I always like to be prepared for anything life throws my way. While curve-balls are inevitable, I believe it’s best to prepare for as much as you can possibly anticipate — the rest is up to God, or chance if you prefer to believe in that. In this post, I’ll explain what I carry on my everyday keychain to stay as prepared as possible.

My every day carry keychain

What you carry on your keychain will depend on where you live and work. If you live in a rural area or work outdoors, you’ll need different tools than if you work in an office setting.

As a computer engineer and university professor, the tools I need are more geared towards IT. My everyday carry keychain items reflect this. They also reflect the fact that I often receive unsecured submissions from students. I need tools to safely open these files whether they are email attachments, uploaded files, or given to me on a flash drive

My Everyday Carry Keychain
My Everyday Carry Keychain

Above is a photo of my keychain. My apologies for the blown-out highlights; I failed to adjust the exposure for an overhead light. In the next section, I’ll list each labeled item on the keychain and what I use them for.

List of items on my keychain

  • a: The item labeled “a” in the image is my Yubikey 5C NFC hardware security key. It is a hardware two factor authentication key that I use on all of my accounts that support it. I carry it with me at all times in order to be able to securely login to my accounts.
  • b: The item labeled “b” is a generic usb drive that I have loaded up with Avira’s bootable antivirus. This is for times when I want to scan a computer that I believe has been compromised by viruses to the point that its antivirus software is compromised as well.
  • c: This is a Kingston 32GB USB stick that I have loaded up with Tails OS. I use this to boot up any computer that I want to securely use to view files I receive from students. The Tails OS is amnesiac, meaning that all activity on it is forgotten when you log off. No modifications are made to your disk drives, so there’s no risk of infecting your computer. It comes pre-loaded with security tools that enable you to securely handle files. It only accesses the internet using TOR ensuring your safety online and offline.
  • d: This is a multi-tool I received from National Instruments. It’s probably a generic tool that the company branded to give as gifts to clients, but it’s come in handy when I needed a screwdriver or a ratchet screwdriver in a pinch. It’s a branded gift, so you probably won’t find the exact same product, but here is something similar.
  • e: This is the tool I use to remove SIM cards from phones. It came with my iPhone, and I find it useful to have it around in case I need to remove the SIM card from any phone. No need to buy this separately, it comes with every phone you buy.
  • f: This is a memory card to USB converter. I can’t find an exact match to the product I have, sorry; it’s been with me for a while. As a photography enthusiast, I sometimes want to move photos from my DSLR camera to a computer. My home setup has all I need to accomplish this, but my work computer has no memory card slot. I use this converter when I want to transfer photos to computers while I’m at work or on the go.
  • g: Finally, this is a 64GB Kingston USB drive that I use to transfer files from one computer to another. This is my general “data drive”, I don’t use it for any special purpose like the two mentioned above.


That’s it folks, these are the items on my keychain. I take them with me every day, and they have been invaluable. This post only covers what I have on my keychain. I will dedicate other posts to what I have in my car, in my office, and in my work bag later. I always try to be as prepared as possible. I know it’s impossible to plan for everything, and I’ve been in situations where I’ve been completely thrown off; however, trying to be ready has helped me many times. I hope this post helps you plan what to put on your own keychain. Be ready, be safe.

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