Everyday Carry is all about making sure you have all of the essentials with you when you leave the house each day. Any situation that you think you might possibly end up in, any tool you may need, or any item that may help you out of a jam… those are the items that should be with you at all times.
Sometimes that may be just the essentials that can fit in your pockets, and other times it may be a backpack that you carry around with you.
If you’re carrying an EDC bag with you it’s important to ensure that your items and your bag are protected. Obviously, depending on what’s in there, you want to make sure your bag is near you and visible at all times, but in the unlikely event that your bag ends up stolen, you’ll want a way to try and recover your property.
Phones, laptops, and other technology these days have the ability to be tracked, but there are still a lot of items that you may carry that aren’t always connected to the internet, or don’t have GPS abilities. Because of this, we recommend securing a hidden Apple Airtag (or similar device of your choice) to your EDC bag.
We understand that this is not going to help in the case of someone stealing your bag, taking the contents of the bag out, and then ditching the bag, but if you realize quickly enough, this could be the difference between recovering your property and not.
At the very least you’ll know where your bag is…
Be Careful Tracking Your Stolen Property
Before we go any further, we would advise you to be extremely careful when trying to recover your own stolen property. You never know who might have taken your bag or what weapons they may have on themselves. Contacting the police first, before making contact with a possible thief, can help protect you and others.
So, before you go knocking on doors accusing people of stealing your items, please use extreme caution and common sense. We don’t want to see anyone getting hurt over a knife or wallet, it’s not worth it.
What is an Apple Airtag and Why Would I Need One?
I will admit, prior to a vacation to Disney World this past summer, I never saw the point of Apple’s Airtags… at least for my personal use. I’ve had Tile trackers in the past and never really needed to actually use them, they just ran out of batteries and I threw them away.
Apple has redesigned the tracker and allowed for a much better user experience with more coverage when you’re trying to track your lost items.
Apple’s Airtags use the entire iOS network to ping the Airtags so that they can still be tracked no matter where they are in the world. They do not require their own service or monthly fees, so you can put them wherever you’d like and immediately start tracking them.
This does leave them open to being used for malicious, or unintended, purposes, but when using them correctly they are great… especially in Disney World when you have a stroller and the cast members move strollers around all the time to make room for more. I can’t tell you how many times we came off of a ride and our stroller wasn’t where we left it, but thanks to the Airtag we were able to quickly locate it and go about our day.
They also have an alert which notifies you when the Airtag has moved more than X amount of feet away from you, which is very helpful when you accidentally leave your backpack at a table and walk away.
Tracking Your Stolen EDC Bag
When it comes to your everyday carry bag, the bag that you carry with you at all times, we would recommend putting an Airtag inside of it so that, at the very least, you get a notification when it’s out of your general area. But it can also be very helpful in tracking your stolen bag.
Thieves are smart these days though, so just throwing the Airtag into your bag may not work. There is a good chance a smart thief is going to empty out the contents of the bag quickly in order to see if there are any devices in it that can be tracked. Computers and phones will be immediately shut off and any exposed Airtags or trackers will be ditched… if they can find them.
Airtags are very small, slightly larger than a quarter and a little thinner than a watch, so they can be hidden fairly easily. If you’re serious about tracking your everyday carry bag, we recommend finding a spot in the back where you can hide it in a compartment that’s not very obvious or sew it into the lining of the bag.
Hiding the Airtag within the bag will make it harder to fall out when the bag is dumped, and sewing it into the lining will ensure that nobody ever knows that it’s there. You can then easily track it from your phone to see where your bag has gone and nobody can turn it off or dump it before you get to it.
Of course this isn’t going to stop someone from taking the contents of the bag out and ditching the bag itself, but if you catch it early enough there may still be a chance of recovering some of your items.
Theft is a Problem, Be Prepared
Theft seems like it’s everywhere these days and in most cases we would tell people that hunting down these thieves isn’t worth it, but we know the EDC community and we know how their minds work. Sometimes our curiosity gets the best of us and we have to see if we can solve all the problems ourselves.
Being prepared and being aware of your surroundings is the best way to help ensure that you’re never the victim of theft, but no matter how prepared you are, or how observant you think you are, things happen…
Be careful out there and please don’t take the law into your own hands!
Zach Belmont has been working in the outdoor apparel industry in one form or another for over 20 years. During his career, he has worked at some of the most well-known adventure brands including Patagonia and The North Face in marketing, operations and product development. Zach currently lives in Wyoming with his wife and 2 kids.