Making a living with your hands is a time honored craft, often wrought from years of practice and, at its best, a birth right one learns from family. In a world where technology has a stranglehold over the ebb and flow of life, the craftsman is the foundation of everything else. The best things we touch, feel, use and pass down are still made and repaired by specialized hands.
Whether you build things or fix them tools are an essential part of your trade. More than that they are curated by you, broken in to your rhythms and worn in like a good pair of jeans. Nothing functions like the perfect tool for what you're doing. Nothing translates the feedback that your nerves have learned to read like a tool that has been in your hands for countless hours, through every situation. It's a rare bond personified by memories and wear. That is why you need to keep them safe. More importantly, that is why you need to make sure you don't lose them.
I can't tell you how many times I've left a tool because I placed it out of view or someplace I should not have. A friend once told me that you should always listen too that little voice in the back of your head that says, "Put that back now, don't wait till later!" Funny how those warnings leave you in despair when you don't listen to them.
After losing things you start not taking them out or buying lesser versions. Sometimes you buy things that make hanging onto them easier like a lanyard for your keys. Either way your giving up quality and utility for the sake of your own carelessness. That is a sad place to be.
My Latitude bagpack has provided me a new sense of security for my tools and portable tech. Messenger bags or satchels are great for that reason. Having everything in a pouch at your side provides fluidity while working through easy and bountiful access. Utility is measured by how much something helps you. Your bag, where you keep all your gear, should provide you that.
The Latitude, like all Hillside bags is both a messenger bag and a backpack. It provides me everything I need in a carry all. It is comfortable on both shoulders because it's designed to balance the weight between them automatically. When I need to grab gear from it, I can just drop it into a messenger bag and start grabbing tools. When I'm moving I can either leave it as is over one shoulder or sling on the other side and travel as a backpack.
The truly great thing about the system is that I have everything I need on my body at all times. Not having to take the bag off like a backpack and grab things from it is amazing. I don't lose any time moving from spot to spot and I can be comfortable when I'm walking farther or carrying extra pounds by wearing it backpack style.
What this gives me is more time on scope, more tools at hand and more money in my pocket. One of most impactful benefits for me is the fact that I don't lose the things that I need anymore. I'm no longer buying cheap glasses anymore because I can keep a good pair with me safe at my side. I'm not buying losable tools that don't work well because I can't keep them with me. I laughed at myself because I had wire cutters everywhere, in my truck, on my belt and a pair at home. Most of the time when I needed them I couldn't find them! Now I have a nice pair in my latitude and it's there when I need them along with my volt multimeter.
Tool belts are heavy, hard to put on, uncomfortable and clumsy. Unlike a builder I don't stay on one site all day. I travel from project to project. I found that having everything in a bag helped me. Also, I'm a bigger guy so a tool belt meant that I was walking sideways a lot to void hitting things. With the Latitude, it's on my back and I'm walking straight and getting through narrow spaces just fine. I walked straight down the aisle of a plane with it and I probably couldn't have done that with a messenger bag or a tool belt. No one wears a tool belt on a plane... I'm just sayin.
The latitude has been a game changer for me. I love it.