What is in your pocket?

Let’s talk about the things one might find in your pocket / on your key chain on any given day. I might have done this sort of thing before, I don’t remember. If I did, oh well – we are doing it again. What is the set of indispensable survival tools that you keep on your person at all times? Here is mine:

pocket.png

Let’s break it down:

  1. Ice Breakers Energy – I usually have a box of these mints with me because they are tasty and contain caffeine. As you may know, coffeine is the source of all my mystical and superhuman powers. Without it I’m helpless.
  2. My LG VX8700. It is a good phone. It has served me well so far. It’s only flaw is that it is just a basic phone. It doesn’t really do email, web or anything like that.
  3. An off brand multi-tool. It contains pliers, few blades a bottle opener and a flashlight. The blades are useless but the pliers and the flashlight are indispensable. The bulb on that thing is tiny, but it is a much better source of light than my phone’s display backlight which is what most people use as a light source in a pinch these days.
  4. Wifi Detector – this little toy tells me if there are any wifi networks in the vicinity. It is a bit useless, but it allows me to quickly answer pressing questions such as “does this coffee shop have free wifi?” without taking out my laptop or, you know… looking around for signs, or asking the person behind the counter…
  5. Bottle opener. It also doubles up as a cylindrical compartment where you can store something, and unscrewing the top reveals a small blade. It has been on my key chain since I was a kid and I sort of can’t make myself to take it off.
  6. Way to many flash drives of various capacities. They mostly contain random assortment of garbage – like files that I was moving between systems, drivers and security tools like ComboFix, MalwareBytes and etc. Most of the time I use these when I’m trying to rescue a machine that is so badly infected that I’m afraid to connect it to a network.
  7. A standard d6, cause you never know when you might need some manually generated entropy. Some people flip a con – I roll a dice. If you roll 3 of these you will get a very nice random distribution that follows the bell curve.
  8. My pocket knife. Good for opening boxes, cutting cables and etc. Yes, there are small blades on the multi-tool too but they are fairly useless. This one looks nice, and actually has a decent size blade. I’ve also used it for slicing apples, peeling oranges and etc…
  9. Small tool I got off Think Geek back in the day. The neat thing about it is that it snaps onto a keychain and looks just like a regular key. I also has a tiny cutting blade, Philips screwdriver head. It is sort of redundant, but comes in useful when carrying the pliers and the blade would be inappropriate.

I’ve been using this set for quite a while now, and I’m sort of looking to change it up a bit. I’ve been eying the Skeletool recently. It has a nice blade and could replace both my pliers and the knife consolidating this pile of gear somewhat. Then again it is a bit on the expensive side and I would need to find a replacement tiny flashlight.

What do you usually carry in your pocket? Yes, I know you can’t really post pictures in the comments but you can still describe. Maybe I can pick up some useful tools to add to my inventory here.

Update 04/21/2009 12:45:58 PM

Here is a follow up question that I just thought about – which pocket do you put your wallet in:

  1. left back pocket
  2. right back pocket
  3. left front pocket
  4. right front pocket
  5. purse
  6. fanny pack
  7. other

I carry my in the left front pocket of my pants. Why? Because that’s how my dad taught me. He actually grew up in one of the roughest, most ghetto neighborhoods of Warsaw and knew quite a few pick pockets in his youth and that’s what they told him to do. Allegedly this is the most difficult pocket to pick for a right handed thief. Back pockets are the easiest pickings. Not that I have ever been pick pocketed, but still…

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16 Responses to What is in your pocket?

  1. k00pa FINLAND PHP says:

    I don’t carry so much stuff.

    1# Siemens m75 ,old mobile phone but it works well!
    2# Keys
    3# Wallet
    4# 2 memory sticks (1g and 2g) model, with random files/games/programs inside
    5#iPod touch, I just love it

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  2. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I have certain stuff that just lives in one pocket or another, so I always know where to look to find it.

    Left trouser pocket; phone and MP3 player. Both fairly small and ordinary, nothing special… just enough electronics to make noises into my ears, whether those noises are musical or vocal in nature. Also headphones, when they aren’t running up under my shirt to my ears.

    Right Trouser pocket; A pen, an 8GB flash drive filled with useful portable apps, installer files, various bits of work and music, and my keys (also on the keyring: a teeny screwdriver and an LED light).

    Back pockets have my train pass, student ID and paper money.

    Jacket pockets – left has my coins, right has my car key (separate keyring). Also occasionally random scraps of paper depending on the important thing of the moment.

    And that’s my pockets.

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  3. jambarama UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Keys, wallet, and a pen. The phone stays home, the USB drive is my gmail account, and I don’t need any tools. In my coat pocket I also have a tiny mp3 music player where I listen to podcasts, npr, and books on tape.

    I like to travel light.

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  4. Petr UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I no longer carry much stuff in my pockets. It’s gotten to be too much stuff!! I have a ‘wallet’ made from the case that a PCMCIA card was delivered in for all my IDs, subway pass, credit cards and such, and which I wrap with a rubber band to hold whatever bills (money) I might carry with me… That’s the extent of things that go in my pockets (front pocket). When I have the car, I put my car keys in my backpocket (just like my dad did when I was younger =-) until I sit down on them once or twice…

    For all other carryings, I have a messenger bag that has become like a third limb, that goes everywhere. Some of its permanent contents:

    - Blackberry
    - RSA securid token (also used as a randomizer =-)
    - various key cards for access
    - various keys (to override the keycards)
    - random USB sticks
    - Ipod (with two connectors: car charger and computer charger)
    - a pocketknife (also has both flat and philips head screwdriver blades)
    - bottle opener (beer)
    - corkscrew (ya never know when a bottle of Chianti will present itself…)
    - small bottle of Advil
    - a small ball of string
    - about 5 meters of thin coiled rope (cord, really…)
    - a large assortment of writing implements (pens, sharpies, highliters…)

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  5. Right trouser pocket:
    Wallet with cards, driving licence (ID is essential), money and guitar picks (also essential :P)
    Left trouser pocket –
    Phone – Nokia 6230i, old and literally falling apart but it still works…
    Peppermint chewing gum
    Keys

    Things like usb sticks, pens etc are in my laptop bag usually.

    I’m so uninteresting :P

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  6. Adam UNITED STATES Safari Mac OS says:

    I keep my pockets empty in case I have to fight with anybody or run. I’m a little eccentric about that.

    I always (except in hot weather) wear a jacket I can carry my wallet, Treo 650 (worst. smartphone. ever.), and keys in. I will only buy jackets with pockets in them. Wallet goes in inside left pocket, or in left front pants pocket in the summer months.

    Everything else I put in the laptop case.

    In there:
    Small notebook for writing ideas
    Screwdriver
    Usb Key
    Ear piece for treo
    iPod 30g
    Lip Balm
    Pencil
    Guitar Capo
    Tylenol
    1 dose of Relpax (for migraines)
    a folded up six pack for carrying beer (I’m not kidding)

    Wallet always goes in inside jacket pocket or front left during the summer.

    Remember

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  7. mcai8sh4 UNITED KINGDOM Opera Linux Terminalist says:

    Damn bloody WP tells me I can’t post – I think matt had the same trouble the other day! But to summarize….
    Wallet, phone, keys – essentials.
    4GB USB key
    Condom
    Cigs + lighter
    Chewing Gum (any sort)
    Plectrum

    Thats my basics, I used to have a pocket knife, but in England it’s now illegal (?) and I’m thinking soon the cigs will be!!

    My wallet tends to live in my right-hand pocket, I’m left handed so my right hand protects my wallet, but my left batters anyone who tries to steal it!

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  8. James Heaver UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Trousers
    Front Left: non-folding card-only wallet (cards, ID etc) and paper money
    Front Right: iPhone (when not listening to it and wearing a coat)
    Back Right: Oyster card and current train ticket (outbound or return)
    Back Left: Random paper like flyers or leaflets I’ve been handed

    Coat
    Outisde Right: Keys (house, office, two office alarm fobs and an open rights group keyring) and spare change (this generally gets quite allot of change in it)
    Outside Left: Nile files (i’m a bit girly) and small rubbish if I can’t find a bin
    Inside Left: iPhone if I’m both wearing my coat and listening to it, old tickets, the other part of valid tickets (outbound or return – this isnt the best bit of organisation, I have to look through lots of tickets to find todays)
    Inside Right: um, nothing

    Small Rucksack (almost always carry)
    Front Pocket: Condoms, business cards, toothpaste&brush, deoderant, more nail files (mostly dead), Book (if paperback), USB Keys
    Main Pocket: Book (if hardback), eeePC and anything I need to carry.

    There you go, my snail’s shell.

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  9. Ian Clifton UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    My wallet goes in my front right pocket. Besides that, I typically only carry keys and a cellphone (without even a data plan). If cargo pants were considered professional, I’d certainly consider some gadgets though.

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  10. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    My essentials to be brought to wherever:

    Back right pocket – wallet
    Back left pocket – Nintendo DS
    Front right pocket – iPhone 3G, earphones (Senn CX300)
    Front left pocket – keyring (expanded below), coins, mints (if I remember to get)

    On the keyring:
    -Home keys (3: door, gate, letterbox)
    -Office keys (2: main door, personal drawer)
    -Bank pin authenticator
    -Corsair Flash Voyager 8GB drive
    -Coca-cola keychain (sentimental reasons :P)

    Somehow I feel naked if one of these is missing or placed in any other pocket. I get a weird vibe if I were to put my keys on the right pocket for example. Like something’s just not right.

    One thing that bothers me about your list: you have an assortment of blades and tools at your disposal, but no keys! I can think of 2 reasons. You either have one of those electronic/biometric locks installed wherever you go, or you randomly (using the d6) break into any house you want to stay for the night. :P

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  11. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @Mart: Well, I excluded keys and wallet as mundane. Let’s face it – most people carry a wallet or money clip of some sort and a set of keys – there is nothing unusual about them. I mean, unless you have some funky shaped keys or a cool wallet. So I just omitted them from my list.

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  12. Victoria UKRAINE Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I don’t have any pockets usually but you’d better not ask what I’m keeping in my small ladylike purse :)

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  13. freelancer SWEDEN Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Upper front right pocket:
    *Keys + some swizz multitool thingy I got from Thinkgeek (flat and philips head screwdriver, some blades, pliers, and probably something else I forgot)

    Lower front right pocket:
    *Sony Ericsson K800i. Awesome phone, I love it. It also doubles as my mp3 player and digital camera.

    Upper front left pocket:
    *1GB USB stick, with some random stuff and applications.
    *GigE loopback plug that I also got from Thinkgeek. Never actually used it, but I have this usual feeling that if I stop carrying it I will immediately need it :P
    *Keycard for my uni

    Lower front left pocket:
    *Wallet, in which I also have a tiny 2GB USB stick with Backtrack 3 (live Linux dist)
    *Bus pass
    *Tiny led light thingy. Not very effective, but better than nothing.

    Reply  |  Quote
  14. Chris K UNITED STATES Opera Mac OS says:

    Front right pocket: iphone, casio exilim ex-s10 (super tiny thin digital camera), cash goes behind them.
    Front left pocket: Fountain pen, keychain (4 keys), SD card reader (can use with sd card from camera as a thumb drive, or to share pics), knife, chapstick, ipod nano (newest) with headphone cord run through shirt.
    Optional left front pocket – car key and fob, any coins picked up throughout the day, anything else.
    Back right pocket, wallet with rfid badges for bus and office.
    Back left pocket, any non-cash paper items picked up throughout the day.

    Every time I get up from desk or walk through any door, must pat all four pockets to make sure I’m not “off balance”. Yay for mostly-humorous OCD.

    Reply  |  Quote
  15. Morghan UNITED STATES Opera Windows says:

    I have a wallet with a chainmail cable attaching it to my belt, usually in my right back pocket but it gets unclipped from the belt and moved to the right front depending on where I am.

    A little black leather notebook and a pen

    Checkbook

    Swiss Army Champ (My Leatherman Wave was stolen)

    Maglight

    Cell Phone (some cheap samsung slider, freebie with contract from T-Mobile)

    A keyring for the house, another for the car, another for the RV, another for the padlocks and safe, an LED light and my ring which no longer fits, a pill case with allergy pills, discount cards for local stores and library cards for four different library systems. (my wife jokes that I look like I killed a janitor)

    Old Thumb Drive, 2GB, came with Damn Small Linux installed on it. (When it arrives from newegg I’ll be using a Corsair flash Survivor GT 8GB and this one will be retired)

    OD German Military Surplus Rucksack
    Panasonic Toughbook CF-27 mk2, 300MHz Laptop with 192GB Ram & 6.5GB HDD, Running Debian Lenny, very light install set up for speed.

    When I have the opportunity to replace it I will also carry a solar charger for the laptop.

    GP2X F-100 (who needs a touchscreen?) Will hopefully have a Pandora soon.

    Solar Battery Charger and some rechargeable AAs for the GP2X & AAAs for the Camera

    iPod 5.5G 80GB

    Digital Camera

    Pill Bottle with herbal supplements

    Blue Diamond Almonds Travel Pack (very nice snack container)

    Usually have a book stuffed in there too

    Food Bars

    32oz Water Bottle

    Survival Kit, One of those tightly packed forget you have it ’till you need it things. Never know when you’ll need it for Zombies, World War III or the general collapse of American Infrastructure.

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