Trip Essentials: 10 Items for Your Ready-to-Go Pack

Over the last years, I’ve sorted through various travel items, trying to find the right ones that I can take from the air to the road to the sea. I’ve whittled down the list to a few crucial objects. In fact, I have these things at the ready in case of a quick weekend getaway.

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I’m not exactly an expert on packing light as I tend to overstuff my bag, but I’ll say this: the important thing about backpacking is to carry items that are multipurpose and lightweight. They need to be easy to store and should be able to carry out different functions. My list is always changing, but I thought I’d share my current top 10 trip essentials with you:

10 Items for Your Ready-to-Go Pack

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10. A Trusty Backpack

I’ve cycled through different backpacks and so far, this one from Osprey is my favorite. It has lots of compartments, bungee cords on the front for additional storage, a laptop and a tablet compartment, and a mesh shoulder harness for the straps. The only thing missing is a rain jacket (although I nicked one from an old backpack and it fit nicely). It’s good for packing 2-3 days worth of clothes as it’s actually an overnight pack, but I’m considering getting a bigger one for longer trips.

9. Toiletry Kit

Preferably, you should use something that you can unroll and hang for easy access when you’re showering. There aren’t always shelves or ledges where I can place my shampoo and soap; so the hook inside my bath kit, which I’ve hung from exposed nails or tubes, has really come in handy. The multiple compartments are nifty, too!

8. Small blade

Mostly for dealing with faulty “Tear Here” lines on shampoo and conditioner packets (don’t you find those annoying?), but I’m sure there will be other more pressing situations where a blade will come in handy.

7. Medicine Kit

Prone to allergies and other ailments when traveling like me? I hate it, but alas, it’s in the genes. That has never prevented me from roughing it out, though – sleeping on floors, dusty foam mats, or in cramped tents – which has led to multiple insect bites, rashes, and fits of sneezing and coughing. Learning from past experiences, I now carry an arsenal of medicines to keep my allergies at bay. Among these are the basic meds: paracetamol, anti-histamine (Claritin is my go-to pill), decongestant, antacids, a tiny Betadine bottle, and a few strips of band-aid.

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As I’m also allergic to certain insect bites, I also carry bug repellant and anti-inflammatory cream with me, in case the bites and rashes get out of hand.

6. A Microfiber Towel

When I’m backpacking, it’s important, first and foremost, that all my items fit in a backpack. I love this towel (Sea to Summit DryLite) because it’s compact and light, and it gets the job done. If you’re always on-the-go, you’ll appreciate how its super absorbent and fast-drying.

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