John Large Everyday Carry

Everyday Carry – Tech geek

John Large Everyday Carry
John Large Everyday Carry

1. The North Face e-tip lightweight gloves
2. 2000mAh Battery Bank
3. Mulberry Wallet
4. Oyster Card & Amsterdam OV-Chipkaart
5. Compact umbrella
6. Oakley (4+1)2 Polarized sunglasses
7. Notebook & Parker Jotter pen
8. Nixon – The Sentry watch
9. Multi-tool
10. Huawei E160 3G dongle
11. Sandisk 16GB Flash Drive
12. Apple iPhone 6
13. Apple iPod classic 5th Generation U2 Special Edition Black/Red (30 GB)
14. Keys on Element Lanyard
15. Apple EarBuds
16. Retractable iPod cable
17. Micro USB short lead
18. Apple lighting cable & power adaptor
19. Spare GiffGaff sims
20. Integral SD card reader

I’ve been meaning to do an Everyday carry post for so long but I keep putting it off for various reasons. I recently saw the Mitch Altman post over on Everyday Carry and decided to finally lay out all of the contents of my Backpack and take some photos for my Everyday Carry post.

I must start with the thing that isn’t actually in this picture. It’s the backpack itself which is a 12-year-old Jansport backpack. They guarantee these things for life & I can only speak highly of these backpacks. I’ve had one since I was 16 and Only bought this one 12 years back when someone burgled my apartment in Manchester whilst I was out celebrating my birthday & escaped with the contents of my DVD collection & my mini-disc using non other than my own backpack!

Anyway onto the actual contents of the backpack.

The first item I carry is essential in Britain. They are pretty old now but perfectly serviceable, The North Face e-tip gloves. They are designed for use with a smart phone and have rubbery grip pads on the fingers & palm & a special conductive coating on the finger & thumb to allow you to use a smart phone without taking off your gloves. In a country like the UK this is vital as answering calls & checking emails can be miserable in cold, wet weather. With these gloves I can use my smartphone fairly well for basic tasks (as much as you would want to in the middle of wind & rain) without the need to take them off. Absolutely essential in my kit now.

The second item I carry is a cheap & cheerful 2000mAh battery bank. This bank was only a few pounds from a high street retailer & allows me to charge my phone to 100% from empty off a single charge. This is vital when I’m out & about in the city, listening to music, taking videos & photos & generally hammering the cellular connection. If I stop for a coffee or a meal I often try to charge from a wall outlet but having this backup is vital when I’m on the go. Also great for traveling as an emergency backup. It includes a handy torch & can charge any USB device.

The third item in my backpack is my Mulberry wallet. This wallet was extremely expensive & not something I would have purchased myself. It was a special gift from my wife for my 30th birthday & I absolutely love it. The leather is amazing (the smell is still as good as it was when new) and the craftsmanship is beautiful. I see this lasting many years and the internal layout is ideal for me.

The fourth items are mass transit cards. I also have Berlin & New York cards but I tend not to carry them with me all the time. I love RFID technology & these cards are great talking points when people see them. It always sparks interest from similar geeks. The OV Chipkaart is from Amsterdam & is always loaded with about €40 as it saves time when we get into Amsterdam Schiphol. We can get straight onto the train into Amsterdam & then directly onto buses or trams. I hope to collect even more RFID cards from around the world. Do you know of any cool looking cards & the cities that use them?

The fifth item is my trusty Hema compact Umbrella. This has kept me dry on many  wet Amsterdam/Manchester day and it so small it sits in the bottom of my backpack. A pretty boring item but essential.

The sixth item from my backpack are my Oakley (4+1)2 (fives squared) sunglasses. These sunglasses are pretty indestructible. Before them I went through 4 pairs of Bollé sunglasses & they all fell apart. I’ve had these for 4 years now and they look just as good as the day I got them. They have seen so many cities & are used daily. No scratches or marks or signs they are about to give up. Sunglasses are important as I wear contact lenses so squinting just creates issues. Not to mention the fact I like to protect my eyes, especially when driving.

The seventh item in my everyday carry is a notebook & trusty Parker gel ink pen. I’ve got a selection of these pens, all the same style & they are brilliant. They never dry up. The notebook is for jotting things down before I copy them to my calendar or notes on the phone. Always good to have an analogue backup.

The eight item is an everyday carry item that doesn’t go in my backpack. It’s my Nixon ‘The Sentry’ watch. I’ve had Nixon watches for about 17 years now and this is only my second one (I Still have the first which is a Nixon ‘The Key’). This watch is amazing. It takes an absolute beating, I’ve hit it against pretty much everything imaginable and it survives completely in tact. It has a slight raised metal bezel around the glass so almost impossible to scratch or break the face. Looks as good as the day I got it 3 years ago and still on the original battery. I’m not one for flash watches but I like to use well made things. Nixon are amazing & just what I need.

My ninth item is a simple multi-tool. This has a really thick cover with velcro so it doesn’t damage other items in my bag. It converts into a handy pair of pliers and also includes three screwdrivers, a knife, a saw, a file and a bottle opener. I like this over a standard pen knife as the pliers prove invaluable & have got me out of a few sticky scrapes with PC builds, servers & with the car.

The tenth item is my Huawei E160 USB 3G dongle. This doesn’t see too much love nowadays since I tend to use the personal hotpost on my iPhone 6, but it’s always loaded with a prepay sim & ready to topup if it’s ever needed. I always travel with this & used to use it a lot with a laptop.

The eleventh item in my backpack is my SanDisk 16GB flash drive. I tend to carry an empty flash drive everywhere I go. It’s small & compact and this one is retractable so can be thrown anywhere in my bag. From years as a sys admin & server bod it’s nice to know I can copy files to it wherever & whenever. Got me out of a few scrapes & 16GB is a great size.

The twelfth item is perhaps the most important item I carry. It’s my iPhone 6. I only recently upgraded from my 4-year-old iPhone 4 but I rely heavily on my smart phone nowadays. I’ve taken steps to allow me to work as much as possible away from my desk. Be this on an iPad at home or on a smart phone on the go, it’s nice to be able to email, tweet & interact with the world from wherever I am. The iPhone has now also largely replaced my iPod. I use iTunes match for my music and stream my own HQ AAC files over 4G to my phone. This means I can have my entire music library with me at all times. I still carry my iPod in case coverage is poor or non-existent but I have now largely replaced the iPod with my iPhone. It’s also handy because if a call, text, tweet or email comes in while I’m listening I get an audible notification. I reply to loads of emails each day so this helps me keep on top of things. Not much else to say about my smart phone other than the fact it’s unlocked, bought outright & currently using GiffGaff. I love GiffGaff & I have a real hatred of mobile tariffs & contracts so the prepay route gives me flexibility & choice. It also means I can pop in a local sim when travelling to save on excessive roaming charges.

The thirteenth item in my backpack is my trusty Apple iPod classic 5th Generation which I got in San Francisco in June 2006 from the original Apple store. This has served me so well seeing almost daily use for years & traveling all over the world with me. I’ve recently changed the battery inside the iPod but it’s still as good as the day I bought it. I’ve got this iPod stuffed to the gills with great tunes & take it with me just in case. Sometimes I prefer to listen to music on this. The sound quality is excellent. This was a limited edition U2 model. Not particularly a fan of U2 but loved the black & red.

Number fourteen is an easy one. It’s my house keys & the keys to my storage unit & a few family members houses all on the end of an Element Lanyard. I’ve used Layard’s for about 18 years on my keys. They help make sure I don’t lose them and the lanyard itself often comes in handy. Just a  personal preference but you will always spot this hanging out of my back pocket.

Fifteen are my Apple Earbuds. I’ve used Apple earphones again since my first iPod in 2006. This is actually only my third pair (I still have the other two pairs working). The first pair came with my iPod, the second with my iPhone 4 and these ones with my iPhone 6. Again these are great sounding & indestructible. Seems to be a common theme but I hate things which are flimsy & need constant care & replacement. I do have some Sony studio headphones but only wear this at home or on flights. I absolutely adore apple earbuds & they are one thing I wouldn’t want to be without.

Number sixteen is a retractable iPod sync cable. It’s the old style apple adaptor and I used to use it to charge my iPhone 4 and my iPod. I carry it now for my iPod & because it’s so small & handy if someone needs to charge an older device in an emergency. Also my wife still rocks an iPhone 3GS so she uses it too.

Seventeen is a short micro USB cable. I carry this to charge the battery bank and also it’s handy to charge micro USB devices. Comes in handy when messing with Raspberry Pi’s and is so small I’d be silly not to leave it in my pack.

Eighteen is an official Apple charger and lightning cable. The lightning cable is for charging & syncing newer apple devices, including my iPhone 6 and the charger is used to power everything on the go such as charging in a coffee shop or venue. Pretty standard but again I always have one of these in my bag & they are indestructible.

Nineteen is  bunch of GiffGaff sim cards. I carry standard, micro & nano sims. I’m always singing the praises of GiffGaff and have successfully converted many people. If they use one of my sims we both get a referral bonus of airtime credit. It also means people can get up and running there & then while I can help if needs be.

Finally number 20 is an Integral card reader. I carry this so I can get images off my camera at any computer. It’s ideal for traveling & when you are on the go. It’s a basic device but one I really use.

I thought I would also include the photo below of my trusty Jan Sport backpack & an item I completely forgot to include in the above post, my Bobble Bottle. Bobble Bottles are superb. They feature a carbon filter in the cap which filters as you drink. It means you can fill this up at water fountains or anywhere you can find a tap safe in the knowledge that the water is filtered as you drink. It saves an absolute fortune on bottled water & is much better for the environment too.

JanSport Back & Bobble Bottle
JanSport Back & Bobble Bottle

So that is my Everyday Cary people. Do you carry any of the same items? Anything you think I’m totally missing out on by not carrying? Leave a comment below & let me know.

John Large

My name is John Large. I am a Web Developer, E-commerce site owner & all round geek. My areas of interest include hardware hacking, digital privacy & security, social media & computer hardware. I’m also a minimalist in the making, interested in the Tiny House movement & the experience economy along with a strong interest in sustainability & renewable energy. When I’m not tapping on a keyboard or swiping a smart phone I can be found sampling great coffee, travelling the world with my wife Vicki (who writes over at Let’s Talk Beauty) & generally trying to live my life as unconventionally as possible.

2 thoughts to “Everyday Carry – Tech geek”

  1. Great post, Jod!

    I’m always interested in posts like this – my own bag looks somewhat different, but there are some similarities in philosophy, especially when it comes to build quality, craftsmanship and durability of products!

    I actually have a North Face bag – it has been to 6 different countries over 4 years with me and still looks great! I too use Apple products, largely due to the build quality as much as anything else.

    The Oakley sunglasses are a wise choice too. I had a pair for 12 years and they were only replaced when I accidentally sat on them.

    Hope you are well mate.

  2. Thanks for the comment mate. Yeah I’m always interested in what people carry and trying to perfect my pack.

    The North face stuff is always built to last. I paid a fortune for a waterproof jacket with zip in fleece and I also have a shell fleece jacket and a body warmer. I’m obsessed with stuff lasting as long as possible and lasting while still looking good.

    You should do a similar post. I’d be interested to see what you carry.

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