Metatalktail Hour: EDC July 8, 2017 7:16 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! Tonight's topic was suggested by both zamboni and bookmammal: What's In Your Pockets or Bag! Discuss what you bring with you every day when you leave the house. (Feel free to link pictures! Pictures are a fun part of EDC & bagluv.)

Remember, this is a conversation starter, not limiter, so feel free to chat about whatever's been happening this week ... except politics! If you have topic ideas for future metatalktails, feel free to send them on to me/staff.
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 7:16 PM (177 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

Previously, one of my favorite metatalk threads of all time!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:16 PM on July 8


Last time we had a bag thread I was carrying the little-bitty Anuschka Two for Joy to celebrate being done with diaper bags and not having to carry a GIGANTIC BAG everywhere, and then I got pregnant again and needed to go back to a big bag, so I have moved to an Anna by Anuschka shoulder bag in "Turkish Pottery." I am very pleased with the design and looking at it makes me happy every day. HOWEVER, the Anna by Anuschka is definitely not as sturdy as the regular Anuschka and I don't think I'll get quite as many years out of this one as my last one. (I got a solid four years out of that two-for-joy one and it still looks great, I would still carry it if I could fit all my kid crap in it!)

I carry a lot of stuff these days ... wallet, backup battery, tiny CPR/first aid kit, chapstick, sunblock, sunglasses, pens, spare keys, regular keys, a pouch of kid supplies (toys, pacifiers, snacks, dramamine, wet wipes); and a pouch of me supplies (tylenol, hair bands, sewing kit, lotion, tape measure). I think everyone should carry a tape measure 24/7, it comes in so handy so often.

I am die-hard "one purse at a time" -- I do not change purses unless TOTALLY unavoidable because I can never find anything if I swap, and when you carry just one all the time you can tell if you forgot your phone because your purse is the wrong weight when you pick it up and that kind of signal is very important to my life.

(Also I just killed a mosquito who was in the process of biting me, I feel very bad-ass.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:31 PM on July 8 [10 favorites]


I've been using the grey version of this purse on a daily basis for 3ish years now, and it shows very little wear. The only thing I don't like is that sometimes the buckle will come undone , and the purse will drop dramatically. A touch of glue would fix that, but I haven't been motivated to do that yet. It's a great size (not too big, but big enough to hold lots if needed)

It holds:
Wallet, sunglasses in a case, keys, sm umbrella (sometimes), Kindle, phone, a set of zills, a bunch of small lipstick/ lip gloss samples that are probably mostly expired but I wear them anyway, work swipe card, hand lotion, 2 or 3 lip balms, some pens, a checkbook, some souvenirs from my Beijing trip over Thanksgiving that I should really put somewhere else, a bunch of Tums in an Altoids tin, gum, Zantac and Imodium (yay sensitive digestive tract!) Oh and sometimes my mirrrorless camera because I'm trying to learn photography skills and it's fun to keep it with me.
posted by Fig at 7:39 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


I rarely carry anything, usually just my phone and my "wallet," which is just my debit card, ID, library card and cash held together with a hair tie. I don't drive much and we don't lock our house, so no keys or anything.

HOWEVER this means the last three times I've worked my part time job. I work alone and close the shop alone late at night. I've forgotten my copy of the key at home because I never remember to bring anything with me besides my phone and wallet.

BUT TONIGHT I REMEMBERED!!!!
posted by Grandysaur at 7:53 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


I do not carry a wallet or any purse/bag. In my left front pocket are two individual keys, no ring. One is my house key and the other my car key. In my right front pocket is my driver's license, a debit card, a credit card and a grocery story loyalty card along with cash. It is all held together with a rubber band. When I take my phone which is not always, it goes in my right front pocket with my two keys.

My kids and friends are amazed at how little I carry. It comes down to a lesson I learned in high school in the late 70's going to Grateful Dead concerts. Only bring in what you are willing or can afford to lose. You will lose it. Or give it away. Which brings me to another story. My college roommate and I went up to a show in Baltimore. Went separately. I ran into him after the show in the parking lot. He had no pants on, just his shirt and his boxers. I asked him what happened to his pants. He said, "I gave them away." "Gave them away? Why?" His response made a lot of sense at the time. "The guy I gave them to needed them more than me."

So, I carry very little and am prepared to give away the shirt on my back if necessary. Not my pants though.
posted by AugustWest at 7:55 PM on July 8 [13 favorites]


This is my work load out:
  • Gloves
  • Pen
  • Sharpie
  • Flashlight / laser pointer
  • Voltic (voltage detector)
  • Leatherman Charge
  • Wallet (wedding rings on top)
  • small container Vaseline
  • Earbuds
  • Sheffield utility blade (disposable blade type)
  • Camera and flash light that I occasionally send text messages with
Add on two way radio and big ring of keys but they technically hang from my pockets rather than residing inside.
posted by Mitheral at 8:01 PM on July 8


On the recommendation of an old AskMe answer, I recently got a Rickshaw Large Zero Messenger Bag for work (with those customized colors!), and it makes me so happy. It was officially an early birthday gift from my father, though I picked it out. I can now carry my work laptop, the three plastic folders I use to organize papers I have to give to staff at four different work locations, the giant "To Do" folder I carry around, my travel mug, my lunch bag, my cord for my laptop, the keys for my work car, a bag with pens, and still have room for more! I'm going to add a big folder and textbook I need for a meeting on Monday, and I'll be able to carry it all without juggling everything in my hands! I feel so organized! And the peacock-blue interior is bright and cheery and makes me happy all by itself.

I still do carry a separate purse, but its contents are getting a bit pared down thanks to the messenger bag. Generally: keys, chapstick, work cell phone, personal cell phone, business cards, earplugs, wallet, book/Kindle, sunglasses, pens, toothbrush and toothpaste, generally a few random pieces of paper that belong somewhere else. Right now it also has some back-up medication, but I'm debating where the best place for that really is (car? work?). It does also normally contain raffle tickets from the local grocery store, since they give you tickets when you bring in your own reusable grocery bags, and one of these days I'm gonna win that $100 gift certificate, dammit.
posted by lazuli at 8:03 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


I carry tons of shit in my pockets, and almost never have a bag. But when someone needs a band-aid or a knife or a mint or whatever, I'm your man.

It's fun to think about what to add or take away. When winter comes, I get to wear a big coat with more pockets! When summer comes, I don't need to have mittens and a little hat with me JIK.

It's a good hobby if you use the stuff; it's suffocating if you get enslaved by it. *shrug* Like a lot of things, I guess.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:11 PM on July 8


I drive 400 miles a night for work, so I carry with me in a heavy-duty reusable shopping bag a couple of bottles of powerade and a heap of extra fast food napkins (mostly for blowing my nose) and a bottle of naproxen and a first gen iPod Touch that I load up with podcasts every day, plus an FM transmitter unit so I can listen to the iPod over the van radio. And some other small things (extra set of gloves etc) that are for my job.

In my actual pockets I carry cigarettes/lighter (yes, I know, it's a bad habit), and a small group of keys that are for my car and house and the warehouse where I work, and of course my wallet and my super-shitty cell phone.

I generally travel pretty light, really.
posted by hippybear at 8:12 PM on July 8


So usually I cycle between two bags: my usual handbag, and a larger messenger bag if I need to bring my laptop with me somewhere. However, due to a recent back injury (got crushed by a Melbourne tram door, didn't break anything but sprained some muscles) I'm having to rethink my laptop bag situation (hence my recent Ask about tablets).

In both bags I usually carry:
- Wallet (which was going to be a Travelers Notebook situation but I don't have a notebook in there now and might change the wallet coz my cards are falling out)
- Phone
- Keys that have a Train Jam USB stick on them
- Notebook
- Kindle
- A small pouch one of my best friends made out of some leftover felt for me for "good luck", holding a USB stick with emergency contact information, some spare cash, and spare meds. Originally I kept it in my bra when I was travelling across the US in case something happens to me (e.g. detainment - this was right after the first Travel Ban), now it sits in my bag
- Pads (the feminine hygiene kind)
- Pens (sometimes a Sharpie)
- USB charger
- Portable battery though I think I need to get one with more juice
- Cables for the charger & the battery
- MyKi (public transport) card
- Spare canvas bag in case I get a brainwave and go to the library to check out ALL THE BOOKS

I'm sure there's probably a thing or two I'm missing but that's the gist of it!
posted by divabat at 8:17 PM on July 8


° cell phone
° wallet
° keys, Swiss army pocket knife keychain
° microfiber cloth for cleaning glasses because a single smudge will drive me mad and I'm very obsessive about this
posted by Fizz at 8:19 PM on July 8


I carry only keys in my pocket. I am a fashion nightmare and wear a waist pack which contains: a camera (not a phone– I loathe and abjure all phones), a silver dollar, an agate marble, an old lady style coin purse, pen, eye drops, ear plugs, an inhaler, fingernail clippers, more keys, and notepad.

On the strap of my bag: a Leatherman original in leather sheath, a 14" wooden magic wand, and a mini flashlight on a carabiner.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:19 PM on July 8 [6 favorites]


^... and a variable assortment of flash drives.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:21 PM on July 8


14"?

Show off.
posted by hippybear at 8:21 PM on July 8


Yes the full 14"!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:22 PM on July 8


Actual inches, or internet inches?
posted by hippybear at 8:22 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I talk softly and carry a big wand.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:23 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


REAL goddam inches.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:23 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


At a Fourth of July barbecue this week, I was talking to a woman, Sarah, who mentioned a friend who always carried meat in her bag. "Want some purse meat?" she would often ask. As I was laughing at this, Sarah said that it worked out well, since she herself usually carried cheese in her bag, so they would trade.
posted by lazuli at 8:23 PM on July 8 [11 favorites]


I have a bag named "magic bag" or "giant purse". It is a Le Sportsac tote that is almost all the colors that I ever wear, so it always matches _something_, and it is quite roomy -- large enough for a 15'' macbook, on those days when I need it. I chose Le Sportsac because the bags don't have much weight of their own -- the tradeoff is less structure, and a higher chance of having to dig through the entire bucket to find what you need, but I'm ok with that. I've tried carrying smaller bags, but then I realize that there's no room for my dance shoes, or another bottle, or a peach.

My base collection is a 16 oz water bottle, wallet, sunglasses, cellphones, keys, plus a bevy of bandaids, receipts, single-serve medication (pepto bismol is my reliable friend), small cash, earbuds, and lotion. There may be some crumpled up receipts and napkins / tissues. I also try to have some hard candies to ward off hangriness, but I seem to be running low...
posted by batter_my_heart at 8:26 PM on July 8


I love carrying a red purse. My current purse is a red Liz Claiborne that I've had for about 2 years. It's the perfect size and has just the right amount of pockets and compartments. I don't change purses unless I'm getting really dressed up--then I use a small clutch with the bare minimum inside. I really don't care about matching my bag to my outfit--and anyway, I think red always gives a nice pop of color to anything I might be wearing!
Here is what's in my red purse today:
-kindle
-tin of Altoids
-pocket-size pack of tissues
-ID for work
-phone
-mini legal pad
-2 Burt’s Bees lip balms
-5 pens
-cleaning cloth for glasses
-a button that fell off my sweater about 3 months ago
-bottle of non-aspirin pain reliever
-flashdrive
-earbuds
-13 bandaids
-6 Imodium AD tablets
-wallet
-checkbook
-calculator
-hair pick
-key ring with my car key fob, 7 assorted keys, and my library card tag
- receipt for the pedicure I got on Friday
-iPod (not in the photo because I used it to take the picture)
posted by bookmammal at 8:28 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Does anyone remember those "organizer bags" that were advertised on TV in the 80s? Purses that were decked out with various flaps and pockets all over the inside so "everything had its place and there was a place for everything"?

The Ambassador Bag commercial was easy to find. I'm certain there were more of these across the years.
posted by hippybear at 8:28 PM on July 8 [6 favorites]


bookmammal, I really like your purse!
posted by lazuli at 8:31 PM on July 8


Thanks lazuli!
I actually stuffed my cat's little security baby blanket inside it so it would look better for the photo, and now she is making very concerned-sounding meows--so I'm off to un-stuff my purse so she can calm down.
posted by bookmammal at 8:36 PM on July 8 [12 favorites]


I know gushing over a diaper backpack (3-year-old and 1 1/2-week-old) isn't very hip but the thing is really awesome. We live out of it right now.
posted by not_the_water at 8:41 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Oh dear lord I carry too much stuff.
  • A couple of Timbuk2 bags depending on day; one large one small:
  • Several categories of stuff
    • Swim gear
      • micro fiber towel
      • indoor and outdoor goggles
      • speedo training suit
      • waterproof dry bag hold phone, keys etc for lake swimming. Floats, attached to my ankle via a length of shock cord
      • stuff sack for trucking wet stuff home - sized to just fit all the swim gear if packed with care
    • Nylon belt 'cause sometimes pants just don't fit the same at the end of a wet/sweaty/humid day
    • A couple Grid-it accessory organizers for packing the most common 'little bits':
      • everyday:
        • Apple pencil, mechanical pencil, zebra ball point
        • usb otg cable for attaching stuff to the phone
        • micro so -> sdcard adapter
        • lightning sad card reader
        • couple of cable ties
      • most days
        • raspberry pi zero w, mostly for usb hdd access on the ipad; mostly operated through a Jupiter Notebook server
        • credit card sized usb power bank for powering said rPi. Runs about 4 hours (with wifi) uninterrupted. Will power the pi even with a 3.5" usb hdd mounted
        • 2 port (2.4amp, 1am) usb wall charger. Folding plugs
        • lightning usb adapter
        • 'new' lightning camera connection kit
        • 4" lightning cable & micro usb 'flat/folding' cable
        It took some care but I've worked out packing each organizer so they stack one on top of each other (with delicate things on the inside of the sandwich) in a complementary fashion.
      • Blue 5000mah usb power bank. Flat, packs well.
      • Jaybird X2 and Freedom bluetooth headsets. The X2 came first and were great but have largely been superseded by the freedom. The freedoms are lighter and, while they have a shorter battery life, are charged via an attachable battery that can be charged independently; theoretically allowing for never ending usage
      • Craptastic moto g3 phone. It does get me a second operating system and a usb host. And was cheap. Still sucks.
      • Camera/Personal/Med/First aid gear:
        • hard glasses case, usually holds sunglasses and a couple pairs of daily wear contacts
        • GoPro Hero session. Small, doesn't need a case and (crucially) doesn't float. Means I can position on the pool floor to video underwater hands free and avoid catching too many 'extras' in the background
        • backpack strap attachment accessory for said gopro
        • keys on an S-Biner. Also a small flashlight (hands free night time dog poop scooping) and
        • Leatherman Style PS multitool. Small, useful, goes on airplanes.
        • small collection of usb storage devices, extra micro sdcards, apple pencil tips etc. Goes in the ziploc bag for protection, which goes into yellow organizer for sanity switching bags
        • yellow organizer bag also contains:
          • GoPro quick release mount
          • Studio Neat Glif smartphone tripod adapter. I have the previous version, this one looks even better
          • Cheap headphones because, well, sometimes stuff just doesn't work they way it should
          • swiss army knife. Doesn't go on airplanes
          • Ultra-pod camera tripod. Very useful when combined with the Glif for mounting, say, an ipod touch to posts or lifeguard chairs
          • Jobs micro folding tripod. Very nice for positioning the GoPro just so on flat surfaces
          • Filzer Skin E1 folding bike tools. Why carry screw drivers? Also, goes on airplanes.
        • Red bag carries more medicallyishnessage:
          • double strength Voltaren
          • lip balm
          • Tube of Pure Magic Wipes. Remember compressed pellets that turned into dinosaurs? These turn into wipes with a little water, less time, and are actually useful
          • 3m Scotch Brite towel. Tiny. Found at a local Asian Supermarket. Best screen/glasses cleaner evar.
          • Assortment of RX & OTC meds. the little black tubes are leftovers from my Type I girlfriend. Tiny, holds about 10 advil liquid gels or similar, Light proof, water proof, air tight. Awesome.
        • And a tiny billfold. I don't carry much in it
        • iPad Pro 12.9 with smart keyboard. My daily driver (mostly) replacing an aging 13" macbook air. King Charles Cavalier sold separately.
posted by mce at 8:42 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


When the revolution comes and we all have to go into hiding, I hope I end up in the cave with mce.
posted by hippybear at 8:44 PM on July 8 [20 favorites]


Oh my gosh--those organizer bags!!! How could anyone ever remember where anything was? It seemed like there were dozens of compartments, each with a super-specific purpose. (Not sure if there was a compartment for "purse meat"!)
posted by bookmammal at 8:45 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Until the revolution comes I will continue being 'that guy' who doesn't drive, doesn't have an office, packs for the day on my bike and never (but never) checks luggage for trips less than a week.
posted by mce at 8:47 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


In my pockets, almost nothing: Cash, driver's license, one credit card, keys, a few 4" cable ties, and a Deejo 15 gram folding knife – so small and light that it can't be flipped open, making it legal in NYC. In my old Acme Made bag: a Nitecore P12 – 1000 lumens! – and a 3½" Dexter Sani-Safe fishing knife – also legal in NYC since it doesn't fold, along with a ZipLoc full of Band-Aids, Tegaderm, and Neosporin that passes for a first-aid kit.
posted by nicwolff at 8:49 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Also? Said dog is getting older & deafer by the day but remains best Dr. Dog Comfort Wizard ever. I want to be in whatever cave he's holed up in.
posted by mce at 8:50 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


"I know gushing over a diaper backpack (3-year-old and 1 1/2-week-old) isn't very hip but the thing is really awesome."

Hey, being prepared is very hip! KathrynT and I have a long-running joke about how all these EDC nerds with their ballistic wallets and 47 knives will die within two days of starvation while all the parents with dorky diaper bags will have plenty of snacks for days AND can take baby wipe baths!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:55 PM on July 8 [12 favorites]


EDC means Earth Defense Corps, right?
posted by hippybear at 9:02 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Like, in case of extraterrestrial invasion?
posted by hippybear at 9:02 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Wallet, keys, phone, sunglasses, lipbalm. Strangely, when I lived in the UK, I never broke the habit of taking sunglasses with me. Even in deepest darkest winter.
posted by Gwendoline Mary at 9:09 PM on July 8


Well, one has to be able to look cool and aloof when needed.
posted by hippybear at 9:11 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


If I am not taking my kids with me, my phone is all I need. It works as an electronic car key, transit card and Payco (electronic payment). I have space for one card in the phone case as a backup, but I don't really ever use it. I never carry cash.

With the kids (they are 5, 3 and 1) I end up taking a ridiculous assortment of stuff. Milk/juice boxes, diapers for the littlest one, two tablets, snacks, wet wipes, etc etc etc.

Needless to say I prefer going out alone.
posted by Literaryhero at 9:11 PM on July 8


The backpack that I put on top of the bike rack:

It varies. Right now in the odds & ends pocket
- comfrey ointment
- Berocca
- deoderant
- scissors
- lifetime spool of thread
- scrap of fabric
- floss
- pens

A backpack also may typically contain:
- spoon
- wallet
- garlic
- children's ibuprofen
- ginger

The bike buckets that live on the bike:
- groceries, bungee cords, free pile acquisitions, and the bag that lives in a bike bucket, which contains:
-- the basic tools to fix a bike (e.g., hex wrenches, patch kit, chain tool, etc.)
-- some of the basic tools to fix a person (e.g., bandaids, sunscreen, chocolate, etc.)
posted by aniola at 9:18 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Literaryhero: I never carry cash.

I sometimes feel like I'm the only person I know who ALWAYS carries cash. Growing up, my dad never let my mom or me leave the house without asking us if we had cash "because you never know when you'll need it." Even today, I probably always have a minimum of $50 with me.
The other day at work we decided to order out for lunch and I had to spot about four people until they could get to an ATM because they didn't have the $5-$10 each that lunch was going to cost them.
The mind boggles...
Maybe it's an age thing. Many of the people I work with are about 20 years younger than me.
posted by bookmammal at 9:28 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Pants: Wallet, 4 keys on minimal ring: front door, apt, mailbox, mom's house; vape, phone. Car key is kept separate.

Backpack: Light jacket, three grocery bags, notepad, book, portable kleenex, a few napkins, and recently some laptop accessories. Backpack is present 80% of the time I leave my apt, sometimes with laptop.
posted by rhizome at 9:34 PM on July 8



Because my workplace is so cheap that some floors don't have all the necessary tools for me to do my job, my purse is doubling as a medical supply bag part-time. So now more often than not my bag contains:

-stethoscope
-pulse oximeter
-blood pressure cuff (an automatic one that goes on your wrist)
-thermometer (can be used on forehead or in ear)

I leave these at home for non work going out when I remember, which is most of the time.

My regular non work supplies are:

-wallet
-keys (home and bike lock)
-transit pass
-lipstick and chapstick
-book and/or zine
-fidget cube
-small notebook
-postage stamps
-phone charger
-assorted papers and bits and bobs that I probably need to clean out

I keep meaning to get some kind of cute separate bag for the medical stuff, but then I start looking at bags and get decision fatigue. For now, if you need to do a medical assessment on a moment's notice I'm your gal.
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:45 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


I still carry an old Orvis creel as my bag.

I do not have an EDC, but this is what was in my bag as of this evening. (For those who doubt it, here's a pic of me holding the bag open. It holds a lot.) It varies wildly. There's no way I'm going to list it all, but some highlights:
--random books
--random maps
--compass
--headlamp
--spork
--random cash
--random rocks and other things I just pick up and put it in there, like bark
--wallet, sunglasses, too many hair ties
--notebooks
--liquid skin
--framed picture of Mary Anning
--pocket knives
--chunk of climbing rope
--flies for fishing (it's summer!)
--mismatched gloves
--lone sock
--anemometer
--lost rings that I've been looking for awhile now, apparently
posted by barchan at 9:45 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I put things in my bag and then forget and carry them around for months/years. When I periodically empty out my bag, I find: old business cards of other people, lanyards and name tags from events, receipts, trail maps, food wrappers, old plane tickets, shopping lists, bananas and oranges (rotten), granola bars, gloves, socks, dinosaur toys, expired chapsticks/lipstick only used once, napkins (paper and cloth), pens (often missing caps and bleeding into the bag) and a random assortment of filthy coins.
posted by Toddles at 9:55 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


I carry as little as possible, and dream of technology/the panopticon advancing to the point where I don't need keys or cards.

I pretty much always have my wallet (pared down as much as possible), keys (separate sets for driving or just walking around), and phone. For work things, add a small computer bag with laptop and some pens. Nothing else unless it is a special occasion.

And lunch on my way to work, I guess -- and even there, I am always wanting to carry less.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:01 PM on July 8


MetaTalk: a random assortment of filthy coins
posted by hippybear at 10:03 PM on July 8


ActionPopulated I also carry a fidget cube. I LOVE mine. IMHO it's one of the best inventions for ADHD ever. It's incredibly soothing and helps me do things like sit through an entire movie without shaking my leg off or talk to people that I find hard to pay due attention to because it's the nice little background distraction my brain craves or something - it's even helped me get through phone calls, which I find particularly pleasing because I have phone anxiety too. I'm a little sad they seem so "trendy" because it feels so helpful for a few different disorders. (So looking forward to the blaring headline that studies show they have no effect etc. /s)

Toddles, I love oranges & "cuties" and carry them with me all the time too, so I'm always finding little shrunken oranges in my bag, they're so sad.
posted by barchan at 10:03 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Huh, the key to the radiation room. That probably shouldn't be there.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:13 PM on July 8 [13 favorites]


I carry TWO fidget cubes! One for my fidgety child, and one for his brother, because GOD FORBID I hand something to one and not the other. (They have wild imagination adventures with them, pretending to be driving a spaceship and then breaking into a safe and so on.)

I am moving and I am already super-stressed about it, this is my first move with a HOUSE rather than just a room in an apartment and part of the living room/kitchen stuff. I have packed 7 boxes and I would like to know if it's okay to just abandon my house and go start a new life with my 7 boxes? Five boxes of books, some knick-knacks, and winter coats for each member of the family? That sounds feasible, right?
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:18 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


Ooo I love the Everyday Carry.

Kent of England pocket comb. There is simply no better comb made.

Spyderco Tenacious pocket knife. Small enough to be discreet but serious enough for big jobs. I am a nonviolent person but I deescalate confrontational situations daily and having this in my pocket gives me confidence to stand my ground when I'd rather run away. No, I've never even thought of pulling it out when threatened. I wish I was a Swiss army kind of guy because Swiss Army knives are awesome, and I own a couple, but they are bulky and fill up your pockets.

Corter Leather and Cloth keychain/bottle opener. Two keys: house key and bike lock.

Tiffany & Co. money clip. A gift from a dear friend.

IPhone 6s plus. My preferred computing, gaming, communication, reference, method of payment, accessory brain device. I look forward to the day when this replaces the need for all my keys, money, and credit cards.

Cheap ass credit card holder with drivers license, debit card, 1 credit card, and Orca card (good for all buses, ferries, light rail, water taxis, etc in Puget Sound).

Tag Heuer Aqua Racer automatic watch, to be given to my first born upon his high school graduation and replaced with Omega Seamaster in rose gold with leather band.

Beats Solo2 Wireless. Yes, I know, overpriced, frequently break, but this is the only brand that got the side control buttons right and they sound fine to me. I got the protection plan and have replaced them twice due to breakage but the current pair has lasted 6 months so far.

Ray-ban clubmaster sunglasses. Ray-ban pretty much earned me as a lifetime customer when I totally dropped a pair onto concrete and shattered them, I wrote a strongly worded letter about how, as a lifetime Ray-ban customer how disappointed I was with the quality of this pair and within a week they sent me a brand new pair. I really preferred my Persol folding aviators (because hello, Anthony Bourdain) but I'd got them on major sale for less than $100 and now I just can't make myself spend $350 for something so frivolous that I'll just lose again.

Penguin eyeglass frames that sadly don't seem to be made anymore.

My simple platinum wedding band engraved on the inside with the lyrics to a silly song I made up to sing to my Little One when we were out hiking one day while we were young and in love. I wear another ring my kids picked out with my wife as a Father's Day present which I wear every day.

If I'm working:

Uniball Jetstream Pen in black. There is no better pen at any price and this one is 18 bucks for a box of twelve.

Littmann Cardiology III stethoscope with adult and pediatric diaphragms. If I'm in clinic.

When I'm working at the hospital with residents I use the Littmann Classic II because the residents all have the latest greatest expen$ive stethoscopes and can't even identify a mitral regurgitation murmur. It's kind of a punk thing for a senior attending to make the diagnosis a resident missed with a stethoscope that cost a third as much as the one mommy and daddy bought them for graduation. In a nod to Pulp Fiction, both of my stethoscopes sport name tags that say "Bad Motherfucker" (see my profile picture). If I ever lose one , I can't wait to say "It's the one that says 'Bad Motherfucker' on it!"
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:23 PM on July 8 [6 favorites]


Oh Eyebrows. I resolved a work situation about a year ago and moved in with my partner. We share 460 sq ft. I moved most of my stuff into storage and have been thinning it out for 10 months.

It's now gotten to the point where should, however unfortunate it might be, the storage facility burn to the ground I think I would enjoy net increase in happiness.

I just don't think I could face making the same set of descisions for dependants too.
posted by mce at 10:24 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Sounds like the essentials are covered and you've already got winter done!!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:24 PM on July 8


I don't carry too much stuff in my pockets. I have a cheap backpack with my "just in case" stuff that I shuffle from house, car, desk at work, but I don't walk around with it all day. Keys go in that. For pockets, it's just wallet and cell phones.

That's the irritating part - I have an iPhone 7 for me and an iPhone 6 for work. I can't take mine into work (camera) so I have to leave it in the car, so that's not too bad. But outside of work, I'm stuck carrying around two phones which makes me look like I'm hoarding all my possessions in my pockets. (Have to have the work one, but don't want to put my own personal passwords and apps on the work phone, so I want to have mine too.)

I could forward work calls to my personal one, but I always forget to un-forward later and have suspiciously quiet mornings until I figure that out.
posted by ctmf at 10:44 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


bookmammal: "Oh my gosh--those organizer bags!!! How could anyone ever remember where anything was? It seemed like there were dozens of compartments, each with a super-specific purpose. (Not sure if there was a compartment for "purse meat"!)"

Well not an organizer bag however my tool bag has a few dozen pockets/dividers/pouches/compartments. And I know exactly what goes in each. The divisions are all open topped (no flaps over) and I can tell at a glance what tool I've left out when I pack up at the end of a task/the day.

I can also direct someone helping me where to go for any specific tool even if I can't see my bag ("please hand me the blue handled pliers in the side pocket on the side of my bag with my name on it. They are in the fourth pocket from the left when you are facing my bag such that you can read my name").

That sort of bag isn't for every one; the guys I've worked with have been split about 50/50 between multi compartment bags like mine and a single (or maybe two or three) compartment bag/toolbox. But it's a pretty rabid Vi/Emacs like split.
posted by Mitheral at 11:01 PM on July 8


Wallet, phone, keys, travel pack of wipes, a spare diaper, little nylon shopping tote. Do not bring snacks or water as a rule because I'm not their damn mule (and there are still boobs for the toddler).
I like a bag that is super minimal/light but also can take a sweater stuffed in it. Not happy with what I've found.

I was very happy with a Kavu Sidewinder For a while but 1 year in it's looking a bit worn. Maybe that's par for the course. I like the Timbuk2s, should look into those.

Also thinking of sewing a shoulder bag...
posted by The Toad at 11:17 PM on July 8


In pocket: Wallet, Keys, Phone, Badge
In Bag: Lunch, Water Bottle, Seltzer Water Bottle, Laptop, 2 pens, and headlamp.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:26 PM on July 8


Several codpieces and a spare merkin. Safety is no accident.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:37 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


My bag is shaped like a penguin. As you see, that picture contains two bags: the small one is my day-to-day purse, and the larger is my airplane travel luggage (precisely the right size not to have to check, but big enough to pack for a week).

The great thing is that it's impossible to lose my bags. It's obvious the big one's mine because I have the small one over my arm, and the small one is so distinctive that I once left it at a movie theatre, and called them and said 'did I leave a bag shaped like a--', and the employee said 'it's on the breakroom table and we're all standing here staring at it'.

My present small penguin is actually the second one I've had. I got the first in Paris many years ago and named him Aethelwulf, because it seemed like a good name for a penguin. Then I found out they made the matched sets. So the large one is Alfred, as in Alfred the Great, who was in fact Aethelwulf's son, and the currently-in-use small one is Aelfgifu, Alfred the Great's daughter. Aethelwulf lasted about eight years and set foot on three continents; now he lives in retirement in the closet keeping Alfred daily company. All three have squeakers in their noses, but it doesn't much affect day-to-day life.

Aelfgifu is about six years old now, so I should probably be looking for a replacement, but she seems pretty solid so far. A few months ago I decided that my high-school self had the right ideas as far as do-it-yourself activism on a budget, so Aelfgifu got a midlife crisis tattoo: I Sharpied BLACK LIVES MATTER across her stomach in letters about two inches high.

The unvarying contents are my keys, my wallet, my phone, a pen, a 2" square giltbound ledger I use as a commonplace book and trivia catcher, about three feet of string held in a coil by a snug, a commemorative charm for the Japanese film Hausu, and my checkbook. The variable contents are a vast and shifting quantity of loose change and the also vast and shifting number of little pieces of paper on which I write down lists of everything not important enough to go in a bound book-- grocery lists, driving directions to places, phone numbers of businesses I expect to patronize only once, that sort of thing.

My wife and friends say they do not understand how I function without being drowned in little pieces of paper, but honestly I don't understand how other people function without sixteen to eighteen little pieces of paper available at all times. (How?)
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 1:05 AM on July 9 [21 favorites]


handses! knife! string, or nothing!
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 1:05 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Post-Kondo-ing my life, I carry:

This perfect wallet for HK's basically cashless/NFC-card society to hold one bank card, one Octopus, one HKID and some cash

Five keys (three house/building, one work locker, one postbox) with this keychain featuring our Airport Express train, which always makes me think about my next vacation

My blue iPhone 5c with this absurdly joyful flamingo case (design 1 on this page) because it looks like the FLAMINGOS ARE SWIMMING

My work pass

...and that is it!

(When I'm on vacation, I use the best wallet EVER.)
posted by mdonley at 1:15 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


If leaving the house for a short period of time (couple of hours), I just take my phone/wallet (which is a single object) and my keys.

For an all-day but not work-related trip, I have a small messenger bag that fits the above items, plus lip balm, sunscreen, hat/gloves in winter, charger and/or backup battery for the phone.

For going to and from work I have a backpack that fits all of the above plus lunch and my laptop, and the whole thing fits in my bike panniers for the commute if it's a cycling commute day.

For short overnight or two-three day trips in the summer, I can usually get away with the work bag stuff plus a couple of extra pairs of underpants and t-shirts, rolled tightly and tucked in around the laptop, toothbrush and comb tucked down the side. It kind of mystifies people that I don't seem to have "luggage".

This week I'm going on a (camping) trip to the desert, and it's winter, which means I have the stupidest amount of stuff ever in a huge backpack plus daypack, and I hate it. (Four days worth of food for two people, sleeping bag rated for below zero, woolens and thermals and jacket, but also swimming gear and summer clothes for daytimes forecast to be 27C, plus towel etc, plus laptop and batteries and stuff because I can't afford to take a whole week off work right now).

My mother is coming too and she teases me about travelling light usually, so I think she's going to be surprised. On the other hand, although I know she for once in her life (claims to have) packed light, she is letting me bring the food for both of us, and hiring a sleeping bag instead of bringing one, so I think she cheated. And at least my stuff is all in a backpack and I can carry it, whereas she is bringing a dinky little suitcase on wheels, which may not actually work very well where we are going.
posted by lollusc at 1:19 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I should also note that thanks to a recent comment in a metafilter thread, I started trying out a wrist wallet as an alternative to my phone/wallet combo, for trips where I don't need my phone. It's kind of awesome. Even if I do have my phone and it's in my bag, it's so convenient not to dig around looking for cards in the bag when I get to train station turnstyles or on and off buses, and for paying at shops. It feels like magic to just tap your wrist on a paywave or Opal card reader. (I keep my Opal (public transport) card in the part of the wallet that sits above my wrist, and my Eftpos card underneath my wrist, so I just have to remember to tap backhand or forehand for the respective readers.)
posted by lollusc at 1:23 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I pretty much never go anywhere without my book (or kindle). It's a habit I formed in youth - pre-mobile phone - when relying on unreliable public transport and even flakier parents. When you might be sitting around for 1-3 hours, you bring a book.

Ironically, with my kids these days, being stuck somewhere alone and having to read for two uninterrupted hours sounds like frigging paradise.
posted by smoke at 1:29 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Up until a short while ago, I had a goose egg in each of my cardigan pockets. We had been visiting friends who keep geese and they gave us two goose eggs so I put them in my pockets to keep them safe on the way home. They are very large, so each one took up the whole pocket.

I've never had a goose egg before and I am looking forward to experiencing their deliciousness tomorrow morning.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:33 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


There is probably no need to clarify this, but goose eggs are definitely not part of my EDC. I was just excited about them.

Here's what I have in my purse all the time:

-card case for my bank/credit cards, driver's license, and library card
-change purse for cash
-Burt's Bees tinted lip balm in Red Dahlia
-bottle of my prescription meds
-small bottle of Tylenol
-my keys
-hand lotion
-a couple of bags for picking up dog poop
-folding reusable bag that zips into its own little pouch
-my phone
-pair of earplugs in a little plastic case
-Ficcare clip
-tampons/pads
-pen and notebook
-Pacifica Brazilian Mango Grapefruit solid perfume
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:44 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I'm very proud to carry at least three library cards in my wallet at all times, plus my National Archives researcher card. I'm hoping to get up to 5 by the end of the summer! Currently I have my Oakland Public Library card, my university ID which doubles as a library card, and my Library of Congress reader card. On top of those, I plan on getting my SFPL card soon, and I'll probably get a card for the National Library of Medicine.

I don't need to carry them with me everywhere (especially when I live 3000 miles away from some of the libraries in question), but I'm more likely to forget then at home if I take them out of my wallet. Plus I get a kick out of knowing that I have a variety of library cards on me at all times.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:45 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


What is an EDC?
posted by bendy at 1:56 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Hey Lollusc do you have a link to your wrist wallet? I'm intrigued.
posted by poxandplague at 1:59 AM on July 9


(every day carry)
posted by freethefeet at 2:02 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


I try to walk about 5 miles a day, so I want the smallest shoulder bag I can get away with, which at the moment is this one, which is almost too small (and has faintly embarrassing branding).

That has my card wallet, keys, earbuds, lip balm, eyedrops & Fisherman’s Friend (for hayfever), chewing gum & gaviscon (for acid reflux), plus hat/gloves/umbrella/cap/sunglasses depending on the weather.

And if I think I might find an interesting insect, I carry macro lenses for my phone and a TEC Centipede measure, so I can take photos like this one.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 2:50 AM on July 9


I carry the following in my baggage:

An alcoholic father
A mother who fought depression
Two brothers with intellectual disabilities
My bisexuality
Ambient guilt
Being overweight
My first marriage
and my iPhone.
posted by Stanczyk at 4:01 AM on July 9 [29 favorites]


Hey Lollusc do you have a link to your wrist wallet? I'm intrigued.
posted by poxandplague at 6:59 PM on July 9


I don't recommend the one I bought. The zip is very dodgy and won't close about 50% of the time. It looks like this but I don't think it's exactly that one. Mine cost about $2 from a Hong Kong merchant on eBay.
posted by lollusc at 4:07 AM on July 9


Barchan, I also carry a spork. Who doesn't want to be ready to eat a snack at any time? (Pooh is my guide here, as always.)

Mine is a set of Tiny Bites by Guyot: a spork that nests inside a small spatula. A TSA agent once told me that they are OK for plane travel but I just bought a cheap Swedish spork for an upcoming trip in case of random confiscation.
posted by wenestvedt at 4:18 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Summer means I can wear cargo shorts and only need an EDC bag if I'm carrying books or electronics! And in the Carolinas, wearing cargo shorts in the summer is more of a survival strategy than a statement of either fashion or anti-fashion. So is wearing sandals to the good restaurant.

Things I always carry:
- Keys, pruned to minimum set (house, shed, car, bicycle lock).
- Lip balm. I like Mongo Kiss (unscented, good moisturizing) or Bert's Bees (unscented, good protection). Queen Helene is the best of all (and blessedly cheap) but the cocoa scent is really distracting.
- Wallet with cards and money. Preferably ruthlessly pruned to what I need for a particular excursion. We're a long way from a cashless society down here, especially if you dare to stray more than five miles away from any city center.
- Smartphone, which is a comms tool, navigation aid, and idle time distraction -- and the Notes app, when synced to my other devices, has effectively obsoleted a decade-long addiction/dependency on the Bloc Rhodia No.11 quad-rule pocket notepad and Uni-Ball Signo 0.38mm pen. Kind of remorseful about this end of an era, but even with autocorrect running amok my phone typing is more readable than my handwriting.
- Case holding either the eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses I'm not wearing at the moment.

Things I frequently carry:
- Ikea paper 1 meter ruler. They are reasonably accurate! Have both metric and imperial! Coil up into a tight, sturdy roll! They are free! Every Ikea hangs zillions of these around their stores! Take a dozen of them! Keep one on you until it gets ripped up, drop it in a recycle bin and replace it! No longer will you have to guess whether one thing will fit inside another thing when you don't have both things in the same place!
- Earplugs, for coping with road noise on long highway drives, and for the occasional bar or movie.
- Coins.

When I'm doing the work-from-cafe or -library thing, I also carry a tablet, folding bluetooth keyboard, Ravpower battery pack (on Wirecutter's recommendation), earphones with mic, reading glasses, SketchyNotebook and Chinese military surplus pen roll* with an assortment of pens, mechanical pencils and erasers. When traveling light in fair weather or needing to look professional, they're in a RawRow 13" briefcase. When in junk-hauling mode or foul weather or I don't have to care how I look, an OnSight Saigon 2 that I picked up at a MEC in Vancouver during a travel emergency. I also have a Brigs & Riley @Verb nylon business case for when I have to carry a full-scale portable office with Real Computer and paperwork and paperwork-handling things, though that's not an everyday carry situation since I work from home currently. There's also a full-size street-rat-grade courier bag large enough to carry a couple toddlers (untested claim) or fifty pounds of bricks (proven claim), and for a time in my life it was a vital necessity. Now that my bicycle has a proper load-capable front rack the courier bag has been getting a lot of rest and I can depend on canvas grocery bags and above-mentioned smaller purpose-built bags, instead.

Things I used to carry compulsively and don't any more include a notepad and pen (as remarked) and a pocket multitool (served as more of a fidget toy than an actual tool, so it usually stays at home now).

*(I continue to be impressed and pleased that there is such a thing as a Chinese military-surplus pen roll)
posted by ardgedee at 4:34 AM on July 9


On me right now: car key and tissues in my pockets (bad allergies....), plus my work keycard hanging from a belt loop.

In my purse, which is a smallish handmade leather bag I adore so much it's actually the 4th? 5th? one exactly like it I've bought from the same guy: wallet, kindle, pen, comb, bandaids, safety pins, house keys, and a couple people's business cards.

In my car: first aid kit, leatherman (got another one in my desk, too), another comb, pen, blanket.

In other news, I finally convinced my boss to let me have a new chair --- wahoo! How did I convince him, you ask? By the simple expedient of forcing him to sit in my old chair for a solid hour (I hid his chair!) and try not to let mine pitch him off onto the floor/get tangled in it's ripped seat fabric/get scratched on the damaged arm. Old chair's warrenty was good for seven years, so since the thing is now fourteen years old I figure it's more than due for the dump.
posted by easily confused at 4:41 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


I don't carry much. Wallet, phone, T-pass. A couple Kleenex. I have a very small Leatherman on my keychain that I use almost every day, as well as a AAA LED flashlight that almost always has a dead battery.

I never really understood the extreme EDC crowd. I live and work in a society and if I really need anything it's easy to acquire or improvise almost everything.
posted by bondcliff at 5:27 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Those penguin bags are simply delightful!
posted by bookmammal at 5:36 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


- Keys with a little leatherman key thing.
- Wallet
- Phone

I have a bag that I bring to work but there's not much in it other than my laptop. If I'm not taking my laptop home I often leave my bag at work.
posted by octothorpe at 5:44 AM on July 9


I'm currently settling into a new job/commuting an hour and a half/still unpacking from my trip to the field, so my bag is a little eclectic. On days when I need less stuff, I bring one of my The Toast totes instead.
Currently in my bag:

- Laptop, charger
- Phone, charger
- Two external hard drives and a flash drive
- Three kindles (probably I can remove at least the dead one)...
- US-Europe/West Africa plug adapters
- Wallet
- Folder of accumulating new job resources
- Bert's Bees chapstick, concealer, mascara, red lipstick for the very rare moments when I feel bold and lipsticky
- Notebook for very low key bullet journalling and a variety of pens
- A variety of pens and sharpies
- Deodorant
- Malaria medication, tylenol
- Toothbrush and travel toothpaste
- Multitool
- Keys (job keys on a tarsier key ring, personal keys on a Feminist As Fuck key ring)
posted by ChuraChura at 5:55 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Is this where I praise my string grocery bags? I carry two in my purse because they weigh nothing, carry a bunch, and keep me from collecting too many plastic grocery bags. (I inherited mine, so if you have an awesome source for these, please share.) Cashiers in town have gone from making faces about a customer bringing her own bags?!? to smiling at how much they can fit in them. Best EDC for utility/lightness I own!
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:02 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


A podcast player. The screen failed after a while, so I had to install voice prompts. I recently learned I'm not the only one!

The current market for these things is implied by model names like "Clip Sport". But when I used my cheap Nokia for the same job, it would periodically corrupt the SD card filesystem, or just refuse to connect at all.

I'm reconciling myself to replacing the Clip Zip with an Android when it dies.
But not the Nokia phone :). Reasonably priced, internet-connected, or secure - pick two.
posted by sourcejedi at 6:04 AM on July 9


back pockets:

- Smallest wallet I could find
- phone that is too large and falls out sometimes, or gets hooked under the edge of a seat back when I try to stand up

front pockets:

- lip balm
- tiny hair clips, usually 3-5
- glasses cleaning cloth
- list on a scrap piece of card stock
- keys (house, mailbox, bike lock, car, car fob, on a simple ring)
- sometimes, a tiny tape measure on the keychain
- often, a small piece of paper for the recycling bag, or a rock I found, or some tiny snack for later, or a watch battery I want to match at the store, or a peanut in case I meet a hungry squirrel.
posted by amtho at 6:19 AM on July 9


On my keyring is a key that folds out to a sharp knife, phillips screw driver, 'adequate' bottle opener and glasses screw size flat head screw driver. It is by far the most useful tool I have ever owned, in terms of frequency of use/cost.
I got it confiscated on a flight once, but that was the first time in 50+ trips, so it is virtually TSA safe for those who need a little tool all the time. My first was a brand name one (swisstech) that was about $10. Now you can get knock offs for around a dollar or two.
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Keychain-Tool-6-in1-Swiss-Tech-Multifunction-Bottle-Opener-Key-Screwdriver-New-/263065184167
posted by bystander at 6:21 AM on July 9


That George Carlin bit about stuff? That is sort of me. I live in Vermont and have a regular messenger type bag which usually has
  • laptop, phone & charging cables
  • book to read (Kindle or paper)
  • wallet
  • pens & notecards
  • sunglasses & reading glasses
  • car keys if I've locked the car (rare)
  • Smal vial of my father's ashes
But then I spend summers in MA. So I pack a subset of my stuff at home to bring there. Then when I visit people from there I have a sub-subset. Right now I am visiting someone from visiting someone so I have a sub-sub-subset of my stuff. I have little caches of stuff tucked away everywhere like I was an Arctic explorer.

My sister has a bunch of different purses which she's always looking for stuff in and (to my mind) has way more stuff than she needs. My SO has a backpack which is a bit of a running amusement because it's ALWAYS got EVERYTHING (like why bring a few days' cold medicine when you can bring the WHOLE BOTTLE). Four epipens, two liters of water, a few books. My sister always has $1.50 in quarters in one of her front pockets, she says. Sometimes I've spot checked and she doesn't always but I like the story about what she's carrying sometimes more than the actual contents of her pockets.

I'm female so I basically can't talk about my pockets without an extended rant about how some of my favorite shorts DON'T HAVE THEM. I'm sure you know how that rant goes so I'll just leave a placeholder for it here.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:36 AM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Pocketses.
Left front: wallet. I started carrying it in front after I lost two of them out of back pockets. Haven't lost one in 40+ years since I switched, except the time I left it at the self checkout desk at the library.
Right front: coins. I try to start each day with four pennies. I quit carrying a thumb drive about six months after I retired.
Watch pocket: keyring. I'm down to one house key and one car key.
Right rear: Handkerchief and comb.
Left rear: plastic grocery bags, nearly always at least two, sometimes as many as five. They fold up pretty small.
Shirt pocket: shopping list, coupons.
posted by Bruce H. at 6:38 AM on July 9


Forgot my cane. I don't leave the house without it anymore. Inside the house, with flat and level floors and within reach of the walls or furniture, I get around without it OK, but I need it outside. When it's dark or slippery out, even the cane is not enough and I have to use the walker. I mostly stay home now when it's dark or slippery out.
posted by Bruce H. at 6:49 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


It's been four years now since my accident, and it was just a few weeks ago that the cane first showed up in my dreams. It's a black aluminum adjustable one. I've been thinking about getting a nice wood one, now that I'm sure I'm never going to walk without it again, but I can't work up the energy to shop for one.
posted by Bruce H. at 6:53 AM on July 9


Upon transitioning from female to male, I stopped carrying a purse and I realized how much stuff I was toting around that I really don't need (or almost never). The one exception is SUNSCREEN. Yes, reader, I wore cargo shorts to Pride. I thought that cargo shorts would be a lesser fashion sin (and health hazard) than a lobster red face.

Anyway, most days my EDC is:
- keys
- wallet
- phone
- glasses

That's it. I miss my leatherman micro; it was confiscated by the TSA and it would have been more hassle to get it back than to just buy another one.
posted by AFABulous at 7:02 AM on July 9


(Trying to resist the temptation to post brands and links and carefully-arranged photos, because I'm kinda into EDC and also think it can get a little ridiculous.)

Pockets (I'm male, and generally wear practical work/outdoor kinds of pants with big deep pockets): phone, Field Notes wallet (notebook, ID, health insurance card, couple bank cards, business cards, random stickers), tiny microfiber cloth, keys (house, car, bike lock--I have a separate work set), flashlight, pen, multitool, pry tool, short USB cable, lip balm.

Bag (I don't always carry this, but it's usually close by): water bottle, couple snacks, charger/battery pack, couple flash drives, headphones and amp, couple books, comb, sunscreen, hat, bandana, broader selection of writing tools.
posted by box at 7:04 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


(Yes, I know men can carry purses, or "man bags" or whatever fragile masculinity term is used now, but most of the bags I've seen are way too big for whatever additional stuff I'm going to carry, and I don't like bags with shoulder straps.) If I did have a bag, I'd add sunscreen or moisturizer depending on the season, lip balm, a travel pack of kleenex, pen and notepad, phone charger, mini flashlight, multi tool, protein bar, hearing aid batteries.
posted by AFABulous at 7:15 AM on July 9


On my belt I carry a Leatherman Juice CS4 in a pouch. Left front pants pocket holds my cell phone. Right front pocket holds my wallet. Right rear pocket holds a handkerchief.

If I'm wearing a shirt with a pocket, and I usually am, there I carry a side bound Skilcraft memorandum notebook along with at least one pen. Sometimes I will carry two pens: a retractable pen at a minimum, usually a Parker Jotter with a gel refill, and sometimes a fountain pen, usually my Lamy 2000.
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:19 AM on July 9


Oh, and on my left wrist I wear my grandfather's mechanical Omega watch presented to him as a retirement present by his company after 35 years of service.
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:27 AM on July 9


I use one of three bags depending on what I need to carry and what I'm doing: for work, a large handbag with a middle pocket big enough for a thin laptop; a medium sized cross body sports bag suitable for day hikes; and a small, can be dressy, can be casual, cross body bag for everything else.

I used to think that the bigger the bag, the better, so that I can carry everything I might possibly need evar!!!, but of course lugging around all of that stuff has gotten to be a drag. So lately I've been experimenting with how much I can pair things down to carry the smallest bag I can. So far I'm down to: wallet, phone, small makeup case with lipstick and lip balm, entry card for apartment building, keys and small package of tissues.
posted by jazzbaby at 7:36 AM on July 9


This is timely! I am deep in Bag Conundrums at the minute and nothing is quite working. The problem is that I really want to carry four cameras - a 1985 Praktica manual film camera with a sweet Zeiss 50mm lens, a Canon 5D, a lomo fisheye and a Holga - with me at all times, not to mention film and other lenses (there are three in regular rotation for the Canon, so one on, two in the bag) and filters and lens wipes and batteries. I have two camera bag inserts - just padded shells, really, with Velcro dividers - that will hold all that stuff in place. But I want to carry all that in a bag that isn't hideous and doesn't look like a geeky thief magnet camera bag (I'm traveling a lot, or so I hope) and I also want to carry my purse stuff in it. Purse stuff is phone, an overstuffed lady wallet - I neeeeed all those bar membership cards - and: a little bag with ibuprofen & other meds & cough drops & bandaids etc in it, 3 different lip balms, a red glamorous lipstick in case of emergencies, a pretty scarf ditto, Kleenex, notebook, 3 or 4 pens, hairbrush, receipts, miscellaneous change, shopping lists, random pieces of paper and keys (5 keys, bottle opener, mini flashlight, mini tape measure on a red carabiner which I clip to the outside of my bag.) And that's all, plus probably a book and if I'm traveling, my iPad.

So this is unrealistic on a variety of levels, particularly weight, until I acquire the Luggage. I did manage it in a very pretty leather tote but it does not close up and that is just too nerve wracking. Then I used a completely hideous quilted fabric backpack, added protection, only $14 at AC Moore and very unlikely to tempt a thief but it has already given way (shoulda gone to Hobby Lobby & got the one with ancient Sumerian curse tablet protection.) Now I have acquired a sturdier backpack which should do the trick but sadly has no anti gravity function. It will hopefully work for everything but to spare my back I still need something day to day for purse stuff and one camera. I have a vintage brown Coach bag I adore that almost works but it's not quite big enough and the strap is starting to go. So I just bought this. Have I lost my mind? It's sturdy and padded and zips and will hold all the Purse Stuff plus a camera or even two and it fits right into the bigger backpack. That, I think, might be key: a bag inside a bag. And I quite like the butterflies. But, as my daughter said, 1997 called and wants its bag back. It is also true that I am not 13 and already look freaky enough. Part of me wants a nice ladylike sophisticated looking bag, but part of me says, wheee, butterflies and hey, it's practical. Hence, Bag Conundrum.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:39 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I have two modes: Either I'm going out with just my wallet, keys, and phone, or I'm going out with My Bag, which is an LL Bean tote that contains basically everything else I need to live on for the next six months. Or at least, at any given time, my MacBook Pro and accouterments, an umbrella, the equivalent of a reasonably well-stocked medicine cabinet worth of stuff to fight off allergy crud, a water bottle, several pens but nothing to actually write on, and most of a package of Starlight mints that used to be confined in a Ziploc bag but have long since escaped to roam the wilds of the bottom of the bag, where I think they coexist mostly-peacefully with all of my spare change, one earplug I keep hoping to find the mate to again.

The bag used to have an assortment of nerd-related pins on it, but over time virtually all of them have been lost to various snags, which has made me really dubious of buying more pins. The one thing that's survived is my Subversive Radio Host merit badge, because that sucker is sewn on. I've been pondering other things to add to the bag that could be similarly permanently attached, but very few of my fandoms come out with official embroidered patches and the fan-made ones can be hit and miss so I haven't found anything else I love yet.
posted by Sequence at 7:42 AM on July 9


I forgot to add sunglasses to the daily Purse Stuff! Prescription sunglasses in a case for longer exposure and dollar store sunglasses that just go over my regular glasses for when I'm only going to be out a few minutes.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:47 AM on July 9


Honestly, I find this whole topic baffling. I carry very boring stuff: phone, keys, wallet, umbrella. Probably some hair clips, a pen, and some lip balm. I have a notebook to jot down random stuff in. I take my lunch to work, so I will have lunch if I'm on my way to work. I may have a thermos of coffee. (Seriously, guys, that is the best thermos. The only flaw is that it keeps my coffee so hot that it's hard to drink it for the first few hours.) If I'm going to be waiting around somewhere I'll take a book and my knitting. Were I a more interesting person I would probably have more interesting things in my bag, but I am not very interesting!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:50 AM on July 9


Actual everyday: the basics in my front pockets. Phone in my left pocket; right pocket has wallet and house/car keys on beat-up old yin-yang medallion I've had for I don't know how long now.

Phone has a plastic case on it these days, something I don't prefer and never bothered with with previous phones because I didn't mind some scratches or other rough and tumble nonsense and had otherwise had good luck with them. But after I moved to an iPhone 6 and managed to crack the screen twice in relatively short order, it seemed like time to make the jump. The case annoys me less than I thought it might, though it still annoys me a little.

I used to carry my backpack around constantly, though I do so a lot less now; most common scenario is if I'm going out of the house for a long walk or to run errands in the car during a quiet moderation shift, so that I can pack in my laptop in case something manages to blow up beyond what I'd want to wrangle on my phone. But also usually in there is a sketchbook and a small hodgepodge of pens and pencils, and probably some forgotten snack that might be salty licorice.

I end up with glasses draped off my shirt or jacket collar sometimes, either or both of sunglasses or normal lenses for my mild far-shit-is-fuzzy prescription, which is expedient but a little bit suboptimal since it's not the most secure storage and is possibly why I cannot find my sunglasses right now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:56 AM on July 9


I seem to have all this stuffed into my not-huge but highly organized bag.

On the left hand side, health and wellness. Medications, tweezers, sunscreen, hair stuff, lipsticks, condoms.

Down the middle
, phone accessories, sunglasses, journal/planner, pens, business cards, work name tag, couple of tumbled rose quartz stones.

In the right hand area: keys, program from a funeral I attended yesterday, Coke Zero, wristlet wallet and the strap that makes it a crossbody bag, work phone.

Photo taken with personal phone, so that's normally in there, too.
posted by Stewriffic at 7:57 AM on July 9


> I have two camera bag inserts - just padded shells, really, with Velcro dividers - that will hold all that stuff in place. But I want to carry all that in a bag that isn't hideous and doesn't look like a geeky thief magnet camera bag (I'm traveling a lot, or so I hope) and I also want to carry my purse stuff in it.

The best discussion I've ever seen about this was on photo.net a long time ago, for which the nearly-consensus recommendation among those brand-fetishizing gear hounds was to use a diaper bag.
posted by ardgedee at 8:36 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


Currently in my not huge but apparently Tardis-like purse: wallet, phone, keys, ipad, two oranges, lipstick, handkerchief, Gerber knife, flip & tumble reusable shopping bag, dental floss, umbrella, phone charger, packet of instant coffee, gum, pens, pillbox, nail clippers, reading glasses, sunglasses, two matchbox cars, a bathing suit, and a dish of caramel.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:47 AM on July 9


Went to the store yesterday and my bag seemed pretty heavy. When I went to pay, I realized there was a large bottle of water in there. Came home and read this, so I just did a bit of pruning and got rid of receipts, old grocery lists and some other cruft. I have much of the same stuff listed, and am in the better to carry it and not need it than otherwise camp. Sadly, I did not find my library card, credit card, ATM card.
posted by theora55 at 8:50 AM on July 9


My summer walking around purse is a small watermelon-shaped makeup clutch.
My summer biking bag is a small black leather purse with a long strap. Summer swimming carry: keys only, small towel. Summer everyday carry: keys, wallet, phone. Summer going out carry: keys, wallet, phone, silver eyeliner, comb, lip balm.

During the school year I carry a large black leather tote bag. It contains lunch, water bottle, laptop, random papers, felt-tip pens, band-aids, ointment, wet wipes, quarters for when kids forget bus money, business cards, and usually the odd marble or lego or scrabble tile for some reason.
posted by mai at 9:14 AM on July 9


What have I got in my pocketses?

An old flip-open cell phone, some keys, my car key, a wallet-y thing and a handkerchief. When I was very young I [more than] occasionally also carried my retainers in my pockets, because. Later a bottle opener, because I found that cool, judge me not.
posted by Namlit at 9:33 AM on July 9


Only thing really of any note is the obligatory pepper spray in my bike jersey back pocket to ward off hostile quadrupeds and bipeds. Not happy about carrying that but it is a pretty effective defense as long as you have an escape. Also, maybe the links of fancy hollow pin Dura Ace chain on my keyring (also seen there is a platter spacer from the first hard drive I took apart so many years ago). I have a bunch of that used chain that I keep meaning to make into keychains with a few fob designs as they could be a fun thing to give out as finisher favors for an informal race or run.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:37 AM on July 9


I try to always leave the house with $4 in ones in my back left pocket which I consider my automatic donation to anyone who asks me for money. Where I live this tends to happen a couple of times a week and it's just way simpler if I can hand something over without thinking about whether the person "deserves" it, or is lying to me, or whatever. So whether you look poor or rich, or drunk, or like an asshole, you can get an instant $4 from me just for asking.

Besides that, I carry a wallet and phone and the usual crap.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:39 AM on July 9 [13 favorites]


I just finished washing and waxing my truck and realized that while I carry very little on me, I use the truck as my stash away from home. I am in the suburbs so the truck is with me wherever I might wander. In the console, besides 4 CDs, an ez pass, some pens, assorted charging cables and a bottle opener, is a tin of dip which I have no idea how it got there and is no longer there. The big carry is in the bed of the truck box. I am prepared for any emergency, any weather. Blankets, a knit hat, a baseball hat, jumper cables, tie-down straps, bungee cords, a roll of duct tape, a bottle of wiper fluid, a first aid kit, my baseball glove, a hat, tubes of suntan lotion, bug spray, towels and a bathing suit just in case a pool breaks out. Also a lot of tools for the truck and for house work. And bottles of water.
posted by AugustWest at 9:52 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


My everyday bag is a Filson shoulder bag. Usually it just goes back and forth to work with me and is mostly full of boring stuff - pens, notebook, old business cards (I think I've moved offices three times since I got them and only the email address is still current), earbuds, stain pen, Advil, Carmex, and some antacids. It can fit my work laptop if I need to bring it with me but I try to avoid that.

Flight bag is a black ballistic nylon dealie that I got from Sporty's while I was in primary training. It started falling apart a while ago but I sewed up all the torn seams. In it I carry:
-two headsets (one desperately needs repairs)
-metal kneeboard
-pad of paper, pens, a highlighter for some reason
-E-6B (also broken - the ruler bit snapped in half a while ago, but the whizz wheel still works)
-two flashlights, one with a red lens and a clip and the other with white and red LEDs
-iPad
-Bluetooth GPS for the iPad
-USB cables
-Advil
-logbook
-airport badge, hangar keys, airplane keys
-fuel sampler with a screwdriver
-"foggles" (view limiting glasses for instrument practice)

The flight bag is big enough that it doubles as an overnight bag if all I need is a change of clothes. Occasionally I'll throw some clean underwear and a toothbrush in there if I think I might get stuck somewhere.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:59 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


These are my purses. If you have met me you have probably met one of these purses. I get a lot of compliments on them and I can't shut up about them. I have other bags that are better at a protest or something, but these are the bags I live in. There is a green one is on my wish list that I will get one of these days but I'm not so much of a completist that I will get the metallic versions, which I won't use. The strap is even long enough to easily accommodate my height and boobs, which feels luxurious. I freaking love these bags.

You will usually find a few pens, some variety of field notes note pad, and whichever pinky-nude lip gloss isn't currently misplaced. The phone charger if I'll be gone a while, but damn that thing is heavy. It can also accomodate a large water bottle, which is a huge plus.

The two things that are always with me, however, are 1) my keys and their Carabandit key chains. I love that I can wear it around my wrist or loop it on the handle of my rolling cart or purse; convenient yet secure and 2) my phone case, which holds my tap card plus a bank card and/or ID. I can swipe the card without taking it out, meaning I never have to fumble for the card, and holding an extra card or two means I can often get by without a purse. (I'm the rare woman who isn't into pockets so if I need more I'll take a purse if I have to.)

I wish I could be one of those ultra-organized types with organized bags. I have tried to be that person. I am not that person.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:11 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Current bag rotation: large bags (Blue pleather tote from Off5th, red pleather tote from Matt & Nat, fuchsia pleather handbag from Matt & Nat, olive pleather backpack from Matt & Nat, recycled cloth shoulder bag from Nau), small bags (something from Nordstrom's juniors section, Coach handbag, Po Campo hip bag, something from the streetfair)

Every day kit: When I'm carrying a larger bag I take a pen (or several), my Kindle (sometimes in its case), backup phone battery, reading glasses (sometimes), grocery bag, keys, large wallet (opened to show contents, including building pass and bus pass, marriage certiiicate & hidden $20 for a cab), cellphone, sundries bag (tissues, blotting papers, pill case, compact, lighter, lipstick, antacid, emery board, breath strips, band aid or gel toe sleeves). There's usually an extra lipstick in a forgotten pocket, loose change and a flier of some kind in the bag, too. I rotate bags regularly which helps me clean that crap out.

Small kit (for small bags or functional pockets): cell phone, keys, pill case, mirror, lip crayon, card wallet.

Special additions for nights when I'm going out after work: mascara, eyeliner, lipliner, primer that doubles as shimmer.

Things that might be included in a big bag: sun parasol, rainshell that squishes way down, fastflats/cheap sandals (so I can stash my good shoes in case of deluge), babywipes, water bottle, snacks, hard candy & barfbag (in case of motion sickness), sunglasses, shawl/wrap, wound kit, notebook, 13" laptop.

Bike bag: shower kit (summer only), grocery bag, seat cover, goggles, small towel, bungees, lasso (padlock not pictured; U-lock is in a holster on my bike), bike keys on string, carabiner, bag of lights (and charger cable for my lighted helmet), lightning vest, patch kit, skirt garters. Baby wipes usually included. In winter, there will be an extra pair of wool breeches, ski socks, gloves, beanie. If I'm on my bike, I have my big wallet and my sundries bag from my purse in there, too.

I love the idea of keeping a $5 or a few singles at the ready to give to people who ask for money.
posted by crush at 10:12 AM on July 9


I live in irritated anticipation of the day my smartphone dies and I have to replace it and can no longer buy a reasonably-sized phone that fits my hands, pockets, bags. I won't pay that much money for something I can't comfortably carry or use.
posted by crush at 10:15 AM on July 9




I just discovered convertible thigh holsters and my world has changed.
posted by AFABulous at 11:06 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


My regular purse is a Kipling Erica cross body bag. It is pretty ugly, but I like it because it is relatively light, not super expensive, and because of all the internal and external pockets and plackets. I've used a carabiner to attach a separate OneTigris cell phone case to the purse strap (the yin/yang cat velcro patch was purchased on etsy).

Inside I've got a wallet, business cards, mini container of Rolaids, Zyrtec, Advil, Excedrin, aspirin, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, hand cream, bandaids, throat lozenges, tissues, Elsen Oils vanilla lip balm, mirror, mini screwdriver, pens, pencils, a Sharpie, a small notebook and notepad, pencil sharpener, flash drive, flashlight, cloth to clean glasses, Tictacs, gum, plastic spoon, earbuds, and packets of WholeEarth Nature Sweet and Splenda Naturals sweeteners.

My key chain often lives in my pocket, and sometimes in my purse, and includes a small swiss army knife, a key knife, and a Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Tool Keychain Multi-Tool.

Depending on where I'm going, I also will carry a totebag (which I got free at a conference), to carry things like an umbrella, water bottle, appointment book, reusable shopping bags, sunglasses, backup phone battery, etc..

(I wish I could travel lighter, but don't have a car, and go to several different job sites, depending, and like to have stuff with me when I need it. All the stuff mentioned comes in handy on a regular basis.)
posted by gudrun at 11:06 AM on July 9


I'm a carry-one-bag-everywhere person, same bag, always with me, never have to think about it. I never lose keys or that kind of thing, because nothing ever gets far from the bag.

I switched bags this year (after using the same model for 15+ years), and after a few false starts, am happy with the new one. The key turned out to be the shape -- I need a bag that's horizontal rather than vertical. Minimal digging, it's more like riffling through a card catalog from above. Things stay in their places since there's not a ton of room to swim around.

Mefite needled recommended a LeSportsac Classic Hobo and it's just right. It's light but surprisingly sturdy, femmier than my old bag (which was more like a gearhead camera bag) but not too femmy, has less interior organization than I was using before but still just enough. It carries all my regular stuff (wallet, phone, camera, chargers, spare battery, keys, tissues, bound notebook, chapstick, snacks, etc) but has room for a book or water bottle etc.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:28 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


I am always, always looking for my perfect bag. I have yet to find it but the closest I've come is a lovely velvet and probably drapery fabric bag I bought in the Greenwich market in 2009. The velvet started to fall apart a little while ago so I don't currently use it. I might have it repaired. Maybe.

In my EDC, no matter what bag I carry for that day: wallet, keys, phone, calendar (yes, I still carry a physical, spiral bound 18 month calendar), a small bag (containing tampons, lip balm, face powder, a couple lipstick samples, and an inhaler), another smaller bag containing a couple pens and pencils, my work badge, usually my iPad, and a folded up reuseable grocery tote. The smaller bags travel between whichever large bag I'm using at the time.

I covet this bag right here.
posted by cooker girl at 12:09 PM on July 9


I carry a pretty unremarkable set of stuff.

Left to right:
--a horribly beaten-up wallet in dire need of replacement. Somewhat unusually, I keep a few band-aids folded up in here for small papercuts, etc.
--one to three Pilot G-2 pens, fine point
--home/office/bicycle keys; I keep my car keys separate because I bike or walk for all my commuting and many of my errands
--Kershaw quick-opening folding knife
--not pictured for obvious reasons: Nexus 5 with a cracked screen (for the most part this doesn't impede function, but the cracks converge directly over the front-facing camera, so my selfie game is somewhat lacking)

A lot of the time I'll also carry a Duluth Pack messenger bag, with assorted extras: laptop, books, paper, Kindle, bike multitool (and occasionally a crescent wrench), whiteboard markers. I've lugged this thing around so much that the outward-facing side is almost totally sun-bleached, but it's still structurally sound, which is more than I could say for the cheap bag it replaced.

One day I will figure out how to carry sunglasses in a way that I don't find massively inconvenient. If I'm lucky, that day will come before my eyes are completely destroyed by the desert sun.
posted by egregious theorem at 12:58 PM on July 9


Photo of the EDC bag mentioned in my comment above. And I messed up when waxing rhapsodic about the pen roll; currently instead of the big Chinese pen roll I use a much smaller one I got in Korea earlier this year, the photo includes both so you can see why.

Regardless. I tend to not work away from my home office much these days because it's not as enjoyable as it used to be. Vision problems make reading text and mobile screen use difficult for extended periods of time.
posted by ardgedee at 1:11 PM on July 9


I just threw out a jar of roasted peppers that expired in December, 2012. I think I might need to clean out my pantry more often.

Note: I moved in 2014. I clearly brought this jar of expired roasted peppers with me.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:13 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


I'm surprised nobody has mentioned carrying an onion on their belt...just me then, is it?
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:19 PM on July 9


> I just threw out a jar of roasted peppers that expired in December, 2012.

Hey Eyebrows: Maybe the next MTTTH topic can be "Everyday Storage".
posted by ardgedee at 1:31 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


My super power is being able to walk into TJ Maxx and somehow make a beeline to the bag that's $1200.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:12 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


My handbag contains:

My Cancer Council fit over sunglasses that I love because they don't really look like fit overs.
My work ID
A coin purse that also holds my earphones on one side if I have them on me.
A small wallet containing loyalty cards
A blood test script for later this week
Car keys, house keys and gate opener
An assortment of tissues, hayfever meds, Gaviscon, asthma puffer and bobby pins.
There also appears to be a lone tampon in the zippered pocket so I'll have to restock.
My phone with it's case that acts as my wallet containing the normal variety of bank and health care related cards.

I also pulled out old receipts, tissues and random appointment cards and put most of the assorted pills and what not in the zippered compartment. My bag is now a lot tidier than it was before this thread so thanks :)

Unfortunately I got bag lust yesterday and bought a new, smaller, cross body leather bag off Etsy yesterday which will replace my current huge non cross body leather bag. My current one is heavy without much in it and it's size just encourages me to overload it.

I really want the perfect travel wallet linked above but I'm going to hold off buying it just to see how long I keep thinking about it...
posted by poxandplague at 2:59 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


I don't carry keys. Bike has a combination U-lock, house has a combination door lock. It's SO GREAT.
posted by aniola at 3:02 PM on July 9


Pantry clean-out update: I am the proud owner of three boxes of baking soda, which does not count the big box of baking soda that I keep in the bathroom for cleaning purposes. Apparently, I kept being unable to find my baking soda in the pantry and so just bought a new box.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:16 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


I love you people....

.....sunglasses, two matchbox cars, a bathing suit, and a dish of caramel.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:47 AMon July 9

.....tubes of suntan lotion, bug spray, towels and a bathing suit just in case a pool breaks out. Also a lot of tools for the truck and for house work. And bottles of water.
posted by AugustWest at 12:52 PMon July 9



posted by mightshould at 3:33 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Room 641-A: That's almost exactly how I found my bag, if you move the decimal point to the left by one!

(For reference)

You can see it on the top right - it's a Patricia Nash and so soft and suede! Not gonna lie, the sensory feel of it is mostly why I splurged. I use it mostly as a day bag for everything else you see there.

Going clockwise: Underneath my day bag is a smaller shoulder bag for toting phone and things around when I don't have pockets - that normally carries a pen, phone, and knife.

Next to those is a bucketload of phone-chargery things - wall charger, power pack, and the major adapters to plug into most phones

The flashlight to the left of all the USB stuff is super handly - 3AAA and it's got a strip of LEDs so you can illuminate a space really well. It clips well to pockets, and it's even magnetic so I can use it under the hood of my car!

Moving on: Perfume roller, eyeliner marker, comb (I have a lovely boar bristle brush that I think I left at the office), a couple of pencils, and a notepad + moleskine for when I need scratch paper.

Bottom left: FOOD UNITS. Meal bars of various types and flavors (No meat atm, but I like to carry something if you're gluten-sensitive), an assortment of flavored nut butters, drink mix, antacids and ginger chews, and an interlocking spoon-forker combination.

Insulated water bottle, swiss army knife and sharpener.

The two pouches at top left carry an assortment of analgesics and antihistamines, as well as some topical lidocaine, sunscreen, and some moisturizer samplers.

Moving right: My general wallet/clutch (I hooked in a lanyard to have more carrying options than just the wrist loop) and a glowstick (because disposable light is useful, also RAVES). Underneath those is a buff - it's a stretchy tube of cloth you can use for a variety of purposes.

Gaming supplies - bag of dice! Always handy. Also, a worker-placement game that fits in an Altoids tin.

Finally, to the right of those are the things that usually go in my pockets when I have them - pocketknife and rootbeer-float chapstick.
posted by mikurski at 3:44 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


I need to clean out my bag. I have no real concept of what may lie at the bottom amongst the crumbs of life. Not tonight: Tomorrow night and I'll post pics.
posted by mightshould at 3:50 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Apparently, I kept being unable to find my baking soda in the pantry and so just bought a new box.

I kept doing that with capers. I had something like four bottles of capers in my pantry at one point, and I don't even really like capers. I started writing "DO NOT BUY CAPERS" on my shopping lists, and mentally reminded myself every time I opened the pantry that I DID NOT NEED TO BUY CAPERS.

Naturally, I ended up eventually going through all four bottle then finding myself caper-less at least twice while in the midst of making a puttanesca sauce.

I think the pendulum has swung back and enabled me to keep one bottle of capers in my home at a time. Maybe two, if the first bottle is running low. But I have to keep a strict eye on them, lest they do something hinky again.
posted by lazuli at 4:37 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Oh, and on my left wrist I wear my grandfather's mechanical Omega watch presented to him as a retirement present by his company after 35 years of service.

I recently cleaned out drawers and came across my grandfather's watch, a very sturdy old mechanical pocket watch with a Caterpillar fob worn almost smooth—that was surely a promotional gift, I think. You wind it up and it starts ticking away. I'd carry it if I had a good place to carry it and didn't fear losing it. Also, in this day and age having something tick-tick-ticking away seems loud and odd in a way it didn't used to when we were all ticking.
posted by Orlop at 4:59 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Elk decoy.
posted by Wordshore at 5:04 PM on July 9


My lucky yak lurks in the front pocket of my Metafilter-coloured courier bag.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 5:38 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


My lucky yak lurks in the front pocket of my Metafilter-coloured courier bag.

I have copulating pigs hanging from my purse.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:09 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Mini McGee says, "I have to make a report to MetaFilter! Here's the first part: I'm really excited about moving, I can't wait to explore the new house [that we haven't found yet]. Here's the second part: Well, the book My Side of the Mountain [which AskMe suggested] is a good book! You should try it! Now here's the third part: There are some great movies out there. So find some you like, and then you could buy the DVD. Maybe you should see a really good one called Moana, about an ancient Pacific girl. And if you want a book to read, there is an Adventure Time comic series. There's one more thing I'd like to say: The Popular MMOs videos [on YouTube] are great. You should watch them! Bye MetaFilter!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:17 PM on July 9 [11 favorites]


Well, this thread has already inspired a 75% reduction in my pocket keys. Remaining are keys to three bike locks (recumbent, upright, folding) and the local bike collective. They normally share pocket space with 3 spoons - one for me, one for aniola who keeps one in her backpack but usually just borrows mine, and one to be lost.

The opposing pocket used to carry lots of pens and pencils, but it's down to one pencil and one sharpie because I now have a notebook and THE RAINBOW PENS in my breast pocket - a set of Pilot Petit 1 miniature fountain pens that double as an icebreaker. ("I like your rainbow pens! Do you do art?" "Uh, no... I just like colors." Ok, so it's not a very good icebreaker.)

I also carry a bulging wallet, a leatherman on my belt, and sometimes a tape measure because these days I have to think about things like "how long is this countertop?" and "how tall is that fridge?"

My watch is the same cheap Casio model that my mom has worn for as long as I can remember, though I keep hoping to find a good mechanical watch.

The Small Backpack contains whatever I need it to, except there's almost always a drop spindle and some fiber in the front pocket to practice when I'm out and about and need to kill time.

egregious theorem: Somewhat unusually, I keep a few band-aids folded up in here for small papercuts, etc.
Me too! People seem to think it's strange, but I use them. I only recently discovered that I need to restock... when I stabbed myself in the leg with a knife at the community garden and spent several minutes sitting on the ground with my calf above my heart to keep it from bleeding all over the tomato starts while I waited for it to clot.

AFABulous: I just discovered convertible thigh holsters and my world has changed.
Ooh, those are cool. Those and the diaper bags... So many options to explore for carrying things while exploring!
posted by sibilatorix at 6:33 PM on July 9


I have just shame cleaned my backpack. There were three spoons at the bottom (now soaking in the sink). There were also several pieces of broken crockery that I tend to pick up at work (gone to the bowl where these go). (which reminds me, I need to clean my pockets). There were a few "jumpers" which are short cheap electric connectors for holiday lights (I'll bring them to work tomorrow). I've got a camera, a filter kit, the charger for the camera, a spare battery. Two reusable grocery bags. A portable diaper changing thing with diapers, wipes, an extra set of clothing for the kid, and a ziploc bag to contain the dirty diaper when there's no good place to dump it or when it would be unkind to leave it stinking up the place. Hair brush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant. One of those emergency mylar shiny blanket things. Three pairs of sunglasses with scratches on all of their lenses. A bundle of small zipties. An extra t-shirt.

Pants-associated objects: I have a lot of keys - home bundle has our apartment keys, car key, house keys to a family member's house. Work bundle has 24 keys. iphone. spiderco knife. wallet. more random bits of crockery. a LED fake tea light - there was an event at work that apparently involved hiding tea lights everywhere and now, a few weeks later, I'm still finding them. Mainly floating in the water - they're surprisingly water resistant. Three plant labels, a plastic bag, a larabar, and a marble.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:49 PM on July 9


My lucky yak lurks in the front pocket of my Metafilter-coloured courier bag.

I have copulating pigs hanging from my purse.


I have an alpaca finger puppet in the front pocket of my bag.
posted by glitter at 7:21 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


The only out-of-the-ordinary thing I carry every day is this small handcrafted brass token that someone custom made for me. Have carried it every day since 2011. It's like a challenge coin that no one will ever know to challenge me on.
posted by komara at 7:25 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


It's weird that only one person admits to carrying condoms, and it's (as far as I know) a woman.
posted by AFABulous at 7:58 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Elk decoy

One of the stories they told us in hunter safety class (lo these many years ago) was about a farmer who attached a set of antlers to a downed log in his woods during hunting season and collected enough bullets to supply his own needs for the next year.

Another was about the farmer who painted COW in foot high white letters on each of his cows and HORSE on each of his horses before hunting season. He didn't lose any livestock that year, but someone shot his tractor. His -- wait for it -- John Deere tractor.
posted by Bruce H. at 8:00 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]


In my footloose and fancy free twenties, I always carried condoms.

I have a dull, dark blue, many pocketed bag. In it, I carry:

Lip balms (Burt's Mango, Shiseido menthol, Lipstick Queen medieval); pads, tissues, hand cream, handkerchief and/or little hand towel, nail file, band aids; notepads; pens and mechanical pencil; handbag lollies (musk lifesavers and something minty); change purse, wallet; earphones (in ear buds, over ear clip ons); little rosewood box with nugget of amber resin inside; playmobil little girl; knitting project (socks); tiny fulton umbrella; phone. Oh yeah, and an alpaca finger puppet.

Eyebrows: I feel your pain, this week I'm packing to move overseas. It's hideous, but frankly not as hideous as moving in the same state, because you have more leeway to laugh hollowly and just throw stuff away. Good luck! Write a lot of lists! Make sure you have a box with UNPACK FIRST written on it with the stuff you'll most want, like tea and cups and a kettle, toys and snacks for the kids, phone chargers.
posted by glitter at 8:19 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Make sure you have a box with UNPACK FIRST written on it with the stuff you'll most want, like tea and cups and a kettle, toys and snacks for the kids, phone chargers.

And toilet paper!
posted by Dip Flash at 8:44 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


I tried to talk Mini McGee out of making a report to MetaFilter but now that he has posted a question he is all over wanting to post his every thought, especially when he is leaning over my shoulder and sees me reading it. :D
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:26 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


My bag was always like a clown car, if I began taking one thing going out, the taking out of things was never ending. I no longer carry a bag. I do carry what would normally be considered a small makeup bag which in its current use is a rather large wallet. It's still sort of clown-car-like, but mostly I'm just endlessly pulling out old receipts (were that I was endlessly pulling out folding money).
posted by vignettist at 10:09 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Don't discourage him too much, Eyebrows; I want to hear what he has to say.

I still get a kick out of 'Nasa Cassini', for example, not least because it's actually a pretty appealing name for a girl -- far more so than the only real precedent I can call to mind right now: "Moon Unit Zappa", and she actually seems to be doing quite well with that.
posted by jamjam at 10:19 PM on July 9


She just got a NASA onesie (Target! Right now!), So we've been calling her "Nasa Cassini" the last few days, it TOTALLY WORKS.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 11:59 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Nthing that this thread made me clean out all the receipts and cruft from my bag.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:00 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]


I'm a day late but will report on my EDC anyway, since it is excessive. Mostly because I like to have everything I'll need for the day on me, but also because it's not especially heavy even though it's definitely the opposite of minimal. I use a small all-black Timbuk2 Classic messenger bag, which usually fits all this without much extra room. My wallet (an old Hobo wallet, which I find is ridiculously named for a quasi-luxury brand) and dying Nexus 5 ideally go in my pockets. My keys and library card thingies go on a carabiner that either attaches to my belt loop or a smaller carabiner on the strap of my bag.

* 13" Macbook Air and maybe charger, too.
* Kindle Paperwhite full of library books &/or a book of poetry, which doesn't usually render well on e-readers.
* Rollbahn notebook (the best notebook, and cheap).
* A bunch of pens and pencils, like the Uniball Signo .38, some Muji pens, and an extra-fine Lamy Safari fountain pen that I tried (semi-successfully) to make more fine-tipped by getting a jeweler friend to file the nib down.
* Cheapo spare earbuds I should throw away already.
* Battery bank (the RavPower 22,000mAh one) and a USB cable I probably bought in the Chungking Mansions, wrapped up with one of these handy little Nite Ize gear ties.
* A folding Opinel carbon steel knife for knife-fights or cutting cheese on a hillside.
* Burt's Bees lemon butter cuticle cream which I use as lip balm and which usually lasts six or eight months, but it went bad in the heat so I just threw mine out with a little still left in it.
* A little Altoids tin turned into a pillbox, covered in that cute Hong Kong bus ticket themed washi tape, Advil
* Vapur folding water bottle
* Hand sanitizer
* Tiny Sony micro-recorder because why not, though I only use it when I'm doing planned interviews
* P-Style for late-night walks, and which is worth its weight in gold.
* A small hairbrush, which somewhat mitigates my disheveled look if I remember to use it, which usually means walking past a reflective surface and catching a glimpse of myself.
* Tiny keychain flashlight, bottle opener, and spare set of house keys.
* Spoon/fork combo thing, probably unwashed. Not this one, but close enough.
* A little red leatherette coin purse (citing my sources: this page of The Descent of Alette, my favorite epic feminist archetypal journey poem, by Alice Notley) with bookstore gift certificates, stamp cards, "frequent shopper" kind of shit, etc.
* Little reusable shopping bag (I like the Flip & Tumble ones)

Depending on the day I might also have:
* A little pouch (thrifted, a lovely Kuna mola design of an alligator on it) with hygiene things, including powdered toothpaste and a folding toothbrush, nail clippers, deodorant, lotion, my Diva Cup, and a spare pair of unders for when I spend the night at a friend's house. I only recently stopped carrying condoms, which I've had on me for years even though 1) I'm in a monogamous relationship and have our birth control situation covered already, and 2) I have carried condoms for over a decade and never once used them so clearly this is aspirational in the same way EDC doomer bros are burying barrels of grain in the hills or whatever.
* A larger plastic folder full of my work papers, separated into smaller plastic folders.
* A pouch with bicycle tools and some older/slightly cheaper Cygolite cycling lights.
* A light Merino wool layer of some sort, or this not-entirely-waterproof hoodless cycling rainjacket by Giro that looks sleek enough to wear at work, and that I got on clearance a year or two ago.
* Sometimes one of those $8 Ikea cycling ponchos is invaluable.
* Usually a few squished energy bars, or a ziplock bag of almonds and dried fruit.
* Some overpriced noise canceling headphones that take up a huge amount of space but use rechargeable batteries rather than a baked-in, non-replaceable rechargeable that will make them trash in a few years.
* If I'm really clever, I can also fit a change of clothes in with all this and it still packs down to the size of, uh, a squished cinderblock? (I have a set of the Eagle Creek packing cubes and find them completely invaluable for neatly organizing squarish things when I'm traveling, but I've also started using them for ordinary life things.)

Still, all this gets heavy, especially if there's actually water in my water bottle. I bike commute (on a very used Surly Travelers Check that is my pride and joy and also my cycle touring bike, and is fuchsia), and for a long time was using a big Wald basket, which could hold all this and my packed lunch and a hoodie. But it was heavy and the load was balanced forward of the axle which made the front wheel tipsy if I wasn't holding it steady (which is just troublesome if you're off the bike, really) so I took it off and haven't quite thunk up a solution that doesn't involve using a pannier or getting a randonneur bag. Which I'm grumpily against because I want something that's just as useful off-bike as on, i.e. to have my cake and eat it tweice.

I've been meaning to get a Leatherman of some sort, but I always lose them. There are some things I'll just never find useful enough to buy, since I lose them within a few uses anyway. Sunglasses are one of these things; I only wear them when I'm bike touring, or if I've found a pair I like on the street and haven't lost them yet. Oddly, I've been using the same cheap found-in-a-free-pile glasses case for six or eight years now. Umbrellas are another thing I lose. I usually leave an umbrella somewhere on the same day I buy it, so I've learned to stop buying them unless it's pouring out and some enterprising street vendor has them for $2.
posted by tapir-whorf at 4:22 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


I am so amazed at all those who know what is in their bag. I carry a lot with me but regularly realise I have no idea what is actually in there as I just drop stuff into the back pack (KNOMOS Beauchamp which my husband gifted me last year to replace an ancient should strap leather bag) and forget promptly I did so.

A long overdue inventory look just now reveals: several crumpled bank statements, various letters I mean to reply to but have not yet as they ended up at bottom of the bag, tissues both new and used (I know, gross and I am removing them right now), receipts I should hand in to accounts for reimbursement in various states of crumpledness, cheap earphones, small sachets of gummi bears, Fishermen's Friends both loose and in their packages, change (dirty and stuck to fishermens), small notebook and pen, a savings book I was gifted in January and mean to deposit but keep forgetting, my uncle's obituary (his name is the password), squashed fruit power bars, nicorette spray which I sadly don't use, cigarettes and about 3 lighters two of which don't work but could be refilled (yes I know bad and filthy habit but I am European so it is culturally still quite acceptable here), a fidget spinner which I call mine but is really for my son in case of emergency when he forgets his, a bus time table for the town my mother lives in, various small lego action figures, a tiny playmobile sword, just found a french fry, a higlighter pen, more pens, a permanent marker (useful for last minute signs at events, there should be sticky tape too but must have lost it), a Danish I bought this morning and so far did not eat but wrapper thankfully intact, a fruit snack (the kind in a bag that you suck out of, for my son only he is not here this week being on a father son holiday with his dad), my passport (have no other ID), a single serving pack of Nutella from a brunch a while ago, jelly beans mingled with more coins, a tampon (throwing it out now, it is stuck to Jelly Beans), a brunch invitation from a business partner from May, A wedding invitation containing directions from June. Various event briefs and lists containing flight details of the last threee conferences (throwing those out now too I keep them only for emergncies in case guests call late at night to change flight or got bumped off etc so I can deal with it regardless of internet access right away), a tube of L'Occitane Verveine Fragrance Touch, and a small tub of L'Occitane Roses et Reines solid perfume, ibuprofen, anti-travel sickness tablets for my son, broken handle from balcony door (for buying replacement whcih I already did, so tossing it now), Echinacea purpura drops my boss gifted me in November but which I don't use but keep because who knows, a memory stick, Haribo berries half opened (wtf, my son must have dropped them into my bag when I was not looking), some Ninjago collecting cards, a small melted and resolidified chocolate Easter bunny (tossing now), two KInder Surprise chocolate egg surprises in their yellw container (I believe these are banned inthe US? ), some of my own business cards, some from others, a largish wallet with cash and my cards, photo of my son.
I miss the small foldable shopping bag (mist have dropped it somewhere) and not noticed yet. Also missing the phone charger, weird, mus search for it.
Usually I would also carry a small (0,2) water bottle but for some reason not today.
My keys I usually carry in my left front pocket (they are really to big but need them during the day), front right pocket the mobile phone - also too big but what is the point if I don't carry it with me. I never should have given up my small flip phone, so much more practical. In each pocket there are also loose fishermens ( I meet people all day). If I wear a jacket (for evening events) the pockets also contain fishermens and often a lighter/cigarettes which I need desperately because a lot of my job involved waiting for someone eg speaker, to show up on time and managing what happens if they dont because their flight got cancelled etc).
I only buy trousers / jackets with pockets which usually means I shop in the men's department. As I am also tall and have a typically men's shape (larger belly but no butt, thinish legs) this works very well.
So grateful for this thread to motivate me to have a look and throw out the melted bunny...! Thank you!
posted by 15L06 at 5:14 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


I carry a leather purse daily:
1. a robust first aid kid (epi pen, standard hiking first aid stuff and then a checkbook when I'm in the city)
2. a cheap folding fan in the summer
3. sunglasses
4. folding waterbottle
5. cellphone
6. wallet (magic wallet style so I can't over stuff it)
7. housekeys
8. lunch if I am going to work.

That's it. Although my first aid kit weighs just under 1lb, and has everything from sutures to duct tape to a headlamp; so maybe that's what folks would be interested in.

In the winter, items 2-4 are removed, and I end up shoving my hat/gloves/umbrella in the bag on a weather dependent basis.
posted by larthegreat at 5:23 AM on July 10


I carry this this canvas messenger bag which Ive had for 16 years and bought at Old Navy in the mens section for like 20 bucks. It's indestructible and has visited multiple continents. I periodically get temporarily infatuated with some other bag but inevitably wind up back wih my old canvas buddy within a few months.

I'm a nurse so unlike most people I fucking hate carrying too much shit around on my person, either in my bag or my pockets. This is because at work I'm weighed down with a metric fuck ton of equipment in every one of my five different pockets plus hanging around my neck (stethescope) and off my uniform (badge) so when I'm not at work I like to keep my shit easy breezy lemon squeezy.

In my bag is: my wallet and phone, keys, sunglasses, a pair of scissors (shitty disposable nurse scissors), pens, earbuds, sometimes a kindle, a hair tie or two, and a small notepad. That is it. If I need more than that I start to question if life is even meaningful and what is stuff anyway and have you ever really looked at your hand lol, etc.

If I'm on my way to work I'll also have lunch, and the aforementioned medical equipment (littman cardiology stethescope, badge, name tag, eight million alcohol swabs, rolls of medical tape, caps to like 5 different medications that wound up in my pocket instead of the dang garbage, caps to iv lines that wound up my my dang pockets instead of the garbage, a tourniquet, a bunch of patient id labels that wound up in my dang pockets instead of the confidential bin, and like 50 scraps of useless paper with important impossible to read gibberish). Also a lock for my locker because people will steal from you yo, it is a shitty feeling to work helping people for 12 hours and find your damn cardigan has gone walkabout. That shit makes me dark.
posted by supercrayon at 7:06 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Taxi bag.

Two plastic toothbrush carriers. The blue one has a toothbrush in it. Pink one has a tampon cause there's that slow halting question then happiness when I can say as a matter of fact I do have a tampon.

Ipecac. It's a hundred bucks if you vomit in the car. You probably should vomit buddy. You wanna just get it over with? C'mon. Don't chug it.

Two extra large white t-shirts cause if you are naked or soaked they cover everything and it's a good look for you.

Bleach wipes and surgical masks. We have the ER contract and if they can't get home they get a voucher from the hospital and tell me how sick they are.

A 1960's yellow Anacin tin with six .25 hollow points. It's perfect. They don't rattle.

A compass cause GPS once told me to drive off a 500 foot drop to make a left on the road down there like it was an intersection. I can dead reckon with that.

A set of dental tools that I've only ever used to pick locks or go after ingrown hairs.

44 Keys. I seem to make friends with people who lock themselves out of vehicles and buildings. So item just above is just for strangers.

Combat grade first aid kit so I can take care of your sucking chest wound or the more frequent minor things.

Lipbalm, nail clippers, extra pen, a tiny little blowtorch and high quality high calorie snacks.

House flooded Saturday afternoon. Hooper's Creek became Hooper's River and one of it's tributaries is coming right through the barn and into the basement. Lots to be done until it stops. Two of us are supposed to go to work so it's going to be the kids with the adult most effected by the election dealing with this and we look at each other but 3 seems energized and the kids have a good plan.

These are the same pants I was wearing last week when I got to Biltmore Estate for a morning flight quite a bit faster than the flier expected and I don't eat candy but tried one of the peppermints and clerk says take them all get them away from me aren't they good and I did and this day I have a pocket full of special anti-flood lozenges and write a glyph on their foreheads and stick one under their tongues and deputize. Say ahhh. You now have special anti-flood powers until this wears off and here's more. Stick them in your pockets. WOW! I hate peppermint but these are good. They know it isn't real but it's the ritual aspect that will make them work until this is over and it is going to be a long night and Zeus is zorching trees as we leave illuminated by great balls of fire.

She wants to drive. Getting fearless are you? Toss her the keys. You think she's up to this? I think that she will be fine with our kids. Did you see that spark in her eyes again? This minor disaster might break her funk. I'd expect a bunch of water and debris coming over the bridge at the bottom. Stop at the top and we unlock the front wheels. Hit the water at 40 and put it in second and hold the clutch in and keep the wheel straight until the front tires make contact. Little gas to keep the water out. Lots of gas when we hit the other side. You good? I can do this i can do this i can do this. Know you can. Bravo. Stop a sec and let the bed drain. Want one of these?

Pockets. Weather, people, mints.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:58 AM on July 10 [11 favorites]


I carry everything in a Duluth Pack Scoutmaster.

-Wallet (a Bellroy, suggested on an AskMe thread here, and it is the best wallet ever)
-Phone
-Gerber knife
-Lamy pen
-Etymotic earphones with custom Starkey earmolds
-Custom Starkey earplugs with Westone filters, 9 and 25 dB
-Custom Westone hearing aid listening tube
-emergency Benzos
-Shades
-current book I'm reading
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:23 AM on July 10


I operate in modules. The basic module that I don't leave home without is my walletkeysphonemetrocard. It baffles me that my husband regularly leaves without one of these essential four. They come as a package!

The next level module is "comfort and pass the time." This includes wireless earphones, a sock knitting project, a pen, lip gloss, sunglasses and my pouch of random loyalty cards. Might include a small umbrella that I bought for ME and NO ONE else in the house gets to touch, use, or breathe one, so at least I can have one nice thing.

On weekdays I also have my work module: work ID, work keys (2) and regular glasses.

All of this transfers between two Repetto purses. (I have une faiblesse for Repetto.) One for lighter colored outfits, and one raspberry bag for bolder outfits.

On weekends everything gets chucked into one of two large totes, because I'm probably adding the kid module: sunscreen, beach towel, swimsuits and goggles for everyone, Ipad, selection of toys and water bottles.

I do not know how my shoulder hasn't fallen off.
posted by Liesl at 8:31 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]


As a teenager/young adult, I went through a series of very brightly-colored, cheap Chinese-patterned handbags bought from the local Asian market, then on eBay. Next, I had a LOVELY handbag from the local New Age shop, made of recycled sari fabric. I loved that handbag SO MUCH, and it pained me to have to toss it during the big clean last week (it had HOLES IN IT).

Afterward, I had been using a raspberry-colored Travelon bag, because I was getting worried about cultural appropriation, what with a white-passing Mexican lady carrying around all of these vaguely Asian bags in bright colors.

But the raspberry bag was too big and I kept filling it full of crap, so it got too heavy and hurt my shoulders. Then, I downsized to a smaller black Travelon, which is sensible and the right size for traveling and makes me feel boring every time I pick it up because it's so dull and practical. (Next AskMe question -- a fun purse in a bright color that's crossbody, will wear well, and isn't too culturally insensitive?)

Anyway, the contents of my purse are all very boring and sensible, from ID credit cards, keys, etc. to my medications, lip balm, about six month's worth of old receipts, and um. Yeah. That's about it. So boring.
posted by PearlRose at 8:36 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]


My wife and I are both very happy converts to the Tom Bihn religion when it comes to bags. I use an "Empire Builder" as my briefcase and she uses a "Smart Alec" backpack. They've both been exceptionally hard wearing bags compared to what either of us had been using previously. LN also loves the Bihn shopping and knitting bags---she's been using one as her singing/session bag for almost ten years now and it still looks new (they don't sell the models we have anymore).

The usual gubbins in my pockets include keys, phone, wallet, pen and knife. The flatter keys are in a Key Smart holder. I wish there was a way to do something for the vehicle fobs as well. the keychain also has a Fenix E5 flashlight on it. I find it's brigther than the phone and often more handy when I'm trying to find the keyhole on a dark door or going out to a dark car. For the knife, I've settled on the Spyderco Dragonfly 2. It's a good quality knife, but small enough that it doesn't freak people out.

In my bag, the only thing that's a bit unusual is a small field sampling kit. I keep large freezer ziploc in my bag with all the stuff I'd need to take a few field samples: gloves, wipes, a few sterilized/certified plastic scoops, some class 3 vials, labels, marking pen, photo reference, binocs and measuring tape. It has come in handy more than once on the job, when I'm running from a meeting and have the opportunity to visit a site. Meanwhile, it can just sit there for a year or more without attention. It gets a bit of attention from the airport folks sometimes, but gets through security every time. I just wish I could bring my favourite metal spoons, but they tend to make the TSA too interested in my bags.
posted by bonehead at 9:26 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]


Oh god, now I want THIS bag.
posted by cooker girl at 10:02 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


My wife uses that as her purse. She really likes it.
posted by bonehead at 10:38 AM on July 10


Apparently, if you hint nicely enough, someone will respond to your theoretical question before you even post it to Ask! Oh, that small cafe bag looks delightful. I wish it was available in a pink like what's shown in the model photograph, because I am a fan of obnoxious shades of pink. Maybe the plum or the dark red will work?

Hmmm. I did remember something less-boring that is currently living in my purse! A small moleskin notebook, which I use as a journal. Or used to use as a journal, I don't write it it so regularly, but I like having it handy. Just in case I need to write something.
posted by PearlRose at 11:09 AM on July 10


I tried to take a picture of my bag contents, but one of the side effects to having a 14 month old in the house is that he will see mom's purse contents laid out on the table, and will take this as an excuse to grab mom's keys and run away cackling (and jingling) with joy.

Repeatedly.
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:21 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Here it is with monster #1.

Wallet
Eyeglasses
Drugs
Mints
Toothpicks
USB computer backup
Spare keys
Insoles for days when concrete floor is too much
Reciepts
Scraps of paper notes
Business cards
Loyalty cards
Bandaid
Trail mix snack bag
Small bit of my husband's ashes
Lip balm of various types
Resist button
Clothespin thingy
Giftcards
Pens and pencil
Necklace
Empty film canister
posted by mightshould at 3:58 PM on July 10


The John Hancock fannypack of holding.
(5000lbs/10000gp)
posted by clavdivs at 10:39 PM on July 10


Ok bag people tell me what to buy: charming minimalist leather crossbody bag from Etsy or Tom Bihn Small Café Bag? How can I even chose? Both look like I really need them!
posted by The Toad at 5:30 AM on July 11


BOTH!
posted by cooker girl at 5:36 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


I ride my bike to and from work and, though I am never far from home or a bicycle shop, I carry stuff just in case I have a flat. I hate the thought of being dependent on others for rescue. So: wrench, inner tube (two inner tubes, in fact, because I carry one for my son's little bike when we go out together), thingies for sliding a tire on and off a rim, and a little air pump.

Also in the same tool bag is a disposable book of poetry (not a book of disposable poetry) so I am never stranded somewhere without a decent read. Just in case I ever somehow have no actual current book with me because book goblins have attacked. An emergency repair book, like those little spare tires that are good for a certain minimal number of miles. Good for starting a fire, too, if it came down to it. Recently I had a stripped copy (illegal!) of a cheap edition of Sh's sonnets in there. When I left the bag lying about on the floor, a diabetic cat with a weak bladder soaked bag and book. Disposable --> disposed. Now there's an old copy of old Eliot's old quartets wedged between inner tubes and wrench.
posted by pracowity at 6:34 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


OMG ACTUALLY THIS WOULD BE THE BEST THREAD FOR THIS QUESTION

So due to a very recent back/shoulder/maybe just the whole body injury (crushed by a tram door) I'm finding it hard to carry my usual bags. I normally have either a small handbag or a messenger bag (if I need to bring my laptop) that are both cross-shoulder/crossbody; however, it's starting to put a strain on my shoulder (my shoulders and neck are especially tense, as well as my lower back). I have a backpack that's more for travel, and what I've noticed is that it pinches the nerve of one particular shoulder so that my arm goes funny (I have a mild subluxation there - there's a bit of bone poking at a nerve that goes down my arm. That's been there before the injury).

Right now what seems to help is if I cradle stuff in my arms (either like a baby or like a clutch) but that can get unwieldy very quickly. And also my arms are sore.

What kind of bag options do I have? I've looked at the slingback teardrop ones, are those OK? What kind of backpacks are better suited? Are there trolley bags that are more suited for day-to-day use and also don't cost a zillion dollars? Can I get a pet drone to carry my stuff for me?
posted by divabat at 6:37 AM on July 11


I'm currently carrying this Opening Ceremony purse that I got on sale. (I love Nordstrom Rack.) It's one big pocket, rather than a bunch of organize-y bits, which I like. Additionally, when/if someone compliments me on it, I can say, "Get it? It's a HAND BAG! 'Cuz it's got HANDS on it! See? HAND BAG! Lololol"

It's really the only purse I've ever had with any personality, most I've had are basic black or tan with no branding. It's fun!

Anyway:

+ Phone
+ Extra battery
+ Wayyyyy too many tampons, bc you never know when you gotta help a buddy out
+ A small, fold-over wallet with an awesome pocket on the outside, so I can easily slide out my Metrocard when running
+ Bandaids
+ Ibuprofen
+ This Tony Moly lip balm, which is also a stupid joke because it's shaped like lips (sensing a theme here)
+ A way-too-large bottle of hand sanitizer, inspired by that one time I saw a guy take a dump on the stairs at Penn Station
+ A pen I accidentally stole from an insurance adjuster
+ Boring umbrella
posted by functionequalsform at 6:49 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


divabat, sorry to hear about your accident! My chronic neck-shoulder-arm nerve pain was much improved by bag switching. (And probably initially set off by overweighting a messenger bag, but that's another story.) Anyway what worked for me was getting a backpack that fits my frame/shoulders and has a chest strap. (I thought about a trolley bag, but constantly dragging something with my arm behind me also sets off all kinds of nerve twinges.) Mine's an Osprey Pixel laptop backpack, and a lot of women I know here in Colorado find Osprey makes backpacks that better fit smaller shoulders and don't have straps that cut problematically around the chest. But I really recommend trying a bunch of bags. I couldn't find the ones I wanted in stores so I just ordered a bunch off of eBags.com, which works like Zappos. Filled 'em up with enough weight/bulk in my living room, picked my favorite, sent the losing bags back for free.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:28 AM on July 11


Holy wow you all carry a lot of stuff around!

My small cross-body shoulder bag was a present from my mum for my birthday a few months ago. It is canvas and has some kind of weird Engrish-y text on the flap reading:
D/E/A/R
RuYiHuang
simple casual

COMFORTABLE&FREE STYLE
NATURE...DEEP RESPIRATION
(DAILYLIFE)

WESTERN U.S.CATTLE SUBPACKAGES
FREE PERSON AT TIME
So there's that. I dunno what it means either.

The Bag typically contains:

Smartphone
electronic cigarette & e-juice bottle
pen
earbuds
keys
book
hand lotion
various papers/bills/documents representing tasks I am putting off
wallet: debit card, HSA card, library card, multiple Ventra (transit) cards, work ID, work entry card, a few receipts and odd business cards.

However, for work (which often involves travelling to outreach sites), I don't have any dedicated office space so most of my work files, reference materials, laptop & wireless hotspot travel with me in a rolling locked briefcase. I don't usually bring that home though because my commute is a 40 minute bus ride + 15 minute train ride.

All in all, I lead a pretty minimalist life. Aside from books, of course, and the fact that I should get rid of 2/3 of my clothes that are ugly/weird/don't fit, I'm not much of a stuff-haver. (My husband, on the other hand....)
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:57 AM on July 11


In my bag right now:
A cardigan, rolled into a crumpled ball (the bus is cold, my workplace is too warm)
A bunch of old receipts
Two referral slips for two different dental specialists that i have not yet called but i will this week, god help me
Loose change
A leather billfold wallet that was a Christmas present after my cat lost my previous wallet under the fridge
Housekeys on my homestar runner keychain
A bunch of pens
Cuticle cream
A lot of crumbled up cat snacks that I didn't realize had fallen out of the pouch, ugh
An empty change purse shaped like a mouse
A tube of Nova Scotia Fisherman hand cream that turned out to be too sticky

I am kind of a mess is what I'm realizing
posted by janepanic at 3:36 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I carry way too much stuff in an IKEA family rucksack (that they no longer make). A closer look inside at the horror tells me I have the following:

Main compartment:

1 Guide leader jacket (wedged in as not normally in there but I'm going straight from work to Guides tonight)
1 knitting project (socks) plus tape measure and stitchmarkers
Wallet (battered, needs a clear out but includes migraine meds, spare lipring/steriwipe from when I had to wear studs for work, stamps - as well as the usual cards/money/reciepts)
Small pouch for my headphones (empty as headphones are currently attached to ipod)
Small pouch containing swiss army knife (why do I carry one, people ask as they use it to open wine/wrangle a package/cut a cake), painkillers, handwipes, plasters, lactase pills, hayfever relief, small sewing kit, led keyring torch)
Larger pouch containing pens, a mini sharpie, pencils, mints, pocket mirror.
Large note book for my half-hearted bullet journalling attempt/general notes
Kindle
small portable charger for my phone
One squeeze pack of almond butter (to avoid being hangry when stuck on southern rail trains)
A tin of hypercolour putty (?? no idea. Guides? probably)
colouring book and pencils
glasses case
(a bunch of stuff from the conference I've just been at which is now in the office)
lunch box (now in fridge at work)

Small front pocket:

Inhaler, lipbalm, handsanitizer, usb stick, Guide badge I need to sew on to my camping blanket, Ravenclaw oyster card holder/railcards, seperate southern rail keycard (can't be kept in with oyster card as the London end readers can read both and get confused)

Larger front pocket:
Umbrella
sunglasses pouch (sunglasses generally on top of my head if not being worn/indoors)
small pouch with lipstick, perfume, hairpins
handcream
pen/touchscreen pen
house keys (on key hook)
lightweight but large shawl/scarf thing
altoid tin with v.old business cards (must get new personal cards)

Side pockets:
Left: Waterproof bag cover, reflective arm/leg bands for walking home in the winter
Right: reusable shopping bag, emergency plastic bag, current small packet of Lakerols

Usually in there but not today for some reason:
Water bottle

Pockets (either jeans or jacket):
ipod classic
phone
tissues
posted by halcyonday at 2:17 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


In order of necessity:

Since I never leave the house without my house keys, I carry a few extra items in a dark blue leather Radley keychain purse with a white Scottie dog appliqué. There is a second keychain inside to which I've attached a spectacle neckchain. This way, if I left the house with just my keys and I needed to carry them handsfree for any reason, I could do so. I also include a small amount of emergency cash in a small plastic bag, one dose of my daily meds in a Listerine breathstrip container, a tissue, a Clinell hand wipe, a 300mg aspirin, a St John Ambulance first aid guidance card, a Vent-aid, and a pair of nitrile gloves in a plastic pouch.

The keys go into a purple leather wrist wallet that has press studs for clipping a phone battery down the middle of the interior. The wiring frayed and I replaced the battery with this Anker 5200 mAh charger. Inside the pouch, alongside the charging cable with its Apple adapter, I also stash a small folded plastic bag to protect items from rain if need be. Folded along one side of the wallet is one of those clear plastic neck pouches for swimming with your phone (in case it rains and I need to use Google Maps). On top of the Anker battery is an Envirosax shopping bag which can hold 20 kilos. Aligned against the interior card pouch is a separate, gold-coloured business card holder from H&M; besides my own business cards I use it to carry the few loyalty cards I ever use, plus a book each of first- and second-class stamps. In the interior card pouch are my bank cards, an envelope of hand gel, and a tissue. Cash is in the cash pocket. US-based EDC advice, which tells you not to carry change in your wallet, doesn't work in the UK because the lowest denomination of paper money here is £5, anything lower than that is in coins.

I carry this convertible backpack.

There is a grey and black leather keychain purse hooked to the jump ring by this Leatherman carabiner. Attached to the flap of the keychain purse is a magnetic sunglasses hook (I don't hang my sunglasses from the purse, I just carry the hanger there). Inside the keychain purse is a PocketBac (current flavor: Noir), a pink Perfect Lips SPF 15 lip balm, and a polished hunk of blue agate. Hanging from an adjacent keychain is a Victorinox Swiss Lite to be used as a handbag light. The back panel fell off, taking the tweezers with it, but everything else still works. I also have a Trespass emergency whistle on the same keychain.

The backpack has one exterior pocket. In this pocket is a book wallet similar to this one. It contains my travelcard identity photo, my Oyster card, a travel pass for another city, a dining token card for one of my work sites, and a magnetic shield sleeve for carrying train tickets. The sleeve opens at the top, and so does the book wallet, which is why I chose it over a more conventional travelcard holder. (Train tickets demagnetize if they get anywhere near a cell phone or if your bag has a magnetic closure.)

The backpack has one interior zipper pocket. In this pocket is an embroidered neck purse containing keycard passes for two of my work sites, plus a keyfob for a community space clipped to the back edge. In this pouch I also carry one tissue, a Vent-Aid, a pair of nitrile gloves in a plastic pouch, and one 300mg aspirin tablet. Also in the zipper pocket is a photo keycard, on a lanyard, for another work site where photo ID must be displayed at all times. Clipped to the back of the photo keycard is my locker key for this same site.

The backpack has one interior phone pocket and an additional open pocket. I use the phone pocket to temporarily stash my phone if I'm not using it, which rarely happens. The additional pocket doesn't have a use.

Next in order of necessity comes one module of a Buxton modular purse organizer, with six medium pockets. In one pocket is a heavy-duty keychain purse with my car keys, enough change for the second most expensive meter I've encountered so far, and a small plastic envelope with a daily dose of my meds plus two Anadin Extra.

In another pocket is a Chinese silk tissue-holder, with tissues, and an 8-pack of Anadin Extra underneath the tissues. Up against the tissue holder (for padding) is a pair of Accessorize heart-shaped rainbow-reflective sunglasses.

In another pocket is an Altoids-tin grooming kit, held closed by an elastic-band hair tie. On one side is a Google promotional silicone sticky-pocket, containing a small hand mirror and a book of Boux Avenue pale pink powder papers. On the other side is a camouflage duct-tape tissue pocket with one tissue. Inside are: an envelope of hand gel, a plastic envelope with Listerine breath strips, a plastic envelope of soap leaves, a plastic envelope of disposable spoolies held shut with a hair elastic, a flat blush brush (the kind that comes with the blush) for applying loose powder, two Anadin Extra, two Imodium, a day's worth of prescription meds, one antihistamine tablet, a flat pillbox of loose face powder, a coin capsule with blemish concealer, another coin capsule with SPF lip balm, a metal pillbox with some Vietnamese topical aspirin gel, a miniature dental floss, some toothpicks (for cleaning fingernails), a nail white pencil with a sharpener cap, some nail clippers, a disposable eyeshadow brush (for applying concealer), several safety pins, a plastic envelope with multiple sizes of colloidal blister bandage, and an envelope of shitty SPF 30 suncream. At a pinch, I could manage for a full day on the contents of this tin (the 1 tissue and the 2 aspirin would be enough to buy me time till I could get more of both). That's assuming there were no unusual delays in getting home, of course.

In another pocket, a set of Bose noise-cancelling earbuds in their original carrier, with charger cable plus two spare pairs of earbuds (each in the wrong size). Also, a 4GB USB stick in a plastic pouch, a Fisher space pen, a tiny USB stick that limeonaire gave me for Quonsmas, and two spare LR44 batteries for the Swiss Lite.

In another pocket, a Neutrogena baby sunscreen stick, and an empty PocketBac bottle refilled with liquid sunscreen (for handcream in the summer months).

In the last pocket, an Alessi Minou handbag hook, a Maybelline 24-hour lipstick, a 4head cooling headache balm, and a Pilot disposable nib pen with black ink and with some camouflage duct tape wound round the barrel.

In a second Buxton module - one with four small and two large pockets - are items to protect against weather. A plastic pouch containing a rain poncho, a plastic bag of the right size to protect an iPhone while in use, a "miracle towel", and a pair of plastic overshoes. In the next pocket, a pouch containing a hand-knitted shawl for warmth. In a smaller pocket, a plastic brush holder containing a fan. In another small pocket, a little pad of Post-It notes, a tiny spiral notebook, a touchscreen stylus, a multicoloured ballpoint pen, a souvenir ballpoint pen, and an envelope of Sugru. In another pocket, a teenytiny hotel sewing kit and a measuring tape. In the last pocket, a pack of two Colgate Wisp toothbrushes (in case of unusual delay), a rose-scented moist towelette, a pair of clear straps for keeping shoes on, and an anti-static sheet in a plastic envelope. Clipped to the keyring, a Gerber Shard.

Loose in the bag, a plastic water pouch and a pair of folding shoes folded into a carrying bag.

Depending on which work site I'm going to - an A4 plastic wallet with a MacBook Air. Another A4 plastic wallet with a Cocoon Grid-it holding all the peripherals - power supply, plug, extension cable, two AV adapters, an Ethernet adapter, and in the back pocket an iPhone charging cable and a couple of AAA batteries.

The peripherals take up far more room than the MacBook itself and it is a strain to zip the pack closed when everything is in it. A full pack weighs about 12 pounds. Fortunately I don't always have to carry full pack.

Well, now to flip over to YouTube where no doubt some vegan will be hectoring me to save money by carrying slices of kiwi fruit to work in a bento box. Which I guess I could fit in there if I really stomped on stuff.

There'll also be someone telling me to carry 2 litres of water with me at all times. I just know it. Because healthy people with green and healthy habits are required to carry at least 50% of their bodyweight in stuff everywhere they go.
posted by tel3path at 11:18 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Right now I'm carrying a small purse which is easier on my shoulders and looks nicer with my wardrobe. It holds my wallet (cards, money, etc), tampons, phone, ipod, keys, an altoid tin full of ibuprofen, a couple of pens, and my work badge.

I'm sad that it doesn't hold a sketchbook or my kindle or my tiny set of paints so I'll probably switch purses again soon.
posted by bunderful at 9:03 PM on July 12


Phone, wallet, keys, leatherman skeletool, comb. Everything has its place.

Unless I'm at work in which case it's phone, keys, leatherman skeletool, headlamp, gloves, lumber crayon, ancient AT&T flip phone, camera, tape measure, screwdriver, Suneye, inclinometer, dust mask, bungee cord. Everything still has its specific place where it belongs.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:30 AM on July 13


This thread is exactly as great as I hoped it would be.

Pocketses
One metric/imperial Lufkin Executive Thinline, which is the best pocket measuring tape, assuming you don't need to measure anything over 2m, one slightly distressed Freitag Dallas holding an improbable amount of cards and other bumf, an iPhone 6S, and a hankerchief. Keys, on the weekend. (see: Belt.)

At work, one Field Notes notebook (this month's: America The Beautiful), with an assortment of blank PostIts inside the back cover, one Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto 3 with 0.4 refills (currently: Violet, Brown, and Black), and a Lumintop IYP365 pen flashlight, with the nice high CRI Nichia LED.

In my jacket: Kinovio 240s, which are remarkably good for cheap BT headphones. During winter, black cherry lip balm from the local farmers' market, and some combination of gloves, hat, buff and/or scarf.

Belt
At work, my keys go on a Key-Bak Super 48, with the ring replaced with a NiteIze SlideLock #2. Haven't lost my keys yet. Things on the keyring that are not keys include a Nitecore Tube and a Fox 40 Micro whistle. There's also a 1st gen Leatherman Wave, which must be about 18 years old, and the belt itself is a 686 toolbelt.

Other
A Keepcup for coffee. Vanquest Javelin 2 for a daypack, mostly because of the side opening.
posted by zamboni at 8:26 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


I guess this is as good a place as any to mention that I bought an Allett wallet last month, after seeing it recommended here and there on AskMe, and I love it! I used to have the world's largest wallet (it was constantly being compared to George Costanza's wallet that gave him back problems), and I finally got sick of it. I can carry pretty much everything I'll ever need in my new wallet, and I don't have to take it out of my pocket every time I sit down. Thanks, Metafilter!
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 4:59 PM on July 13 [3 favorites]


I'm late to this party, but I've tipped out the contents of my small walking/hiking bag and - minus the small digital camera used to take the picture - it looks like this.

Further detail:

* Most of the smaller items go in the front pocket, or the pencil case in the middle of the picture.
* I carry around 50 pounds with me, which should suffice for most situations. No bank or debit cards because it's an annoyance to lose them.
* The three library cards are valid for the three public library systems I use the most.
* The Ikea card because I sometimes end up at an Ikea and with the card their coffee and cakes are cheaper, sometimes even free depending on the store and day.
* A small tub of aspirin.
* A bottle of hand gel because on most rambles you're going to encounter the poo of some animal or bird or occasionally person. Soap and hot water is always preferable, but hand gel if needed.
* Packet of oat cakes for the calories. It's supposedly traditional to carry Kendal Mint Cake, but I cannot stand the stuff as it tastes like hardened toothpaste.
* Water bottle.
* A heavy stainless steel fork. Primarily for eating with, but also a useful weapon to have on the rare occasions when I need one. Have practiced extracting it from my bag with either hand while walking and not looking.
* Spare shoelaces. Multi-purpose and a useful weapon to have.
* Druid/pagan neck wear, basically a small piece of a slate with an inscribed tree, tied to a piece of cord. Good for events, adding a touch of class, and also a useful weapon to have.
* Three notebooks. One is for work, the other two for other things.
* Two pens; my primary one (the blue one) and a spare.
* Hairbrush, to look better in case I meet someone I wish to impress in some manner, or I need to blend in to a respectable venue. Also a useful weapon to have.
* Map of the wider local countryside.
* Detroit baseball cap, which is extremely useful at sunrise and sunset, and also at night for not being dazzled by car lights, and when it's raining.

Not pictured, as said, the camera and also a few other items I may or may not use as weapons for reasons.

Sometimes I also carry my Amazon Tablet as it's small and light, the battery lasts a long time, and the wifi means I can use it in pubs but not roaming in the open countryside. I deliberately don't carry an "Internet anywhere" device because I'd use it.

I do not carry a mobile phone as I regard the phone as the worst invention in modern times. Someone can always send me an email, and I'll read it when I get back to base. Or if they have to they can leave me a phone voice message, and I may or may not hear it during my monthly check of messages.
posted by Wordshore at 10:36 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]


This kind of seems like a bad idea, but my bag does need clearing out, so here's some of it. Bag is a small Timbuk2 Eula in burgundy and turquoise.

Everyday stuff:
-- notebook (stuffed with business cards and folded pieces of paper from meetings)
-- assorted pens
-- prescription sunglasses
-- business cards (mine, in a case; other people's, not in a case)
-- almonds, chocolate, a Kind Bar
-- small ziploc bag with bandaids, blister pads, handiwipes, tampon, benadryl, etc.
-- earplugs in snazzy metal cylinder produced as swag by one of our work projects
-- small zippered bag with phone battery, USB stick, wall charger, car charger, earbuds, cables.
-- additional phone battery and cable
-- my official badge, in a leather case, for a commission I sit on.
-- lipstick: at the moment three different shades, all MAC. (I have two other MAC lipsticks in my pockets: my usual lipstick and the new purple lipstick I've been sporting)
-- makeup mirror
-- eyeliner and travel-sized mascara
-- small flashlight
-- both ibuprofen and naproxen
-- emergency cash

Also in my bag at the moment:
-- 2 "I stand with Planned Parenthood" moleskine notebooks, swag from an event I spoke at this week, along with several pins.
-- grant proposals I'm reviewing this weekend
-- random paper bits, including plane tickets and movie stubs and receipts I haven't turned in yet

Usually in pocket of jeans or jacket, shoved in bag when wearing something without pockets, which is often:
-- wallet with ID and credit cards
-- cash
-- keys
-- phone
posted by gingerbeer at 9:28 PM on July 15


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