What do you carry with you?

Robert Bogue just asked the question and I wish I'd seen a list like this long ago, so here it is. 

Shoulder Bag - a 2006 MOSS conference bag

  • Cell phone: HTC P4350. WiFi, Bluetooth, a pop-out keyboard, a 2 Mp camera, mic, WM5 with Skype and PocketStreets.
  • Zune music player and synch cord. Brown, of course. 
  • Camera - Canon SD600 Elph with a spare 2 GB memory card and spare batteries (<$10 on eBay). For taking pictures of whiteboards. Then I can drop the SD card into the laptop and e-mail 'em straight to whomever wants a copy (no cables!).
  • Laptop - HP Compaq nw8440 supplied by the office. Despite a fast CPU and 3 GB RAM, I do not like this laptop. It's bulky and the video adapter sucks. Essential travel software: Virtual PC, MapPoint / Streets and Trips, Skype.
  • The GPS that came with Streets and Trips and a Pharos Bluetooth dock.
  • Kensington Noise-canceling headphones. <$40 from Amazon or Fry's Outpost. Maybe not the best but they make a big difference. In a bag with an airplane adapter and Y-splitter.
  • 450 GB HDD in a powered enclosure with eSATA and USB 2.0 ports. An eSATA cable. It stays in the suitcase in-flight. For VPC images and install files.
  • 60 GB 3.5" USB drive, small enclosure. Holds backup VPC images for the day the big drive craps out.
  • 2 GB USB key and a couple smaller ones. To pass docs and decks around.
  • Microsoft Presenter Mouse 8000. Comes with a Bluetooth dongle and a hard-shell case. Thanks Lawrence!
  • USB AC wall charger (for charging the Zune/phone/devices). $15 to $20 from almost anywhere.
  • USB car charger. $15 from Best Buy. It's made for an iPod but you can dump the cables and just keep the part that does the work.
  • USB battery charger (takes AA or AAA) to charge batteries for the mouse or headphones.
  • 2 USB cables with the small end, one with the large end (a backup cable for the external drive).
  • Laptop lock. Better safe than stupid.
  • Pen. Business cards. Gum. Pop Rocks.
  • Ziploc with spare AA, AAA and camera batteries.
  • Ziploc where I swap my US/Canadian change back and forth.
  • A Sucrets box stuffed with ibuprofen, loratadine and pseudo-ephedrine.
  • Pre-filled border border crossing forms. Everything but the flights, dates and signature.

Suitcase - G. Loomis roller carry-on bag

  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000. I buy the same for people I want to Skype from the road. Maybe an NX-6000 next.
  • Powered speakers (2xAAA) - iSymphony W-SPKR, $20 or $30 from Fry's Outpost. Not large enough for great sound, but a great small design. 
  • 3' 3.5mm M-M cable connector to plug the Zune into rental cars with an MP3 input. Make sure it's stereo.
  • Camera battery wall charger.
  • Sometimes my old Toshiba M205-S810 tablet. Tablets are the best for taking notes. I wish I had an M7 and I'd never need to carry two.
  • Packable rain jacket.
  • Clothes - pants, shorts, 4-5 shirts, runners, essentials, plus what I'm wearing
  • Traveller Speedster Guitar, a Smokey Amp and spare strings (the gig bag fits in a rod holder pouch on the roller bag). For trips of more than a couple days.
  • Shaving kit:
    • Get a TOOB or something like it.
    • Shaving oil packs smaller than foam or soap, conditioner works too. Band-aids, razor, sample-size deodorant, extra painkillers.
    • Get some tiny bottles for shampoo and aftershave, and smaller ones for pills and emergency supplies of chili, cayenne and tobasco. Any camping store (or MEC). 


  • Moleskine notebook. I'll type notes into the PDA but sometimes paper's simpler or there are drawings. These have a little flap in the back cover to tuck receipts into.
  • Passport, money, matches.


  • Airlines lose things. Check no bags. Make it all fit in a roller suitcase and a shoulder bag. All this stuff? It's small. There's usually plenty of space left over in the roller case.
  • In case forced to check luggage, carry everything with you that you really need.
  • Get everything that needs power down to USB - phone, Zune, battery charger. And then to be able to charge these from either laptop, an outlet or a car.
  • Pack associated things together with small sacks, Ziplocs, Sucrets boxes, etc.
  • Leave room in the roller case to bring back duty free or surprises. Whatever you forget, you can get it there.


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