EDC Bag 90 Day Challenge

| April 24, 2017 | 1 Comments

I started carrying a PDW everywhere I went in mid-2012. I received my first NFA stamp in January 2013, and have carried an SBR or PDW since.

I’ve used a few different bags, but they all shared something: they were “common” bags that were designed to carry something other than a firearm.

I stayed away from bags that were “covert” gun bags by design, or tactical bags with MOLLE, etc. I also avoided any bag in typical military colors.

My SBR / PDWs have gone all sorts of place with me, including some environments that I thought would incur greater scrutiny. I gave presentations to vice presidents at the corporate headquarters of Fortune 500 companies. Midnight movie premieres at theaters known for checking bags. Retail stores at the height of shopping season. Hospitals. Weddings. Concerts. Fancy restaurants. Tactical conferences held at police training facilities.

As the blog expanded, so did the demographic of our readers and where they lived.

I began to wonder how much of my “success” was due to how I look, where I live, my job, and the company I keep.

I’m of mixed heritage (half white, half Puerto Rican), but I look white, and I sound white when I want. I also have a wife with two kids, so it may not be too out of place for a grown man to carry a sling bag in a shopping mall. I work in the tech industry and it is common for people in my field to carry messenger bags, laptop bags, backpacks, etc around — especially in downtown Minneapolis.

I often get SBR/PDW EDC questions from readers who are non-white, live in highly urbanized areas, and are under more scrutiny on a daily basis. When I reply, I wonder if they will experience more problems and bag checks than I would due to how I look and sound.

So, I need your help.


Collect data on carrying bags with SBR/PDW-sized contents in public.

Determine if there are any interesting data points regarding bag checks, questions, and public / peer perception. I’m particularly interested to see if there’s a difference between white folk and persons of color carrying bags into certain environments.


Over the next 90 days, I’d like you to do the following:

  • Select a bag that you use, or would consider using, to carry an SBR or PDW.
  • You don’t have to put a gun in it, but fill the bag and give it appropriate weight as if there was an SBR or PDW inside. I recommend putting trauma gear inside (more on why later).
  • Go to different places, and see what kind of attention you get.
  • Report your findings 90 days later in our anonymous survey.

I encourage you to carry medical gear with you. If someone asks what’s in the bag, you can honestly say “medical equipment.” I’ve been asked about my bag before, and answering “med supplies” or “trauma kit” was enough.

I’d like to see if that holds true with you, too.

Future Survey

In 90 days I’m going to post a survey and ask about your experience.

Please carry a bag as often as possible.

Thanks for participating!

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

1 Comment on "EDC Bag 90 Day Challenge"

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  1. Cameron says:

    Hey, so I’ve been using a Maxpedition Kodiak for about a year now. The contents are listed on my blog (EDC bag post that was originally an article for Dillon), but it includes some diabetic related stuff so I can say that. The only place I’ve received any grief about it is a local sporting goods store that requires you to leave large bags at the front counter. So usually I avoid the place despite them having the best prices around. I’ve taken the. Ah to movie theaters, grocery stores, Starbucks, bus trips into Seattle, and farmers markets.

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