If there’s one thing that I can safely say about my bag this year, it’s that it is by far the lightest it has been in the ten or so years that I’ve been covering the trade show. A large part of that is due to the fact that we have a workspace on the trade show floor, so there’s no real need for me to lug anything extra around when I can just leave it somewhere secure and pick it up when needed. The rest is just a concerted effort to atone for the toll that lugging around an unnecessarily heavy bag over all those years.
That means that a lot of the things I used to carry around are gone, things like my Anker batteries, any unnecessary cords and cables, extra notebooks, my computer, and pretty much anything that isn’t absolutely essential. That’s not to say that I don’t have them; my computer is in the bunker, as are my headphones, phone charger and some other things, but they’re no longer in the bag when it comes to what’s on my back when I’m on the floor.
As for what is:
- Sony a7 III camera with a Sony 16-35 f/2.8 lens — the camera is mine but the lens is a rental, and while it doesn’t have quite the zoom I might want in an everyday lens, it pretty much does the job on the show floor.
- Sennheiser AVX Microphone — A very good wireless microphone for our interviews, and one I’d certainly consider if I needed to purchase a wireless mic system.
- Peak Design tripod — I’m by no means an expert on tripods, but this one does the job pretty well, especially after I tightened up the mechanisms that keep the legs in place. I go back and forth about whether it would make sense to go to a monopod, though I’m not crazy about those either. Truth be told, this is the least favorite part of my gear, but it does keep the videos looking decent.
- Notebooks — These are the basic reporters notebooks, and in particular from Office Depot. Nothing fancy, but a simple pad of paper on which to take notes. One of these years I’m going to design some sort of sheet that functions as a template for what kind of information I need.
- Pens — I’ve been using uni-ball Jetstreams and Muji pens pretty much exclusively, and that’s the case here.
- Moisturizer and Sunscreen — Everything in the environment is working against you in Las Vegas, from the summer heat to the constant air conditioning, not to mention the intake of caffeine, alcohol, a less-than-perfectly healthy diet, and walking more in a day than I probably do in an average week. Sometimes just getting my skin feeling a bit more normal is a huge boost, and as a reminder, skin cancer is no fun, so slather on the SPF.
- Water — I’m not much of a water snob, and I have to admit that the tap water at the Palazzo is surprisingly drinkable, but I try not to leave the booth without some water.
- Cutter — I’m using a XIKAR Xi1 that came from Drew Estate as part of a Freestyle Live pack.
- Lighter — While I flew up with a Djeep, it has been replaced by a XIKAR Tech single flame lighter that I received at Procigar 2016. It still works quite well.
- Business Cards — From CardsOfWood.com, and printed on maple. I’m carrying less and less of these as it seems everyone either has my contact info or says they’ll just DM me on Instagram.
- Goody’s Headache Powder — I don’t know what it is, but I can’t swallow pills, so this headache powder is my alternative.