In the first part of this series, we told you what to pack for your next big adventure travel destination. The list continues with a few more essential items every adventure traveler should carry.
Footwear for the Job
This may seem obvious, however, I’ve often packed the wrong footwear for a trip. It’s easy to do. You’re splitting your time between airports, cities, and rural areas. Maybe you’re hiking, then relaxing on a beach, but you’re leaving in winter. What are you supposed to pack? I’ve found that having a pair of shoes for adventure and a pair for downtime is essential. Sure, it may mean your bag is stuffed to the brim, but your feet will thank you.
Remember, if you are carrying on a bag, you can always strap shoes to the outside of the bag. Not the friendliest thing to do for your fellow passengers, but sometimes duty calls.
A Compressible Day Pack
Nothing saves a trip quite like the right daypack. An 18-liter pack is perfect for a day hike, time on the crag, or a day on the water. Packs that pack down small work great. Simply stuff them in your larger bag in transit and use your daypack when you’re out and about. If you’re in an area where pickpockets are a problem, consider using a money belt or carrying an over-the-shoulder bag with a zipper.
It doesn’t matter if your skiing sweet lines in Japan or bushwacking through the Amazon jungle, you’ll want sun protection. Hats, UV protective clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen work great. The combination depends on what you are comfortable with.
If you’re traveling in snowy climates, don’t forget to protect the underside of your chin, nose and ears, as the sun reflects off the snow. You can purchase sunscreen at your destination, or pack it with you. Be aware, in many countries of the world, light skin is a desirable trait. Many sunscreens in these areas contain bleaching agents that are harmful for your skin. It’s best to take it with you if you’re traveling to areas where skin bleaching is common.
Trash Bags and Dryer Sheets
You’ve been on a multi-day trek through some of the world’s most glorious mountain ranges. You may be on Cloud Nine, but your clothing is on Cloud Stink. Stinky, filthy clothes are part of the adventure traveler’s reality. Make quick work of stinky clothes by packing a trash bag and dryer sheets. Simply stuff the dirty mess in the trash bag and toss in a dryer sheet.
Your accommodation may have laundry. You can buy dry laundry detergent that is embedded in a dryer sheet. Essentially, it’s a thick pad that you throw in with dirty laundry and then place in the dryer. Voila! Now you’ve got fresh clothes at no additional cost to you.
Dry Shampoo, Wet Wipes and Toilet Paper
When you can’t shower, any small luxury makes a huge difference. Dry shampoo and wet wipes are essential if you plan on being without a shower. Always hit the hot zones, face, pits, crotch and bum once a day. This will not only keep you feeling fresh(er) but it will also keep you healthy too.
Many areas around the world have less-than-ideal toilet situations. Therefore, you should always carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer. You never know when the urge to go will strike, and it’s best to be prepared.
A Big Scarf or Sit Pad
A big, square scarf is a lifesaver in a pinch. It’s another item that not only keeps you warm but can double up as a beach blanket, sleeping blanket or even be folded up into a pad. You can even wrap your clothes in it and make a pillow in a pinch.
I’ve spent far too many hours on a hard seat bus to not consider bringing a sit pad. If you are taking a lot of public transport in developing nations, a nice sit pad may become your best friend. It’s also an ideal luxury for any long hikes in cold regions.
An Open Mind
Adventure travel is just as much about what goes wrong than what goes right. Remember to keep an open mind and roll with any unexpected bumps in the road. Instead of fretting about weather, schedules and what have you, relax and allow yourself to fall in line with the beat of where you are traveling. Open minds open doors and you never know what twists will turn out to be the best part of your adventure.
A few simple essential items make adventure travel more comfortable. Next time you head out on a big, overseas adventure be prepared with a few handy pieces of gear.