When a consultant friend (Hi M!) asked what I carried with me every day, it was the first time that I’d stopped to think of everything I’ve collected over the years to carry with me on a day-to-day basis. Based on their challenge, I’ve catalogued what’s in my daily carry bag, and I present it here for you.
First up, the bag itself. I have a 2013 Timbuk2 custom messenger bag. Timbuk2 bags have two specific problems: One, they’re gorgeously designed and Two, they last forever. I’ve had a total of four since 1996, and I’ve never needed to buy a new one, I just always wanted to change up my style before the bag gave out. Better still, they have lifetime warranties, so if a part gives out, you can ship back your bag and they’ll shine it up good as new. They’re not inexpensive, but the features of the bag are substantial, and the design is wonderful. My messenger has a flap organizer in the front fascia, as well as multiple zip pockets for business cards, baseball cards, your passport, and other flat goods. The flap organizer is my catchall for small tools and keychains that I tote with me all the time.
From a hardware perspective, I carry the following:
- Late 2016 MacBook Pro 15” with TouchBar, 1TB, 16GB
- iPad Pro 12.9” with Apple Pencil
- iPhone 7 Plus (Matte Black)
The MacBook Pro and iPad ride back to back in the padded laptop sleeve in the center of the bag, and the iPad behind in the protected position.
Inside my bag itself I have a couple of organizers that serve as containers for primary work tasks, and they keep the contents protected and clearly identified and organized in case I need them. The bigger of the organizers is a Skooba Cable Stable DLX, with multiple mesh pockets to allow easy visibility into the contents, and elastic tension loops to hold the contents in place.
Contents, Left Side:
- Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter
- Wired EarPods
- USB-C to Lightning cable – 2-meter
- USB-C to USB-C charging cable – 2-meter
- 27W USB-C Charger
- Diskwarrior USB Drive
- OWC Envoy Pro Mini USB Drive
- LED Flashlight
Contents, Right Side:
- Lightning to 3.5mm adapter
- Paracord USB-A to Lightning Cable
- Thunderbolt 2 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapters (2)
- USB-A to USB Micro Cable – 6-inch
- Netool Smart Network Terminal
- USB-C to Lightning Cable – 2-meter
- Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (2)
- Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter
Contents, Center Spine Loops:
- USB-C to USB-A Adapters (2)
I don’t have a lot of notes on this set, except to say that extras are always welcome, especially when you think about all the times your clients need something, and you just supply it out of clean blue air, and replace it later.
In addition to my primary organizer, I also keep a smaller Cable Stable Mini outfitted with my SpecAn gear. This includes a full Metageek set, including a WiSpy DBx for peeking at the 2.4 and 5 Ghz spectrum in their entirety, as well as a Linksys AE2500 USB WiFi stick for use with Channelyzer in my Windows VM (Windows VMs on the Mac can’t talk too the AirPort interfaces, we just get a raw network socket, so this is our workaround) as well as the USB-A to USB Mini interface. In the pocket I keep the antenna and hook. Sometimes I throw the Oscium Lightning-based SpecAn in this as well, but most times it’s loose in the pocket.
And then there’s everything else! This list starts at the upper left corner and works clockwise:
- Thunderbolt 2 cable, 2-meter
- Field Notes notebook
- Velcro Straps
- USB 3 SANdisk Extreme
- Code 42 branded microfiber cloth
- Cleaning wipes
- POE Injector
- OLALA 13000mAh battery
- PSUMA-branded 4000mAh backup battery
- sticky-backed velcro strips
- RJ-11 and RJ-45 jack ends
- Sugru moldable plastic
- Pentalobe and Tri-wing screwdrivers
- Gotenna bluetooth radio for texting when there’s no cell service
- USB-A Voltimeter/Ammeter
That’s a look inside my daily carry. It’s pretty amazing how much stuff I tote around on a daily basis.