Weirdest things to pack on your trip

Let’s face it, we’ve all packed in unnecessary items to bring on a trip, and some days when you’re stuck in a situation where there’s no resources, you invent your own life hacks with whatever you find in your backpack. I’ve come to the realisation that there are more just one use/function for everything you own, since you’re practically carrying a mobile home on your back.

Here’s a list of things that people might find incredibly strange to pack in, but it could actually come in handy in ways you can’t imagine.

1. Salt
Yes, you can buy them anywhere, you can find them in the communal kitchens in hostels. but NO, when you need it the most it will not be anywhere. Having just a small bottle or a small bag of salt can be very useful if you need it to make your food tastier when no other seasoning options are available at hand. That aside, soaking a piece of cloth in salty water and applying it as a compress can also soothe itchiness and relieve irritation. Got strange bug bites from that hike and no calamine lotion on hand? Salt’s the way to go. It’s also a great way to removing stains (like wine or blood) off your clothes ! Simply soak/dab it in cold saltwater.

2. Lightsticks
This is as straightforward as it gets. When the battery of your torch runs out, or your mobile phone light isn’t enough to illuminate anything in the darkness of the woods, lightsticks are a great source of illumination for a few hours! Camping at a festival also makes me extreeeemely difficult for you to locate your tent. I’ve broken a lightstick and placed it to mark the location so if I stumble back to my tent intoxicated, I can easily find my way instead of falling into someone else’s fancy tent and into their sleeping bags (unless that’s your intention…). Last but not least, light sticks can be incredibly helpful if you’re stuck somewhere in the dark and need to get someone’s attention, especially if it’s an emergency

3. Pegs
Yes, pegs are good for holding clothes in place when you need to hang them over a line or in a hostel under the bars of the bunk beds. They’re also useful for when you need to hold things together, like a mosquito net that doesn’t stay in place. So far, pegs have saved me from being eaten alive by pesky mozzies in the night, made sure I didn’t wake up to find that my favourite top has been taken away by the wind, doubled up as a cable clip for all my messy wires, also doubled up as pliers when I have no tools to work with. I honestly think Victorinox should start featuring a peg-like tool to include in their Swiss Army knives…

4. Aluminium foil
Foil is actually available anywhere and you can buy them in supermarkets. But why should you bring one in your backpack when it’s heavy as hell? Firstly, it’s useful when you’re packing your food if you don’t have a lunchbox when you want to bring it on bus/train rides). It’s great to heat food up over a campfire. And you can seal things by wrapping it with foil. I’ve used an empty can of tuna to store something but didn’t have a lid, so many layers of aluminium foil did the trick. You can also use it as a metal conductor, say if you’ve run out of AA batteries, use AAA batteries instead, roll up the foil into a ball and stick them on both ends (yes, that works). And the best part of foil? ~*drum roll*~ You can practically mould it into ANY shape you want if you have enough patience. It can be a funnel, you can compress it, twist it and use it to hold together things that are falling apart. It really depends on how creative you get. But foil has come in handy for me in desperate times! So go figure.

5. Ziplock bags
Ok this is probably the least weird item to bring since most people pack zip lock bags, but I’ve met people who just use regular plastic bags to store their clothes. Apart from the obvious fact that it can hold anything from food, to clothes, to your toiletries to prevent leaks, it can also help to compressing your clothes into a smaller space, and doubles up as a portable washing machine if you need to do laundry by yourself and there isn’t any bucket/pail/sink that you can soak or rinse your dirty clothes. Simply add detergent and shake ! Sort of like shake n’ bake but… you get the idea. In any case, I would never forget to pack extra zip lock bags in my backpack. Sometimes I bring so much that I end up giving some away to other travellers, because it seems like that ONE obvious thing to pack in but people always forget!

Dara

Wanderer of lands, searcher of souls. Last seen tree hugging and running wild into the mountains. Might have eaten all the ice cream in the tub.

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