Digital Nomad: What’s In Sam’s Bag?

My bag is my office.

A source of great pride for me is that I can run most of my life and my work out of my backpack. Every last thing that is in my trusty GR1 Goruck bag has been very thoughtfully decided upon. It’s a lean mean traveling machine that allows me to feel always connected and comfortable.

It’s always evolving, and I am often experimenting with adding or removing items in the bag. It’s important to me that the bag isn’t overly heavy, and I can still use it as a bag to carry other things around when I need to. It’s all a balance. Let’s take a peek.

Photo by Ben Speckmann

Goruck GR1 with Interchangeable Patches

This bag itself could be a blog post. It’s expensive, but so freaking worth it. I’ve had a lot of bags in my life, this one is the smartest, simplest and best organized. You also can’t break it. I bought patches for all my representations, so I can always be on brand.

Winter Session Tool Roll

A super convenient little bag for an eclectic collection of writing utensils. Micron, Staedtler and Stabile are my weapons of choice, but my mom taught me to always have a black Sharpie at my side.

iPhone 6S in Apple Smart Battery Case

I typically buy a new iPhone every two years and stick with the most memory, damn photos. Just bought a fancy Apple battery case which almost helps me get through the whole day without charging up.

Big Sur Trail Resin Cologne

I’m not a big cologne guy, but I also appreciate the value of not smelling bad. I dig this resin style of cologne because it’s subtle and easy.

Burt’s Bee’s Cuticle Cream

At least twice a year, when the seasons change, my fingers start to fall apart. Or at least they used to!

Trusty Bic

Have a lighter on you? It’s an easy way to make a friend.

Non-Lock Carabiner

The front of my bag (and inside) have webbing. I always keep a carabiner in the bag so that I can carry a little more on the front of my pack if I’ve got a lot of stuff to haul.

Macbook Pro 13" with Retro Apple Sticker

I’ve been an Apple guy since my first Mac (a Mac Plus). Their laptops keep getting better and better. The 13" Pro is rugged, fast and still shockingly small. I have a vintage Apple sticker that old Apple heads appreciate, a great $4 investment.

Mini Dove Spray Deodorant, Travelers Advil, Listerene Strip

This little can of deodorant has helped me avoid numerous embarrassing experiences. I steal a can from Soho House here in Chicago (apparently they are only sold in the UK) every few months when I run out (sorry, Dan). My just-the-essentials includes a pack of Advil and Listerene breath strips.

Micro Towel

This little easy-to-pack towel is super absorbent, fast to dry and has come in handy countless times.

Fancy Notebook

Can’t beat good ol’ paper and pen. I have a varying rotation of notebook brands that rotate. I try to finish a notebook before I start a new one.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer Folding Classic

I love these sunglasses. They are classic Ray-Ban Wayfarers, but they fold into this nice little box. They work pretty good (they’re polarized), and I think being able to throw them in the box helps me avoid losing them.

Beyerdynamic 716413 MMX 102 iE In-Ear Headphones

Big fan of The Wirecutter especially when it has to to do with electronics. These headphones are simple are fantastic quality. Recommended.

16G Memory Stick

Great little form factor, and I appreciate always having 16gb of storage accessible to transfer files around.

USB Power Adapter

I always have at least one (often two) USB chargers in my bag.

Kiehls Hand Salve & Ultra Facial Moisturizer

This stuff is the best. I constantly use the facial lotion. No fragrance, fewer crazy ingredients than the other brands I’ve used and very portable.

Business Cards

I never leave the house or office without some Desktime & One Design cards on me. We pride ourselves on making beautiful, thick, fancy cards. I really think it makes a good impression.

Sony Camera Charger for my Sony A7

I don’t always carry my Sony A7 on me, but I do always have a backup charger in my bag. I was a Canon 5D guy for a while, but the Sony kicks its ass. It’s the smartest camera, I’ve ever used. It’s light, fast and takes great shots.

Hamilton Pocketchief

My wife got me a handkerchief once, and I really like having it in my bag. Very gentlemanly.

Apple Charger with Extension Cord

Self explanatory. I typically keep the extension cable on the power supply and then an adaptor in my bag.

24oz Hydro Flask

Linsey got me in the habit of always having a water bottle. It took a while, but now I don’t go anywhere without it. This Hydro Flask keeps my drinks cold (or hot) all day. Works like a dream.

AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank (10,000 mAh)

Because you can never have enough backup power, this Amazon battery back is $25 bucks and stores about 4 iPhone charges. I’m never without juice.

Cord Bungee Thing

I love my little Cocoon Bungee organizer. It gets a lot of love and makes me always feel like I can quickly access my plethora of adapters, cables and connectors. It keeps me nice and organized and my bag less cluttered when I’m carrying any combination of the following: — Mini USB to USB — Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt Cable — USB to Ethernet Adapter — DVI to HDMI to Minidisplay Port — Lightning Cable — Lighting to old iPhone adapter — Minidisplay to VGA Adapter — Headphone splitter — 1/8" extension cord — Extra 32GB MicroSD Card

Good Old Book in Case Technology Fails

Never underestimate the value of a good book. When my technology fails me or I’m on an internetless plane or car, I really love a good book.

Muji Checklist

A must in case your to-do list is overflowing and you need to get back to basics. When I’m feeling overwhelmed with my to-do list, I’ll just list out the things I need to get done. No greater joy than crossing something off your list with that nice black Sharpie you carry.

Muji Travel Pillow

I’ve always thought travel pillows were weird. But then I bought this little inflatable one, and it’s pretty damn nice. And it takes up so little room in my bag that I often forget it’s there.

iPad Mini with a Fancy Wood Case

My iPad mini is my primary reading device, and I love to use it (especially when I’m traveling). This wood case is one of my most favorite possessions (weirdly enough) and makes me feel classy.

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