Nate Luke, 36, Springfield, Mo., advertising photographer. "Portable phonograph I used to court my wife. ... First camera given to me by my dad. ... Thai red-pepper seeds ... Shadow box of old dry flies ... Wedding photo with my wife ... Can of gun powder from my Grandfather."
Jason McCarthy, 32, GORUCK military gear: "Java, my dog, Green Beret and Yarborough knife, Family scrapbook I had in Iraq, one-of-a-kind duct-tape wallet made by a friend, Java's finisher medal from the Chicago half marathon, grandfather's burial flag."
George Yanakiev, 23, Bulgaria, online guy at an ad agency: "Junk food, junk food, junk food, coffee."
Justin R. Swaby, 25, Los Angeles, architecture student: "My dog, Rooster; Childhood toy truck; Vintage suitcase, a gift from my aunt; Nikon EM 35mm camera; Sewing machine; Baby doll head mug, a gift from a dear friend; Favorite gun-toting marionette; Small bird carved from bone, a gift from my boyfriend; Vintage porcelain black lady salt shaker."
Justin R. Swaby
Michelle Ashton, 27, London, Web designer: "MacBook Pro. It's uninsured and full of work and personal photographs. Twenty-seven-year-old teddy bear, 'Teddy,' who has already survived one burning house."
Paul Mading Kwaje, 22, Sudan, farmer: "Bush knife, favorite shirt, wood bracelet, my largest bowls, hoe, water bottle."
Cristina Cavallari, 43, Italy, crafter/graphic designer: "My family cat (not pictured), wool and wood knitting needles ... my best t-shirt, blue comfortable sandals ... felt monster I made, sea rock from my father ... old German vase."
Manuel Platzer, 27, Austria, digital media: "... Headphones, Polaroid camera, photo of girlfriend ... drawing tools, iPad, T-shirt handmade by my girlfriend."
Will Cheyney, 27, London, design director: "11" MacBook Air, Eddy the Teddy, Nintendo Game Boy, Ray-Ban folding Wayfarers, iPhone 4, white chino shorts, Lomo LC-A camera."
James Oliver Lamont Fox, 40, Massachusetts, student: "Growing collection of old-timey Vermont pennants; Ede & Ravenscroft brogues bought for our wedding; box of cufflinks; ... Levi's Troy-lined jacket; ... my kilt, Lamont, the only made-to-measure thing I own; external hard drive of photos."
James Oliver Lamont Fox
Erick Elliott, 22, Brooklyn, musician/designer/music hoarder: "Michael Jackson's Thriller and Moonwalker on VHS; OBEY GIANT handkerchief; Precious memento-ish pictures of my family ... Photo of my cat Morris, who passed away ... Axiom 49 keyboard, circa whenever I started making music; Native Instruments Maschine instrument, circa two months ago."
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That's the question Foster Huntington asks on his blog, The Burning House. And to answer the question, you have to submit a photo of what you'd take.
Few of these piles really resemble what one might grab in a panic. They are carefully contemplated and arranged. And the responses vary. Some interpret the question to mean: What would you need to survive? (Advil, scissors, rubbing alcohol.) And others take it to mean: What are your most irreplaceable possessions? (Photos and stuffed animals.)