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My One True Travel Love

Everybody has one. Mine is a homemade survival kit—a small pouch stuffed with things I know someday some way I’m going to find myself desperately wishing I had when I’m stuck somewhere without a net. Slipped into my daypack, it’s my favorite won’t-leave-home-without-it road trip essential.

I see things like this sold for crazy prices considering how little is actually inside. That’s what sold me on making my own—not very psyched to drop $30 on $10 worth of stuff. That’s good taco money. So handmade it is. Here’s what’s inside:

  • A few safety pins
  • A couple of feet of duct tape wrapped around a mini-pen
  • A small length of nylon cord
  • A needle and thread
  • A small stain-remover stick
  • One of those dental floss pick things
  • My Swiss army knife (hello, corkscrew!)
  • An emery board
  • Breath drops
  • A packet of Tylenol
  • A packet of Alka Seltzer
  • A packet of Emergen-C
  • Iodine tablets (Montezuma will get no revenge on me)
  • A couple of adhesive bandages
  • A small energy bar
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • A tampon
  • A few wet-naps
  • Ear plugs
  • Tweezers
  • A plastic trash bag folded tight and wrapped with a couple of spare hair bands (think emergency raincoat)
  • A bandana
  • A super tiny bottle of hand sanitizer

That sounds like a lot, I know, but most of these things are super small (seek travel sizes!), and they’ll fit into a pouch or a zip-lock bag you can just about hold in the palm of your hand. I used an old make-up bag I had lying around, but any container works.

I carry my kit everywhere. It’s a insurance policy for those unexpected moments every good adventure always has. Add in a flashlight, GPS unit, map, and communication station (i.e. my iPhone), and there’s nothing the road can throw at me I won’t be ready to handle except maybe a scary breakfast buffet. What about everybody else? What would you put in your survival kit? What am I missing from mine?


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