Metatalktail Hour: It's what's inside that counts November 26, 2022 3:16 AM   Subscribe

Hello and welcome to your weekend, mefites! Since it's been a while, today I'd like to ask you, "what's in your bag?" Clutches, totes, diaper bags, purses, satchels, backpacks, pocketbooks, pouches, wallets — all are welcome to spill their guts here. Show a photo if you're brave enough ... otherwise, just describe the inner life of your bag.

OR just let us know how you are, what you've been doing or thinking about, how your holidays are going. But no politics, please — it's not our bag!
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 3:16 AM (59 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I don't carry a bag. But when my pockets are full, the contents include a handkerchief (better for the environment than tissues), a front-pocket wallet (foils pickpockets), and one or two keychain multitools (such as this one, which punches above its weight).

I took the week off for U.S. Thanksgiving. The dinner I made turned out only so-so. But as my mother used to say, it was a learning experience. Otherwise, I am trying to both relax and get various things done.
posted by NotLost at 3:57 AM on November 26, 2022 [5 favorites]

In my bag currently:
my ventra card, two pairs of gloves, masks, many receipts, a wallet, a compact, two lipsticks, a pen, a notebook, a comb, chapstics, ear pods, a phone charger, sugar free cinnamon candies, my keys, some barrettes, many random post-it notes (all totally illegible), a tin of edibles, some kleenex, a thermometer, some origami paper.
posted by marimeko at 3:59 AM on November 26, 2022 [3 favorites]

Phone, wallet, key fobs for our cars, keys to our friends’ house (and possibly some other keys? Not sure), pen, lip balm, spare change, extra period products, probably some ratty ass bandaids, work badge, old receipts, face mask.

I’ve been carrying the same messenger bag for over fifteen years and it provides exactly the pockets I need. It’s still in okay shape but at some point I’ll need to replace it. LL Bean doesn’t make the bag anymore and I am dreading finding a substitute. As you all no doubt know, change is BAD.
posted by obfuscation at 5:02 AM on November 26, 2022 [4 favorites]

I've just been out for the first time for two weeks (COVID) and was slightly weirded out that my bag reflected the needs of the previous trip. It usually has knitting, a book, medication, a mask, pen, notebook, sometimes my diary, and my purse, which has the usual cards, cash, stamps etc plus a miniature cat and various random cards like a mudlarking licence, county archives pass which expired in 2006, blood donor card, vaccination card, Richard III Society membership card, membership card for the Stay Home Club (lifetime member). Just checked and it also has last year's local history society programme, which I probably don't need now. I also recently put an 1846 shilling in it, I am not sure why. And there are about four lottery scratchcards worth a pound each which I need to redeem. Oh, and a doodle of a cat by my father. And several ferry tickets - I keep using one trip then scrabbling for the ticket for the return journey and ending up buying another ticket.

The bag itself has falling apart issues. I mended the handles in February and now need to repair the repair, in an axe-of-my-father way. The body of the bag could probably do with patching too. It is not easy to find bags which hang properly.
posted by paduasoy at 5:27 AM on November 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

My bag is fairly small and usually overflowing with miscellaneous crap. My need to not deal with a large unwieldy bag is ever at odds with my need to carry many items to feel somewhat prepared for life outside my home. Currently in my bag:

Wallet, phone, scanner for glucose meter
Insulin pen, nine spare needles, 2 tubes of glucose tablets
A small hairbrush, 1 side hair comb
4 tinted lip balms, 2 colorless lip balms
Allergy eye drops, bag of miscellaneous OTC pills, dental floss, handful of sugar-free cough drops
4 disposable masks, 1 cloth mask, 2 small bottles of hand sanitizer
Handful of (clean) toilet paper for nose-blowing, two panty liners for sneezing
My work badge, my debit card, my FSA card (currently with $0 balance), Aldi gift card with $1.33 balance, an Aldi receipt for $98.67
$17 in cash, which is weird because I rarely carry cash and I don't remember why I have this
6 quarters (I drop a quarter in my purse whenever I think about it, so I always have one for Aldi)
2 nickels, 4 pennies
3 ink pens
Paper menu from the hot pot place, so next time we can remember what we got
Ticket from the Museum of Science and Industry from three weeks ago
"I Voted" sticker
Broken necklace that fell off at church; possibly not-broken earring that fell off at the museum
A little plastic shelf peg that has probably been hiding in the side pocket since we moved 2 years ago
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:45 AM on November 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

I've got a mom purse, even though I have no children, and it's a delight of my life to be able to pull something useful out of it at an opportune moment. Beside my actual purse stuff (day planner, wallet, keys, Kindle), I've got a lot of practical and a few whimsical items.

Practical: Tide pen; fold up shopping bag; travel kit containing mini toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, contact lens solution, contact lens case, nail clipper and file, bobby pins and hair clips; Korean spa socks; spare KN95 mask; fold-up brush; citronella bracelet; pens; Band-Aids; the big three OTC painkillers and two antihistamines; business card case with my husband's cards (he often needs them and never has any with); rape whistle; three pairs of good earplugs; tampons, disposable menstrual cup, condoms, lube; salt & pepper packets, tiny Tabasco, tea, sugar cubes in plastic, tiny packet of spice seasoning; a couple of pairs of stick-on emergency pasties; lotion sachets; makeup wipes; fashion tape; matches; tiny sewing kit; Square reader.

Whimsical: two tiny plastic frogs; a tiny golden trophy that I am waiting to award at a peak comedic moment; a six sided die.
posted by merriment at 5:58 AM on November 26, 2022 [8 favorites]

Wallet keys phone
Sunscreen and lidocaine cream (the latter because I'm doing electrolysis twice a week)
A meds organizer that is so delightfully nice that I wish I was able to google it up right now so I could recommend it
Somewhat embarrassingly, a sex toy that I got tired of leaving at my partner's place or vice versa so it just lives in my bag now in its own little dedicated pocket
Hair ties
A squashed granola bar, ok now we're getting down to the dregs
A security badge I forgot to return at the last office I worked at
My passport (!)
Some bills I keep forgetting to pay

In conclusion, thank you, Metafilter, for keeping me from losing my passport
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:02 AM on November 26, 2022 [8 favorites]

I have a shopping bag I'm happy with. It folds flat and opens up easily into a sturdy box. Supermarket checkers tell me that they prefer it to regular shopping bags. And it's easy for me to unpack at home.
posted by SPrintF at 6:14 AM on November 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

Dude here, so no bag, not even a European man bag. I woke up on Thanksgiving morning with a fever, headache, and it felt like there was a 50 lb bag of sand on my chest. I had COVID in late July, and I'm fully vaccinated, so wasn't surprised that I tested negative. I'm guessing it was the flu, but since I also got my flu shot what could have been a week in bed was one day on the couch, felt about 80% yesterday, and feeling back to normal today.

Vaccines work kids.
posted by COD at 6:39 AM on November 26, 2022 [5 favorites]

My EDC bag is this one by Saddleback Leather, which I’ve had for over a decade. It’s heavy but ridiculously durable and can be converted to a backpack. Inside are always a notebook of Tomoe River paper, and a Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six filled with four to six fountain pens—at the moment consisting of a Pelikan Souverän M1000 Green Stripe fitted with a n 18k Au double broad nib modified to formal italic by Mike Masuyama, a Franklin-Christophe Model 19 with their 1.9 mm steel music nib, a Visconti Cosmopolitan with a 23k Pd broad nib modified to Masuyama’s rounded nose cursive italic grind, an Onoto Pi Pen with a #8 Ti broad stub, and two empty slots I haven’t yet filed. Also have a Senz miniature automatic umbrella I keep in there—the weird shape means the backs of my legs don’t get soaked when it rains. There’s a pair of Kent Wang Keyhole Sunglasses in dark horn. And more often than not my iPad and MacBook Air are in there as well. Plus some shopping bags you can fold down really small and stuff into the little integrated pouch.
posted by slkinsey at 6:54 AM on November 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

I am a bag-within-a-bag proponent because I don't need to carry my work stuff with me when I'm not going to work but I do need the personal things in my work bag when I'm not at work. So I have this small sort-of-dopp-kit-bag that holds various make-up items, period products, pain relievers, a teeny first-aid kit, my wallet, and my phone, and that gets moved from work bag to personal bag as needed. In my work bag I also have a small moleskin notebook specific to a class I'm currently taking, a couple folders, my Origin E-Ink Notebook, and my work laptop.
posted by cooker girl at 7:17 AM on November 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have a large red purse.
Right now it has:
Wallet, kindle, keys, hair brush, lots of pens, pencils, A LOT of masks, mini tissue pack, iPod touch, earbuds, markers, toothbrush, my mom’s checkbook, bandaids, a small flat flashlight, lip balm, a hair tie, even MORE masks.
I forgot I had that little flashlight until just now.
posted by bookmammal at 7:44 AM on November 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

If you've got room in your bag and you don't have one already, you might consider a Narcan kit. Generally free, and might save a life someday.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:49 AM on November 26, 2022 [4 favorites]

I am currently having bad purse-luck: my previous one fell apart within about five seconds, despite being expensive; this one has held together quite nicely, despite being cheap, but is not quite the right size. I lug books and iPads around in my purse, so being unable to fit either of those things conveniently is not great. Anyway, my purse currently holds a wallet, masks, phone, keys, pen, and a backup drive.
posted by thomas j wise at 10:02 AM on November 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

I carry a backpack because even though I'm childfree, I am your mom friend and carry a lot of stuff. Plus I have arthritis with both autoimmune and joint implications, and a small backpack allows me to distribute the weight more easily.

Taking this opportunity to clean out my bag:
* small wallet with driver's license, insurance & credit cards to put in pocket for concerts where the pack is a no-go.
* second wallet with museum cards and other useful wallet-y things plus social cards to hand out to new acquaintances & businesses who need my info.
* prescription sunglasses
* checkbook and pen (OLD)
* bag with three surgical masks (autoimmune)
* EpiPen (autoimmune)
* Tapestry makeup bag containing: Benadryl (autoimmune), comb, emory board, lubricant eye drops, face powder, pocket size foundation, Thigh Rescue chafing stick (useful for feet trying to blister)
* Kiehl's hand salve (won't fit in the makeup bag)
* Tide pen
* two lipsticks and a gloss (sadly underused since I have to wear masks)
* fancy nail polish for when I get pedicures
* two Anker phone rechargers
* shoe horn (won't fit in the makeup bag)
* two monoculars for improving distance vision (pocket size, for concerts)
* earplugs in case (for concerts)
* pocket magnifying glass
* keys with Tile attached
* small zippered cloth jewelry bag with favorite necklace that needs a chain repair
* bag of silica gel that I think came with this bag to keep it dry in transit
* when traveling I add my bullet journal and its pen.

My phone is not currently living in there but does when I'm on the move.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 10:02 AM on November 26, 2022 [3 favorites]

seanmpuckett, good reminder. I was told not to walk around with Narcan because it can get too cold, but I just looked it up and apparently it's OK even after a freeze-thaw cycle. The only problem is it will not spray if it's actually frozen. But walking around with it in my bag would be OK.

And, yeah, Narcan is super simple to use. You probably won't need it, but if you do need it, nothing else will do and you could save a life. It's shelf-stable for a long time and even the expired ones will work for a good while-- put some in your first-aid kit.

I also recommend some hair ties and tampons. You can get tampons for free if you sign up for the sample kit the tampon company mails out. You will earn the undying gratitude of the people with hair and periods in your life because dealing with either of those things is a pain in the neck without supplies. Go on-- be a hero.

My bag contains:

The small emergency kit in a pink vinyl pencil case, which includes band aids, cough drops, generic allergy pills that I think I can take out because I'm not allergic to Alaska like I am to NY apparently, couple of Tylenol, needle + thread, earplugs, pen, pencil, sharpie, credit card, $20 in singles, $2 in quarters, floss, "Wisp" single use toothbrush, mint, comb, condom + lube that I should probably check the date on, hair tie, tampon, rubber band, glasses lens wipe, hand sanitizer wipe, tea bag, herbal tea bag with slippery elm for throats, spoon, lighter, shirt button, popsicle stick, notepad, instant fruit punch packet, lip balm, backup CR2032 for my bike lights, couple of dog poop bags, local bike street map, business cards, coffee gift card, mask, mask ear saver thing, pocket mirror, earbuds, backup septum retainer because I used to have to tuck it in for work and they tend to fall out a lot, backup ear tunnels because I tend to forget them, razor blade for assorted slicing, gum. There used to be a mini Tabasco in there but I used it. In the summer I bring after-bite cream, a head net, bug spray, and additional sunscreen. In the winter I have a space blanket, backup gloves, and a phone power bank.

I also have sunglasses for our 5 hours of sunlight, a day planner, pens, headphones, an mp3 player because I usually walk to work, my lunch (today: an apple, peanuts, two english muffins with sweet pickles and Kraft singles, ginger hibiscus kombucha), reusable coffee cup with coffee, two reusable grocery bags, some random notes to self, random Halloween candy, a crayon a kid handed me that I need to throw back in the crayon bucket at work, some stickers I got from which is incidentally where I got the Narcan, another spoon??, and the car keys because I drove today. I also have my ice skates because I'm going skating at the park after work!
posted by blnkfrnk at 11:58 AM on November 26, 2022 [3 favorites]

Metafilter: There used to be a mini Tabasco in there but I used it.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:10 PM on November 26, 2022 [7 favorites]

Oh, and Yak trax. I carabiner them to my bag when I go inside. I got the new ones with the diamond tread that looks like you're walking on a midcentury beaded bracelet and I love them.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:18 PM on November 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

My purse is not too cluttered: keys, wallet, pen, change, face mask, and a receipt or two. I'm not sure how that is possible except for the fact that my car is my "backpack on wheels" and much of the crap that would otherwise accumulate in a purse is simply in the car, which is in fact a cluttered disaster. This summer I started carrying a "farm purse" which is a waist pack that I can use to keep dog treats, horse treats, gnat veil, multitool, baling twine, and a wad of plastic grocery bags for dog poops/unplanned mushroom forages. I can just grab it and have things I need frequently and a place to put my keys and phone and so on when I am out and about on the property, walking the dogs, or going to the dog park/doing dog stuff and don't want to carry a shoulder bag. Vaguely considering getting a slightly larger convertible bag that can be worn as a crossbody bag or around the waist so I can consolidate the "farm purse" and "car purse" into one.
posted by drlith at 12:30 PM on November 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

My purse is pretty empty. Wallet, keys, phone and checkbook, a pill bottle with pain killers, hand sanitizer, an extra mask and some coupons for grocery shopping today.

My backpack for work is a different story. My laptop and mouse, folder with my lesson planning stuff, folder with Head Start stuff, folders for the kids' homework, a big ziplock bag with assorted medication, nail file, first aide kit and some stuff I'm probably forgetting, a bag with a bunch of extra masks and an umbrella.
posted by kathrynm at 1:11 PM on November 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

I bought this bag a little while ago and love it, if it’s in stock in your country it’s on sale.

Feeling lazy but what’s not in my bag is a little pouch of migraine meds and essentials that I’d carried for over a year as it’s been three months today since I’ve had a migraine! I only took it out a few weeks ago as it took a while to believe I wasn’t going to have another migraine as soon as I left the house.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:14 PM on November 26, 2022 [3 favorites]

Wallet, phone, and keys; sometimes in the summer a folded-up bandanna to wipe my sweaty brow. I never thought much about it, but after reading this tweet (Nitter link) I feel like some sort of damn superhero.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:46 PM on November 26, 2022

Kongs Pack

- One forty-five caliber automatic
- Two boxes of ammunition
- Four days' concentrated emergency rations
- One drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine,
vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills
- One miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible
- One hundred dollars in rubles
- One hundred dollars in gold
- Nine packs of chewing gum
- One issue of prophylactics
- Three lipsticks
- Three pair nylon stockings
posted by clavdivs at 2:55 PM on November 26, 2022 [5 favorites]

[insert obligatory Dr. Strangelove quote here]
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:53 PM on November 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

My daily driver bag is a Camelbak Mule backpack, and it’s optimized for my bike commute.

Two or three lip balms
Spare mask
Hair elastics
Travel toothpaste
Travel dental floss
Hand sanitizer
Emergen-C vitamin C packet
Panty liner
Travel sewing kit
Ear plugs
Cycling tube patch kit
Cycling multi-tool
Small bottle of ibuprofen, acetaminophen and melatonin
Small bag with Bandaids, q tips
Lightweight shopping bag
Neck gator
Four ziplock bags
Cycling rear blinky light
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:00 PM on November 26, 2022

My backpack has:
A spare mask
A book
A deck of playing cards
At least one pen
At least one pencil
A sketchbook
A penknife
B vitamins
Dry skin lotion
Store loyalty cards on a keychain
Assorted other doodads

I have a separate backpack for running D&D but since the whole kit for D&D doesn't fit in the backpack, I thought that would be excessive to go into.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:37 PM on November 26, 2022

Yarn, tools for working with yarn, hand sanitizer, pens, pencils, a pouch of stationary materials/sticky tabs/index cards, a book, cords for charging, water, glasses, umbrella, Excedrin. I am your basic "carrying a life supply kit + entertainment" person.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:48 PM on November 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

Wallet, which always has tons of receipts and junk in it.
plastic jar of menthol cough drops for asthma
plastic jar of corn starch for shoe soles - I go dancing and if my shoes are too grabby, it causes knee damage
zipper bag with lotion, small brush, lip balm, emergency underwear, toothbrush/paste
a few plastic bags
tiny 1st aid bag - spare meds, bandaids, pain killers
galsses case with emergency reading glasses, pens
tiny purse that is made of molas with hearing aid batteries
Nylon shopping bags because I cannot remember to bring a bag in to the store.
phone charger
often, a light dog leash. No treats because she always checks and steals them.
posted by theora55 at 5:50 PM on November 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

I carried a very small purse for a long time but it was not *quite* big enough to carry the minimum phone-wallet-checkbook. I tried for ages to find a suitable medium size bag but ended up with one that is much too big and is not filled even halfway.

But there's still a lot of stuff in there. Wallet with zippered change purse, 2 checkbooks (long story), 4 prescription bottles (3 for one dog, 1 for other dog), reading glasses in soft case, 2 KN95 masks, a mini hygrometer in small box I got recently (a suggestion in an Ask about humidifiers - I am still waiting for the humidifier to arrive), 4 pens, a small roll of dog waste bags, a 2" pad of post-it notes (blue), a few business cards, a half sheet of self-adhesive stamps, sanitizing wipes from recent plane trip, 1 peppermint and 1 orange ginger Dr Bronner's Organic Lip Balm, a mini lighter, some Welly flexible bandaids (narwhals and sloths), some Powerpuff Girls bandaids because I thought I was out of the other kind, a mini Native deodorant, phone charging cord, some tissues, nail file and recent store receipts.
posted by Glinn at 5:57 PM on November 26, 2022

I have a hand knotted shopping bag made from some heavy duty braided, waxed twine with little shell beads here and there. It compacts to very little and is always in my purse. It will hold 40 pounds of groceries, and clerks never fail to comment on it. My mother made it ~50 years ago. She studied geology and took an outdoor survival class on how to tie fish traps and etc. Otherwise I keep a comb, wallet, pen, reading glasses, sunglasses, keys, phone, in an inner pouch, I keep a second pair of reading glasses. This bag is large enough to hold 10 grapefruits, or other things I may gather, locally walnuts from my daughter's yard, or alley fruit. It used to serve as my light camera bag. It is babypoop brown.
posted by Oyéah at 6:05 PM on November 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

I carry a little Tom Bihn Sidekick which generally holds:

Sometimes phone, though that one usually stays in a pocket
AirPods or regular earbuds
A pen (Parker jotter usually)
A little notebook
A little pouch with bandaids, advil, lip balm, lens wipes and alcohol prep wipes
Hand sanitizer
Spare mask
Invisalign carrying case
A little tube of toothpaste
Travel toothbrush
Maybe a small book if it’s thin enough

I like that it’s a fairly thin, pretty inconspicuous bag that I can keep close to my chest or tuck under my coat. It’s gray with a light blue interior so easy to find things too. Love this thing.
posted by bxvr at 7:03 PM on November 26, 2022

Ok, since this thread is bringing out the bag nerds: does anyone make a bag that's well organized like Tom Bihn bags, but that doesn't feel like the miserable bastard child of a seatbelt and a lifejacket? This is purely a sensory thing for me (I'm autistic) but holy shit do I struggle having my body against that nasty tactical nylon they and a lot of their competitors use...
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:24 PM on November 26, 2022 [3 favorites]

I did a whole blog post on how I organized my everyday bag back in May 2021. I'd just bought myself a convertible bag for Christmas 2020, and then planning exactly what would go into it and then acquiring/making the perfect accessories for it became a project that took a few months. But it was worth it. A year and a half later, my bag is organized exactly as it was the day of of its photoshoot, and I've never felt the need to add anything else to it.

For anyone who doesn't want to bother reading my post, my bag holds my wallet, keys, calculator, tape measure, a tissue case, cough drops, a notebook, a pen, a compact umbrella, a tote bag, and a vanity case, which in turn holds a manicure kit, mirror compact, pill box containing ibuprofen and allergy meds, hand lotion, lip balm, hair pins, a comb, and tampons. I usually put my planner in there two, sometimes my camera, and in summer I also carry a water bottle.
posted by orange swan at 9:28 PM on November 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

The words that were just on the top of my tongue;
the One Ring;
the key to the Wikket Gate (and a towel);
a koch snowflake with recursive 2x 1/3 size koch snowflakes inside;
an invitation to Finnegan's Wake, though it's only a little death;
Buzz Lightyear;
indices to American Literary Canon and White European Literary Canon so, when I tell you it's canon or not, I speak authoritatively;
some kind of quantum tunnel because these things aren't always to hand when I reach for them.

(Outside my bag are public transit and free-at-point-of-use healthcare, which are both under attack from the thing we call civilisation -- do I have anything in my bag to help with that?)
posted by k3ninho at 3:23 AM on November 27, 2022 [3 favorites]

My bag has several other bags in it, in case I need to carry more than my bag’s capacity. I also have:
a small notebook for recording glaze combinations in the pottery studio; it is the default thing I offer my kid when we are at a restaurant so it’s also got drawings of unicorns and a bunch of homemade wordsearch games
a zipper pouch with makeup items I never use, also ibuprofen which I do use
a smaller zipper pouch with a clean handkerchief
several pens
a lip balm
a small coin purse (if there is more than 50 cents in it my bag is noticeably heavier, so I empty it regularly)
an old grocery list or 2
a scarf

I sometimes carry a jackknife, but recently the TSA took one away and it made me so mad that I haven’t put one back in.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 5:26 AM on November 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

I never got around to putting away my carry-on suitcase from a recent trip, and I ended up using it to stack laundry. Then I adopted a rescue dog and his favorite bed is this suitcase full of clean laundry. So what’s in my bag most of the time is some towels, a pillowcase, and a terrier.
posted by moonmilk at 5:53 AM on November 27, 2022 [9 favorites]

How is there no image link in that comment, moonmilk?
posted by obfuscation at 6:32 AM on November 27, 2022 [4 favorites]

Because every time I pay any attention to the doggy, even just to take out the phone camera, he gets excited and leaps up to see me. And also because I'm struggling to find a way to frame the photo that hides all the clutter around it. (He also pulled a bunch of dirty clothes out of the hamper to make a nest next to his clean suitcase bed, and he occasionally alternates between the two.)
posted by moonmilk at 6:47 AM on November 27, 2022 [6 favorites]

*nods* that checks out
posted by obfuscation at 7:54 AM on November 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Daily carry, work week:

* personal cell
* Keys
* Work cell
* wallet
* checkbook with its various ID/credit/insurance/etc. cards
* Passport
* reading glasses
* day planner
* small portable shopping bag for emergency grocery runs
* small notebook
* 3 fountain pens
* zippered pouch with more pencils, notebooks, address envelopes and stamps
* smaller zippered pouch with cosmetic stash, eyeglass cleaner, and the mojo bag I made in New Orleans during Mardi Gras 2020

Two or three days a week: add a bag lunch.

On occasion:

* letters or Netflix DVDs that need to be dropped in a mailbox
* books I need to wrap up and mail out for Paperback Book Swap exchanges (I do that at my desk at work)
* mail I need to read/sort/deal with
* books I'm reading
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:00 AM on November 27, 2022

And these days the bag in question is a leather tote that goes with everything and is big enough for all that. I even used it to bring my 17-inch laptop home for Thanksgiving.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:01 AM on November 27, 2022

OK, after a long walk, Ozzy relaxed enough that I was able to get a photo of him in his suitcase bed. He still opened his eyes but was too sleepy to get up and ruin the photo.

instagram or imgur
posted by moonmilk at 9:57 AM on November 27, 2022 [10 favorites]

Oh yeah, it's exactly a month today since I met Ozzy and about 4 weeks since I officially adopted him!
posted by moonmilk at 10:09 AM on November 27, 2022 [5 favorites]

Totally worth the wait
posted by obfuscation at 10:18 AM on November 27, 2022 [3 favorites]

like 7 masks in various states of freshness. wallet, SUNGLASSES. a scrunchie, always! my keys, usually.

cell phone, hanky, lip balm get put in the bag if I am actually leaving the house and going some where. as if...
posted by supermedusa at 11:03 AM on November 27, 2022

also, yesterday was a 'fixing' day, which felt really good.

I darned two socks (which came out pretty great!)
and I had a broken vase (made by a friend) which I fixed with 'kintsugi' of elmer's glue and antique gold luster pigment. it came out pretty decently.
posted by supermedusa at 11:08 AM on November 27, 2022 [4 favorites]

I empty my bag completely when I get home because otherwise things spawn and/or hide in there.

When I’m out: Two folded shopping bags, an extra battery for the phone, tiny journal for lists, and a fountain pen are all routine. Today, add an account book for the group I’m treasurer for. and a tiny folding umbrella

I don’t put my phone, wallet or keys in my bag ever. The keys are clipped to my belt loop and the phone and wallet are in my back pockets. My bus pass is on a lanyard around my neck. Masks are the only thing that doesn’t have a consistent home.

All this is to say I’m the kind of person who can lose anything and today I went about the bookstore asking if anyone had seen the glasses that were ON MY FACE at the time.

I carry a different bag every day to remind me to empty them.
posted by Peach at 12:27 PM on November 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

I switch up bags sometimes. Today’s is a hand me down I got when my old purse broke while visiting a friend in Australia. I wanted to buy a new one but she was unloading stuff in preparation for a year as a boat person, so, free purse. Today it contains:

Papers from when I got my COVID booster
A handout from a thing at school
The ticket for the antique Santa train I am currently sitting on
A receipt from the Piggly Wiggly
A spare N95
My Aranet4 monitor, which tells me that the CO2 on the antique Santa train I am currently sitting on is, at present, 4584 ppm, making me very glad for carrying N95s
My keys, attached to a small green wallet containing a couple of debit cards, some cash, my staff ID, and a bunch more business cards
The Golden Nature Guide to Trees (1956)
A single packet Wet Wipe
Two packets of pepper
A bottle of ibuprofen (expired 2/2020)
A bottle of nail polish (turquoise)
Two pens
Business cards from two medical people
An ice cream punch card (2 punches)
That hair clip I’ve been looking for for the past month
A plastic fork
Several broken crayons.
posted by eirias at 1:24 PM on November 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Being a work-from-home person these days means I hardly ever carry my bag around. Over my years of commuting, I gradually grew the collection of things in my bag and then, when I changed from a backpack to my current black leather messenger bag, shrunk the collection again. Forgetting to take things like multi-tools and lighters out before flying forcibly reduced the contents further. Currently in the bag are:
Business cards
Pen (2) and pencil
Small packet of tissues
One fresh, one used cloth mask
Ibuprofen (one card from a packet)
Passport (ah, that's where I left it!!!!!)
Various charging cables and a power bank
All the various loyalty, membership and other assorted cars I no longer carry in my now-non-existent wallet
When I'm going through security at the airport, my phone, glasses and anything else I have in my pockets get added to the bag so I don't leave them behind.
posted by dg at 3:16 PM on November 27, 2022

What has it got in its pocketses?
posted by Mom at 5:53 PM on November 27, 2022

I usually wear my Gearslinger, designed to carry a small laptop* & handgun. No longer needing either much, it's fine for remote sites & day trips, and great for photography, as it rotates around my torso for gear access.

Not as mobile as before Covid as business improved just as Covid hit (so needed less sales) and Q//USian/far right agitation surfaced New Zealander's selfishness (idiots wanting to catch the new bug) making long trips a chore. But I'm still on a site every few weeks, or photo'ing plants so I still need my bag, which normally has:

Water bottle
Vice grips and a centre punch
Folding knife / jack-knife
Face mask
Pen / pencil / notebook / Post-Its
Gas lighter and a military can opener/spoon
LED torch &/ head torch
Camera - Lumix 4/3 & 19mm lens
Phone cable & plug
GPS , tape-rule, laser measure (depending)
Business cards
A very light North-Face rain jacket (good for a non-windy showers only)
Often a small novel
Ziplocs - for samples (if I remember)

* I used to carry a chromebook for email/office but now mainly just carry my phone and record my meetings or use speechnotes and email myself the passable auto-transcription from the field.

Fascinating reading people's lists!

moonmilk, I'm not a dog person but ozzy makes the third interesting dog I've seen this month, the others are people I've been chatting to in Alaska and Liverpool.
posted by unearthed at 9:27 PM on November 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

As a cis-presenting 13 yo boy, I had a (real) leather lady's "micro" backpack (that disintegrated halfway through college), had boring backpacks until starting my MSc in 2002 and got a leather "soft briefcase" with a shoulder strap. After being weathered, I called it my "wrinkled black mansack." I came out to myself as transgen completely around 2012. I replaced that purse this year (2022) with a thrift-store pickup Kenneth Cole Reaction (small) "soft briefcase" that disintegrated immediately. I now have a leather Samsonite soft leather briefcase with a shoulder strap - and yeah, it's a purse - that I can fit a 2-Tupperware lunch into. It'll take a 1.75 handle of liquor just fine, too.

Lots of comparments and subcompartments. From front to back, main comparment to mini compartments.

- Nin Jiom throat lozanges
-- A felt Sharpie, a gel Sharpie, and a stylus
-- Moisturizer (Biotherm homme), eye drops (the bad Visine stuff for redness) - needs lip balm
-- Lighter, mini multi-screwdriver, mini pliars/ wirecutter - this needs an upgrade
-- Nail clippers w/ file, packet of tissue
-- Tight leather gloves
-- Super tear drops (lubricating), microfiber cloth (from a DiNovo Edge)
-- Zigzag cigarette papers, pouch of coins - I should probably hide some bills somewhere, too despite loonies and toonies.
-- Hedgehog umbrella, good air-tight produce poly bag
- Vendor-branded liquid-resistant-covered Moleskin notebook - I need to throw in another pen
posted by porpoise at 9:45 PM on November 27, 2022

For light, I have a cellphone and a 3stack-of-watch-batteries LED light on my keychain. I have no idea why I'm apparently obsessed with light - I just realized that I have a LED Maglight Solitaire in my leather jacket's inner breast pocket along with lip balm (other pockets are filled with a folded up spare N95 mask, an USB arc lighter, a 3 jet butane lighter).

Since starting my current job, I swapped out a 3.5" EDC flipper folder for an (original) Titaner, on the same keychain.

I am a big big fan of Nite Ize S-Biner's MicroLock for building keychain hubs. Tons of value for the price. The lock detail makes it Aces. They come in bigger sizes too.
posted by porpoise at 9:59 PM on November 27, 2022

Ever since I managed to get my feet wet at work years ago I've carried an extra pair of socks. I've got the shoes I come to work in, and a set of sandals I use indoors, and a set of steel toe shoes when I need to go to a lab or into production, so the shoes side is usually sorted if one pair gets wet, but work does not provide dry socks for us if we have an accident.

Even in an office setting, wet feet are miserable...
posted by Harald74 at 12:25 AM on November 28, 2022

I always find these threads fascinating, especially everyone with the really comprehensive bags full of stuff.

These days I try to carry as little as possible and would love to carry even less. Right now that is a relatively small front pocket wallet, phone, handkerchief, and keys (normally just housekey; I add the car key if I'm going to be driving). I'd love to stop carrying the wallet and/or phone, but haven't quite figured that out currently; I also would like to switch the front door to a smart lock with no key needed.

Now that I've started needing reading glasses I need to figure out a way to carry those along. It's easy in the winter when I am wearing a jacket with pockets but I haven't found a good solution in warm weather.

condoms, lube; salt & pepper packets, tiny Tabasco,

These are all completely reasonable things to carry but listing them out in that order made me smile, trying to imagine the scenario where all would be utilized at one time.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:27 AM on November 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

I always find these threads fascinating, especially everyone with the really comprehensive bags full of stuff.

LOL - if I were still stage managing I'd blow your mind. My stage managers' kit had everything in it - it weighed 20 pounds or so.

And I once completely amazed a bunch of strangers (I've told this story before, am telling it again) - I was in a subway tunnel changing trains when the woman ahead of me on the stairs stumbled, fell, and knocked out one of her teeth. I was one of three people who stopped to take care of her. And both the other people and the woman who stumbled all then were amazed when I reached into my bag and pulled things out one by one -

* Antiseptic wipes to clean up any scrapes she had,
* A bandage for a small cut she had,
* A handful of safety pins so she could pin up a small rip in her skirt,
* A plastic baggie to hold her tooth,
* Another plastic baggie to hold the leftover ice from my drunk-up iced coffee so she could keep her tooth on ice,
* A copy of the NOT FOR TOURISTS' guide which I consulted to find the nearest emergency room (only 2 blocks away, and the other people who stopped said they'd walk her there), and
* A couple Hershey's kisses to cheer her up.

Basically it was like I was Mary Poppins with her carpet bag.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:21 AM on November 28, 2022 [5 favorites]

This is the honest assessment, as of just now, and I'm not proud of it
posted by thivaia at 11:18 AM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Count me as another person with a wallet full of random receipts, utility/store/payment cards, out-of-date notes, scribbled phone numbers, etc. For some reason I still receive/exchange contact details on paper rather than straight onto my mobile. Age and caution, probably

Do a "thinning out" of the crap in my wallet whenever it gets too fat or my trouser-style gets too skinny, but some stuff seems to survive the purges. Mostly mementoes mori, notably an Edward Monkton Pig of Happiness which Mum gave me years ago (he is so happy). Got a broken Cathedral gift shop cross in there identical to my first one which also broke in the same way. Avoiding picking up a third lest I be struck down for good when it inevitably breaks, like Pac-Man or a Jumanji remake character or something
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 1:06 PM on November 28, 2022

I bought a Soul Jazz record bag (that's not the exact one I have, but it's pretty close) at the label's Sounds of the Universe store when my wife and I were over there in 2018, and on a good day it has records inside it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:27 PM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

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