Mark Loveless, aka Simple Nomad, is a researcher and hacker. He frequently speaks at security conferences around the globe, gets quoted in the press, and has a somewhat odd perspective on security in general.

A Security Guy's Every Day Carry

A Security Guy's Every Day Carry

A serious amount of stuff…. Photo by Kim Loveless

A serious amount of stuff…. Photo by Kim Loveless

This is my what I carry on my person every day. What makes this pocket dump different from other pocket dumps? In many ways, it looks like a basic pocket dump of anyone else. But as a hacker/security type person, there were a few items that were chosen for security reasons, or to put it better, I use the item with some type of security in mind. I mean, there are three wallets after all. And while this is everyday carry (EDC), it is only my pockets. My laptop bag is a completely different story - if you think something security-ish or nerd/hacker-related is missing, it’s probably because it is already in my laptop bag. I'll cover the laptop bag at a later date, probably in a video.

There are parts of this EDC that are extremely budget friendly, and parts that aren't. And it probably seems like a lot of stuff, but I currently wear SCOTTeVEST Hidden Cargo Pants. These pants are no longer made - they do make a hidden cargo shorts version - but I invested in several pair and love them. There are a total of eight pockets, and the six front ones are deep enough to reach my knees, basically making them pickpocket proof. These gray trousers hold a lot, and I still have one pocket left that is open for future expansion.

As I go through the list, I'll explain some of the reasoning behind the choices, particularly if there is some security element behind it, and I’ve tried to include links* for everything.


Photo by Kim Loveless

Photo by Kim Loveless

1. Duluth Men’s Leather Phone Holster. This is a leather holster for a phone, but due to my nasty history with clip-on sunglasses, I use them to hold and protect my cheap clip-ons. I’ve left them in airports, broken them, you name it. Even in a soft case I've had them break. I found this at a local Duluth store, a nice leather case with magnetic clasps and my clip-on sunglasses fit inside. It works great. So far my sunglasses have survived, and I try to ignore the fact that spent quadruple on the case as opposed to the clip-ons themselves.

Men’s Leather Phone Holster - https://www.duluthtrading.com/mens-leather-phone-holster-41735.html?dwvar_41735_color=BLK#q=phone%2Bcase&lang=default&start=4

2. Field Notes. This is de facto standard stuff for hackers, makers, DIYers, and travelers to carry with you. I usually have two of these on me, one with semi-permanent but non-sensitive notes, and a second one for informal note taking where I might tear out the page later on.

Field Notes Kraft Ruled (3-pack) - https://amzn.to/2rb71C8

3. Allett Leather Wallet. This wallet was a gift from my wife, and it has my three initials on it. It is supposed to be RFID blocking, but after testing it to make sure, the Allet wallet did not pass. Either the implementation is poor or it simply was never an RFID wallet, despite saying so on the inside. As a result I keep an RFID blocking card in between the credit cards which, after verifying with testing, I can safely say the credit cards are not subject to potential RFID attack.

This model of Allett is no longer made, but even if it was I would not link to it, mainly because of the seemingly non-existent RFID shielding. After the wallet eventually wears out completely I will replace it with something that actually does RFID blocking, but since it currently has sentimental value and I try to keep wallets until they are falling apart (or stolen), it will be my main wallet for now.

4. Sprigs wrist wallet. This thing is a lifesaver, especially while traveling. I usually keep an ID and a credit card in it, and once I arrive at my destination I stick my hotel room access card in it as well. The whole goal is to avoid going into the pocket during a credit card transaction, revealing to watchful eyes around me where my wallet is. When out and about I also put in my dinnertime medications (I take a lot of meds) so I don't forget them. The best part about this wrist wallet is that no one seems to recognize that it is a wallet, they assume I have carpal tunnel or something.

Sprigs Banjees 2 pocket wrist wallet - https://amzn.to/2QuLMto

5. Keybar. I usually don't take my keys with me when I travel, but otherwise all of my keys are on this Keybar. Less fumbling around and easier to access, the Keybar assures they don't rattle and jingle in my pocket (stealth mode!). They come in a variety of metals and finishes, but hacker black is what it's all about for me.

Keybar Anodized Aluminum (Black) - https://amzn.to/2KM3ROb

6. Speck iPhone case. This Speck phone case can and has protected the phone from a fairly high drop, and the “grippiness” alone probably prevents most drops in the first place. I haven't tried a lot of cases, but this thing was reasonably priced and does the job great.

Speck iPhone X Case, Presidio Grip in black - https://amzn.to/2Sn4WPg

7. Keyport key tool. I had the room on my Keybar for this Keyport key tool, which seems to compliment my Leatherman. I mainly use it as a pry tool and box opener.

Keyport MOCA 10-in-1 Key Tool - https://amzn.to/2rfXxpo

8. Car key fob. This stays home when I travel, but it is for Judas Prius, the best car I've ever owned. At some point in the future I will have a self-driving electric car, but until Judas Prius dies I will enjoy the 50 mpg I typically get in it. My “modification” to the keyfob is a Tom Bihn zipper pull from when I got my Tom Bihn backpack, which makes it easier to grab the key fob quickly from deep pockets.

9. iPhone X. I talked about my reasoning for having an iPhone in another blog post, this thing is with me all the time.

iPhone X - https://amzn.to/2U0xn75

10. Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Knife. As far as knives go, I prefer a modest folder that I can hook onto a pocket. I found this extremely inexpensive lockback folder at Duluth, and for the simple tasks I need it for, it will work just fine. I do have my eye on a replacement that costs about ten times as much, but for right now this is fine. Obviously this thing stays at home when I travel.

Smith & Wesson CK105BKEU Extreme Ops Lockback Knife - https://amzn.to/2Q8swTf

11. Fisher Space Pen. I have to have something I can write in my Field Notes with, and in case I travel in space or something, I am ready to write in zero G's.

Fisher Space Pen (black) - https://amzn.to/2Smqz26

12. Pocket Runt. I had issues fumbling in a pocket for three somewhat similar-shaped items from deep within the same hidden cargo pocket these all resided in, so the Pocket Runt gets everything loose in one place and easier to get to. It even has a card holder on the back.

Pocket Runt 2.0 - https://amzn.to/2Sn5yV4

13. Leatherman Style PS Multitool. Hidden in the picture, my Leatherman is in there. Since there is no blade this travels with me, and TSA has spotted it a couple of times but let it through no problem. This gets used daily.

Leatherman Style PS Multitool - https://amzn.to/2Sn90yR

14. Lumintop AAA Flashlight. Another item I use daily is my small Lumintop AAA, I've reversed the clip which allows me to clip it to a hat brim and use it as a headlamp (hat is in the laptop bag). More than once I've needed that thing on the hat while doing something with the Leatherman, or taking notes in the dark.

Lumintop Tool AAA Flashlight - https://amzn.to/2KIEYmD

15. Copper/brass alloy money clip. My wife gave this to me, I use it for small tip amounts especially when traveling. My rule is to never have more than $10 in it, and in case I am ever mugged I can reach in and pull all of the money out of the clip and toss the loose bills somewhere behind the mugger and run the other way to diffuse the situation. I'd rather get away fast and cheap than try to stand my ground especially if the mugger has a weapon.

16. Cheap wallet with note and $5. Since I've been pickpocketed more times than I can count, I have a bait wallet. This is what goes in my back pocket instead of my real wallet. It has $5 in it along with a note for the thief asking them to rethink their life choices. Before you laugh, this is my third bait wallet.

Not pictured, Apple Watch. I covered this in my iPhone blog post. No reason for not including it in the picture, except I simply forgot to take it off.

Apple Watch - https://amzn.to/2Q5yQun

Everything has a specific pocket it goes in, and at this point reaching for the various items is something I've committed to muscle memory. I am even used to navigating the odd pocket situation on the SCOTTeVEST pants. When traveling and going through TSA, I have specific locations in my backpack where I put everything well before I reach the security checkpoint, so I only have my wrist wallet and iPhone X (with the electronic boarding pass) to deal with. After the TSA security checkpoint everything goes back into place.

Like I said, if there is something you think is missing, let me know in the comments or via social media, and while there is a pretty good chance I carry it in the laptop bag, I’d love to hear about new gadgets and tools. I do have a bit of room left with one empty pocket.

* Yes some of the links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase the item (at no extra cost, by the way) I get an extremely small commission, literally pennies. A reminder, this is currently my job so while I am selling out, I am only selling out for stuff like food and whatnot.

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