I have been thinking about doing this post for a while, and I will probably do a video version over on my Youtube channel once I work out how to fix my editing software (any Mac wizards please send help), but today’s prompt seemed like the perfect opportunity!
Now if any of you have ever met me when I’m covering an event in my day job, you’ll probably have wondered why I’m carrying a rucksack (unless I’ve had one of those days where I throw caution to the wind and decide to leave everything that doesn’t fit in my pockets in the car). The thing is that I’m normally so ridiculously over-prepared for any eventuality except for the ones which actually crop up. I could probably deal with a zombie apocalypse if I had to.
So what exactly am I carrying?
- Two cameras, plus batteries. That’s right, you will probably notice straight away that I’m wearing a DSLR camera round my neck, but what you may not realise is that I’m carrying my ‘point and shoot’ camera as a back up as well as a spare battery for both cameras. I have been caught out in the past by dead batteries. Worse still, a couple of times this summer I got caught out by leaving my memory card in my computer and not realising until I was at an event. It happens to us all – we’re just human after all.
- A notebook, and multiple pens. Obviously part of journalism is writing notes to help you remember things, like key facts or names. While I am lucky enough to have a pretty good memory for these kinds of things, it can be more reliable to write things down (especially the modern spellings of some names!) and I think writing them down can actually help you to remember things. Much like dead batteries, we’ve all be caught out by dead pens which is why I tend to carry at least 3 pens on me so that even my back up has a back up. Normally you can find stray pens lying about in my car – until I actually forget to take a pen with me, that is, then naturally there’s not one to be found anywhere.
- A waterproof jacket. Unless it’s raining when I arrive the chances are I will be wearing my work fleece or just a t-shirt, however I live and work in the north-east of Scotland which means that the weather is definitely unpredictable!
- Sun cream (factor 50+, if anyone was curious) Even if it’s not sunny, even if it’s pouring rain, I can guarantee you that there will be like five seconds of not particularly great sunshine and I will turn into a lobster. Some of us are just very sensitive to the sun and it would be stupid to not be prepared.
- Tickets, passes, schedules or other event specific items. Obviously these vary from job to job, but can be very helpful for getting me in or reminding me where I’m meant to be when!
- Business cards. Sometimes people want to get in touch with you later, either related to the thing you’re covering or about something completely different and therefore business cards are super handy to have!
- Baby wipes and antibacterial hand gel. We cover various farming events as well as other outdoor events and events where we can come into contact with animals (and snotty humans) so sometimes something like baby wipes or antibac gel can come in super handy if you don’t feel like getting ill!
- Water and snacks. Sometimes you get a chance to grab something to eat if you’re working all day…and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you don’t feel like spending a fiver on cold chips and cheese. Having snacks and water if just generally good practice for life, right?
- Money. Sometimes you see something that you want to spend your hard earned money on (and not just cold overpriced chips and cheese).
- Tissues. Really this is just because my mum taught me when I was younger that you should always carry a tissue in case of runny noses, and it’s surprising how often this life advice comes in handy!
- Paracetamol (and any other medications). Headaches are a thing.
- Hair bobble. A hair bobble is a suspiciously useful thing to have a spare of, either for your hair or for other practical needs. They’re truely multi-purpose!
- Mobile phone (and portable charger if necessary). Sometimes if we’re working in a team it’s important to have our phones to communicate with each other, and if you’re working along then sometimes it’s just nice to have your phone for company!
- Keys. Y’know, so I can get back in to my car and/or house.
- Glasses. If I have worn my contact lenses that day instead of my spectacles then I always carry my glasses with me as a back up in case something goes funky.
What’s in your work bag? Let me know in the comments below!