Bag Dump

by Stuart Lennon

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that pinching another’s eloquence is far easier than devising one’s own. Another one is that notebookists maintain an interest in bags.

After all, those lovely notebooks have to get around somehow.

Stuart co-hosts a podcast, 1857, which has a Slack chat. As can happen there, talk took a turn and the slackers* were soon exchanging thoughts on bags.

My bag, unpacked.

The bag, partially covered by my jacket, is a Moab Jam by Jack Wolfskin. Habitually, I commute on foot, with the CEO at my heel. It’s just short of five miles each way, and takes an hour and a bit. A 19 litre bag is plenty enough to carry. Beneath the jacket is hidden a pocket that contains a rain cover, and a red LED light. I don’t usually take my computer home, but when I need to, my 15 inch MacBook fits.

I live in England. In England we have weather. All of it. This picture is from July, and during a hot spell, even so, the jacket stays in the bag. It’s extremely lightweight, waterproof and by Rab. From memory, it costs marginally more per ounce than platinum, but it does keep the rain out.

Actually, both the bag and the jacket were purchased for hiking, before I started combining hiking with my daily commute. Both will accompany me to Northern Spain for the Camino de Santiago. The Moab is well-made, comfortable to wear and the built-in rain cover is ideal. Most importantly for me, the bag is small (helps discipline the packer), but still has a waist strap, which keeps the bag stable on long hikes.

The jacket is top notch kit. Sure, it was expensive, but it is truly waterproof, packs into its own pocket and has the wonderful addition of pit zips, that allow air to circulate even when you’re hiding from the rain. I have had many a laugh at hikers in Spain, who emerge lightly poached from airless ponchos at the end of a rain shower.

Bag Contents

Tempting though it was to curate my bag contents, I haven’t adjusted it at all for the purpose of this post. On a whim, I decided to write the post today and emptied out the bag.

Two bank account security thingymabobs. One business, one personal. The little key is for my locker at the golf club, and it sits between my Fisher Space Backpacker pen and some bags for the CEO’s…output. An apple (breakfast), a head torch and my Blackwing pencil case.


Left to right. My Fa Vo content book, sitting on top of Panic Stations, a play by Derek Benfield, which I am frantically trying to learn for two performances, three weeks from now. Then a Baron Fig Lock and Key (with a Leuchtturm Pen loop) sitting atop a Great Barrier Reef Earth Journal by Dingbats. The BF is my daily work driver, #BulletJournal based. The Dingbat is my project book for our impending move.

Left to right. Graf von Faber Castel Perfect Pencil. Blackwing 10001, Blackwing 602, Pelikan Stresseman 805, Blackwing longpoint sharpener, Word Standard Memorandum 2018, Schon DSGN Stainless Steel clip, Fisher Space Pen, Pencil case complete with Nero Pin and ATP Pin. Why there is a 2 euro coin is anybody’s guess.


Pocket contents

I walk in long hiking shorts, blessed with big pockets. Back Right, The Moleskine wallet. Back left, my EDC notebook, in this case a special edition from @darkstarcollection and a pen, currently the FN/Aurora collaboration. Front left, my AirPods, and front right my keys, in a Bellroy key case. Not pictured - as it’s taking the picture, is my iPhone X. That lives in one of the leg pockets. Once the CEO and I leave the countryside and are in the town, I’ll put on a podcast or audio book, or now at least, a recording that I have made of the play.

For the sake of completeness…


I wear a cap, grey and plain, by The North Face. Keeps the weather off. I wear a buff around my neck for the same purpose. T shirt is normally a merino one, which will deal with sweat without leaving me a stinking mess. The walking shorts finish at the top of my compression stockings, which are always brightly coloured, allowing the local population of van drivers to grace me with their acerbic and seemingly endless witticisms. I wear Merrel walking shoes or boots, coincidentally called Moabs, like the bag.

*Want to be an 1857 slacker? Send your email address and you will receive an invite.