aka: Ten Things You Should Definitely Pack, but Might Not Have Thought About
In no particular order, all of these items need to find their way into your luggage or backpack no matter what type of adventure you are setting out on. If you are camping, hiking, backpacking, road tripping, visiting a city, on a cruise, at an amusement park, going to the beach, or heading to the snow, I promise you will be glad you have brought these things with you.
1. The right socks – These are just as important to your comfort as the right shoe. Moisture wicking and athletic socks are crucial if you will be wearing running shoes or doing a lot of walking. Some socks even provide extra arch support if you need it. Quality socks can prevent blisters, keep you warm, and significantly increase your comfort. If you will be wearing boots, high rise socks will prevent rubbing on your ankles or calves. If you are only bringing sandals with you, a pair of socks can still be useful for holding small items, providing padding, or to keep your feet warm or dry just in case. You can even use a clean pair as a small towel substitute. I can promise you from personal experience that this is the most underrated, yet maybe the most important, item on this list.
3. Water – Staying hydrated is always important and a bottle of water is great for a quick washing up or cooling down if needed.
4. Sun protection – This includes sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, sunglasses, and a hat. All of these things are vitally important, no matter what. I don’t care if you’re going to the Sahara Desert or Seattle, the sun rises every day. Even if your adventure coincides with a location and date in which the sun won’t be coming up at all, you will still be traveling to and from in locations that do see the sun.
5. Lotion – This is a luxury item that you have no reason to deprive yourself of. Stay comfortable and keep your skin in tact during dry weather, helps remove makeup, loosens sticky things from skin (sap), and temporarily relieves the pain of burns (though the oils can also prevent successful healing, so use only if no other burn relief is available!)
6. Towel – Use it for bathing, after a swim, for cleaning, to dab sweat, to wrap a fragile item in, to pad luggage, as a blanket, wet and use for cooling off, or use as a tablecloth, picnic blanket, or pillow. This is the largest item on my list, so even if you can only fit a small washcloth in your bag you will still benefit.
7. Tissues or paper towels – Preferably ones without lotion, aloe, or anything else on them. If they are “clear/raw” they are optimal for cleaning glasses, screens, or dishes, and for use as toilet paper. Either way, this is a great item to reach for when you need something you can trust to be clean. Such is the nature of disposable items. Blow your nose, dry your hands, or use as a substitute for many of the things your towel is being used for.
8. Ziploc Baggies – They can hold small items you may risk losing, provide slight protection from moisture (put your phone or important paper items inside if it rains), contain moisture pretty well (need a quick container for water? Want to prevent your sunscreen from possibly leaking in your bag? Have a wet bathing suit?), and they are so small that you can bring four or five with no weight added or space used up. Try bringing one or two of a few different sizes.
9. Camera – Whether you are a pro and have seven lenses strapped to your back, have a disposable (waterproof recommended!) camera, or will have your phone with you, a picture truly is worth a thousand words.
10. Flashlight – A small one takes up little space and will come in very handy in case of a power outage, if you ever feel unsafe in the dark, or in order to see onto small dark places (under the roof of your car, if you drop something behind a cabinet, etc.)