I, like many of you, own a few quite different backpacks. The biggest one being a 30 liter motorcycle backpack which I use when I intend to be on the road for more than a few days. Which means, that I need more clothes than I can fit in my every-day backpack on top of the other stuff.

The list

Items that I carry around on a daily basis:

  • My Laptop
  • A 65 W USB-C PD charger
  • One 1.8 m USB-C cable
  • A 65 W USB-C PD power bank
  • A USB-C hub
  • Two HDMI cables
  • a pair of very cheap ear-buds
  • Sunscreen in a 30 ml bottle1
  • Custom-made earplugs
  • An umbrella
  • Zeiss wet wipes for my glasses

The reasoning

The laptop, charger and cable are a no-brainer. I work digitally, and my studies need me in front of a screen. The same applies to the umbrella and the wipes.

The power bank is useful as I am often not within reach of an outlet due to them being placed rather awkwardly around campus. It is also nice, to be able to charge a phone or the laptop in a park.

The hub and multiple HDMI cables are for the rare occasion where I either need a USB-A device, or have the opportunity to use multiple external displays. For example in the office or at a few desks in the student computer poolrooms.

The cheap ear-buds were bought out of necessity, when I forgot my good headphones during traveling and needed to join a work meeting. Since then, they live in the bag waiting for that blunder to repeat.

The benefits of owning custom-made earplugs are explained in another article, but everyone should at least have some earplugs in their backpack. They come in handy quite often, even though they might be a “you didn’t know you needed one till you owned one”-item in many occasions.


When I am traveling I carry a few bits more, including:

  • toiletry bag (including another1 bottle of sunscreen)
  • a few sets of clothing
  • headphones
  • e-reader or a book
  • travel documents
  • thermos filled with either coffee or tea

As most of my stuff is already packed or in a state where it is easy to grab I can be out of the house for a short trip in a matter of 5 to 10 minutes. For a longer trip I’d have to switch bags and think about what I needed, which would increase that time to at least 15 minutes. Even then, I don’t need a suitcase. Which is rather important as I don’t own any :P

Living in Europe, nearby to a train station this comes rather handy :)

  1. Yep, always. It has come in handy quite a lot in the last year. My skin tends to redden quite easily… ↩︎ ↩︎