I have always liked the feeling of preparedness when I leave home. I feel naked without a backpack, and I try to cram it with useful stuff as much as possible. Much of it goes unused, but from time to time I do solve things. I’m going to detail what I normally carry, and I will from now on keep on updating and adding any guide or material I find around the web. This is going to be a whole new category here. THIS ALL FITS IN A REGULAR BACKPACK, REALLY.
Paper tissues. I now carry two ten-packs.
Rope. I carry 7 meters of 4mm diameter rope. It is the sweet spot between durability and portability.
Insulating tape. Always useful.
Flashlight. A small 8-lumen one, powered by a single AA battery.
Swiss knife. The definition of versatility.
Multi tip screwdriver. I am not too fond of it, and I will probably substitute it for a couple of normal screwdrivers.
Small foldable backpack. A really small one I found in a sports store. It was an impulse buy, and I’m not completely sure about how good it is.
Carabiner. I now have a small one, approximately 5 cm in length, and a bigger and more robust one, which acts as my keychain.
DIN A6 spiral notepad. An adequate but portable size. I carry two of them now, but one should be enough.
Pen. Normal ball point, nothing fancy. I normally carry two of them because I tend to lose things.
Pencil, rubber, sharpener. I generally use the pen, but still.
Big marker. A remnant of my time as a graffiti writer. It can write on many surfaces and it has a big 2 cm tip.
8000 mAh portable USB battery. Always relevant. A real must. This size is a good middle point: charges most phones two to three times.
Wall USB charger. I carry a 1 Amp one now, but I plan on substituting it with a 2 Amp one that can charge larger devices.
2 USB to Micro USB cables. I carry a short one (barely 10 cm. long) and a normal sized one, which is around 90 cm. Be careful when buying USB cables: not all cables are made equal.
USB to mini USB cable. A really small one, but it is necessary still sometimes.
Micro USB to female USB cable. My phone can use USB flash drives and several other USB devices, so it’s useful.
USB flash memory. Look around for the best options, and never trust them too much, as they fail.
MP3 player. Sandisk Sansa, which is really small, really capable, really great.
Headphones. I carry the ones bundled with iPhones, because I feel more comfortable sharing these hard ones than in-ear headphones. Nevertheless, if you would rather have in-ear (which is understandable, as they do sound better), I recommend the VSD3S, which are great.
Spare phone. I now carry an iPhone 4, but I am so much changing this for a regular featurephone with crazy battery life.
(looks like a lot but it fits in a very small first aid kit)
Latex gloves. Inside a plastic bag.
Ibuprofen. The always relevant medicine.
Alprazolam. This is called by other names too, a calming medicine. I find it useful.
Small towels that expand when wet. I would love to find a better name for this.
China Balm. I am not completely sure why I have this in my bag, but I just found it. It is supposedly good for muscles and joints. It has a really strong smell too.