Everyday Carry

For long time now, ever since watching Mary Poppins, or more recently when watching Jack Bauer in the early seasons of 24, I have wondered what one should keep in one’s bag on a daily basis. In the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams somewhat tongue in cheek espouses the massive usefulness of a towel and implies that you almost need nothing else as a seasoned inter-galactic traveller.

It turns out that I am not the only one to wonder such things and many sites are dedicated to the topic. Some show glorious photos of people’s seemingly rather exotic collection of gadgets (e.g. everydaycarry), whilst others offer these gadgets for sale (e.g. edcgear). Tempting as it may be to buy titanium and ferrocerium fire-starters, I question whether most of this ‘everyday’ carry stuff would actually be used at all in an urban setting let alone ‘every day’.

By contrast, the list below is a mixture of stuff that I do actually use every day and things that I might genuinely need in an emergency / rare (but not extremely unlikely) situation.

Although messenger bags are very trendy (if a bit 5 minutes ago), and old school leather briefcases are very fancy, you cannot beat the sheer comfort and practicality of a proper rucksack - preferably not a hideous boxy laptop bag with crappy straps - but a something that quietly gets on with the job and doesn’t clash too badly with the suits still required by us non-hipsters. My view is that you are better off with a more comfortable bag than spending countless hours and money trying to shed a few grams and compromising on functionality (an iPad is NOT a sensible substitute for an ultrabook / light laptop - unless you intend to be almost completely unproductive).

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