In your bag

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The first thing to think about is making a list of things which you keep in your bag, so you can quickly check that everything is there.

  • A bottle of isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol). It's a handy disinfectant for skin (e.g. after touching something dirty) and surfaces (e.g. dirty seats). ATM receipts can also be blanked by soaking in isopropyl alcohol or any other organic solvent.
    • Can't be taken onto an aeroplane.
    • Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) will do everything isopropanol can plus it's an inebrient, and with generally lower toxicity is a better choice to cleanse open wounds (ouch, though). 95% is available in some states as Everclear: the '151' proof will work pretty well but doesn't make a good fuel.
  • Pen/Pencil Pouch.
    • This helps keep my Space Pen, mechanical pencils (for Sudoku), erasers (also for Sudoku), highlighters, Sharpie markers, dry-erase markers and a handy 6-inch metal rule all together without digging to the bottom of my bag.
      • Laptop bags have space for these things, usually.
  • Duct Tape Squares.
    • Another MacGyver tool - indispensible in certain situations.
    • Remember, Duct tape sticks to itself---Take a used up gift card and make yourself a compact Duct Tape roll. Has been used in countless situations... --Shonendude
  • Postcards and postcard stamps. In a pinch a 3x5 card can be used as a postcard, though it is not strictly within the limits of postal regulations. Keep the stamps in the back of your Moleskine, or if you're like me and send a lot of postcards use a box that originally held stationery to house cards, stamps, and a cheap pen. --Edward Vielmetti 25 Mar 2005
  • Something to write with and something to write on. This could be:
    • a PDA and a stylus
    • a pencil and a stack of 3x5's (see Hipster PDA).
    • a Moleskine and a G2-07 pen or two (recommended).
    • I use an A4 double-ring-bound notebook (Visual Art Diary), much more permanent and less messy than sticky notes or loose pieces of paper User:ezalien 2006-08-01
  • Sticky notes. Useful for reminders, grocery lists, leaving someone a note, etc. Kat2 23:22, 24 Jun 2005 (EDT)
  • Matches. This really should be self explanatory on so many levels. --TresWife 22:26, 24 Mar 2005 (EST)
  • Chocolate. Always have some chocolate on hand. Useful in a variety of situations, from writer's block to low blood sugar to comforting and/or bribing members of the fairer sex. -- Guan 22 Mar 2005
  • Gum. In addition to chocolate, carry some gum too. From bad breath to ADHD to just something to do, it helps. -DB
  • Clear nail polish for the ladies. Makes bare nails look nice. Keeps coloured polish from chipping. Stops runs in the hose. Suffocates chigger bites. Keeps the inside of rings and back of pendants from turning from exposure to skin acids. --TresWife 22:28, 24 Mar 2005 (EST)
  • Condom. If you are single, the reasons for this should be obvious. If you are female and not single, this can be a very important item to have in the event of the unthinkable - a rape. Some rapists these days will actually be kind enough to wear a condom if asked, which could make the difference between ending up pregnant or infected with a disease. Just make sure that the condom is not outdated and is stored properly to maintain its effectiveness. (For guys, this means not keeping it in your wallet.) --TresWife 22:34, 24 Mar 2005 (EST)
    • If you're worried about this, it might be better to carry a panic alarm? Mine comes with a torch and can be put inside your bag and clipped onto something else so if someone tries to steal it, the pin comes out of the alarm and sets it off. -- Sophia
    • This might be a bad idea. Asking the rapist to don a condom might imply consent. --Kevin
      • In fact, a real rapist used that exact defense. Still, I'd rather reduce my risk of getting a disease, even at the cost of reducing the chance of the perpetrator going to jail. --TheWayOfTheGun 18:03 30 Apr 2005
  • A stamped envelope with enough postage to mail yourself your indispensible spiffy little expensive pen-knife that you realize is still in your pocket about two seconds before you walk through the airport metal detector. This went into my Moleskine after ending up with about $16 in dollar coins trying to buy postage from a machine. --Wrex 23:35, 1 Apr 2005 (EST)
  • Lexan eating utensils (unbreakable) and a Kuhn Rikon safety can opener (won't get dirty). -- GH 26 Mar 05 I need special utensils to eat Lexan? :-)
  • Dry-Erase Markers. I carry them with me everywhere. Most offices and academic institutions have dry-erase boards everywhere but have dried out markers or none at all nearby when you need them. Also, in a pinch you can find a mirror or piece of glass to write on and then clean it off when you are through.-- Egoodwin 11:52, 8 Apr 2005 (EDT)
  • Sharpie-mini In case you need to make a sign in a hurry. About a dollar at Staples.
  • Phone wire Trimmed to a length of 1 foot. Insta-ruler. Also can tie stuff together.
  • A plastic grocery bag. Less bulky than a cloth bag, but still saves extra bags when you go impulse shopping.
  • Chopsticks for those times the drive through forgot to give you utensils. Also, combine with a rubber band to use as a guitar capo in a pinch.
  • Patch or bandage, hopefully just to feel little safer
  • Aspirins or another kind of painkiller, in case you get a headache. --Shpongle 2 Aug 2006
  • Moist towelettes Most restaurants that serve lobster or ribs will give you these little individual packaged towelettes. Go ahead an pocket a few to keep on you. You'll be surprised how many times you will want to wash your hands but there is no sink to be found. These are also sold in packages of 10 at some drug stores. Alternatively, get some baby wipes. --Shpongle 2 Aug 2006
  • Rubber bands
  • Tissues (portable pack)
  • Spare RJ-45 (ethernet) cable (in case where I'm going has a switch port, but typically no cable to plug me in!) -- User:ezalien 2006-08-01
  • USB Thumb Drive Allows you to copy files between computers -- Alecclews 21:13, 5 September 2006 (EDT)
  • Tide To Go pen When I first heard of this I thought it was just another commercial gimmick to get people to buy more Tide products, but let me tell you, since my fiancée bought me one of these, I have fallen in love with it. It doesn't work on all stains, but for those of us prone to getting ketchup or barbecue sauce or whatnot on us during meals, this can be very useful -- Josh R. Holloway 15:53, 8 November 2006 (CST)
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