EDC: Abroad


Everyday Carry Guide to Carrying Abroad

My EDC when I was in IRAQ

Fit Your Environment

My EDC tends to stay real similar throughout the year, especially if I stay stateside. When I travel domestically, I can usually bring the same stuff that I carry while at home. In that world, I always have the standard stuff: firearm, blade, light, etc. Sometimes though, I head off to a faraway land where I can’t carry a gun or sometimes even a knife. Most recently I went to Northern Iraq/Kurdistan. Here’s what I had on me every day while walking around.

The Basics

My phone and my watch are with me regardless. Not many places where I venture that won’t allow me to have those items. I have an iPhone 12 Pro Max in a slim Otterbox case that’s survived the last few years, so no complaints there. Even if I’m in a place where my phone does not have any signal or service, it’s nice to be able to take photos, take down some notes, or in my case, download local maps and use it for nav when I don’t have a signal.

A Sensible Time Piece

My go-to watch right now, especially while traveling, is my Citizen Promaster NY0040. It’s a pretty standard dive watch that I’ve spoken about countless times. It’s rugged, reliable, and not too expensive so if it were to get pinched, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Eventually I’ll get into something with a GMT function for travel, but for now, my phone/watch combo covers my bases.

See and Fight: Flashlight

My flashlight choice has changed a few time, and I’ve recently switched to another micro light, though I’ll likely keep the Streamlight pictured in my travel things. In a place like Iraq where I can’t carry a gun legally, and if I was unable to find or fashion a poking/cutting instrument, then a small but substantial light is nice to have. Aside from its primary use, using it as a fist pack to throw a reinforced punch is a real option. Even using the bezel as a blunt instrument if need-be is a great “hey, stop doing that” option. Something small, light, easy to use and durable and you have yourself a multitool.

Document Everything: Optional

A camera, notebook and pen travel with me just about everywhere as well. For those who don’t know, I generally make my money through taking photos and writing about things. Gathering and creating content, if you will. The notebook is pretty self explanatory. I take notes, write anything important down that I may want to recall at a later time, even just some fleeting thoughts here and there. Using the notes app on my phone IS something I do as well, but I sort of separate the contents in my phone and what’s in my notebook. One thing to be careful of is not putting any sensitive information in your notebook that the country you’re in wouldn’t be stoked on. You’re not in America, they don’t care about your privacy. I had my things gone through overseas, Turkey specifically, and they flipped through my notebook as well. Good thing I ripped out the page that said “Recep Erdogan stinks”.

I shoot almost strictly on the Fujifilm X and GFX systems, with a little Leica point and shoot here and there. The camera that’s with me the most is the one pictured. My Fujifilm X-Pro3. It’s compact, it’s light, it does everything I need it to do and the process of shooting on it is reminiscent of shooting film. It has a hidden LCD screen that you have to manually fold down to look at and has an optical viewfinder as well, in the rangefinder style body. It’s a crop sensor, but I’ve never had any complaints with it thus far. I also use a GFX 50s which is medium format. I shot a lot of portraits with the GFX on my Iraq trip and it’s overall just a phenomenal camera.

Money Talks

Lastly, cash is king. Most places can take the major credit card companies, and will do so with no issues. Obviously, there are some safety issues with that, but it’s also very well known in developing countries specifically that cash is king. You may not think so, but almost any country will take US Dollars. That is, if it’s worth more than their currency. Have a good amount of USD hidden on your person so as to not get it pinched by some local 13 year old who’s been pickpocketing since they were 5. Have a decent amount of local currency too. It’s only going to make your life easier and if you don’t spend it, hand it off to a local when you leave or bring it back as a souvenir to give to your friends and family. 

In Closing

Your EDC is important whether at home or wandering through the middle east taking photos of strangers and hidden gun shops. In a perfect world, we’d have anything we want but reality isn’t always in our favor. Take what you can and protect it. Use it when you need it and continue to keep it with you. The one time you don’t have it is the time your task or your day or maybe even your life will depend on it.

            Let us know what your travel EDC is and why. We look forward to seeing it.

Written by Jay Pelletier

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