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A very handy tool for the independent traveler is an instant immersion water heater. Then, even when kitchens are closed, or you must wait until 8:00 or 9:00 am when breakfast is served, you can make an early cup of tea/coffee or instant soup.
A Steripen is a portable ultraviolet light water purifier. It will purify one liter of water in 90 seconds. The battery needs to be recharged periodically, so I carry a backup method, like chlorine or iodine tablets
I really like my Deuter backpack and I have seen many travelers with them throughout the world. Some things I really like about mine:
- The hip-belt pockets so I can stow away the hip straps when checking for flying. That way the straps don’t get damaged.
- The integrated rain cover that stow in the bottom of the pack for quick access.
- The bottom access zipper so items that are buried there are easy to get to.
I have one that is designed for women, so it fits the female form better.
A foldable bag/pack that does not take up much room can be useful for the long-term traveler who occasionally has to transport more things than will fit in the main pack. If you are going on a multi-day excursion and want to store some belongings at your guesthouse while you are gone, you can use this bag.
I use the Outdoor Products H2O Mojave waist pack that has holders for two 500 ml water bottles. My 50 ml Healthy Human insulated bottle fits perfectly in one holder. Sometimes I temporarily slip my camera in the other bottle holder for quick access while walking around. (Be careful about doing so in crowds of people.) The pack is quite spacious and I often add my travel journal, a snack, mini tripod, knitting project, or small purchases. A poncho or rain jacket can be strapped to the outside.
Dry bags have so many uses. I only have a couple small ones, but they come in very handy. I use them to pack food. One has my lunch for the day and the other one carries my staples and emergency stash. I also use them as shopping bags, to store damp clothes, to keep electronics dry on a rainy day. If anything leaks, it won’t contaminate the rest of my pack.
Stuff the bag with clothes to make a pillow. You can even wash clothes in them.
If you travel with any electronics, you will need a Universal Power Adapter. I like the kind that have at least a couple USB ports so I can charge my laptop and other devices at the same time. (Be aware: this is not a power converter. It will not convert power from 220 to 110 volts. But your computer and other devices should have converters built in to their power cord.)
Yous should carry clear identification on you at all times. Check out the ID bracelet and information service offered by RoadID. I keep a RoadID bracelet on me 24 hours a day. The company provides a personal web page about you that paramedics and or other aid officials can access if you are unable to communicate. On the web page, you can list medical conditions, emergency contacts, passport information or any other information that may be pertinent in an emergency. My RoadID bracelet provides peace of mind, especially when I am swimming or taking part in an activity where I don’t have my regular ID with me.
A luggage lock and cable mean you can secure your pack when it is stored at the end of the train car in places that are prone to theft. In hostels, you are sometimes required to supply your own lock for storage lockers. Having your own will save the rental cost.
Believe me, you will be glad you have an assortment of clips in your pack. You will often use binder clips, , clothespins, safety pins, paper clips, etc. to hand items from your pack and connect things together.
Carabiners are especially useful. Bring along several.
Elastic shock cord can also help you connect things to your pack. If you make giant rubber bands from it, it will hold items together inside your pack. You can often purchase shock cord by the yard/meter in fabric or upholstery supply stores. ParacordPlanet.com stocks many sizes and colors of shock cord. They also have a wide array of clips, hooks and fasteners.