What’s In My Bag

Now and then I like to visit sites like Survival Cache that talk about how to live after a hypothetical non-religious apocalypse (to put it kindly).  To put it unkindly, I’m talking about those sites that are made of people who are honest-to-god terrified that the world is ripe for disaster and anarchy, and think we ought to have plans in place for when nuclear bombs go off or governments implode.

They make good resources for creative fiction stories, and I never went camping as a kid, learned to fish, shoot a gun, etc.  They frequently explain in layman’s terms things like that, which is great if you want a contemporary action-packed story.

Well, while I floated around these websites, I noticed a very popular idea:  Bug Out Bags.  These are typically backpacks full of hiking and navigation equipment–things you’d usually take with you on a camping trip with just a little bit of crazy added for flavor (never know when you’ll need that 9 millimeter).  As an espionage enthusiast,  I’ve also read that Bug Out Bags are sometimes used by spies in case they need to get out of a suddenly hostile environment.

Anyway, I’m neither a spy nor a survivalist, but I do like to be prepared, and besides, it made me think about what I carry around in my own bag, and how it is a reflection of myself.  So today I took out all the junk I keep in my backpack and started documenting.

Here’s what I found:

Pack Contents

The Contents of My Backpack

Click on the image to go to my Flickr site, where I labeled everything directly on the photo and added notes.

As a list:

  • Stainless steel water bottle
  • 2 pairs of just-purchased goggles (not typically in my pack)
  • 3 greeting cards for various occasions
  • Napkins that also double as tissues for my bad allergies, though I’ve found them useful for other purposes (see: Knowing Where One’s Towel Is)
  • Umbrella
  • Keys & bonus cards
  • Canvas shopping bag
  • Lanyard with two flashdrives
  • Bike pump
  • USB adapter for my phone
  • My laptop
  • Emergency scantron for pop quizzes (or lapses in memory about real quizzes)
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Lip gloss
  • Power cord for laptop
  • Wireless mouse & USB adapter
  • Headphones with case
  • Folder, notebook, textbook, organizer, and pencil case

You can obviously tell what my occupations are: Techie and student.  You can gather that I have a bike (the pump), that I’m female (the lip gloss), that I like being prepared for all occasions (scantron, Swiss Army knife, greeting cards, napkins, flash drives, umbrella), and that I’m a geek (wireless mouse, really, Leigh?).  I try to be earth-friendly (canvas bag, reusable water bottle), and I’m either anal-retentive or organized (pencil case, folder, organizer).

I evidently care only a little for fashion or appearance based on the utilitarian wallet and the single cosmetic item.  I am physically active, however, if I bought goggles.

Well.  I knew all these things about myself before doing this exercise, but it was still fun to see how much you can gather about a person by the things they carry around daily–not just what they do with their time, but how they might act, even what they might look like.

So, what’s in your bag?

The Pack

We've been through a lot together: High school, Mexico, Europe, and college...

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