What's in My Bag

What’s in My Bag? Kent Barnes

A bag with preloaded bags

(Click on images to embiggen) I have a bag of bags approach. Small bags pre-loaded with stuff ready to go, and a big bag to carry the small ones. My big bag is a Mini Messenger bag from San Francisco’sRickshaw Bagworks. I customized it with a stealth reflective 8-bit skull. Here are my sub-bags: Apple Bag: This $1.50 bag from the Daiso ¥100 (100 yen) store in San Francisco is a great resource for all sorts on neat stuff. Almost every small bag I own is from Daiso. It contains:

Chow Bag: Yep, I carry my own utensils in a flashlight sheath. No flimsy little plastic toys for me. And yes, I love Chopsticks and think they are very elegant and will whip them out every meal instead of the landfill choice. (Cutting your food to size helps.) It contains:

Power Bag: This all fits in a small bag I forgot to show in the big photo.It is made from one 8 foot long zipper that zips together into a bag.

  • The Goal Zero will charge my iPhone to 100%, bonus it uses rechargeable AA batteries that are removable for other uses: $40
  • The very useful Power Practical Meter and Fast Charge Cable will even monitor your charging levels: $20
  • Brookstone Super Lite: $13
  • A tiny 3 mode selectable red LED flashlight, on, flashing, and flashing fast. Found at local flea market.
  • Spare 2032 coin cells for these both.


  • Credit-card sized USB Flash Drive swag that I dressed up with a Boing Boing Jackhammer Jill sticker. She is so cute!
  • The one and only “Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed” Blackwing 602: $23/12-pack
  • Soft cover spiral notebook – 5mm Square Ruled that I tastefully recovered to look like a Make Magazine mini Makers Notebook.
  • Facial tissues (can be used on both ends)
  • Cleaning tissues, for the iPhone and iPad screens: $9
  • Well, I do carry 4 Dice. Never know when a West Coast Ce-Lo game may come up. Yeah, I know, only 3 dice are needed, but it is nice to have choice’s in life. [Review here
  • Real Artistic License on C.I.A Retractable Badge Reel ( found at Flea Market)
  • Small business cards printed on 3’x5′ recipe card stock and cut to size.
  • Fingernail clippers and that thick alcohol stuff to wipe and your hands and sanitize to surgery room cleanliness.
  • First aid kit and pill safe.
  • Starbucks VIA instant coffee. That you can mix into any liquid hot or cold, really! $31/50-pack
  • iPad mini with its magnetic cover that magically turns it off.
  • iPhone 5s (is the v6 here yet?)
  • A ripstop nylon shopping bag.

You really should see my mini tool bag, photo bag, camping kitchen bag, bag of shopping bags, bag o….I need a new bag.

-- Kent Barnes 05/30/14

(OK, now it's your turn. Send photos of the things in your bag (and of the bag itself, if you love it), along with a description of the items and why they are useful. Make sure the photos are large (1200 pixels wide, at least) and clear. Use a free file sharing service like Bitcasa to upload the photos, and email the text to editor@cool-tools.org. -- Mark Frauenfelder — editors)

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