Recently I have been doing a lot of field work and have seen a lot of people looking for random things or asking people if they had those items. In many of those cases I had the items they needed. This is not because I am great or anything, this is from building up my bag over the years. I keep all of these items in my laptop bag where it becomes my every day carry (EDC) for robotics. So here is the list of what I carry.
- Laptop Bag
- Laptop (I like to get a real serial port, but they are getting harder and harder to find. If not I get a laptop card with a native serial port.
- Laptop charging cable (I use a dock at my desk so I can leave the cable in my bag)
- Serial cable with DB-9 connectors (w/ male & female gender changers and null modem)
- Ethernet cable w/ coupler
- Marker (Black Sharpie)
- Zip ties
- Tweaker (small screwdriver with Phillips on one side and flat head on the other side)
- Multi tip screwdriver
- Leatherman – I always carry this on my belt
- Medical kit (band-aid, alcohol wipe, gauze, tourniquet). Should I add a CPR mask?
- Multimeter (Minimum voltage and continuity)
- Head light (hands free light is great)
- Electrical tape or duct tape (you can wrap tape around a business card to save space)
- USB memory drive
- VGA to X display adapter (what does your computer use??)
- Cell phone
- Cell phone charger
- $20 (or so) tucked away in a laptop bag pocket
- a few granola bars (or similar) for when you get stuck somewhere
- Sunscreen (travel packets are nice)
- Hand warmers (air activated pads) climate dependent
Things I used to carry and still should:
- Emergency mylar blanket (for covering robot in rain or medical)
- Cloth tape measure
- 8.5 x 11 camera calibration and focus target. It was attached to thin wood.
- Rope (paracord)
- Rain gear
While I was making this list my wife said I should add the following items that I never really gave a second though to:
- Feminine hygiene products
- Pain killer (Tylenol, Motrin, etc..)
I hope this helps you build your kit. Based on your situation and what you are working on this list might change. However by always carrying a standard set of items you can always be prepared (the boy scout motto). If you feel we should add items to the list above please leave it in the comments below.
The links above are just to the first example of each item that I found on Amazon. I like Amazon for the convenience, however I am not endorsing any of the items I linked to. They are just examples.