Ross Ipsa Loquitur Blog – What’s in Your Bag? Deconstructing My Mobile Kit

I’m constantly asked by clients, colleagues, friends, Romans, countrymen (countrypeople?), “what do you have in your laptop bag?” Or “can you tell me what’s in your mobile office bag?”

So here’ goes – a deconstruction, item-by-item, of what’s in my mobile bag.

Mobile office equipment has many personal elements so there are many “right” approaches. My cred is that I’m about to hit 1,000,000 Delta flight miles (which might not sound like a big deal for overseas regulars, but this is made up almost exclusively of MANY short-haul segments over the years). In other words, I travel ALOT. My mobile kit has evolved constantly and will likely always do so (in part because of my obsessive infatuation with mobile gear and the search for the “perfect” complement of mobility tools/gizmos/gadgets/accoutrements, etc.).

So with that said, here’s what’s in my laptop bag right now, about 38,000 feet over the middle of the country as I head to Phoenix for CLE and client work:
  • Laptop – Toshiba Portege Z835-P330 – vintage June 2012 – 2.5 lbs and totally loveable, sometimes I also bring my 2013-acquired  Macbook Air too (13″ model)
  • Laptop power supply – Targus Ultrabook laptop power supply – smaller and lighter than the original included Toshiba adaptertr
  • Tablet: iPad 3 with a Zagg ProFolio+ keyboard case
  • Tablet: Google Nexus 7 with a Shark keyboard cover
  • E-Reader: Kindle Basic Reader
  • Phone: iPhone 4S with a Mophie battery pack
  • Phone: Samsung Galaxy S3
  • Envelope to hold my travel receipts (sometimes originals are actually required . . . still . . . sheesh)
  • Klipsh earphones
  • My cable/connector/adapter bag with a combo iDock connector and micro USB,, two other retractable micro USB cables, one retractable mini USB cable, one USB A retractable cable, several charger ends for USB cables with 1.2 and 2.1 amp versions, Micro-SD card reader (USB), micro USB to female USB (to connect USB devices to the Nexus 7, iPad dock to HDMI, iPad dock to VGA, iPad dock to card reader adapter, retractable HDMI cable – all in a nice, slim, padded Caselogic zippered bag (I’m a neat freak about my mobile gear and also obsessed with retractable cables – unorganized cable snacks give me the heebie-jeebies in a dangerously OCD kind of way)
  • AC extension cable
  • Tripplite Traveler laptop surge protector
  • Portable flat duct tape (36″)
  • Titanium spork
  • Several pens including my favorite Montblanc “Legrand” ballpoint
  • My latest remote pointer – Logitech Professional R800 with an eerily cool green laser
  • Altoid Minis
  • Tide-to-Go stick
  • Comb
  • Mini-Kleenex pack
  • One dose each of Dayquil and Nyquil capsules (Walgreens generic editions of both)
  • Smallest Tylenol pack – the 10 capsule tube
  • One dose of Pepto tablets
  • One dose of Imodium
  • Extra Energizer Ultimate AAA batteries (for the pointer)
  • Canon X Bluetooth mouse with calculator
  • Mini Bluetooth USB adapter for the Toshiba (I think it’s a Kensington model)
  • ScannerVuPoint Magic Wand handheld scanner (RV-44 model with 32 Gb MicroSD card
  • 64 Gb flash drive (very tiny Sandisk model)
  • 16 Gb backup flash drive (Kingston, also tiny)
  • My favorite USB fan/light (a Thermaltake X-JOG model now discontinued – when I heard they were killing th e model I bought a dozen of them so I’ll never be without one :-))
  • Very small Swisstech multi-tool (no knife blade)
  • Business cards (duh)
  • Current issues of Road & Track and Smithsonian magazine
  • Crystal Light lemonade packets for water bottles
  • My car keys attached to my Swissgear bag by a special clip so I always know where it is
  • Moleskine notepad (small)
  • Swissgear TSA-friendly backup – ultra-slim model with side- access to laptop ($45 at TJ Maxx – and my favorite laptop bag ever including the panoply of Victorinox and Tumi bags I’ve wasted so  much money on over the years)
  • Ultra-compact umbrella from Brookstone (the product of some overly long layover) with an LED light in its handleNo portable printer – I have ALWAYS found printers to connect to on the road – which is why I include a retractable USB A-B connector.
No portable printer – I have ALWAYS found printers to connect to on the road – which is why I include a retractable USB A-B connector.
All of these are surprisingly light – and the particular backpack design makes it really comfortable to sling over my shoulder and hike really long distances in airports like MSP where the end of F to the end of A is an incredibly long walk (but good exercise :-)). I’ll weigh it when I have a chance and report on it. But it’s the lightest kit I’ve carried in years in spite of all the stuff inside.
And you might be wondering, with that mass of cables and electronica with lithium ion batteries, do I get constantly flagged by the TSA? Virtually never – go figure, they’d rather hassle the octogenarian behind me who inadvertently left a more-than-3-oz bottle of Maalox in her purse.I hope this is helpful in some way.Anyone else want to divulge the complete contents of their mobile kit?