A while ago, I bought a USB flash drive. When deciding what to put on it, I went through my information and decided what was important. But then putting it on my keychain I came across a more interesting problem. Partially inspired by my better half who refuses to remove things like a three-years expired outdoorsman card from her wallet that no longer closes, I take a look at what I carry with me.
What are the pieces of data and objects that are useful to have on you, in general?
Sure, you carry a purse/wallet. What's in it? You might carry a keychain. What's on it? What are the other miscellaneous items that you carry with you? Which of these are optional under normal circumsances? In general, I carry my keychain, wallet, notebook and jacket, I thought that was fairly straightforward until I started to scruitinize the contents of it all.
Obvious stuff. Cards: bank, waterloo student, health, drivers license, and a movie store membership. I try to have an emergency twenty in it as well, but being a student, it doesn't tend to stick around. I do plan on modifying this slightly: create a second wallet for barhopping. Take out everything but the health card and use a backup license with a corrupted magnetic stripe, to stop bars from gathering data from my entrance.
Obviously I have keys (home and car). I also carry my swiss army knife, a de-pinned CPU (for quick identification and "geek cred") and my USB drive.
Carry my phone around, where appropriate, as well as a linux livecd (for both pranks and a quick working environment for remote work), my notebook, a pencil, and chocolate covered coffee beans. I like the idea of emergency chocolate, useful when you're a few hours away from food, or a few hours away from sleep, like a long drive home while tired or late night assignments.
The most important category to me, for obvious reasons. It'd be nice to be able to have some sort of PDA-like device to integreate the notebook and USB drive, but the notebook/usb drive system works under my current restraints. The USB drive holds various authentication tokens, and miscellaneous files being transported. It's also nice to have a working environment (Firefox, bookmarks, Putty (the SSH Client) and such, but this has become redundant since the aquisition of the laptop). The notebook is good for little and quick lists, assignment due dates, an address book, and writing down thoughts I deemed important at the time.
Mostly optional things go here. The backpack has some mainstay items, laptop (and resulting wires), dice, and vi pocket reference -- but these are mostly things required for me to function at school. Overall, it's fairly average as far as backpacks go.
With this, I survive in my environment. My goal is to maximize coverage of probable circumstances while being fairly minimal in what I carry. I've added less than a kilogram or so to my person (backpack excluded). Nearly everything I carry has high utility to me while outside of my home. I'd like to add a LED flashlight. I just came across a battery-free flashlight that I could build that charges by shaking a magnet. What other essentials are there?