Thursday, July 3, 2008

What's In Your Go Bag?

Not to be confused with a BOB, here's what's in my Go Bag--a bag I carry with me everyday:

  • A day pack. I'm still looking for a good bag. I found this in the garage, probably left by one of the kids. When I was driving (I mostly take public transportation to commute now) I would carry a briefcase. When I decided to commute via bus and train, I switched to a messenger bag, the weight of which nearly did in my rotator cuff. So I switched to a backpack in order to distribute the weight better when I walk. I have yet to find a good pack that looks professional, is padded but not too padded and is big enough but not too big.

  • A bottle of water. I bring this from home instead of purchasing one every day. A better option would be to carry a refillable Nalgene bottle.

  • Umbrella. This one is a bit big but the really small portable ones are flimsy pieces of crap.

  • Date book. Also found in the garage, I switched to a smaller calendar (I can't function with the electronic calendars--I need paper) from a larger-sized one to save weight and space.

  • Note pad and pen. I guess I could ditch the leather binder to save weight but it protects the paper from getting mangled.

  • Book. Something to keep me occupied during the commute. I pick up books on sale at B & N or on the sale table at the library.

  • Business cards. Always need to have these on hand.

  • Jump drive. I back up all of my files on this drive weekly so if I know I will have access to a computer in a client's office I can use the files on the drive and not lug around my travel laptop.

  • Bus pass/building pass. I buy a monthly bus pass (which I laminate to avoid premature destruction). and also carry a pass card for one of my client's secure offices.

  • Keys. For the home, office, and car that I hardly drive anymore.

  • Ear buds. These allow me to listen to music or the radio on my phone as well as talk hands free.

  • Mini hygiene kit. The basics--toothpaste and toothbrush and also a small bottle of suntan lotion (you never know when a friend will want to head out on his boat after a business lunch).

  • Granola bar. Never know when you will get hungry and need a small snack to tide you over.

  • Wallet. Full of the basics--drivers license, concealed carry permit, other ID, credit cards, etc.

  • Camera and the Altoids can it fits in. This Pentax Optio camera is the best digital camera I have owned, it also fits nicely into the Altoids can. Took the picture with a new Olympus digital camera but I still like the Pentax better.

  • Laptop and cord. This is a 12" Dell that a client gave me as a bonus. It is smaller than the laptop I use as my desktop in my office so I tend to carry this one if needed. It still weights a ton--I may have to check into the Mac Book Air.

  • Office supplies that I carry in a Ziploc bag. These include a mini stapler, stamps, pen, highlighter, mini permanent marker, and paper clips.

  • Jacket. This is a super lightweight Nike jacket for when it gets cool and I am still out. I like it because it folds up super small and also has glow in the dark strips to keep me visible when I am walking at night.

  • Daily carry pack. Click here for an explanation.

  • Sunglasses. For obvious purposes.

  • Not pictured: .380 which I always carry concealed on my person and cell phone which I always carry on my belt.

  • Also bring occasionally: documents in a folder for work if needed.

That's about all I carry with me on a daily basis. Since I have started commuting, the only thing I really miss is having my BOB with me at all times (I have one BOB in my house and a smaller version in my office but I may not always be in these two locations). Of course this is a go bag for an urban/suburban environment so it may be different from what is carried in a rural or very remote environment. Also, contents are subject to change without notice--I am continually refining what I bring with me both for weight and usefulness purposes.

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