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beginners guide to being a cyborg

– Sort out your basic ‘in the world’ possessions, in this order of priority:

↳ Stuff you need to live. Stuff you need to not get killed. Stuff you need to work. Stuff your family needs to live. Maintain friendships. Break addictions. Breathe regularly. Floss? If your big issues are up here that’s fine, so are mine, but this post is about pretending to be the guy from the Sega Megadrive advert. Higher order priorities require a more substantial treatment from a more substantial person.

↳ Have clothing appropriate to your climate. People in more extreme environments don’t need to be told this, but those from milder, more temperate climes will often spend outrageous sums of money on useless things without owning a proper pair of shoes or a raincoat. A robust backpack or bag is probably a good investment for most people as well.

↳ Own a decent Android smartphone. At this point there are perfectly respectable budget options; you no longer need to spend big bucks to get something non-frustrating. Don’t chase the Feature Dragon, and if you spend extra, spend it on the processor and RAM, not gimmicks and silly screens.

↳ Use a simple, cheap, slim purse/wallet. Nobody needs George’s wallet. If you are convinced you do, put all the crap in an organiser in your bag and see how often you go to it. If I didn’t own a pocket organiser, my wallet would be an elastic hairband with a card-sized folded-paper envelope for coins.

↳ Have some kind of non-cacophonous clothing-friendly way of carrying your keys on your person. You don’t need to spend silly sums – again, you can do this with some paracord, an elastic hair band, and a carabiner. Use your imagination (or just buy something, whatever).

↳ Acquire a 1-3 layer Swiss Army Knife and a AA or AAA torch, plus some eneloops and a charger. For the SAK, look at the Bantam (alox), Climber and Compact models, pick what seems best for you. For torches the Lumintop Tool 2.0 is a great place to start. You can look at the Zebralight SC5 if you want something more advanced/expensive, but I think the Tool 2.0 is hands-down the best entry-level light going.

↳ Get some cheap hankerchiefs/bandanas, and stick one in your back pocket.

– More generally:

↳ Have clothing that is appropriate to your climate and looks great. In a temperate climate, the classic trenchcoat is a great look. In colder climes, there are some wonderful-looking, practical overcoats. If it’s hot, you have so much choice it’s hard to know where to begin. Look cool, no matter the temperature, because in the absence of necessity, looking cool will win out over being comfortable.

↳ If you are of the typing persuasion, you may want to invest in a laptop. Unless you have very, very specific needs, get something cheap and light like a budget Chromebook, but crucially you should make sure it has at least 32gb of storage and an intel processor. This is because with those specs, you will be able to comfortably run a functional Linux OS alongside the glorified browser OS. Paired with a cheap HDD brick for storage, and you have a light, durable, agile laptop with everything a typical user needs for not a lot of money. If you have specific hardware-intensive needs then you will know what those are and don’t need advice on buying a computer.

↳ If you regularly carry a bag or backpack, put some useful things in it. A steel water bottle is a great starting point, along with obvious (?) stuff like pen and paper, any personal medical needs, that rain gear you bought, so on. If you’ve been digging that SAK but feel like there were a few times you could have done with JAWS OF STEEL and ALL THE HEX DRIVERS then maybe look into a Leatherman Wave with bit-kit and extender.

↳ Sort your bed out. Really.