Personal baggage

This post is about my baggage. No, not personal history, literal baggage. Stuff I carry things around with while walking, biking, or on transit.


First up, the standout thing about my bicycle hauling. These are “kitty litter bucket panniers” that I made from an instructable ( They’re pretty simple to make, very cheap if you know anyone with kitty litter buckets, and hold as much stuff as I want to handle without the trailer.

Bike and trailer Sylvan Ave 8-3-2016 (2)

This picture is the trailer. It’s pretty self-explanatory. The brand of this is Aosom and it was the cheapest cargo trailer on the day I bought it. I had to work on it, but it’s in good shape now other than a flat tire. It carries up to 100 pounds, which is quite a lot of groceries or more laundry than I own.


This is the biggest belt pack (“fanny” pack in the USA) that I could find on the Internet about ten or twelve years ago. I went to the Cabela’s at Wheeling, WV, to pick it up. This serves many purposes and has held up extremely well. I can use it on the bicycle because it doesn’t pull on my shoulders the way backpacks do. It gets a lot of work because it’s my usual choice any time I don’t need to carry cargo and also when I’m hauling stuff on the bicycle.


I wear these “book” bags out. They’re good for carrying a few groceries, a spare layer (jacket, sweater, etc.), library books, or unexpected things I find somewhere. I lucked out in a big way on this one. I paid $1.91 for it at the Volunteers of America thrift shop in new condition. A couple of days later, I came across it on the Internet while looking for something else. This is the biggest school-type bag JanSport makes and it sells for $31.95. This one gets as much work as the belt bag, depending on the exact situation.

This one’s a laptop bag I picked up somewhere years ago. The many pockets come in handy for more complicated multi-stop errands, and the main part is good for groceries, including up to two gallon jugs if necessary. This bag also stays next to my back when loaded, and that makes carrying weight much easier. I can sort paperwork into different pockets and carry plenty of food, medications, and entertainment, too. I do not understand the loop accessories at the end of the shoulder straps. They probably have some high-tech purpose (it’s a Targus bag), but if anyone knows, please advise.

Bear with me, I’m almost done.


This big number is a military-style rucksack a friend had. To give you an idea of its size, I put the big black bag inside it so that it would hold its shape. This is a really big bag. I only carry it when I expect big cargo, such as a few weeks’ groceries. It has a thorax strap and a waist belt to keep it in place. I probably look really small wearing this thing when it’s full, but it’s engineered for big loads. The side pockets work out well for small or fragile things and there’s a top pocket that holds the non-cargo stuff (book to read, meds, granola bars).

There’s only one more. I’ll make it short.

I bought this “barracks bag” or whatever it’s called a good 15 years ago. It only has the one huge compartment, and I mostly use it for laundry. However, it makes a good way to organize large amounts of small items on the hand truck. I also use the hand truck to wheel my laundry around in order to wash it. The straps don’t adjust small enough for me to wear it correctly, but I also use it to carry laundry (or whatever) by bus. The cylindrical shape works out better than something more rounded there.

Whew! That’s quite a bit of luggage, but it’s important to understanding how I live without access to a car.


2 thoughts on “Personal baggage

  1. lcy

    Containers…you have plenty, now all you need is the money to fill them up with varied items, basically is the story of many people’s daily life’s struggles. All we can do do is, ” hang in here ‘ !!

  2. foothillbilly Post author

    If I filled them all up at once, I would not be able to function. It’s less a struggle than it probably seems because mostly it’s perspective. Living a car-free life fits very well with my philosophy, religion, and politics. Also, walking, cycling, and to some extent transit are good for my health. I’m doing very well for someone with my diagnoses, and the doctors say that’s what causes it.


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