What Would James Bond’s “Real” EDC Look Like?

“Were you expecting an exploding pen? We don’t really go in for that anymore.”
– Q to Bond (Skyfall, 2012)

I’ve been a massive 007 fan since my Dad introduced me to the films when I was a child.  Admittedly, it wasn’t necessarily Bond that fueled my interest in the series.  It was actually Q and all of his fantastical gear and creative gadgets.  Even at my young age, I knew this was all for fun.  But I bought into the suspension of reality while I watched each movie, over and over.  Whenever you’d see James make his way down to Q’s Willy Wonka style basement laboratory, you knew something fun would happen between the lines of humorous dialogue shared between the two sharp-witted MI6 employees.

A recent trip with my Dad to the International Spy Museum located in Washington D.C. refueled my imagination, but this time in a different way.  They had an entire section dedicated to 007 and the villains who have unsuccessfully tried to eliminate him throughout six decades on both the printed page and on the cinema screen.

But the museum also had a vast array of authentic spy gadgets that were used by real operatives in the field, many from the Cold War Era.  Some even dating back to several hundred years ago.  Many of these items were just as or even more crazy than the Bond films.  But all these gadgets came before powerful computers existed in our pockets.  Spies and espionage today rely on intelligence and technology.  Actual undercover secret agents have ditched the lipstick pistol and switched over to a cell phone and a pen (the non-explosive style).  And that’s when this thorn of an idea entered my mind…

It has puzzled me now for more than a year. What would 007’s EDC look like? Of course, that question is loaded like a Walther PPK.

007 isn’t a real person, but rather an action hero on the silver screen.  However, the character is based upon some form of reality.  MI6 and SIS are very real.  They employ full-time undercover secret agents, every single day.  These agents have extensive training (physical, mental, social, and more).  Many of them are ex-military.  Some even have a past in the special forces, such as the SAS.  But these agents don’t have business cards that can be thrown like hand grenades.  Or a watch that has lasers that can cut a hole through 3 inches of solid steel.

These field agents are intentionally boring.  They can walk into a crowded room, speak with every person in it, withdrawing critical information from every conversation, and every individual in that room has already forgotten the operative’s made up cover name and dull appearance by the time of their unnoticed Irish goodbye.  Boring is good.  They’re masters of disguise…disguised to be boring.  They blend seamlessly into any situation like they belong there, like beige paint on the wall.  Sexy looks that could kill?  Rippled six pack abs?  Tailored suits from high-end designers?  No, no, and no.

A $250,000 automatic chronograph wristwatch also isn’t boring.  Plus, we all know how stingy the government is…they’re not fronting the cost of one of those blingy luxury timepieces for an agent just so they can stand out in a crowd.  Furthermore, they’re not even paying these agents enough to be able to afford nice items on their own dime.

An average salary of an MI6/SIS agent is right around £40,000.  That means a plastic molded seat on a city bus…not a hand-stitched Italian leather bolstered racing seat in a V12 hand-built Aston Martin supercar.

So how did I determine which “James Bond” I would base this off of?  There isn’t exactly only one correct way to answer this question. If there was any on-screen Bond that I took inspiration from, it would be Sean Connery’s Bond and Daniel Craig’s Bond.  Definitely not Brosnan’s Bond.  Since 007 is a fictional character after all, I wanted to incorporate a pinch of the on-screen hero’s persona into a realistic individual that I would be creating the EDC list for.

I also pulled some of Bond’s history from the original Ian Fleming novels which the movies are based upon, such as his past in the SAS.  For the factual aspects, I spoke to several friends who served in the special forces around the world who coincidentally worked closely with members of the SAS and MI6 in their past.

I asked what type of items they saw them using and what they themselves used.  They told me stories about SAS members desperately wanting X item since it was only available in the USA and unavailable to them, which was very interesting.  Then I used additional data that I acquired from my in-depth research and after much scrutinizing and dozens of edits, I very carefully came up with this list.

James Bond EDC

James Bond’s Every Day Carry

These items are for a field agent on a general assignment (if there are any “general assignments”), where no specialty equipment is required.  Just an everyday carry kit for a field agent undercover, which I will now break down item by item.

Leatherman Charge TTi

The TTi denotes the titanium on the handles (“slabs”).  This is the Cadillac of Leatherman’s multi-tools, boasting 19 tools to tackle tasks from everyday scenarios to a life or death emergency.  Leatherman took the most popular tools from all of their very best offerings and put it into one tool…and the Charge TTi was born.  This is as fancy as a multi-tool that Bond would need.  It’s effective, affordable, durable, and has a killer warranty (just in case).  Though it is a larger full-size multi-tool, it can still be tucked away in a front pocket, and its functionality makes up for the size/weight penalty.  Perfect for killing the power to a security system or simply to tighten a loose bolt, among other infinite tasks.

Interested? Purchase here.

Ridiculous Brosnan Bond fictional secret hidden feature from Q Branch: Fold out the undocumented 20th tool to utilize the micro radiation detector in a nuclear fallout zone.  Use undocumented 21st tool for 1km wide fly swatter in the case of Mothra.

Randolph Engineering Aviator Sunglasses

Bond is not Bond without sunglasses.  Though the Tom Ford sunglasses on-screen are excessively flashy, ridiculously expensive, and not made for serious activity.  The Randolph Engineering (RE) Aviators are a classic iconic design, especially in this handsome matte chrome finish.  Created for actual military aviators then adopted by other military personnel in various positions/branches and by civilians alike.  They’re metal framed for durability, and made in the USA by skilled workers.  They sport polarized lenses which are extremely effective for a pair of sunglasses’ actual purpose of blocking the sun’s rays in the outdoors and/or urban environments.  Plus, they have lots of eye coverage so one can visually monitor a mark while pretending to read an upside down newspaper.

Interested? Purchase here.

Ridiculous Brosnan Bond fictional secret hidden feature from Q Branch: Lenses expand out into periscope goggles for underwater operations.  Water body can be no larger than a clawfoot bathtub.

SureFire E1D LED Defender Flashlight

While I personally have more exotic electric torches than this fictional mashup of a character would have, the E1D is a good bet here.  Exotic does not equal boring.  Make no mistake though, “boring” is no way to describe this flashlight’s performance and utilitarian purpose, offering bulletproof construction and never-failing reliability.  It has two modes, which is all you need for a tactical style flashlight.  First, SureFire gave the E1D a blindingly bright 300 lumens for self defense and maximum visibility when necessary.  Then there’s a second mode of a mere 5 lumens for more discreet activities where you don’t want to give away your position and/or want to keep your night vision.  It requires one CR123 battery, a common cell used by armed forces across the world.  It’s black and compact, disappearing in a pair of boring khakis as well as a sport coat pocket.

Interested? Purchase here.

Ridiculous Brosnan Bond fictional secret hidden feature from Q Branch: Push the clicky button 7 times in a row and the flashlight releases enough Zyklon B gas to clear a room full of bad guys.  Has no effect on cyborgs or mutated turtles who practice martial arts.

Seiko SKX007 Automatic Wristwatch

Simple, functional, durable, no frills.  The Seiko SKX007 is a workhorse.  It’s automatic, so there’s no need for batteries ever.  As long as it’s on your wrist and you’re still alive, the second hand will tick.  It’s also rated for diving, so an underwater knife fight or swimming laps in a pool won’t seize the internals.  Pairing it with a nylon NATO Zulu strap as a nod to Bond’s military past in the SAS seemed to make perfect sense.  This thing looks “correct’ with jeans and a t-shirt as well as a suit and tie.  Plus, it has “007” in the model name.

Interested? Purchase here.

Ridiculous Brosnan Bond fictional secret hidden feature from Q Branch: Twist the bezel from 1 o’clock to 9 o’clock to 2:30 o’clock and the wristwatch creates a force field around the user. It can block ammunition up to 7.62×39.  Not recommended against tank attacks or body spray attacks.

Bellroy Travel Wallet with RFID Shielding Liner

An elegant and unassuming all-black vegetable-tanned leather wallet that can hold a couple passports, international currency, a backup hidden SIM card, credit cards, identification, plane/train tickets, a micro travel pen, and more.  And Bellroy still added a few more tricks up its sleeve.  Or rather, its sleeves are tricks themselves.  The entire wallet is lined with RFID shielding to prevent any potential wireless hacking attempts, enveloping your digital life in an impenetrable vault.  It also swallows up a thick faux credit card lock pick set, no problem.

Interested? Purchase here.

Ridiculous Brosnan Bond fictional secret hidden feature from Q Branch: Pull the hidden tab to unfold the wallet into an invisibility cloak for up to 370 minutes.  Some pixelation will occur unless you upgrade to the 16-bit model.

Spyderco Para Military 2 Folding Pocket Knife

For when things get a bit ugly.  An excellent weapon, if one has trained extensively for hand-to-hand combat. The Para Military 2 was designed by the founder of Spyderco when he was tasked with designing the perfect knife for his enlisted son who was being deployed into combat.  Aside from that, it’s a great tool.  Remember, most pocket knives are simply that…tools.  This model is the stealthy black on black on black version, with grippy durable G-10 handles/scales and a super sharp CPM S30V steel blade coated with non-reflective black DLC (diamond-like coating).  Additionally, the clip can be configured in 4 different positions for the perfect tailoring of the user’s preferred method of carry for their EDC.

Interested? Purchase here.

Ridiculous Brosnan Bond fictional secret hidden feature from Q Branch: The tip on the blade can be equipped with a deadly neurotoxin developed by none other than Q’s less successful brother, U.

Kingston DataTraveler USB Flash Drive

A miniature method of downloading or transferring massive amounts of precious data while on the go.  It can also be palmed and physically handed off without a second notice.  The model in the photo is an older one, but the newest version can hold 128GB of sensitive information, with lightning fast USB 3.0 speeds.  The all-aluminum body is sleek and strong, and can be carried on a key ring. One could even sew it into a jacket’s liner for maximum concealment.

Interested? Purchase here.

Ridiculous Brosnan Bond fictional secret hidden feature from Q Branch: When swallowed, the individual can control nearby electronics with their mind.  Be careful around smoke detectors and/or disgruntled Roombas.

Snow Peak Titanium Curved Flask

At $150, this is a touch bit pricey for someone on Bond’s salary, so we’ll call this a “promotion to 00 status gift from M”.  Since James has been known to enjoy a nip (277 units of alcohol to be exact, just in case you were counting), this is absolutely a necessity.  Whatever situation this 00 agent may find themselves in, this lightweight and ridiculously strong flask will ensure the safety of their most precious cargo.

Interested? Purchase here.

Ridiculous Brosnan Bond fictional secret hidden feature from Q Branch: When shaken, the Scotch contents will perfectly mature to an additional 25 years of delicious age.  Do not use with Dr. Pepper or spring water from the Fribourg Region of Switzerland.

“And incidentally, we’d appreciate its return, along with all your other equipment, INTACT for once, when you return from the field. “
– Q to Bond (Goldfinger, 1964)

Of course, you will probably agree with some items and disagree with others.  There is no “right” answer, as 007 is a fictional character.  But for the specific question I created and set out to answer, I feel this is the “most correct” EDC loadout.  So, what do you think?

 

The post What Would James Bond’s “Real” EDC Look Like? appeared first on Carryology – Exploring better ways to carry.

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