Packing can be a joyful process before get on the plane, and also can be stressful. All of a sudden all stuff in your place looks very handy and very important for every reason you can think of. But, we need to think straight and see what really is and what isn’t. We all know the major items to pack: Passport, Visa (if you need), Backpackers Insurance, Money and Guidebooks.
Every traveler has different details in the packing procedure, here I introduce you five small but powerful items that you might want to take on your next backpacking trip.
My friend’s mum once described it as ‘a New England old man’s cotton handkerchief’, while I was feeling mine in my pocket. Hip or not, I found handkerchief is very handy for travel. My flowery handkerchief-why all the handkerchief is so not pretty?- is usually hanging on the shoulder strap of my backpack. I wipe my face while hiking, strap it around my neck when I’m biking and blow my nose when I’m sick. One more reason why handkerchief is a powerful item is because it’s environment friendly. All the things above are doable by tissue, but it doesn’t create a trash.
Kitchen knife, bottle opener and scissors all at once! Pocketknife is often considered as a cliché travel item. ‘How many times do you think do you need a pocketknife while traveling?’ is frequently asked question, but it’s totally up to an individual’s travel style. For me, it was always useful. Especially if you are an independent traveler who is planning to camp at some point, you would want to pack it.
One thing to remember; a pocketknife is not allowed in airplane. If you have ‘carry-on-only’ travel strategy, this item is not for you.
As a person who enjoys hot beverage, I’m glad the travel mug was located in my backpack. Mine was the one combined with French press. It gave me a chance to be location independent with my morning coffee and tea. Drinking hot tea on the canoe in the middle of the lake was a memorable moment. Also take out coffee with your own travel mug gets more discount from a coffee shop.
In every pocket of my backpack, I always have a bunch of elastic bands: thin and thick. It is useful when you fix something, save your food, make sure the container doesn’t spill, when bottom of the hiking pants are bothering you, temporary lock for the backpack zippers, organize small things in the backpack and tie my hair back. If you didn’t pack any, produce band is working very well (usually it comes with asparagus).
Sarong has been the best travel buddy in any season; it is fashionable and efficient at the same time. It is a sundress and a towel at the beach, a scarf for a cold day, and a blanket for overnight stay in the airport. Sarong is travel friendly as well; much smaller volume than a towel, and it dries quickly. Especially for female travelers in Asia, sarong is a great item to show your respect in religious places. You can easily purchase it at a local market in any country in Asia.