Have kit, will travel–What’s in my kit bag

I love bags. I mean, I REALLY love bags. Along with jackets, they’re my favourite piece of clothing (note I said clothing, not accessory). That said, a bag has to be functional and hold things. So, how do you decide what you put in your bag? I was posed exactly that question recently.

First off, having things floating around in your bag is nightmare. You need organization or you won’t find anything. Even if you have a bag with great pockets, I still recommend pouches. The best pouches, in my experience, are pencil cases. Even if you have your stuff spread across multiple cases, they still take up no space. Just get different colours for quick identification of contents.

So, let’s get down to brass tacks: What’s in my bag? I’ll start with my big kit:

Big kit

  • Two USB drives (4gb, 16gb)
  • Replacement batteries (2x AAA) for mobile mouse
  • Microsoft Wedge Mouse
  • Pen/flashlight/stylus
  • USB hub
  • Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter
  • 2-in-1HDMI/VGA to Mini-Display port adapter
  • Wall-wart USB power adapter
  • Surface Pro 3 power adapter
  • MS Band 1 power cable
  • Micro USB adapter cable
  • USB-C adapter cable
  • Bluetooth keyboard (optional, not pictured)

As you can see, that’s pretty extensive. Really, it’ll cover almost any situation I come across, including supporting Continuum for my 950xl (sometimes I add a Bluetooth keyboard for this). The wireless adapter isn’t the best Continuum solution, but it’ll handle video and some basic web browsing if I don’t want to pull out the Surface. Additionally, I have a disposable 4gb drive for transferring files, and a larger 16gb drive if I need to do something crazy like install an OS. All this will fit in two pencil cases if you’re careful. In my case, I’m using a converted sewing bag made for me by my mother (because she loves me).

At this point, the ultra-light camping skills come into play. Basically, you get rid of EVERYTHING you don’t absolutely need. To meet this philosophy, I have two more kits: My mobile kit and my barebones kit.

The mobile kit:

Mobile kit

  • USB-C cable
  • 1 USB drive (16gb)
  • 2-in-1 display adapter
  • Surface Pro 3 power adapter
  • Wireless Display adapter

This is my cut down kit, and it’ll all fit in a single pencil case. The Surface power adapter has a USB port on it, and that doubles for charging my phone. I get rid of the mouse and use the trackpad or touch to meet those needs. I could get rid of the 2-in-1, but I’ve sometimes had issues with the wireless display adapter and projectors. I don’t like relying on found cables when presenting.

So, with such a drastic cut, what can let me get even lighter? That’s where the barebones kit comes in:

Barebones kit

  • Wall-wart USB adapter
  • Wireless Display adapter
  • USB-C cable

In this case, I leave the Surface at home. This is my “I might do some work, but more than just emails,” load-out. If all I’ll be doing is emails, I just take my phone. Like above, the wireless display adapter is fine for some light usage, and I do mean light, as you’ll be using the phone as the mouse and keyboard. In fact, using this with the Serris HTML Editor app, I’ve conducted basic HTML talks using only my 950xl. In that case, however, you’ll want a keyboard and mouse. Trust me.

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