9 Items City-Dwelling Dudes Should Keep in Their Bags
Every urban guy who counts on public transportation — and his own two feet — to get from point A to B knows that a good satchel is essential.
Granted, carrying that bag around day in and day out can be a nuisance, but it’s required, if only because we no longer have the luxury of junking up the back seat of our SUVs like our suburban buddies.
Which type of bag you choose — backpack, one-shoulder, murse — is up to you, but the contents should remain the same: practical, no-nonsense items that can stop the bleeding, feed the beast, and help you avoid the walk of shame. Even in the rain.
I’ve been caught in a storm plenty of times, and it never fails that I forgot my umbrella. Frankly, that's the last thing I think to bring along when I’m cross-checking my bag. Having learned my lesson again and again, now I keep a small pocket umbrella tucked away in the bottom of my attaché. Better safe than soggy.
This might sound silly to some, but I keep a whole slew of Restaurant.com gift certificates and clipped coupons from the Entertainment Book on hand. It’s very convenient to choose a place to eat or relax after a long day of traveling the city when there’s 50% off or buy one, get one free at my fingertips.
Snacks (Non-Chocolate, Non-Crushable)
You’ll save money if you pack your own snacks, because you won’t be tempted to indulge as you pass the newsstands or convenience stores on every corner. A dollar here and a dollar there really adds up. Hard and gummy candies and other sturdy snacks (they should be able to withstand the wear and tear of travel) are also great while you’re waiting, like in the doctor’s office or, say, when the subway shuts down and you’re trapped for a few hours. It happens — and you’ll never be hungrier than in those ostensibly life-or-death first moments.
Seems obvious, right? It is. Which might be why I pull my hair out every time I can’t find one. The worst is when I get to the ATM to make a deposit and all the chained-to-the-desk pens are missing. Now I store five or six at a time in my bag. Gotta put that money in the bank, folks.
Two reasons: A) after the gym, and B) the morning after. We never seem to think those situations through, do we?
An extra stash means that you won’t miss out on important opportunities, potential new clients, and impressing that hot guy or girl you’ve got your eye on at the end of the bar. Think about it this way, too: You come across rather unprofessional when someone asks for a card and you can’t come up with one. Makes you look like an amateur in a room full of power players.
Roll your eyes all you want, but I promise you this is the single most important part of a properly packed carryall. I use mine after meals, when I’m sweaty, and to sanitize after a subway ride, among other things; they instantly make me feel fresh and clean when no restroom is available to wash up. I buy mine in packs of five 48-count cylinders for about $10 at my local wholesale club, but space-saving options (smaller packs) are available at your nearest convenience or grocery store.
You’d be surprised how many situations require rubber gloves and Band-Aids. I’ve been in circumstances where people are bleeding, and I often need adhesive bandages to relieve the chafing that the backs of my shoes cause when I don’t wear socks. It’s just good form to be prepared. Your first-aid kit doesn’t have to take up a lot of space, either. Just throw a few necessities in a Ziploc bag and tuck it away. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do, it’ll save the day.
Extra Phone Charger
My phone dies at the most inopportune times — like right when I’m supposed to meet my husband at a crowded place — so I’m sure yours does, too. It’s the one thing that throws me into a panic because I don’t want people to think I stood them up, or worse, that something has happened to me. Now I keep an extra USB charger in my bag, so I can plug in wherever I’m at, and I carry a rechargeable battery to juice up even quicker. Expect your friends to pat you on the back too when you save their hides from lack of power. What a guy.
What item(s) do you keep in your bag at all times — and why? Let me know in the comments section.
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