There are things in life that you can't live without...oxygen, food, water, internet, you know, the very basic essentials for life. Everyone's list is different as to what they deem as essential, but everyone has a list. Much like Batman's utility belt or a Swiss Army knife, there are a handful of things in this world that we must have with us, to get us in, or out, of a tough jam. So we've asked our friends for a list of items that would make their list. The items that make them who they are.
To begin, meet mark hoppus:
a few months ago i started putting together a kit of everything i thought i'd need with me at all times, anywhere i went. sometimes i leave the house to run a quick errand around town, sometimes i leave the house for months of touring. i wanted to create a single bag that i could grab on the way out the door, under most any circumstance, and know that i'd be covered. i spent a great deal of time researching and collecting this list of items, and have assembled what i believe to be the perfect go-bag. for me. everyone will have their own needs, which may be far different than mine, producing a very different bag. but this is my list, so please stop yelling at me. why are you raising your voice?
in the beginning, some friends and family regretfully started referring to my go-bag as a "man purse," or "murse" in popular vernacular. mind you, to a person, everyone who initially mocked what they didn't understand has eventually needed to borrow or use something inside of it. i guess what separates a go-bag from a murse is the bag itself. some men use a messenger bag, a leather satchel, or even an old fishing bag. for me, i carry a vintage hermes birkin, as it goes so well with my pumps. but to each his own. and now on to the contents:
TEENAGE ENGINEERING OP-1 SYNTHESIZER
so fun. a little keyboard that contains everything you might need to put down a quick demo or write an entire electronic album. it offers more options than i have the capacity to learn. consequently, i probably utilize 10% of its resources. which is the same percentage of brain capacity that i employ. if you check online, there are videos of various artists writing some amazing music with this thing. i also plug it into my iPad or computer to use as a controller for other applications. a great tool to kill time on a tour bus or train or when your wife is trying to talk to you about her day can't you see i'm BUSY WORKING RIGHT NOW, SKYE?!
obviously. check twitter, listen to music, watch movies, read books, catch up on news, check twitter again, write songs, play games, email friends, check twitter yet again. how did i ever live without one?
i was born and raised in america, and despite the fact that i've adopted many british colloquialisms, i have yet to refer to this tool as a torch. a torch is something indiana jones uses to explore caves, or villagers hold in one hand while chasing monsters from their midst, with a pitchfork in the other. this item exacted perhaps the most research and consideration of everything in the bag. living in a community of touring personnel, everyone has their preferred model and application. roadies are EXCEEDINGLY particular and opinioned with regard to their flashlights. after seeking advice from everyone i could, i landed on the surefire EB1 Backup. it's small, with two output settings. the first is CRAZY bright. like, temporarily-blind-your-attacker bright. the second is more muted. the surefire website touts its tactical applications for law enforcement, and explains that it's a great backup option for patrol officers, or as a primary light for plainclothes officers. i mostly use mine to find the bathroom in the middle of the night while sleeping in unfamiliar hotel rooms.
a man's essential tool. to think i used to be the guy who reached for a butter knife to open a box. shameful. now, just having a knife in my pocket fills me with a sense of purpose and self-reliance usually reserved for fur traders in the 1700's. my current daily driver is a two-blade barlow knife, seen here. some people i know carry a leatherman, which surely possesses a wider array of utility, but if i ever need to actually construct something, i'll grab my tool box. also, "grab my tool box" is a great band name, if anyone is looking for one. note: when travelling, this item may need to be left at home or packed in checked luggage. it's the easiest thing to forget you have in your bag until you approach security.
i drink coffee. a lot of coffee. and i like to make my own. and always have it with me. the thermos provides for every single aspect of coffee enjoyment that i require. without a doubt, it's the heaviest and most space-consuming item in the bag, but when i take a sip of that sweet homemade french-press goodness, while some chump next to me is drinking a five-dollar disposable cup of nonsense, it makes it all worthwhile. i discovered another happy property of my thermos while on tour in australia last summer. their summer. it was ridiculously hot, and halfway through our sets, my delicious icy drink would become a melted, lukewarm mess. enter the thermos, whose ability to keep hot drinks hot is closely followed by its ability to keep cold drinks cold. at the end of our show, using the thermos, my beverage would still have ice in it, remaining just as enjoyable walking offstage as when we walked on. glorious.
what the hell, it's tiny, takes up very little space in the bag, and if i'm ever in a true emergency, it may come in handy. or what if i happen upon a pickup game of hockey and they need me to jump in and ref the damn thing?! i got you covered.
antiquated? not a chance. handkerchiefs are a necessity, even in the year 2013. you can use it to dry your hands, clean your sunglasses, even blow your nose. no, it isn't gross to blow your nose with it. shut up. no you shut up. you. anyway, perhaps the best use of the humble handkerchief is to offer it to your lady when she needs it. always make sure it's a clean handkerchief, though. when your special one cries during your weekly viewing of "the notebook," don't give her a dirty, booger-filled rag, hand her the clean, folded one you keep in your other pocket. look at that, you're such a gentleman! also, go for cotton. the silk ones don't absorb at all and should be reserved for use as pocket-squares, if and when you need to wear a suit (shudder).
this might not be for everyone, but i think it should be. living in the uk, we sometimes take our dog to walk through the countryside, using the ordinance survey maps. and i tend to get lost. a lot. despite my pigeon-like sense of direction, sometimes even the mighty need a little help. many people use the position of the sun as an indicator for navigation, which would be an excellent tool, if the sun ever showed itself here. i've even found occasion to use the compass to find my way in the city when emerging from a subway and trying to get my bearings as to where i'm going. alternately, i hail a cab and they get me where i need to be.
it's like the "notebook" app on your smartphone or tablet, but in real life! currently, i like the leuchtturm 1917 medium model. pocket in the back for stamps and whatnot. lined pages, not blank or graph. it's great for working on lyrics, taking notes, and writing tearful confessions in the small hours of the morning.