Working away from home – what’s in your bag? Part 9

Tom Phillips, Masters athlete and photographer

Working away from home - Tom Phillips

You can see Tom’s photos of mountains and athletics, and his blogs, on his site tomphillipsphotos.. He has annotated his photo so you can see each item – click on the image to see it full-size.

What Tom carries when he’s working away from home:

Years spent leading organized groups on mountain hut tours taught me about carrying what you need, but only what you need. My years as a community engagement manager in local government have taught me self-sufficiency away from an office base.

These days, I’m working as a freelance photographer. The business is called “Moving Mountains”, which is actually very descriptive of what loading up for a big job can involve, but here I’ll describe the sort of bag I carry when working away from home on other things.

The bag’s a Lowe Alpine Express (1), a messenger-style shoulder bag. I’ve had it for years and it still looks like new. It’s got a zip in the base to expand it for larger loads.

I was quick to take up Apple’s Ipad (2), and an iPhone4 (3) very shortly after it. I’ve used both for more than three years now. The iPad lives in a very solid Otterbox case. It was a tight fit and probably won’t come out of it now, but for water and accident protection, the case really is the business.

The iPad allows me to download photos direct from cards, sort, crop, edit and e-mail. It’s a solution that has worked for me 3,500 metres up in the French Alps as well as it does sitting in a traghetto on the Venice canals. Apple do a very simple SD card adapter, and those wonderful people at Photojojo make one for CF cards. I leave both in the bag all the time, so that I never get caught out by a hurried switch of cameras.

I don’t carry a mifi dongle any more. Wifi hotspots are getting much more numerous. When there’s none and I’m in the UK, I use the iPhone as hotspot now. It also means one less charging lead to pack.

I’ve got a Veho charger (4), bought from Amazon for about £4. It’s no bigger than a 13 amp plug, but works with the iPhone, iPad and my unbranded £30 Bluetooth headphones (5) (another Amazon bargain), and a number of other devices besides.

I carry a Moleskine notebook (6). I spend a lot of time writing myself lists and reminders. It’s an age thing, I think, and something I’ve never got used to doing digitally. Love my old Parker 25 rollerball pen, too (7).

Even if I’m out with my Nikon, I’ve almost always got my Lumix GF1 camera (8) in the bag, with a 14-42 and 42-200 lens (9), a spare data card and battery (10).

I also carry with me an emergency plastic poncho in the bag (11). It was a freebie from the Tour de France publicity caravan a few years back. Weighs only a few grams and I’ve never used it! That’s the mark of a great waterproof.

A simple mesh bag (12) contains charger leads, a camera lens brush and a useful cotton shopping bag.

And that’s pretty much it!

What’s in your bag when you’re working away from home? Send me a photo and a description of the contents of your mobile working bag and I’ll publish them here with a link to your site or blog.

Enjoyed this? Check out more home workers opening their bags in the What’s in Your Bag? series

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