Every journey inevitably begs the question: what do I need to take along? There are all sorts of factors to bear in mind: climate, activities and duration. The common denominator is that you want to travel as light as possible, because that just makes things easier and more comfortable. Ideally, you want every item to be as light and small as possible. Apart from my camera, I always take along the following items on every trip.
1. A silk sleeping bag
Light and compact, this item offers protection whenever I have to sleep somewhere that seems less than hygienic. An airport, for instance, or under the stars in the great outdoors.
2. A multi-plug adapter
Experience has taught me that many hotels (even the more expensive ones) only have a single free socket in the room. But I usually want to recharge my laptop, phone and camera battery at the same time. Then my multi-plug adapter comes to my rescue!
3. Solar-powered flashlight
I always have this attached to my daypack and it’s really handy in dark caves, ancient tombs or if there’s a power failure. It has no batteries, so it weighs next to nothing, and it needs only a couple of hours of sunlight to keep burning bright for hours. It’s also eco-friendly, because you don’t have to buy and discard batteries.
4. Pocket-sized washing line
For laundry on the run, or if you’ve been drenched by a tropical shower. A washing line makes it a lot easier to get your drying done.
5. Sealable plastic bags in various sizes
Rain/humidity and sand are treacherous enemies to items that are hard to replace. I try to keep these items – my money and passport (in my money belt) as well as cameras and lenses – in sealable plastic bags.
6. Combination locks
I use these to lock up my baggage when I’m travelling or when I leave it unattended in my room. I also use them if I need a locker somewhere or if the room has a lock that looks dicey. Don’t use a lock with a key, which is easy to lose.
7. Disinfectant gel and spray
The former is handy if you want to clean your hands while travelling, while the latter can be used to treat minor wounds.