BY ADAM BAILEY
When I say “stuff,” I don’t mean clutter or useless knickknacks. I’m talking about things that’ll make your life easier while helping you look put together (and stay put together). Sure, you might not have considered some of these picks before, but once you’ve incorporated a few into your daily routine, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
We’re all too old now to just shove things in our pockets. Just remember, this isn’t your father’s giant, bulging leather wallet that protrudes from his back pocket. Go for a thinner version or use a simple card holder.
You’ve graduated from backpacks and gym bags. Toss your things into a more respectable carrying case that’s actually designed for a weekend getaway or business trip. The best travel bags are compact but offer plenty of room for footwear, tailored clothing, and accessories. On top of that, they should be able to withstand the elements (or at least the airplane overhead bin) without any damage to your valuables inside.
QUALITY CHEF’S KNIFE
If you’re going to buy one kitchen knife, make it a chef’s knife. Don’t let the price tag scare you off. It’s better to have one knife that can do five things than five different knives that you barely use. Yes, they can be expensive, but a good chef’s knife will repay you with easier slicing and dicing and a blade that will last for years (with proper care and sharpening, of course).
CAST IRON SKILLET
Its non-stick, easy to clean, and you can use it on the stove and in the oven at any temperature. Plus it’s sturdy, doesn’t scratch, and can last you a lifetime. Your favorite cuts of meat and more are going to be amped up in a big way when cooked in a cast iron skillet.
Emphasis on the good. Those cheap, gas station sunglasses just won’t cut it. Sure they might be a tad expensive, but a quality pair of sunglasses is a worthwhile investment. Not only will they protect your eyes on the sunniest of days, they’ll contribute to your overall sense of style and demonstrate you’ve taken some care in how you present yourself.
PAIR OF WORK GLOVES
This might depend on your own level of yard work, but as someone with a small garden and backyard to maintain, having a set of work gloves is essential. Keep your hands protected and add some grip and grit to your work. Plus, a well-made pair of work gloves can last a lifetime so you can buy a pair once and use them for years of backyard work.
Between opening packages to sawing through a branch on a camping trip, a proper pocket knife can come in handy when you need it most. There’s no need to go all out on a tactical, impractical knife. Instead find a stylish, discreet knife that is durable, long-lasting, and easy to use.
Wire cutters, pliers, and screwdrivers are must-haves when looking for a trusted multitool.
An umbrella is obviously one of those items where you don’t need it until you really need it. But, it’s worth keeping an umbrella handy at all times. Go for something travel-sized rather than a bulky behemoth. Make sure it’s durable enough to handle significant winds and a downpour.
A dedicated Dopp kit or toiletry bag is necessary for longterm travel. There’s no dignity in lugging a zip lock bag with your dinky toothbrush and travel-sized toothpaste. Opt for a water-proof, easy-to-clean toiletry kit to keep your grooming essentials organized and tidy.
DECK OF CARDS
You never know when you could use a little diversion. So having a deck of cards is always worth it whether you have guests over or happen to be traveling. Set up a quick poker game or play some Solitaire to pass the time. PASSPORT It’s your access card to see the world. Get a passport. Travel for all to see. Get some stamps in it. Enjoy!