The goal for backpacking to a new location is to bring a small amount of very efficient items. These essentials should be durable and last you throughout your trek.
While some travel items may be obvious, there are a number of everyday household items and unusual gadgets that can come in handy during your adventures. Take a look at these ten surprising essentials you might want to pack.
1. Travel towel
Regular towels are fluffy and can waste space in your bag. However, many travel companies carry microfiber towels that are extremely lightweight and thin. These can be rolled up and easily placed in your bag. Microfiber towels can help you clean unexpected spills, come in handy at beach showers, and provide warmth in case you need an emergency blanket.
2. Parachute cord
These super-strong cords are commonly found at hiking and camping supply stores. They can be used to tie down tarps, repair broken items, replace shoelaces, or as an emergency tourniquet. If you are going on fishing or sailing expeditions, a parachute cord can help tie items down so the wind doesn’t blow them away. It can also help you secure a boat to a dock.
3. Rubber bands
Many people don’t think about snagging a couple of rubber bands before they catch a flight. However, these elastic bits will come in handy if you need to seal a container, tie up your hair, or even create a clothesline by stringing several rubber bands together. They are so small and light that it can’t hurt to toss a few in your backpack.
4. Tissue paper
Tissue has a myriad of uses. You can quickly mop up spills, dab at clothing stains, clean your hands after a messy meal, and wipe a child’s runny nose. Tissue paper can also be used as emergency toilet paper during long camping trips, hikes, or visits to foreign restrooms.
5. Dummy wallet
Many high-traffic vacation areas expose you to a high risk of theft. Tourists make easy targets, since they are distracted by landmarks and often carrying items of value. Pickpockets will try to snatch items from open bags, tabletops, or your pockets.
An empty wallet can prevent thieves from taking items that are actually important to you. Carry a mock wallet in your front pocket or someplace easily accessible. Make sure to choose a backpack that zips shut. Avoid clasps or snap closures, since these can be easily popped open while you are walking through a crowded area.
6. Dental floss
While hygiene is the main purpose of dental floss, you can also use this waxed string to seal containers, cut soft foods, replace shoelaces, tie up your hair, and secure items to a load.
7. Lavender oil
Long flights and road trips can take their toll on your sleep schedule and health. Lavender oil is a popular aromatherapy solution that provides you with a calm smell that can help you relax and get some sleep. This essential oil can also be used as an antiseptic for minor scratches and bug bites.
8. Duct tape
Duct tape is known for its many uses in everyday life, so why shouldn’t those benefits extend to your vacation? This adhesive can be used to seal leaks, repair items, or as a quick identification label.
9. Hot / cold pack
If you will be staying at a location with a microwave or freezer, you may wish to bring a hot and cold pack. They are often filled with clay or beads that retain temperatures well and can be used to relieve travel aches and pains.
Many renters and drivers forget to insure property before leaving on vacation. You should make sure that your insurance policies are active and up-to-date, in case of theft, damage, or natural disasters that may occur while you’re away.