Everything you need for the road: The best daypack travel kit
What’s a great day kit for traveling by car? Whether you’re on a layover or on a road trip, there are a few essential items that will make your travels comfortable. See what made it on our list to keep you hydrated and happy on the road.
1. Adventure medical kit $12-23
This one is important for obvious reasons, and you should have some kind of adventure medical kit with you in the backcountry and in your vehicle, too.
Minor medical issues can be inconvenient, like a cut (clean it to keep it from getting infected) or a headache can keep you from concentrating or enjoying yourself. Having bandaids, wound dressing, disinfectant and anti-inflammatory or other pain relieving tablets is always a good idea.
The Adventure Medical Kits brand makes our favourite outdoor/survival kits, and the one pictured is the Medical Adventure 2.0 kit for $23. You can also purchase the 1.0 version of this kit for around $12, it’s slightly smaller but is still very useful. It’s great because it has extra sleeves for holding things you might want to add.
2. Day pack, $80
When you venture out, you’ll want something that can hold your camera, snacks, water and gear.
Try the Cotopaxi Killimanjaro. It’s a rugged day pack with plenty of room for all the day’s essentials. It’s made with rugged canvas fabric that can take a beating and has a tough suede bottom, padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel. You can also stow your laptop in the internal laptop sleeve. Plus, we love Cotopaxi that they donate to third world social causes!
3. Thermos, $25
Though you can put hot coffee or tea in your stainless steel water bottle, it’ll leave a residue from the tannins that’s hard to wash out over time. It’s better to have a dedicated thermos just for the hot stuff. A 16 ounce thermos is about the size of a large coffee, and is compact enough to take with you anywhere.
4. To go cup
Have this one handy for when you plan to stop for roadside coffee or hot chocolate. Our favourite is the GSI outdoors cup with sleeve. The earlier version came in a neoprene sleeve with a small band to serve as a mug handle, but the latest version has a sleeve made out of tarpaulin (tarp) material. It’s packable and versatile, and comes with a sleeve for when you want to keep things hot, and in the evening is great for holding wine.
5. Stainless steel water bottle
The double walled vacuum insulated water bottle doubles as a thermos, but it’s nice to have one just for your water or other drinks to keep them either warm or cold. The exterior on this stainless steel water bottle is powder coated and more durable than other metal water bottles, and the lid simpler and spill proof so you won’t get water all over the inside of your bag.
6. Energy bars or snacks, $5
Snacks you can make yourself or buy. Meals are important, starting with breakfast. When you’re on the road, chances are good that you’ll get hungry and won’t have quick access to food, so we recommend you take packable good, high protein and high calorie foods with you to keep you fueled.
7. Wind jacket, $100
Get yourself a wind jacket to protect yourself from sun, wind and light rain. A small, packable jacket is easy to stow and you’ll be pretty glad to have it, the versatility of this type of jacket is hard to overstate.
The Patagonia Houdini is one of the lightest at just over 4 ounces, and most compact wind jackets available. It’s breathable and great in hot or cold weather. It has no side pockets, so you’ll have to take a bag with you if you’re heading out. The Marmot windshirt is almost twice as heavy (8 ounces) great at wicking sweat and blocking wind, and it’s a bit more durable. It’s not as good in light rain as the Houdini though.
8. Concentrated Soap, $8
9. Merino Wool Socks
I always carry a spare set of merino wool socks. We like the Icebreaker or Smartwool, but there are a few other brands that also work great. You’ll never know if you get the urge to for a long walk, hike or run to explore the area you’re traveling in. Having a pair of warm, moisture wicking and cushioned socks is a good idea.
10. Hand Sanitizer, $5 and oh, don’t forget toilet paper!
Personal hygiene is very important, and not always easy when you’re in a foreign country or out on a road trip somewhere. Better have that stuff handy with you so you don’t have to drive around looking for it, or compromise your health with unsanitary conditions.
Did we miss anything? What gear do you always make sure to bring with you? Comment below!
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