Story by Jim Cobb, Photos by Jim Cobb and Manufacturer
What does your EDC load out look like? If I had to guess, I’d say it probably includes a knife, possibly a multi-tool of some sort, a cell phone and a watch – a challenge coin or two likely make the cut as well.
It might sound old-fashioned – perhaps even quaint – but adding a notebook and writing utensil to your EDC kit is highly recommended. Doing so is one of those things that, once you get into the habit, you’ll wonder how you survived for so long without.
I mean, yeah, you could just use the backs of old business cards. Heck, I did that for quite some time myself, and that approach works okay if you’re just jotting down an address or phone number. The thing is those cards are easy to misplace. Plus, it looks kind of cheesy and cheap; not to put too fine a point on it. Also, if you’re heading out into the field and want a good way to take notes on your observations, something a little more substantial is in order.
You’ll find that a small bound notebook helps to keep your thoughts organized and in one place. Let’s face it, most of us could use all the help we can get in that regard.
The guys at Savage Gentleman have come up with an outstanding way to carry a notebook in style, without sacrificing utility. Their Expedition Wallet is available in two colors; classic black and vintage brown. I chose brown because, well, I love the look of distressed brown leather. Yes, I was one of those guys back in the 1980s who wore the hell out of his brown leather bomber jacket.
The Expedition Wallet is designed to carry a small notebook as well as credit cards, cash and even a passport. It is small enough to fit easily into most back pockets and durable enough to last ages.
When the package arrived, the wallet was wrapped in paper and secured with a wax seal. While this has nothing to do with the quality, durability or functionality of the Expedition Wallet, it is a damn nice touch.
When closed, the wallet measures 3.9375 inches wide by 6.125 inches tall. Fully open, the width doubles to 8.125 inches. It has four pockets for credit cards – each with a capacity of three cards – and two pouch pockets on either side. When empty, the wallet weighs 3.2 ounces.
The leather is cowhide, which, as time goes on, will undoubtedly develop an excellent aged appearance. The deep brown color of the leather is complimented by the red thread used for the stitching. Overall, this is a very handsome product – one that will be at home in the boardroom as well as the cabin. As is so often the case, a simple, well executed design, results in a stellar item.
The Expedition Wallet comes with a small notebook, emblazoned with the Savage Gentlemen logo. This stock notebook is sufficient to start out with, but I recommend swapping it out for something by Rite in the Rain, if you’ll be spending much time on the trail.
Way back in late 2016, my wife and I decided that we needed to get outside more often and enjoy nature. Our boys were finally old enough that they could be trusted to be left to their own devices – for an hour or two at a time – and not risk coming home to a burnt-out husk of a home. So, we made a commitment to ourselves, that we would go out on at least one hike every week for the next year. Well, we’re still at it and haven’t missed a week yet, in over three years. Most of the hikes are only a few miles long; as the goal is neither distance nor speed, but rather just to get fresh air, exercise, and enjoy one another’s company.
I tell you that so I can tell you this; my wife and I both keep notes on our hikes each week. Where we went, how far we walked, weather conditions, and interesting or unusual things we observed. While we are always on the hunt for new places to hike, after 150+ hikes, we inevitably visit some of the same places more than once.
The notes we take allow us to see how things change with the seasons, as well as keep track of improvements the park systems make with some of their properties. The Expedition Wallet was a great tool in this regard and one that I’ll continue to use for the foreseeable future.
I’m not much of a doodler, let alone artistic in any serious way, but those who have that talent will certainly find the Expedition Wallet a great way to keep sketches of plants, animals and such.
The Expedition Wallet has also been helpful for keeping my notes handy on future articles, reviews and even stories I hope to write someday.
One thing I really appreciate about the Expedition Wallet is that rather than increase my load out, it cuts it down a bit. Instead of carrying a wallet and a notebook, I can combine the two items into one. The wallet also has room for up to a dozen cards (which is way more than the average person truly needs, if we’re being honest) – license or ID, CCW permit card, ATM card and a couple of credit cards would be just about everything the average guy or gal needs on a daily basis. If I were traveling where I needed a passport, it would fit into the wallet as well.
My only real gripe about the wallet is that the pouch pockets aren’t quite large enough to accept US currency without folding the bills first. The inner capacity of the pouches is exactly 5.5 inches long and US bills are a hair over 6 inches. That said, many people use money clips, or other means, to keep their cash separate from their wallet, so this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker.
The addition of a pen holder would also be appreciated, though I’ve done just fine clipping the pen or pencil to the notebook itself. If one were to upgrade the notebook to something spiraled, that would also be an option for carrying your writing utensil. Of course, many of us have carried a pen, pencil, or both in a shirt pocket for years. So again, the lack of a dedicated loop for a writing utensil isn’t the end of the world, by any means.
I’ve long been an advocate for carrying a notebook, or other means of taking notes, on a daily basis. Over the years, I’ve tried multiple tools for doing so, from cheap spiral notebooks to lined or unlined notecards. The notebooks would often fall apart after spending time in the field – as they’d get crumpled up in my pocket – and notecards would get lost or damaged.
The Expedition Wallet provides a great way to keep everything organized and in one place – and looks damn good while doing so.
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Dimensions Closed: 3.9375 inches wide, by 6.125 inches tallDimensions Open: 8.125 inches wide, by 6.125 inches tallWeight: 3.2 ouncesPockets: 4 Credit Card Pockets, 2 Side PocketsMaterial: CowhideColors: Vintage Brown (shown) or Classic BlackMSRP: $75.00 – Use KNIFEGEAR for 10% off any order
SavageGentleman.com – Use KNIFEGEAR for 10% off any order
Josh Tyler had spent many years learning how to deconstruct people in the ring or on the mat and was searching for what to pursue next. He found a creative outlet in doing video editing, as well as creating content in the survival niche.
In doing so, he hit upon an idea, one that was simple to voice, but difficult to explain — encouraging men to strike a balance between their creative and destructive sides. In other words, balancing the gentleman and the savage.
A podcast and blog eventually spawned a shop selling leather goods and other items that appeal to, well, the savage gentleman.
Rite in the Rain makes an extensive line of notebooks that are perfectly suited to the outdoors. The paper is coated in such a way that it repels water, while still being actual paper and recyclable. It just won’t disintegrate when it is exposed to moisture.
It is important to note that water-based inks – such as gel pens and most highlighters – won’t work with this paper. However, the average ballpoint pen is fine, as is a permanent marker such as a Sharpie. But, neither of those utensils work well in wet or cold weather; which we often face out in the field.
Pencils are often a better choice for that reason. While I tend to prefer mechanical pencils, the old-fashioned #2 wood ones are certainly viable. You can always sharpen one with your pocketknife, too.
Jim Cobb is a recognized authority on disaster readiness. He has written several books and is also the Editor in Chief for Prepper Survival Guide magazine. He is a longtime collector of knives, EDC gear, and defense weapons. Jim lives in the upper Midwest with his wife, kids, and a motley crew of dogs and cats.
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