URBAN SURVIVAL: The Urban E&E Bag Concept is Silly

The E&E Bag – for all those times a secret agency is trying to assassinate or kidnap you

I have been toying around with writing an E&E Bag article for a wile now but I didn’t really see many people getting any use out of it. I mean, seriously, how many people need a “Jack Bauer” E&E Bag to avoid capture or assassination in an urban environment in the States (or any other 1st world country)?

I can only think of one group who would have the need for an Urban E&E Bag in the 1st world:

- Criminals

That’s it, that’s the only group who would be on the run from armed and skilled people trying to kill or capture them and who would be unable to call the cops for help. Even a guy like myself and some of the other DVM Crew here who work in the security or Intel fields don’t need or use an E&E Bag when we are stateside.

We are all law abiding guys, so if someone is illegally conducting surveillance or trying to kill us we would just dial 911 or a lawyer to get a restraining order. We sure as shit wouldn’t do some sort or “cat and mouse” thing running through the back alleys of the city picking locks to evade some wacko that wants to smoke us.

Think about it, if someone is following you they are a PI, the cops, a crazy person, fired employee, someone you sued, law enforcement, an angry husband or crazy ex-girlfriend. In none of those situations would you ever want to play some sort of James Bond game wile running solo through the city like you work for CTU or something.

Plus if you were trying to avoid a KGB assassination you probably wouldn’t want to run around town with a big ass courier bag stuffed with a transvestite disguise anyway. I also think its odd that if (for whatever reason) some shady organization was hunting you that you would be walking around the streets in the first place.

The honest truth about the urban E&E Bag is you will never be in a situation where a bag full of lockpicks, disguises and guns will come in handy unless you are burglar or the FBI is after you. Spend your money on porn and booze instead.

My Stateside E&E Kit Contents:

Cell Phone
This is used to call the police when someone is following or trying to harm me

Pistol
This is used to shoot the person trying to follow or harm me if the cops don’t show up in time

Credit Card
To pay for a lawyer when I smoke some guy that tried to shank me because I was banging his girlfriend

—————————————————————————————

~James G
Founder – Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and shanking fools.

Be Sociable, Share!

52 thoughts on “URBAN SURVIVAL: The Urban E&E Bag Concept is Silly”

  1. Yes.

    James G. has hit the nail on the head once again.

    ‘Every day carry’ is more the sort of thing we all do. You stuff your pockets and car’s back seat with the things you find useful or needed on a daily basis.

    Great article Bro’.

    Bubba

      (Quote This Comment)

  2. Bubba, When I was writing this I was thinking about some of the gigs that we have done when we were working together stateside – even when we were doing relatively high-speed shit we never used an E&E Bag

    An EDC Bag maybe, E&E not so much

    ~James G

      (Quote This Comment)

  3. Oh no, another sacred cow slain by James.

    I can almost hear the deflated egos crying into their molle-covered, “discreet” bags in Starbucks all over the country!

    Hopefully guys start reading this stuff and stop carrying their piano wire, lockpick set and handcuff key taped to the small of their back.

    But, for heaven’s sake, keep the blood type patch! It’s a well-known fact that ER surgeons here in the States prefer to assume what you have velcro’d on the back of a multicam hat is medically correct, rather than actually typing you or giving universal donor blood.

    Another good job, James!

      (Quote This Comment)

    1. I dispute this. As a medic, I can tell you for a fact that we do not take the tattoo, patch, lifebracelet, dogtag, medical card etc. seriously. The DOD has found out that 6% of all dogtags are incorrect on the blood type. Clerical errors, incorrect info, stamping errors, poor memory, wrong recollection.. these affect why we do not try to give blood off of those things. Besides to type someone takes 90 seconds in the field, and even faster in the ER.

        (Quote This Comment)

      1. Umm.. Expatriated was using “sarcasm” …

          (Quote This Comment)

      2. Really? 90 seconds? Do those numbers smell like shit? Seeing as how they were pulled from your ass…. Type/screening then crossmatching with a donor takes 15-30 min. Er’s can have O- on standby, but you still risk a hemolytic transfusion reaction.

          (Quote This Comment)

        1. Yep. Field bloodtyping. No need to separate plasma from cells. Make a 3% suspension. One drop of that into prepackaged front type cartridge, spin for 10 secs. Bloodtype done.! Crossmatch would be another 3 min. If you were using gel then yeah 15 min.

            (Quote This Comment)

        2. Yep. 60 sec. Make a 3% from whole blood. Put a drop into prepacked front type cartridge. Spin for 10 sec. Done. Xmatch add 3 min.

            (Quote This Comment)

  4. Well, that “urban E&E bag” idea is silly unless one imagines themselves in a situation where one is hunted by police and FBI. And if we are honest about what is generally considered our peer group, we find a lot of people being vocal about preparing for that.

    Protecting your constitutional rights (RTKBA mostly) from a despotic/totalitarian/communist government is a rather popular meme. Hey, this site links one of the zombie ones, just ask there how many people equate “zombie” with “mindless minion of an evil power”.

    Now, as someone who happens to travel the world a bit and see third world governments at work, I look somewhat skeptical on that line of thought, because there’s worlds of difference between, say, the USA and North Korea or even Europe and Belarus.

    But it seems to me a very American value is to ask “hey, if those people don’t hurt others and it makes them happy, why not?”. It makes people feel save. Makes feel them empowered, being able to control their destinies if forced to.

    I think the main point about the whole article series here was “an e&e bag needs a use case” (loved the point about toilet paper for the expat bag; I second that), meaning: You cannot prepare for everything. You need to know which situations you want to cover. Or to translate one of my favorite adages: Lack of recon means more burden (= material to cover eventualities).

      (Quote This Comment)

  5. ~James G

      (Quote This Comment)

  6. Just to Make Things Clear Again:

    I am not hating on tactical-cool here, I like tactical stuff, I own an entire room of tactical clothing and gear. For some reason people think I hate all things tactical looking.

    I am just expressing my opinion on the usefulness of the E&E Bag

    ~James G

      (Quote This Comment)

  7. Well, yes and no. Right now, I prefer a small bag for some extra stuff, like iPhone charger, Gerber multi-tool, extra flashlight, and more. Beats carrying all the stuff in your trouser’s pockets and on the belt…

    I also believe in having an E&E bag ready. It contains some breaching/rescue tools, empty flashlight with 4 cells in water-proof container, one MRE, and some medic-stuff. This bag sometimes travels with me or is always next to my desk…

      (Quote This Comment)

  8. Don’t you work overseas in the Middle East? That is different; Expats do need an E&E/BOB

    ~James G

      (Quote This Comment)

  9. Right now I’m land-locked in one of the safest countries: Austria… In addition I want to be very clear: I cover Eastern- and Southern-Europe and parts of Middle-East for companies. I’m neither a contractor nor a former “been-there-done-that-shit”. On the other side, I’d like to point out that I’m not your average drunken sales-manager selling cheap stuff either… ;-)

    My trips are usually short and quick, compared to classic contracting. It all depends on the projects and client’s needs. On the other side: when you are in a convoy to visit the xyz HQ, the last thing you need is an E&E bag. Still, I pack my bag every night in certain countries, because I don’t trust the people or mother nature in some places.

      (Quote This Comment)

  10. I dunno the US is starting to resemble a Kenyan dictatorship — I feel like an expat even though I haven’t gone anywhere. Besides, “E&E” just sounds cooler than “EDC.” ;)

      (Quote This Comment)

  11. Well, damn. Now my Emdom TNT bag has been retired to a box along with my contractors ball cap and “Rock out with my Glock out” T-Shirt. At this rate all I’ll have left of my manhood is the broadsword strapped to my back! Why you gotta be so mean James G?! :P

    Seriously, I believe I understand what you are saying and agree. There is nothing wrong with having a BOB/GOOD bag, especially when I’m overseas, or a “Get Home Bag” in the trunk of a car, while I’m CONUS,. There just no reason to carry around that much “hate in a bag” when you have the police around the corner.

    Additionally, It may attract the wrong kind of attention. But, on occasion I do carry a small Netbook bag with my computer (free wi-fi at Starbucks!) and my CCW holstered on a velcro panel. But that’s only when I’m dressed a manner I can’t conceal carry.

      (Quote This Comment)

  12. Can you imagine the look on a cops face if you get caught in a random search or something with a bag full of lockpicks, ski mask, wig and guns – he will think you are a serial killer

    Your Emdom TNT bag is still GTG minus the lockpicks, ski mask and wig

    Emdom makes great shit

    ~James G

      (Quote This Comment)

  13. Random check-points are fun! I end up promising t-shirts or cool swag… :-)

      (Quote This Comment)

  14. James, great article man and good points.

      (Quote This Comment)

  15. Oh no, another sacred cow slain by James.   (Quote This Comment)

    Cows are delicious

    Thanks Gray Ghost, glad you liked it

    ~James G

      (Quote This Comment)

  16. I’ll give you don’t need an Urban Escape and Evasion bag almost anywhere in the US, especially not Jack Bauer style.

    However, do you completely disavow the notion of an urban survival bag altogether?

    I live in a city and I definitely keep a “Get Home Bag” that stays in my trunk and would be used in a regional emergency type of situation. (9/11, earthquake, whatever) It has food, water, first aid, communications, clothing, etc

    Perhaps you didn’t mean to, but my thought when reading the article was that you think this is a stupid idea too.

    Lucas

      (Quote This Comment)

  17. Great posting.

    But I must admit, I’ve got an EDC ‘bag’ that I carry. It usually contains most of the stuff that I don’t want to throw in my pockets during the summer time and warmer weather. In the winter, it ends up in my coat pockets.

    I’m talking about standard daily ‘loadout’ here, sidearm, pens, notebook, phone, keys, kubaton, extra clip, flashlight, leatherman tool, etc. Nothing over the top, just standard stuff that I carry everywhere. But an E&E bag? I think you said it right when you had listed your Stateside E&E bag…

      (Quote This Comment)

  18. However, do you completely disavow the notion of an urban survival bag altogether?

    I live in a city and I definitely keep a “Get Home Bag” that stays in my trunk and would be used in a regional emergency type of situation. (9/11, earthquake, whatever) It has food, water, first aid, communications, clothing, etc

    Perhaps you didn’t mean to, but my thought when reading the article was that you think this is a stupid idea too.

    Lucas  

    (Quote This Comment)

    I was just referring to the E&E bag filled with “spy” tools

    As far as the get Home Bag goes I don’t think you need that one ether IF (note the IF) you are the prepared type that carries a gun and EDC stuff in your poket already. Otherwise I feel the same about any BOB for the states

    Thanks for commenting man

    ~James G

      (Quote This Comment)

  19. Great posting.But I must admit, I’ve got an EDC ‘bag’ that I carry.It usually contains most of the stuff that I don’t want to throw in my pockets during the summer time and warmer weather.In the winter, it ends up in my coat pockets.I’m talking about standard daily ‘loadout’ here, sidearm, pens, notebook, phone, keys, kubaton, extra clip, flashlight, leatherman tool, etc.Nothing over the top, just standard stuff that I carry everywhere.But an E&E bag?I think you said it right when you had listed your Stateside E&E bag…

    That’s more of an EDC bag, I don’t really see anything wrong with that as long as its discrete. But an E&E bag filled with ninja tools? No way

    ~James g

      (Quote This Comment)

  20. Just to Make Things Clear Again:I am not hating on tactical-cool here, I like tactical stuff, I own an entire room of tactical clothing and gear. For some reason people think I hate all things tactical looking.
    I am just expressing my opinion on the usefulness of the E&E Bag
    ~James G  

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ll admit to being a closet tacticsexual. At one time or another, I’ve had Tactical Tailor, London Bridge, TAD, a million pieces of Eagle, Maxpedition and even a couple of things I had custom sewn. I’m anxiously anticipating a Mystery Ranch pack now. (I do draw the line at out and out flaming BLACKHAWK!!! and Dark Ops-type stuff.)

    My favorite bag is a little Diamondback Tactical number. It’s got a clear map pocket/flap, AR mags, smoke, knives, blow-out kit, multiple cellphones, cash in US and local scoots, and some other good stuff. But, here’s the deal, that’s when working OVERSEAS. What flies in Bogota don’t in Des Moines.

    Stateside EP, my same bag will have such exciting items as a book, bottle of water, aspirin, an extra tie for the principle and one of those nifty Tide pen sticks to get the BBQ out of my Brooks Brothers.

    I’m not goofing on tactical gear, just poking fun at those who sport their molle bags passing the antique shops and whole food stores in Old Town Alexandria just in case they need to “E&E” back to the Residence Inn.

      (Quote This Comment)

  21. Hi James, great post!

    Out of curiosity, what other ninja tools did you have in mind besides the lockpicking set? I carry London Bridge Trading’s 3 day pack in black as an EDC on a college campus with an Emdom Wide load 3″ on the front. There’s no PALs webbing on the sides and I swapped out the black zipper pulls to match the WL’s color (green). That way, it won’t look like it fell out of a SWAT truck! I carry the EDC items listed above (pens, light, Leatherman) but also carry a small compass, spare batteries, zip ties, signal mirror, and a small first-aid kit.

    Being on a major college campus, there’s always that threat of an active shooter– would hate to be caught off guard and I need to self-treat myself/others for injuries or sustain myself for a period of time before medical aid arrives.

    As for the “too tactical” look of the LBT bag, there are lots of guys (it must be in the frat guy’s guide book) that have a black North Face pack. They’re all over campus and they sure look a bit technically for all those books (or lack off) they carry!

      (Quote This Comment)

  22. I’m anxiously anticipating a Mystery Ranch pack now.

    I just got one of theirs bags a couple weeks ago. Top quality stuff.

      (Quote This Comment)

  23. So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty–where can I get the bag Jack has in the above picture? :)

      (Quote This Comment)

    1. Exact one from Rothco–

      http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002CKD1M?tag=sailor-moon-cosplay-20

      Now go save the world!

        (Quote This Comment)

  24. Uh, just how exactly did you know that that quickly? Thanks.

    If I could trick the inside out to be certified badass lethal and put a peace patch on the outside, I might could put this thing to good use.

      (Quote This Comment)

    1. Haha, Google.

      This gentleman kitted his out pretty nicely–
      http://www.mercop.com/docs/articles20.htm

        (Quote This Comment)

  25. Haha, Google.This gentleman kitted his out pretty nicely–
    http://www.mercop.com/docs/articles20.htm  

    Hmm, he keeps an axe in his other bag:

    http://mail.myptsmail.com/mercop/blog/?p=292

    Like James says, how do you explain that to the cops?

      (Quote This Comment)

  26. Another great article! I was waiting on this one. lol I met a real wacko a few years ago that preached the idea of having a B&B bag stateside. The more he said, the more I realized he was going to need one eventualy when the cops showed up to haul him off.

    Turns out he was an ex-cop to boot. Recently I did a search for this guy on youtube and wow he is even more of a nut now! Look up Jim Stachowiak on youtude and you’ll see the type of person that needs a B&B bag stateside. lol I’m amazed people like that are still allowed to walk the streets. Keep up the great work!

      (Quote This Comment)

  27. criminals an nutjobs like this guy have E&E bags stateside

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khN2vdUY3Pg

      (Quote This Comment)

  28. Out of curiosity, what other ninja tools did you have in mind besides the lockpicking set?   (Quote This Comment)

    Hacksaws, bolt cutters, slim-jims and any sort of disguise or tradecraft items

    I am down with learning tradecraft skills as a hobby or if you work in a job where you may be kidnapped – not so much if you actually think that black choppers are following you or the US is going to go Commie

    As for the “too tactical” look of the LBT bag, there are lots of guys (it must be in the frat guy’s guide book) that have a black North Face pack. They’re all over campus and they sure look a bit technically for all those books (or lack off) they carry!  (Quote This Comment)

    For college camposes I would not worry about the tactical-cool thing considering that 25% of the people there have orange hair or generally dress colorfully – it’s doubtful that a 3-day pack would attract much attention if you are trying to look grey

    London Bridge Trading’s 3 day pack  (Quote This Comment)

    London Bridge is great gear, the Rangers get issued their stuff

    ~James G

      (Quote This Comment)

  29. Uh, just how exactly did you know that that quickly?   (Quote This Comment)

    Hahahaa…

    The more he said, the more I realized he was going to need one eventualy when the cops showed up to haul him off.   (Quote This Comment)

    Hahahaa… X2

    You guys are giving me a good laugh this morning – thanks

    ~James G

      (Quote This Comment)

  30. But, but, Eurocopter is already working on silent rotor blades!!!

    Now, the (good) thing about Mercop is, that he is a former LE officer and still works in the community as a trainer. He also made things very clear by calling his BOB the Bag of Evil…

      (Quote This Comment)

  31. Well, I feel better since I am only in the US and, despite much advice from those around me, have never had an E&E bag.

    I did find one I really liked once. It was in Rapid City, SD. Was big enough to carry all my gear including a car and a Harley. Had a bed and bath, said “Freightliner” on the front of it. A bit out of my price range, but I would sure have had grand escapes in it.

      (Quote This Comment)

  32. Hey wait a minute . . . that’s the one that’s been following me!

    ~James G  

      (Quote This Comment)

  33. See I am a believer that one ought have an ‘urban toolkit’, practice your skills and prepare for any tinfoil hat eventuality like the US turning into a dictatorship or the Limeys deciding to come take back their old colonies. It’s what Thomas Jefferson would have wanted.

    But don’t carry that stuff around every day. Keep it at home, really. It’s fun to show off your ninja tools around the campfire and talk about red dawn stuff, but if you carry a bag with 8 knives, zip ties and a pelican case full of medicine you’ll never get laid because all the ladies will think you’re a serial killer.

      (Quote This Comment)

    1. 8 knives is a bit excessive…I’d be wary of anyone carrying that many, too.

      I don’t find zip ties to be too extreme. They’re easily tucked away and out of sight until you need ‘em. I carry about four-five on me. You certainly don’t need a pack of 100…
      Zip ties are great for those moments where your shoulder strap on your pack rips and spills your crap all over campus grounds and you gotta do some emergency surgery to mend you pack to get you through the day (true story).

      I carry a couple of Tylenols and Immodiums in my bag– no matter how tough you are, getting the shits will put a damper on anyone’s day. And the Tylenol is great for the pain of mindless meetings where the stupidity of the material and lecturer gives you a brain aneurysm.

        (Quote This Comment)

  34. To all “builders of E&E bags”: take a bag (any brand will work) and fill it with stuff.  (Quote This Comment)

    But that doesn’t sound cool like carrying a “Escape and Evasion Tactical Assault Bag”

    ~James G

      (Quote This Comment)

  35. You all have inspired me to build my own B & B bag. I’m using a large leather bag by D&G here: http://store.dolcegabbana.com/item/store/DG/tskay/9BEC955A/rr/1/cod10/55003156ES/areaid//sts/

    I’ve filled it with a versatile cork screw, fine linens, aromatherapy candles, an assortment of European cheeses, a gallon of therapeutic massage oil, a large foam wedge…

    Oh wait, you said E & E not B & B…. my bad.

      (Quote This Comment)

  36. Titanium cork screw?

      (Quote This Comment)

  37. very nice article dude. you’ve forgotten to put Jack Bauer inside your Urban E&E Bag though :(.

      (Quote This Comment)

  38. Jack Bauer used the Monsoon Gearslinger as his main bag in the last 2 seasons!

    http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/Monsoon-Gearslinger-2p11.htm

      (Quote This Comment)

  39. Sweet, I haven’t caught the last few seasons of 24 but in the past ones I always wondered why a high speed dude like Jack carried a 20 dollar man-bag

    The Monsoon looks nice, will have to pick one up – ya cant go wrong with Maxpedition, I carry one of their bags in Iraq with me everyday

    ~James G

      (Quote This Comment)

  40. It think having an E&E kit available incase of an emergency is a good thing. My E&E/BOB has medical suplies, a few Mountain House meals, a backpacking stove, small bottle of fuel, particle mask, duct tape, chem lights, batteries, flash light, 550 cord, 2 knives (SOG and ESEE), a Multi Tool(SOG), Radio/cellphone pouch, couple pairs of socks, underwear (in case I piss or shit my self for whatever reason), water treatment kit (MIOX (primary), Bleach and (Tablets Secondary)), Fire kit(Firesteel, matches, bic lighter, extra flints for zippo), Sunscreen, Hand sanitizer and a few other things.

    Since I’ve put this kit together I’ve dipped into it a few times for whatever reason. I needed some super glue for a cut, grabbed that. Needed some 550 cord, and I’ve used my medical kit several times. Just having those readily available is nice. Thats been the only benefit, and only purpose in having a BOB or E&E bag.

      (Quote This Comment)

  41. Bob, bug out bag, useful for evasion and escape, not for escape and evasion, in the first case, you get to keep the bag in hopes that it has what you might need in the next ten miles or 24 hours.

    Get out of dodge bag, this is not for a cross town trip, this is for dissapearing, you will need alternate ids, things like that, and you should be preparing for a trip of several thousand miles and 10 to 20 days. Money is very necessary, along with a burner cell phone and the necessary numbers for your personal situation. all this can be used up in a few weeks so you should be making new connections and learning a new modus viviendi

    teotwawki bag, This is for the big one where all the infra structure is toast, this is the one where you keep the seeds your gonna have to plant when the food infrastructure is gone. what do you put in a bag to restart life in a wasteland. guns ammo, batteries for the last remnants of useful electronics, generator and fuel, plus lights or whatever you expect to use.

    Keeping only a serepick.com bogota set as EDC is enough if you think that you may become captured and have to deal with that. Its a set that is easy to conceal if necessary. its not all about getting in, its also about getting out.

      (Quote This Comment)

  42. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

      (Quote This Comment)

  43. I wonder how many German Jews would have appreciated having an E&E bag back in 1939-1945. The same could be said for a lot of Japanese, Chinese, Turks, Armenians, Christians, Koreans, Ethiopians, Rwandans, Iranians, Slavs, Liberians, Vietnamese, Russians, etc. throughout history.

    Of course, that could NEVER happen in the U.S. I mean, it just isn’t within the realm of possibility. There’s NO WAY Obama will get elected to a second term. No way . . . never happen . . .

      (Quote This Comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Upload Files

You can include images or files in your comment by selecting them below. Once you select a file, it will be uploaded and a link to it added to your comment. You can upload as many images or files as you like and they will all be added to your comment.