Inspired by a post on The Simple Dollar, I thought it would be fun to spill the contents of my trusty messenger bag for all the world to see.
As you may know, I commute by bicycle whenever the weather and my schedule permit, and sometimes even when they don’t! Since I work many places other than my office (home, coffee shops, local parks, etc.) I tend to keep most of what I need to work with me in my bag, since you never know what you might need when. I must admit, the eclectic mix of contents surprised even me. Read on to see what’s inside:
As you can see in the picture above (click for hi-res), I can cram quite a bit into my Dana Designs Ti messenger bag. I got the bag on ebay four or five years ago and even though I’ve thought of replacing it recently, as it’s starting to show some wear and tear, I simply can’t find anything else I like as much as this one!
Now for the grand list: (starting bottom center and moving counter-clockwise)
- Toshiba Laptop w/ extended-life battery
- Laptop power adapter
- Audio cables – mini-DIN to mini-DIN and mini-DIN to RCA (useful for connecting the laptop to other audio systems)
- Note pad – for those times when I’m feeling a little “analog”
- Blackberry Curve 8330 – don’t leave home without it!
- Plantronics bluetooth headset
- Bluetooth GPS receiver
- Reading materials – I’ve always got an assortment of books, magazines, etc. in my bag. Pictured are The Green Bible, Tim Keller’s The Reason for God, the latest Christian Century, and some premarital counseling materials
- Garage door opener
- Bike Richmond map – in case I meet anyone who needs a copy
- Assortment of writing devices: 2 pens, a pencil, and a couple mini sharpies
- Anointing oil
- Spare 1GB microSD card with miniSD and full-size adapters
- 6′ low-profile ethernet cable
- SwissBit – Swiss army knife / 512MB USB drive
- Chap stick
- Inexpensive Koss earbuds – the cat ate my good ones …
- Rubber bands
- $1.01 in pocket change – I don’t always keep this exact amount but I always have some stashed just in case
- Spare Blackberry battery
- Business cards – they make good bookmarks too
- Microfiber cleaning cloth
- LED flash light
- Paper clips
- Mini USB cable – for the Blackberry, GPS, and anything else that might need it!
Just for the record, all of this is in my bag intentionally, not just because I put it in there one day and have never taken it out. And yes, I was an Eagle Scout (be prepared!) It’s amazing how often I find myself making use of some of these things, even the more unusual ones.
The bag, packed with all of the goodies pictured, weighs exactly 15 pounds. While it may seem like a lot all listed out like this, note that many of these things weigh just a few ounces each. Also note what’s not here: scads of papers, crumpled up receipts, and so on. I make it a point to file such things quickly (or eliminate them entirely) so I don’t have to worry about lugging them around.
Keeping the contents of my bag streamlined allows for plenty of extra room to add things like a light jacket or lunch and snacks when I’m heading out on the bike.
So there you have it: the mystery of my messenger bag, exposed.