I never leave home without the five items I’m about to introduce. NEVER.
Why ? Because they are practical and are a definite step towards traveling green.
If you stay in hotels or even with hosts, there is a good chance that they will lend you a towel. You stay one night or two, then you leave for another destination and the towel is washed immediately. Bringing your own towel will save a lot of water ! In hotels, leave the towel folded where it was so it’s clear you haven’t used it.
I recommend a microfiber towel to save space in your luggage (it also dries faster than average towels).
2. WATER BOTTLE
I always bring one or two water bottles so I don’t have to buy plastic ones at the supermarket. In some countries (like Iceland), I just fill it from the tap. In others (like Turkey), you might want to pair your water bottle up with water purification tablets !
For water purification, I always use Micropur Forte tablets. It’s the only one getting rid of every disgusting organisms crawling in our precious water.
3. PLASTIC BAG
Yes I said plastic ! Some prefer cotton bags, but then you can’t use it to put wet stuff or dirty stuff in it. This bag will always be useful to store muddy shoes, wet towel, shop groceries, etc … You can even use it to collect disgusting stuff other people would have left behind in the wild. I get my bag at the store when I see they have bags in strong thick plastic, so I know I’m going to be able to use it and reuse it for some time.
The rest of the time, I obviously recommend you don’t accept plastic bags when you shop. (If you take an extra plastic bag because I recommended it and then leave it on the side of the road, I will come back and haunt you forever).
4. DYNAMO TORCH
I think every traveler agrees that a torch is an essential, whether they favor a head lamp or one that you hold. Me, I never leave home without my dyno torch (not this exact brand, but close enough). I know it’s never going to fail me in times of need, I don’t need to bring spare batteries, and, obviously, I’m not using and throwing away the said batteries …
5. SLEEPING BAG LINER
A sleeping bag liner, that we call in french “un sac à viande” (literally “a bag for meat”, how glamorous), doesn’t take much space (unlike a full sleeping bag) and can be very useful if you’re not too sure about the sanitary standards of where you’re staying. Also, same thing as with the towel, it will save of lot of wash water !
I’ll add a special bonus for you ladies : don’t forget your Divacup !
What about you ? What packing essentials never leave your bag ?
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