You could also use it as it's intended on top of the SA's exterior for the situations you mentioned in your OP, making it a versatile pouch.

My SA is an older version (original Nordic/Steel) so I had to make a hack with velcro loops to attach the gate-keeper clips of the UMP which I got this year when they came back in the color I wanted. Between O-rings and places to hang pouches/cubes, you have a lot of options for organizing your things.

debschwartz1
11-29-2016, 09:07 PM
If I may ask, what else do you carry that may sway what type of pouch / accessory - e.g. laptop, binders, coat, umbrella, water bottle, lunch?

Just FYI - I did find a Side Effect (SE) or Guide's Pack Lead Pocket (GPLP) looped into the Cache with Rails loops or Annex Clips added a lot of good organization (SE has pockets inside). The new Side Kick would be the Uber version (though I have not tried it yet for fit).

Just off the top of my head:

Guide's Pack hooked using the Annex Clips to the back of the SA - lots of pockets and places to put things in:

GPLP in SA (https://forums.tombihn.com/questions-about-bags/11171-guides-pack-side-pocket-leads-pocket-smart-alec-post126830.html#post126830)

https://forums.tombihn.com/attachments/questions-about-bags/15778d1465445762-guides-pack-side-pocket-leads-pocket-smart-alec-sa_gplp_top-jpg

https://forums.tombihn.com/attachments/questions-about-bags/15777d1465445756-guides-pack-side-pocket-leads-pocket-smart-alec-sa_gplp_front-jpg

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1089/8530/products/The-Guides-Pack-Leads-Pocket-Navy-Parapack_1024x1024.jpeg?v=1457893819


Secret section behind laptop using a 3D Organizer Pouch:

3DOC in SA (https://forums.tombihn.com/photos-videos-and-reviews/10720-my-new-smart-alec-post117724.html#post117724)

https://forums.tombihn.com/attachments/photos-videos-and-reviews/14569d1455414874-my-new-smart-alec-sa_3dfoc_hidden-jpg

https://forums.tombihn.com/attachments/photos-videos-and-reviews/14567d1455414746-my-new-smart-alec-sa_3dfoc_keystrap-jpg


Lately, I have been using mini Organizer Pouches (OC) to put "like" functional items (e.g. phone stuff in one OC, Laptop adapters in another, medical in another, etc). Attaching the pouches on the O-Rings makes them so accessible. Using different colors also helps me quickly determine which OC I need. Also, it makes it easier for me to transfer things to other bags as the need arises.

Another idea is using the Field Jounal inserts - hooked to the O-Rings. Here is an example of it in my Daylight Backpack:

https://forums.tombihn.com/attachments/general-bag-discussion/15784d1465519581-share-your-bag-hacks-creative-uses-dlbp_fjn-oi-jpg

Hope this helps

Cheers!

Whoooa! TPNL, you have just blown my mind. I had not considered ANY of these options and now am doing so, joyfully. I especially like the idea of a SE. I love the look of the GPLP but am not sure I'd be able to make use of those loops...

Thank you for your question re what else I carry. It changes frequently. Options are mostly:

-A change of clothes/book and newspaper/extra layer for a sleepover at my girlfriend's house
-groceries
-gym clothes
-weekend getaway stuff (clothes/toiletries/book/newspaper)
-I am switching careers so it may soon more often involve my laptop, which at 17" customer service tells me will just barely fit into the SA, and sadly TB does not make a cache to fit it. :confused:

I always carry a water bottle—a big one, 32 ounces, 10 inches high, that I fear will not fit in the SA. I cannot carry anything smaller in terms of ounces (I am always thirsty) but I might have to investigate alt sizes...

Thank you again. If you have additional insights, I'd love to hear them.

debschwartz1
11-30-2016, 06:30 AM
@Ilkyway, thanks very much. I was pondering the Q-kits and this info about how they mesh with the SA is really helpful, as are the tips re the glasses cases. Phew!

Also... interesting use of the Pocket Pouch, which I had always written off as just being for IDs/business cards. Love all these hacks...

debschwartz1
11-30-2016, 06:31 AM
Thank you, Sturbridge! Very helpful. I love the idea of swap-able kits...in fact, I just wrote an article for Real Simple that included this tip—gleaned from a professional organizer—as a way to make switching between bags easier. You're a pro!

debschwartz1
11-30-2016, 06:33 AM
@threeteez: thank you! I certainly like the idea of being able to use one accessory to do double duty. I do love TB, but it is not an inexpensive passion...:D

debschwartz1
11-30-2016, 04:00 PM
Oh jeeeeez I was about to check out when I was informed the UMP is out of stock in black! I pondered pitching a fit, having a tantrum, etc. and decided against it. Instead, just a little moping.

tpnl
11-30-2016, 04:57 PM
Call/email TB customer support ASAP - they may have one left!

Cheers!

backpack
11-30-2016, 07:34 PM
The Crew has just made the most comprehensive video about Pouches!

https://vimeo.com/193165160

This is a great primer for new Tom Bihn customers, even long time Bihnthusiasts can find this video very, very informative.

Pouches, one of the Tom Bihn invention for organizing EDC can't be without stuff, specialty items such as electronic power supplies and cords, needlework must haves, crafters and artists tools for inspiration ...