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Notes from the Field

Every Day Carry

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I guess this is something of a social phenomenon. Folks prepared for everything. Folks making videos of all the stuff they carry in their EDC bag, and the stuff they carry in their Grab n Go emergency bag, and the justification for every item. Not to mention all the videos about the virtues of their chosen bag.

Some of it borders on creepy, in my opinion, like folks prepared for the eminent end of the world. I have some friends into this, and I sometimes think they are maybe a little disappointed every day the world doesn’t end.

But there is a side to this that is useful to musicians. If you have more than one mandolin, you will (if you haven’t already) experience the problem of the pick or tuner you want being in “the other case”. I solved this by emptying everything out of all my cases and getting a really cool small bag for all that stuff. My instrument case contains the mandolin, its strap if there is one, and a microfiber wiping cloth. That’s it. Everything else is in a small leather bag. When leaving for a jam or a party or a rehearsal or a festival, I grab whatever mandolin I want, and the bag.

I admit that the convenience of this system has encouraged me to carry more stuff in the bag; stuff that I just might need. It is now more stuff than I would carry in any one mandolin case. On the other hand, I can proudly say that I have had an experience while out playing that has justified every single item in the bag.

I promise not to make a video of the virtues of the bag I use, or the stuff I carry, but I thought it would be fun to at least make a list.

· Two tuners (the one I use and the one I lend)
· Tuning fork
· Three pick holders filled with picks (the ones I use, the ones I lend out, and a set of banjo finger picks I once experimented with)
· Right hand terry cloth arm band, for playing with short sleeves
· Several packages of strings of different gauges
· Diagonal cutters
· Needle nose plyers
· Small screw driver and a tiny screw driver
· Allen wrench
· String winder
· Capo
· Generic key for the instrument case
· Metronome
· Mp3 player
· Thumb drive
· Tube of Big Bends Nut Sauce
· Short length of leather shoe lace
· Small notebook for tunes I want to learn, phone numbers acquired, jams I hear about
· Pencil
· Square 10” x 10” of shelf liner (for playing without a strap)
· Advil
· Capzasin
· Nail clippers
· Tube of “Guitar Hands”
· Colored sticky flags
· Lucky Irish penny
· Ticket to the Texas State Fair from umpty-ump years ago
· Pen knife (it’s not EDC without one, right? Just be thankful I did not list paracord.)

There it is. Have fun. Pick it apart. Provide your own list if you would like. Just make sure your mandolin is part of your end of the world grab and go scenario.

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Updated Mar-29-2018 at 11:23am by JeffD



  1. Dan Krhla's Avatar
    I'd add extra batteries for gear that needs.
  2. JeffD's Avatar
    Yes, I batteries for the tuners. Forgot to list them.