12 Must Pack Travel Items

Millets 5 min readAdvice & Guides

Have you got your next trip planned? Take some advise from an exploring duo who travel full time. Lisa Morris and Jason Spafford, aka Two Wheeled Nomad, have provided a list of must have items to pack when you take on your next adventure.


12 Must Pack Travel Items

  • Intelligent luggage system

Inside your main luggage, dry bags, lockable freezer bags and plastic bags are unbeatable for keeping your gear damp-free and bone-dry at all times. Perfect for when the monsoon rain falls, humidity is high, or you find yourself traversing through a waterfall.  A dry bag hung from a tree is an excellent way to separate you from food when there’s ravenous wildlife roaming during your camping endeavours.  Not to mention split up what’s clean and dirty, wet and dry, and maintaining orderly paperwork etc. 

  • Mugger’s wallet 

The one that rarely sees the light of day and houses the bulk of your currency and credit cards stays safely stowed away; the other to be used daily is a fake wallet. In the hopefully unlikely event of getting mugged, reach for the ‘mugger’s wallet’ containing your daily requirement of local currency.  It may just satisfy his or her instant gratification while keeping the bulk of your hard-earned moolah away from the perpetrator’s hands.  Remember to fill said wallet with old receipts and expired cards to make the mock wallet look all the more convincing.

  • Writing implement and a small notepad

Apart from the obvious, when you can’t use language to communicate, draw pictures.

  • Small LED flashlight

It won’t always be night time when you need a flashlight – it will provide a beacon of light in your darkest hours.

  • Small pillow case

Buy or better still, make your own fleecy pillow case and stuff with your down jacket / clothes to produce the perfect puffed pillow. It’s practically weightless and will consume very little room in your bag. A trusty addition to your sleeping arrangement anywhere, anytime, as well as keeping your derriere happy while waiting for public transport.

  • Backpack-friendly water bladder / BPA-free water bottle 

Why waste a plastic bottle for each bottle of water you drink?  Plastic is unsustainably taxing on the environment so opt for a reusable solution, such as a water bladder (e.g. CamelBak which could also double up as a quick shower when hung up), or a BPA plastic free water bottle.  Keep the purification tablets handy too for when water isn’t potable. A LifeStraw is another fine investment for water filtration although a little pricier.

  • Baby-wipes and toilet roll

Rather than saying “Goodbye socks”, toilet roll or baby-wipes (often cheaper than wet-wipes) make it as good as it can get when you’re without access to a shower or toilet. They enable quick cleaning on those items that perform better when not dirty too.

  • Padlock

A padlock is priceless for leaving your worldly possessions in a locker or to keep the main compartment of your bag locked if stowing on a bus through less desirable and slightly unsavoury areas.  A Pacsafe cable-lock to protect your entire backpack might add peace of mind for the more security-conscious traveller.    

  • Beer can stove

A beer can stove can be made from any regular aluminium drinks can, fuelled by pure alcohol (at least 95 per cent), sourced from most pharmacies and supermarkets.  Incredibly cheap to run and prevents gasoline tingeing your food from petrol-fuelled stoves. Learn how to make on here.

  • Duct tape

How many times have you experienced a lid from a bottle that has come loose and spilled the contents over your things?  Use brown parcel tape or better still duct tape on practically everything to prevent untimely spillages: toiletries, jars, flimsy-lidded containers, opened sachets of wet and dry food, milk bottles and cartons…you get the drift.  A great ‘Go To’ item for help with various repairs too.

  • Free mobile phone applications

– ‘European Road Safety’ application contains all important road safety rules. Going to play in Europe? What’s the speed limit on Spanish motorways? Do I need to wear a helmet when I cycle in Sweden? 

– ‘Skycode Translate‘ is great for executing numerous language translations, performs offline and will translate paragraphs of text not just single words. Consider downloading an offline dictionary too.

– ‘iOverlander’ is a superb application for camping spots and locating other useful points of interest (working better online although information can still be ascertained on a blank map offline).

– ‘Money Control’ is a brilliant budget application, which works offline and allows minimal input of your spend for maximum results against what’s left in the allocated pot. It boasts great visuals too such as pie charts to show your segments of expenditure, and after setting up an account, the application can be set up to synchronise with two mobile phones.

– Maps and a compass remain king although an application equivalent downloaded on your mobile phone such as Waze or Maps for Me, will make a great back-up tool in finding your way from A to B.

  • Dental floss and needle

Believe it or not, dental floss doesn’t just maintain dental hygiene but acts as an ideal and strong material to substitute sewing thread such as: putting a button back on, darning your socks, cutting through cheese, closing holes in the tent, repairing backpacks, wrapping up parcels, a fishing line alternative, hanging items from a tree, a clothes line…the list is almost endless!


What would you add to your list of 'must have' items? Let us know in the comments below.


To learn more about their adventures look out for more blogs and tips written by the exploring duo, or go to twowheelednomad.com.


Millets Author


Stephen Walker 12-02-16 13:27
Jason and Lisa are uber-overlanders and lovely people. I met them on my travels and their advice above is spot on.
I'd also add a small multi-tool. My choice is the tiny Victorinox Signature, which has a pen and tweezers with all the usual tools, and lives on my keyring.
Also, for water in places where drinking is decidedly dodgy, try the Web Tex Surviva Pure, whose integrated filter will work for 12 glasses of water for a year.
When travelling, be open, trusting and non-judgmental. People usually mirror back your attitude. Be cautious, not fearful. Enjoy.

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