I would never admit to being the most overpacked of the four halfwheel staff members, but I do carry around a bit more than my colleagues. I am a firm believer in the theory of better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. A few things may come and go, but for the most part this is what you would find in my bag were you to stop me on the trade show floor.


  • XIKAR 5-count travel humidor — this got thrown in from the drive up, but I tend to keep it on hand just in case I need to stash a cigar or two, or so that I can have something to grab quickly.
  • Apple MacBook Pro — Bought this in November 2014 and still going strong; it’s a 15-inch with the Retina display and the screen and keyboard are badly in need of a cleaning.
  • JetLine lighters — single and triple flames; we bought about 10 for the staff this year to have on hand, and I brought one of my own as well.
  • Djeep lighter — my go-to soft flame and travel lighter. I bought 24 of these from an online store and love them.
  • XIKAR MTX cigar scissors and multi-tool — pretty self explanatory, this is my preferred cutter, and the tools tucked into the handle are fairly useful.
  • Backup cigar cutter — a generic cutter I received from a company recently. Pretty must a just in case option.
  • Vector butane — given that I drove up, I brought a couple cans to have on hand, one of which stays with me in my bag as it’s pretty light.
  • Field Notes notebooks — this year we ordered a couple packs for all of the staff; I can’t say I’ve been overly impressed or disappointed by them, but they certainly do the job and fit in my back pocket or guayabera pocket.
  • Apple Lighting cables, plugs and car charger — for charging my iPhone 6s Plus (not pictured); I always carry around a few extra cords and plugs just in case one goes bad or to loan one to someone in need.
  • Contact lenses — I always have an extra pair on hand in case I lose one, it gets gunked up or I just feel like a fresh pair would help.
  • Sunscreen — despite being in Las Vegas, I haven’t been outside all that much so the sunscreen hasn’t been used a lot. However, living in Phoenix I’m always reapplying it when I’m outside. Trust me, skin cancer is no fun. I’m not loyal to one brand over another, but this happens to be from Neutrogena.
  • Jack Black lip balm with SPF 15  — the intense sun and hot dry air can wreak havoc on your lips, so much like the sunscreen, a travel size tube is never far away.
  • BC powdered aspirin — as I’ve mentioned before, I can’t swallow a pill. No particular reason, other than I have simply never been able to. Fortunately this does the trick and is washed down with a bit of water.
  • Colgate dental floss — I hate the look and feeling of junk in my teeth, so I keep a small supply in my bag.
  • Kirkland Extra Strength Energy Shot — being that I drove up from Phoenix, I stopped at Costco a few days prior to leaving to get the team plenty of water, Red Bull and this stuff. It’s Costco’s version of 5 Hour Energy and it seems to work pretty well, though I find the grape flavor disgusting and stick with berry or pomegranate.
  • Kirkland water — I picked up a case of the large and medium-sized bottles for the halfwheel staff, hopefully they appreciated it as I know they’ve certainly been drinking it.
  • Flash drives — a bit of a relic, but an easy way to share files or move big files off my computer as we rack up gigabytes of photos and videos of show coverage.
  • Canon EOS 60D — my second year with this camera, which I have paired with a Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD lens. I usually use a 60 mm Tamron lens for reviews, but this is more versatile for events such as the trade show as I can zoom in and out to adjust to an ever changing environment. The battery charger is also pictured, though I recently purchased a dual battery charger from Newmowa that I absolutely love as it can be powered by USB power or plugged into a wall. I also carry an extra Transcend 32GB SDHC card which is in the camera.
  • RØDE Stereo VideoMic X microphone — After a less than thrilling experience last year with one of RØDE’s shotgun microphones, we decided to try this model. Unfortunately, I wasn’t consulted prior to the rental. For my fellow recording enthusiasts, these are stereo X-Y microphones designed to immerse the listener into the environment, which on the noisy trade show floor is exactly what we don’t want; we want to get sound from the speaker and get rid of as much background noise as possible. A really solid mic that is being used in the wrong environment. Also pictured is a backup 9-volt battery to power it.
  • MagicFiber wipes: to keep the lenses, camera and computer screen all clean.
  • BlackRapid RS-7 camera strap: My second year with this and still a big fan. For quick access to my camera with a comfortable strap that can be work on the shoulder or across the body, I think this strap is great.
  • Business cards — the same ones you’ve seen before from CardsOfWood.com, mine is the maple pattern, a nod to the wood used to make baseball bats.
  • Pens — A Pentel from Japan that Charlie gave me and a Lamy that we bought for the staff. Happy with both.
  • ANKER batteries — used to power my phone or other USB chargeable devices when I can’t get to an outlet. I can’t recommend the company’s products enough.
  • Three-way power adapter — old school and a life saver, especially if asking to share an outlet with someone.
  • Shure SE215 earbuds — my daily use earphones for the gym, listening to podcasts or meditations, flying, etc.
  • Boveda 69% humidification packs — normally I would have a Ziplock bag or two as well, but I put cigars in these to protect them from the desert heat.
  • SOLO rolling briefcase — I picked this up at an office supply store several years ago to make navigating the trade show a bit less taxing on my shoulders. It’s held up very well, though I’m worried the handle is getting a bit loose. It also makes a great day trip or overnight bag as it can hold a change of clothes.
Davidoff is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.