Professor Ellis requested an update to my current travel kit and I happen to have it all laying around since I just got back to town so that seemed like a worthwhile endeavor. It should be unsurprising to anyone reading this who didn’t get here by accident that I try really hard to maximize usage and minimalize parts so that I have a simple set up that works no matter what or where I’m going – though admittedly I’m always fine tuning it. Let’s start with bags.
I have 3 bags – I never take more than 2 of them.
- A no-brand thick canvas shoulder bag that is purposely too small to fit my laptop.
- A Mission Workshop Sanction backpack
- A Rimowa Cabin Tolley rollerboard suitcase.
If I’m going somewhere for under 48 hours then I take the backpack only, more than that I go with the shoulder bag and suitcase. In some situations I’ll shake that up – for instance if I know it’s raining where I’m heading or if I expect that I’ll be walking a lot and needing to bring stuff with me on those walk then the backpack comes and the shoulder bag might even be shoved inside it. The driving bit behind this is that I want the very least amount of stuff with me as possible in the seat on the plane, so the small shoulder bag is typically what I shove under the seat in front of me and everything else goes in the over head. Which might as well lead us to what I keep in that shoulder bag:
- iPad Mini Retina with privacy screen
- Kindle Paperwhite
- 8.5 x 5 notebook, currently this is a Moleskine Classic Notebook but I’ll probably be switching to the Livescribe 5.5 x 8.25 Lined Journal shortly.
- Eyeshade – nothing special here, the one I currently have I got free in a business class care package sometime last year.
- Pen – Currently a Karra’s Customs RETRAKT in copper, but likely switching to Livescribe 3 Smartpen in not too distant future.
- If it’s an exceptionally long flight I might also bring a plug and charger for the iPad. I standardized around Apple’s 12W USB charger because it charges much faster than the smaller 5W one that comes with iPhones.
- Bacitracin First aid Antibiotic Ointment, USP – 1/2 Oz
- Stanley 4-in-1 Pocket Screwdriver
- Streamlight LED Pen Flashlight
And that’s pretty much it. Again, in a specific situation I might add or swap something in there but that’s typically what I default to.
I have a few other things I keep in the suitcase and then pull out once I arrive places for on the go working and using. Almost all of these things are contained in one of these small zipper pouches and held together with these gear ties.
Various short cords – Nothing longer than 6 inches, preferably under 2 inches. There are several brands that make cords like this in all the usuals: USB, Lightning, Mini and Nano USB etc. I have several brands all mixed together and I’m fairly impartial to which. In some cases I couldn’t find a short cord so I busted out scissors and a soldering iron and cut a cord down to size and then put it back together. At home, at a desk, a cord with some length can be helpful – on the road it just gets in the way. I’m never connecting something that isn’t right next to it, so no need for any extra cabling.
My main computer is the newest 11″ MacBook Air. I have one of the cheaper chromebooks at home but everytime I attempt to use it I get frustrated and then it sits unused for a few months. In rare occasions I’ll take the laptop into a plane seat with me, but generally I leave it in my suitcase and rely on the iPad for in flight. Especially after leaving my laptop in the seatback pocket on a flight to Hawaii last year.
For travel coffee I still rely on my trusty Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder. If you subscribe to my Quarterly box I just sent you one of these. Pair that with a plastic Hario 02 Coffee Dripper (I keep the ceramic version at home) and you have an awesome set up for in hotel room coffee.