A Few Things I Carry With Me Every Day
Gadgets and Large Dongles
- Karma Go. A portable wi-fi hotspot. Truth be told, I don’t use this as much as I used to. But it’s a great tool to pull out in airport waiting areas and coffee shops with no wi-fi. The service has gone through a few changes since I first received mine back in 2015. If you want to learn more about how it works, visit GeekDad to read my various posts about the evolving Karma experience.
- Amazon Essentials USB Hub. This was an indispensable tool on my family’s trip around the world. I use it infrequently now, but I’m happy it’s there when I need it. I’ve considered upgrading it, but it works for what I need it for.
- Anker 8-in-1 Portable Card Reader. This is one of my favorite dongles and I use it almost every day to transfer images from my camera SD card to my laptop. I’m not sure why it’s called “8-in-1” as it has just two slots: one for microSD cards and one for regular SD cards. So it’s more of a “2-in-1.” But that’s all I need it to do.
- Anker Astro E1 “CandyBar” Charger. We ask a lot of our devices and sometimes their batteries aren’t up to the task. That’s when this handy device comes into play. It pumps out 6700 mAh—enough to charge my phone twice.
- Nite Ize Size-2 S-Biner. I keep one of these clipped to the zipper pull of the Think Tank. Sometimes I need to clip things (usually keys) somewhere, and it’s nice to have one of these on hand for those moments.
- A packet of silica gel. Water is the bane of electronics, so I keep one of these stashed in the think tank to soak up any moisture that might find its way inside the Think Tank.
- USB to USB Micro Cable (3 Feet). Once this was the most-used cable in my bag. Today, I mainly use this to top up the charge on my Anker Candy Bar Charger.
- USB to USB Micro Mini-Cable. A mere seven centimeters long, this cable comes in handy on occasion when a longer cord would just get in the way.
- USB to USB-C Cable (3 Feet). I picked this up when I bought my Nexus 5X. It’s useful for charging the phone (which has a USB-C connector) from a standard USB power source (like the Anker Candy Bar or a car cigarette adapter). These days, it’s my most-used cable.
Altoids Container Small Dongles
I keep a number of small dongles that would otherwise get get lost very easily inside an Altoids Smalls container.
- USB Charge-Only Adapter. Another of my favorite dongles. A great device to use when I’m in the position of charging my phone in an unfamiliar USB slot. This does two things: 1) It increases the charging speed because there no data transferred—at least that’s what they claim. I’ve never really noticed a difference—and 2) Keeps any nefarious third parties from downloading or uploading information to my device.
- USB to USB-C Adapter. This is amazingly useful for transferring data off my phone and onto my computer. Sure there are easier ways to do this (such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and the like), but sometimes this is the fastest most hassle-free way to move a few files. It’s also very useful to have when I don’t have access to reliable wi-fi.
- SanDisk Cruzer Fit USB Drive. A small but powerful USB drive. I use this primarily in conjunction with the USB to USB-C adapter to move files around, but I’ve also used it to print photos at a drugstore photo kiosk.
- USB Micro to USB-C Adapter. This great adapter comes into play when I need to charge my phone with a microUSB cable. It’s a holdover from the days when USB to USB-C cables were hard to come. I don’t really use it anymore but carry it out of habit more than anything. Maybe it’s time to let it go.
The Think Tank 10 also comes with three red whips, elastic cable wranglers that have many different uses, but I just use mine to keep the three-foot cables nice and neat.
And that’s about it. Although if I’m traveling, I will take along a Aukey Dual USB Car Charger just in case I need to top off a charge when I’m in a car. It’s kind of bulky, though, and when I do carry it, the Think Tank is pretty much filled to capacity.