Saturday, March 31, 2012
Useful Backpacking Accessories
There are loads of useless gadgets out there that you can fill your bag up with - and most likely never use - so I thought I would list the ones I wouldn't leave home without. I apologise in advance for the amount of links to Kathmandu, but they provide a fantastic online service where I have brought most of my travel accessories from. What makes it even better is that everything is half price at the moment!
TSA LOCKS & BRIGHT CLIP STRAPS
When you are buying locks, make sure they are TSA approved - unless you would prefer to have your ordinary ones cut off by baggage inspectors after your luggage has been checked in. TSA locks allow for a master key, which should ensure they will remain intact should your bag have to be snooped! And if you're terrible at remembering where the hell you put your keys, get a coded lock.
The fluro clip straps I brought made my bag really distinctive and easily recognisable on the turntables!
I brought this amazing leather Colorado travel purse in 2010, and its still kicking 2 years on. I will honestly cry myself to sleep and have to hold a funeral for it when it finally dies on me, it has been one of the best things I have brought. It fits everything in it - passport, airline tickets, cards, I.D, money, keys, my iphone, a pen, coinage.. and those who have seen it in person agree on it's awesomeness. I will even add a photo of it for you guys to have a look.
SWISS ARMY KNIFE
This was useful for little random things.
A LITTLE L.E.D TORCH
Came in very handy for sneaking out of hostel rooms at ungodly hours to catch flights etc - all that hard work you put into making friends with your roomies will all go to waste if you decide to turn the lights on at 4am because you can't find your room key in the dark. The torch is worth it.
PLASTIC CLEAR FOLDER
I brought 2 of these with me last time, for the purpose of keeping everything that was important in the one place. This included itineraries, invoices, directions etc etc.
CARABINER KEY RING
This was surprisingly extremely useful. I could clip it to pants, my bra, the side of my bag, inside my bag and it would keep all my keys together.
LAUNDRY BAG & PEG-LESS CLOTHESLINE
This was something I really needed on my first trip - I have learnt the error of my ways and have invested in a Kathmandu Laundry Kit which includes laundry bag, peg-less clothesline, laundry paper soap and a universal plug. For $15 you can't go wrong!
TOILETRY BAG (a decent one)
You really want to get something that will fit everything. I had a basic sized toiletry bag last time and it didn't fit everything in - it was a pain lugging a number of small bags in and out of the bathrooms. I also couldnt hang it up without everything falling out which was a royal pain in the butt. So I brought one of these: a Kathmandu Kit Bag So far it has been amazing. Fits everything! But girly girls be warned - the only make up I take is the 'Nude' foundation, bronzer and 2 brushes. So you may have to upgrade the size.
This was yet another thing I overlooked on my first trip. My sleeping bag packed smaller then my towel! And pretty much every backpacker I came across had one of these fancy towels that would dry in half the time as mine and would pack into a fraction of the size. But I did learn one thing from being on the bottom bunk in one hostel - make sure you buy 2 micro-fibre towels. Because the dude who hung his up over the end of my bunk clearly only had one, and it really didn't smell pleasant. Double check the size too if you are buying online. Kathmandu has a 3 for 1 offer at the moment, so I picked 3 of these in XL.
This held all the gear that could possibly leak in my pack like shampoo and conditioner.
Other stuff I found useful:
- Mini first aid kit including small sewing needle and thread.
- Nail clippers
- Little shoulder bag
- Decent drink bottle
- Another clear plastic folder to keep all my other documents in
- A few pens and a journal (drawing or writing keeps me occupied for ages)
Stuff I wouldn't bother with:
- One of those security under-your-clothes money bag things. They are a pain in the arse to access if you are going to use it as a daily purse. Having to strip naked to find your money isn't fun. You want to blend in with the locals as much as possible so you're less of a target for the gypsies.
- A bum-bag. This screams tourist! The thieves will target you - I have saved a Mexican from this type of theft where a Gypsy came up to us and shoved a piece of cardboard in his face, covering her hands and attempted to get into his bum-bag. I realised what she was actually doing and pushed her off. Don't trust Gypsies with cardboard!
What accessories do you bring for the road?? Comment below, I'd love to hear more ideas!