Many Pockets (by )

As I have mentioned before, I have many pockets.

A few people have asked about this now, so here's a run-down on what's in them.

Coat of pockets

So, here's the coat of many pockets. It's quite lightly loaded, so I wear it all the time, pretty much. The pockets contain:

  • Solar-powered rechargable torch, in the pocket at the top right that has a mesh so the solar panel can charge it
  • Moo cards with my email address and PGP key details
  • Blackberry + hands-free kit
  • Lip stuff, E45 cream, and some of that hand-sanitiser stuff (I'm not a clean freak, I just get drooled on by kids sometimes)
  • Notepad and a few disposable pens
  • Laser pointer
  • USB flash drive
  • Stock of business cards
  • Hanky
  • Cheap multi-tool

That's all. The bulk lives in the pod belt:


I have one organiser pouch, two large pods, and one small pod. See the podbelt site for details on what those are.

In the picture, I have my van keys clipped to the belt next to the first large pod. This pod contains my wallet, swiss army knife, and my keys, which are on an extensible springy cord thing attached to the belt.

Also on my right hand side is the small pod, which contains a basic first aid kit: a set of disposable gloves, a resuscitation face shield, some plasters, and some antiseptic wipes.

On my left side, there's the organiser pod. This is full of stuff: oyster card, a larger stock of business cards, a wodge of membership and access cards for various things, another extensible cord thing with a bulkier LED torch and a whistle on, comb, compass, emergency sewing kit, little personal-grooming kit that's mainly used for first aid as it has tweezers and scissors, and then whatever random bits of paperwork I need to be carrying at the time (currently I have a £50 Debenhams voucher lurking in there, waiting a chance to spend it. GO ON, MUG ME FOR MY DEBENHAMS VOUCHER, YOU TASTELESS SCUM).

Then I have my second large pod, which contains some two-metre bundles of endlessly useful polyester cord, a pair of thin leather gloves (warm, but they pack down small), a medium-sized holdall that packs down into a little pouch, pack of tissues, a mirror, a box of tic-tacs, a breath freshener spray, and my monocular.

Between the organiser pod and the large pod is a "tool/towel ring", which is mainly used to store a set of carabiners I call upon to attach random keys I'm temporarily entrusted with.

So that's what I bring with me when I go outside. However, some special outings call for more; obviously I bring my laptop bag (with its extensive suite of cables, adapters, and install/rescue CDs for various operating systems) when going to deal with computers.

Survival pods, on the shoulder strap

But I've just recently finished assembling my wilderness survival pods, which consist of a water canteen pod and another large pod. I've put a stash of water purification tables into the little pocket on the canteen pod, and the large pod contains:

  • Glucose tablets
  • More serious first aid equipment (antiseptic spray, some large dressings and bandages, more plasters, sterile saline solution)
  • Swiss fire steel
  • Shiny survival blanket
  • More disposable gloves
  • A survival knife (not the sort of knife you can legally carry unless you're actually out on a trek).

I already carry many other survival essentials such as compass, whistle and string elsewhere. These two pods are joined to each other and attached to a shoulder strap that I got for free with my first pod belt, and live in the van in case I get stuck somewhere (and if the police question the presence of the knife, at the bottom of a pouch full of survival equipment in a box full of assorted emergency gear in the back of the van, I am prepared to argue my case for the kind of scrapes I keep getting into as being 'good reason' to have a tool to get out of them...); but when out on a hike I will clip them to back of my pod belt (which has room, but it'd be uncomfortable to have things there if I sat in a chair, so I normally keep it clear).

For hikes, I also have a second coat of many pockets made out of black mesh, with fewer, larger, pockets on it. I tend to wear that rather than a rucksack unless it's a really long hike, as the larger pockets are a comfortable way of carrying a packed lunch, GPS, and other such bulkier accessories.


  • By David R. MacIver, Wed 3rd Feb 2010 @ 12:06 pm

    I note that despite the presence of a "tool/towel ring" your gear does not, in fact, contain a towel. How can we take your survival gear seriously if you don't know where your towel is?

  • By sarah, Mon 22nd Feb 2010 @ 10:50 am

    The towel is given - it didn't need to be mentioned!

  • By John K, Fri 17th Dec 2010 @ 12:54 am

    This is great if you are stuck between your BMW and the mall, but you have absolutely nothing to really survive with (unless your BMW is stuck in the snow near a Denny's. No fishing gear, no hunting gear. In y bug out bag, I have all of this plus: a small tackle box (about the size of a tissue box) a mini 14 disassembled (about 3 inches longer that the tissue box) with 100 rounds of ammunition and 6 steel wool pads ( best spark enduced fire starter ever)all of which added 9 pounds, not enough to not be without!

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