The Simple Dollar had an article a few weeks back where Trent explained each item in his messenger bag (and Lifehacker has several such articles), so here’s my response. Trent wrote about the frugality behind each item in his bag; my bag is about convenience and readiness. I think that a man should be able to respond to his situation when necessary; part of that readiness is knowledge, and part of it is tools and equipment. It would be ridiculous to carry around enough gear to respond to every situation, but a minimal amount of gear can account for most of the likely situations I encounter.
On My Person:
- Folding Knife - Benchmade 943SBK. Everyone should have a knife on their person at all times - it’s just too useful and essential to do without. My knife has a one-handed, ambidextrous lock and the blade is made of high-quality steel.
- Watch - Citizen Corso. I believe in being on time, out of courtesy to the people who are waiting on you. Not that I always make it, but I at least know when I need to apologize for tardiness or even call ahead and let people know. My watch never needs a battery and has a titanium case and band.
- Hero Bracelet - Emily Perez. This needs no explanation. She was my friend.
- Sunglasses - Oakleys with polarized, ASNI Z87.1-2003 lenses and plastic sport frames; probably overkill, but I don’t mess around with protecting my eyes.
- Wallet: All-Ett Original.
I have enough back problems without an inch-thick leather trifold to
sit on. So I found something better, and it’s lasted me four years,
just as long as any other wallet I’ve owned. I’m going to buy a new
one pretty soon.
- Employee ID
- Driver’s License
- Concealed Carry Permit
- Credit Card
- Shopping Cards - I use shopping discount cards on groceries, books, office supplies, sports equipment, pet supplies….
- Verse Pack - The Topical Memory System. Gives me something to do when I’m waiting around with nothing to do. It’s surprising how easy it is to memorize God’s Word when you make a conscious effort to have it with you.
The Bag Itself:
I wrote a post several months ago in the belief that I had gotten beyond my messenger bag. Turns out I didn’t. The flexibility and simplicity of the bag I carry was beyond what the Camelbak Transformer could offer me, despite the incredible performance features of that bag. I’m certainly going to keep the Camelbak around, as it’s indispensable for camping and biking. It’s just not what I carry every day.
I have an Urban Plumber’s Bag from a defunct company called Bohemian Traders. It was a high-school graduation gift from my father, the best man I know, and it’s been in probably twenty states plus Mexico, Canada, and the Dominican Republic. It’s survived umpteen airline flights, falling in a vat of wet cement, dirt and dust, wear and tear… and it’s still great.
In The Bag:
I use my bag to carry whatever I need for whatever I’m doing at the moment, anything from sheet music and A/V equipment to Linux CDs. The list here is just what is generally always there.
- Bible: NASB Slimline
I wish the references were more helpful - I really wish I had an
that could contain every possible set of biblical reference
materials and indices, plus several different translations and
whatever originals are available. Until I acquire such a piece of
equipment, leatherbound pages will have to do.
- Marking Pencils: Crayola Twistables. Rather than use highlighters on the thin pages of a Bible, I use colored pencils since they don’t bleed through. I highlight based on the SPECK system.
- Pen: Pilot G2 (black). While I don’t generally write in my Bible, a pen is always handy to have around. I carry my colored pencils and pen in a holder I made of duct tape that slides around the Bible.
- Notebook: Modofly. While this particular one was a little expensive, it was a gift, and it meets all my criteria and is unique and stylish to boot. I carry a pen (black Pilot G2 again) on the notebook as well.
- Water bottle: Nalgene 32oz. wide-mouth. I always keep water near; I drink a ton of it and I hardly ever drink anything else.
- Laptop: MacBook running Fedora
Yes, it still has a minimal OS X partition, but only to keep the EFI
bootloader updated. I don’t always have it with me, but a majority
of the time.
- Laptop power adapter
- Keys: I generally keep my keys in my bag, because they’re too bulky
to keep in my pockets. I use a tiny carabiner to hold each different
category of keys together.
- Car keys
- House keys
- Utility items: USB storage key, LED key, and Benchmade mini-sharpener.
- Jacket: Packable GoreTex rain jacket. I don’t always carry it; just when it looks like rain. It packs down to be smaller than my water bottle, which is fantastic, and it’s waterproof and breathable.
- Book: Whatever I’m reading at the moment.
What do you think? What do I have that’s extra? What am I missing?