I don’t own a car, so I rely heavily on my bicycle and public transit to get around. And when you have to deal with crowded buses and trains, you learn to pack light. Here’s how I go about doing just that.
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STM Sphere small backpack
I purchased this bag back in 2006 to accommodate my then-new 13-inch MacBook, but what drew me to this since-discontinued bag was its compact size. Up until recently, I was a regular bus commuter, and when dealing with a crowded bus, the smaller the bag you can get away with, the better. And despite nearly eight years of heavy use, the only real damage is a tear in the small mesh pocked on the front.
13-inch MacBook Air
I’ve owned several Apple laptops over the past 11 or so years, and this is my favorite yet thanks to its compact size and speedy performance. I find the 13-incher to be the perfect balance between portability and screen size: It’s small enough for me to take anywhere, but large enough to not feel cramped.
Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR
In keeping with the theme of “compact,” this starter DSLR is small and light as far as these sorts of cameras go, and it fits reasonably well in the front-most large compartment.
I’ll admit it—I’m not above making a purchase based on looks. With that in mind, when it came time to upgrade from my well-worn iPhone 4, I opted for a yellow iPhone 5C, mostly because I like yellow. Don’t judge me.
160GB iPod Classic
I carry one of these around partly out of habit, but partly because I still want to be able to listen to music if one of my devices runs out of battery power. It also makes a handy portable hard drive, too.
- Power adapters and USB cables (Of course).
- Ibuprophen: Headaches suck.
- Zyrtec: Allergies suck.
- Hand sanitizer: Because public transit it a germy mess
- Lots of tissue or paper towels: You never know when you’ll need to wipe something off, blow your nose, or deal with a sudden nosebleed on the bus (not that I would have any experience with that…).
- Chewing gum: It helps me fend off the urge to snack throughout the day.