What You Said: What’s in Your Geek Bag

By Jason Fitzpatrick on April 8th, 2011


Earlier this week we asked you to share what was in your geek bag. We’ve analyzed the detailed responses that flooded in and now we’re back to share them with you.

Photo courtesy of Grid-It Technology.

On Wednesday we asked you to dump out your geeky bags, pockets, briefcases, and purses so we could see what you had stashed inside. Let’s take a look at some of the trends we found in the comments.

Cellphones and Flash Drives Galore


54% noted having their cellphone with them at all times. More than 10% had multiple phones and quite a few readers noted that they no longer carried a flash drive because they could use the large SD card in their phone instead.  Anonymous notes:

Cell phone with a 2GB Micro SD. (My Motorola W490 cell phone itself acts like a thumb drive or in a pinch I can remove the micro-SD and use it with the adapter in my wallet).

28% of you carry a flash drive with a significant majority of readers carrying an array of flash drives for different tasks. Reader Whiskey Tango carries the following USB and Live CD options:

Linux Live USB drive, Linux Live CD for those BIOS’ w/out a USB boot option, 2Gb drive full of every portable app you can imagine to just about anything, a security flash drive with only RKill and Mbam […]

Jon is taking his job as the Keeper of the XP Drivers seriously:

4 flashdrives – one with free apps for security, another with XP drivers, portable apps and live CD Ubuntu Netbook remix

Laptops, Netbooks, and Tablets, Oh My


When it came to bulkier tech, your bags are well loaded. 29% of readers carry a laptop and 10% carry a netbook with a big overlap between people who either carry both (either because of work or because they’ve taken redundancy to a new level).

Speaking of redundancy, many readers carried multiple devices that were capable (but didn’t necessary excel) at the same tasks. Many readers who already had computers or smart phones in their bags also had ebook readers. 10% of you carry an ebook reader which breaks down roughly into a third of the group for the Kindle, the Nook, and Sony ebook readers.

20% of you have a tablet tucked in your bag; 11% carry iPads, 9% carry Android tablets, and 1% carry both.

Peripheral Gear and Goodies


When it comes to accessories, peripheral gear for your big gear, and tools, you guys didn’t skimp. 6% of you carried an Ethernet cable for your on-the-go LAN needs (1% even had a dial-up/fax cable on hand just in case). 5% carried a mobile hotspot like the MiFi so they could logon from all their devices wherever they were.

Tunes help many of you get through the work day. 20% of you carried a dedicated music device (almost exclusively an iPod of some sort) and headphones while many of you simply used your phone or laptop as a media player. Rose noted that her bulky noise canceling headphones were worth every inch of space they took up:

My noise cancelling headphones take up quite a bit of room, but they’re definitely worth it. They also mean people are more likely to realize you can’t hear them as they’re quite obvious instead of someone getting angry because you’re “not listening”.

Photography played a big role, 22% of you carry a dedicated camera of some sort not even counting the cameras on your other devices. 4% of you carry specific accessories for photography like Lady Fitzgerald:

When I travel (in addition to what’s in my purse), I take a Canon SX10 IS camera, tripod, panoramic adapter, two smart battery chargers, 16 more AA eneloops, 16 more AAA eneloops, an external flash for the SX10 IS […]

Many of you carried all manner of tools too. 28% of you carry a screw driver set, 18% carry a knife of some sort, and 1% of you even roll with a soldering iron at the ready. Michael’s ready to make sure crappy soldering jobs don’t stop his work:

Various cables (lengths and types), spare WiFi router, cable tools, screwdrivers, wrenches, solder/gun/sucker (believe it or not, still use these fairly often, due to a design flaw with a locally used machine controller), spare set of reading glasses […]

If you want to check out the specifics of your fellow readers geek bags, hit up the comments from the original Ask the Readers post. Missed the original post but want to share your gear? Let’s hear about it!

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/8/11
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