Yesterday as my friend Shin and i chatted, discussion came to the topic of “Go” bags. Today I had many hours to myself while driving to Yermo and back to pick up some military surplus tires for the humvee.

I had pulled off at the Stoddard valley OHV recreation area exit, off 15 in the high desert, and the Tortoise and I crawled up to the peak of a small hill. I sat there on top of the truck, eating a small picnic 500 feet above the valley floor overlooking the beautiful desert, 15-18 mph winds gusting up from the southwest, watching a few off-roaders below me, and quietly ranging them in my head.

These past several years have been an enormous time of growth, maturation, and change for me. I feel that you can tell a lot about a person from the contents of their pockets, or purse, or bag. The contents tell a story of who this person is, what he or she does, what his or her ideals and experiences are. These contents are collected over many years, out of hard earned money and precious time.

As I snacked, I happened to do an informal catalog of the contents of my bag. Of course this list changes day to day, but its enough to get a good idea. I realize that I carry many things that few other people would. I also realize that some of them are quite expensive and that to own them is a luxury that I feel self conscious about. When I’m older and reading back over my blog, this will make for an interesting reflection.

chairman mao small canvas bookbag, bought for 15 yuan (about $1.90USD) in beijing 5 years ago
my vintage rayban aviator sunglasses that basil got off ebay and gave to me
oddly, a napkin from subway, and one from quiznos
opened small package of jack links peppered beef jerky
a black sharpie, pocket clip broken
black leatherman blast multitool, with jury rigged pocket clip, that I bought for sniper school, a screw is missing.
squished and very beat up MRE Ranger Bar. Who knows how old, still edible.
tiny last pack of spicy roasted green peas, yummy salty snack.
petzl headlamp that jack and friends got me for 23rd birthday
attached is a nite-ize reflector and red blinking strip light thing
leica rangemaster 1200 laser range finder, my big purchase at the end of sniper school.
kestrel 2500 portable weather station and anemometer (measures wind speed) I got at shot show for a great deal from the kestrel booth
a random quarter
small 6″ blade kukri knife that Jen had brought back as a gift from Nepal
Wrapped around the goatskin and wood scabbard is a short section of some sturdy cord
small rite-in-the-rain waterproof notepad with a coyote brown cover, from allied surplus, phoenix az, towards the end of sniper school.
inside the cover is a solar calculator…the weakest link in this kit as its the only thing not waterproof
rite in the rain all weather pen, another sharpie. I like writing on my arms, sharpies are good for that.
little snubbie taurus m85 .38spl 5 shot revolver, thin leather IWB concealment holster, with 20 rounds of quality hollow point ammunition on speed strips and speed loaders. Locked with a combination, so i don’t have a key to lose. Plain, functional, cheap, nothing fancy.
chinese surplus 1 liter canteen + mess kit, gift from my uncle, who was in the chinese army.
my small day planner, fill of notes, stickies, flyers, business cards, scraps of brochures and other paper. Made with recycled materials

There you have it, the contents of Brian’s “Go” bag on a random day.

Whats in your bag? What does the contents of your bag say about you?