IPCPR 2019: What’s In My Bag – Brooks Whittington


Six years, six of these posts where I and the rest of the halfwheel staff explain what is in our bags that we carry around everywhere on the trade show floor for four days. There have been some very important additions this year, but nothing even close to the the change of last year’s switchover of the cameras and lenses from Canon to Sony.

  • Apple Watch 3 — This is perhaps the most important change for this year, not only as an invaluable tool for setting alarms only I can hear/feel, but also since it allows me to read the many, many multiple texts that are sent to me from various members of the halfwheel crew without having to stop, put my camera, monopod, bag and whatever else I can carrying down in order to pick up my phone, open it, swipe around until I find what I need and then repeat the process. It will probably save me close to an hour over the entire time I am covering the show, and that is a very, very big deal.
  • Lowepro Pro Roller x300 AW — It has been from Paris, France to the Paris Hotel here in Las Vegas to Paris, Texas and so, so many places in-between during the 20 plus years I have been using it, and the Lowepro Pro Roller looks virtually new. Rugged, dependable and easy to transport, it carries everything I need with ease, and doubles as a quick seat if I ever need one.
  • Monopod — Does a great job at keeping the camera steady for videos, but really annoying to carry around all day.
  • Sennheiser AVX Microphone — I hate having to hand these to people to use, but they produce excellent sound  for videos, so sacrifices must be made.
  • Hand Sanitizer — Important for for obvious reasons.
  • Sugar Free Red Bull — Down it for quick energy.
  • Credentials — This year’s versions are just made of paper, which means it took exactly 14 seconds for the metal clip on the lanyard to rip it. I—and many people at the convention—solved this by just putting a piece of gaffer’s tape on the top, cutting a hole in that section and attaching the clip to it.
  • Business Cards — Not as cool as the metal ones for my old site back in 2009-2011, but  the wood ones are still cool and get the job done.
  • Apple iPhone X — Absolute necessity for any of one thousand reasons.
  • Cell Phone Charger —Charlie gave me this after I misplaced my Anker charger. It not only holds a charge so you can replenish your phone, but also has plugs so you can plug other stuff into it. Will wonders never cease.
  • Notebook — Smaller and lighter than last year. I actually did not even use it once on day one since I have been writing down info on the pricing sheets I have been given, but I imagine that will change at some point.
  • Pen — Stole these from the halfwheel office after I misplaced my Lamy pen from last year. Man, I loved that Lamy pen.
  • Boveda Event Humidor Bag — Almost as necessary as the cameras and cell phone due to the extremely dry conditions in Vegas, which are murderous on cigars.
  • Snickers Bar — I replaced last year’s BoBo’s Peanut Butter Bar with this for one good reason: it is not as dry when I eat it, meaning I don’t have to have a drink to wash it down.
  • Sony Flash — I don’t expect that I will use it, but better safe than sorry.
  • 5 Hour Energy — I only take half at a time, but boy it does its job well if I need a large amount of energy in a hurry.
  • Colibri Quasar Cut — Great looking, easy to carry and cuts cigars well. What else do you need?
  • JetLine Triple Flame — The office bought like 20 of these to carry around in case we need them. They work well at a price that can’t be beat.
  • Warped Series I Case — Not as bulky as the Visol Products Cigar Case I used last year, although it is also not as durable nor does it protect cigars nearly as well. Of course, I can’t remember the last time I smoked a cigar from one of my cigar cases on the show floor.
  • Two Sony A7RII Cameras — I switched from the Sigma 24 ƒ/1.4 lens to the Sony ƒ/1.4 on my main body, while the other still has the Sigma 85 ƒ/1.4 lens on it.
Overall Score

NullDavidoff is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2019 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.

Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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