That exercise on Haiti was very helpful. I carry a lot of stuff, but after getting my bag out and checking it, there were things missing and things that needed to be added.
An amusing little anecdote on how I live happened this past summer. My youngest brother had a birthday party for his four year old in a public park with all kinds of guests. It was warm (40C) and I wore, shorts, T shirt and sneakers (I only wear sandals if I'm at home). I was worried about my pistol printing through on the shirt so I put it in my small backpack. My brother, who's wife is a very liberal Australian, had asked me not to "wear your gun". So technically, keeping it in my backpack wasn't in violation of their request. As the day progressed people kept running out of things like batteries, camera memory cards, tools for assembling toys, knife for opening boxes and packaging, sunscreen, band-aids, and lots of other stuff. It got to be quite the joke that people would ask me for anything and I'd come up with it. My brother jokingly asked, "I suppose you've got KY-Jelly and your gun in there"... and of course I did. ;-) He, and my girlfriend, almost choked. He said it was bad form to bring KY Jelly and a fully loaded XD to a birthday party for 4 year olds. I replied that it was bad form for him to ask. LMAO. BTW, I use KY on foot blisters. It washes off easily and doesn't coat socks like petroleum jelly does... but I never told him that. EN
Happens often and its nice to be the guy with the gear when its needed.:-)
I see more and more men carrying bags, so guys, there's no excuse for not carrying a shoulder bag with some stuff any more. You can do so and get lost in the crowd very easily.
We should always keep working on our everyday carry gear, there's always little things to improvise on.
The basics are usually the same and just as important no matter what.
For example, one of the things you soon notice is that if you're just going to have a handful of items is, have a bottle of water!
Buenos Aires, walking on New York, or Haiti, a few hours and you'll need a drink! A day later and you'll do anything for a cup of water.
If you have a EDC bag, the first thing you should put into it is at least 1/2 liter bottle of water.
On the same line of thought, some kind of food, preferably high calories ones, some kind of power bar.
A LED light that lasts several hours, some kind of multitool, cash for emergencies.
Our local areas do influence what we carry, but some items are mandatory basics no matter where you are.