Life as a solo backpacker isn’t always luxurious. At times, you can be hungry, lonely, dirty, or all three. However, backpacking alone doesn’t have to be a chore. You just have to pack the right gadgets.
You see, it’s likely you don’t know about the novelty products that can make a backpacker’s life easy. Consider the ZOLEO Satellite Communicator. It extends your smartphone’s network coverage for messaging to anywhere on the Earth; loneliness no more.
With the box for connectivity now checked, read on to learn about other indispensable novelties that can make backpacking more fun.
UV Pen Water Sterilizer
Having access to clean drinking water is one of the first requirements for safe and enjoyable backpacking. A popular way to purify water is to treat it with iodine or other chemicals. Though it’s reliable, the chemicals need time to work, so there’s a wait between treatment and consumption. And chemical-laden water is not the best option.
When you use a UV sterilizer, you can drink the water almost immediately. You won’t be adding anything unnecessary to the water. Instead, a flash of UV light kills the microbes in the water, making it safe to drink. These pens are lightweight and can purify up to 15 liters of water on a single charge. Although they’re expensive, their utility makes them worth purchasing.
Do note that murky water needs to be passed through a mesh filter before consumption, and before sterilization. So, make sure you pack a pocket-sized filter as well.
Compact Emergency Kits
When you’re putting an emergency kit together, flashlights and first aid gear ought to be in the top five must-haves. Portability is non-negotiable, especially when you need to fit everything in one backpack. Well, did you know you can buy a first aid kit that’s also a flashlight? VSSL, an outdoor gear company, has come up with the ultimate tool.
This equipment triples as a flashlight, compass, and first-aid kit. All this weighs less than a pound. The flashlight is waterproof, and the individual components are easy to use. The first-aid essentials inside have been put together by first responders, which makes the kit a reportedly reliable product. It’s easy to add and replace items in the kit as you require.
Travel Security Belt
Pickpockets have gotten rather creative with their ways. The hidden zipper functionality in backpacks has long been rendered useless. So, you need something unconventional in high-risk areas. Losing your wallet while on an international trip can be disastrous. A travel security belt can be the perfect solution to that problem.
The zippers are placed in the inner lining, and the belts are made from nylon. This makes them hard to cut through. You can store money, keys, and small valuables inside the belt and always keep them on your person. It won’t weigh you down either since it’s been crafted with lightweight material.
Most travel security belts are made without metal. So, you won’t need to take it off and part with your money while passing through airport security.
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A security belt works for small or foldable items, but what about your passport?
Most backpackers agree that keeping valuables on the front of your body is the best option. Pockets seem like an obvious solution, but what if you get wet? Even if your pants are waterproof, it’s not a risk worth taking.
An anti-theft purse is a pickpocket’s archnemesis. It is designed with slash-proof straps and hidden zips. Many models come with RFID blocking card slots, so your card information can’t be stolen.
For backpacking, the ideal purse is compact with sufficient storage. You can find many small crossbody bags that can be slung across the front of your body to secure your valuables. There are also backpack variants that are just as safe.
From unexpected injuries, to lost passports and cancelled flights, a lot of things can happen during a solo backpacking trip abroad. Any one of these could result in a big financial loss for you if you don’t have insurance coverage. This why an important part of rounding out your packing list should always be proper insurance coverage. It can provide financial compensation for any unexpected event on your trip that’s covered by the policy.
Having sopping wet shoes and socks in the middle of the woods is uncomfortable, and can cause blisters. A soaking wet shirt or pants is equally undesirable; especially if it’s cold outside. Quick-Dry clothing can come to the rescue.
Clothes made of polyester and nylon are best to pack for your trip. They repel water well, and even if they absorb some moisture, they dry more quickly than cotton. Merino wool is another excellent quick-dry fabric option. It doubles as a warm layer too.
You may not be able to buy a whole new wardrobe for your trip. But Quick-Dry shoes, socks, and underwear are must-buys.
Compact Cooking Kits
Gourmet meals are obviously a no-go while you’re camping. But you don’t have to live on granola bars either. Whipping up basic meals when you’re in the wilderness is simple. Two objects will suffice: fire, and equipment to cook in. Okay, maybe three; you need ingredients as well.
Taking your full kitchen set is not an option, but you can buy collapsible cookware that is lightweight (less than two pounds) and easy to pack. Compact cooking kits can be layered, and don’t hog space in your backpack. Made from quick-heating material, these kits let you cook your food in a matter of minutes, and satiate your hunger after a hard day’s walk.
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Rubbing yourself down with a wet rag just doesn’t cut it after a long day of accumulating sweat and grime. But a hot shower isn’t an option either… Unless it is.
If you like to stay clean at all costs, a solar-powered camp shower should be on your shopping list. These showers are extremely compact and easy to carry in a backpack. The solar-powered heating element allows you to take a warm shower wherever you are.
Although a few insect bites are to be expected during most hikes, we all do our best to keep bugs at bay. However, bug sprays and lotions can only do so much in keeping pesky critters away. And the nasty, sticky feeling you get on your body isn’t enjoyable either. In the past, you would’ve had to just accept your fate and learn to live with it. But not anymore.
Portable mosquito-repellers can make life a lot easier. Most of them are battery-operated and use electronic technology to create a 15-foot bug-free bubble around you.
While it is true that you can probably get through your next backpacking trip without most of these novelties, they can truly make the experience more enjoyable. Of all of them, travel insurance or travel medical insurance is the most important. Following that, consider investing in Quick-Dry clothing, and a travel security belt. The other items largely depend on your preferences, and the premium you place on comfort during a backpacking trip abroad.
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