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

adventure medical kits first aid 2.0 backcountry

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.

Buy Adventure Medical Kits on Sale

 

2. Day pack, $80

The Cotopaxi Kilimanjaro 20L daypack in Navy.

The Cotopaxi Kilimanjaro 20L daypack in Navy.

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!

Buy The Cotopaxi Daypack

3. Thermos, $25

Bring aThermos to keep things hot. Image by Aslak Raanes from Flickr.

Bring a Thermos to keep things hot. Image by Aslak Raanes from Flickr.

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.

Buy a Thermos on Sale

4. To go cup

The GSI Outdoors Infinity mug in red. Image from REI.

The GSI Outdoors Infinity mug in red. Image from REI.

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.

Buy The GSI Outdoors Cup

5. Stainless steel water bottle

The Hydro Flask Wide Mouth water bottle in Copper Brown fits 24 ounces of liquid. Image from Backcountry.

The Hydro Flask Wide Mouth water bottle in Copper Brown fits 24 ounces of liquid. Image from Backcountry.

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.

Buy a Stainless Steel Water Bottle on Sale

6. Energy bars or snacks, $5

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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.

Shop Energy Bars

 

7. Wind jacket, $100

Patagonia Houdini jacket, women's version in Howling Turquoise. Image from REI.

Patagonia Houdini jacket, women’s version in Howling Turquoise. Image from REI.

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.

Try the Patagonia Houdini ($99) or the Marmot DriClime windshirt ($95).

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.

Shop Patagonia Houdini Jacket

8. Concentrated Soap, $8

Campsuds soap works even in salty water, too, is biodegradable and naturally scented. Image from Campmor.

Campsuds soap works even in salty water, too, is biodegradable and naturally scented. Image from Campmor.

We love the concentrated CampSuds or Dr. Bronners soaps. They’re concentrated, can be used on dishes and the CampSuds even work in salty water, and comes in a leak proof Nalgene bottle too.

Shop Camp Soap

9. Merino Wool Socks

Merino wool socks by Smartwool. Image from Flickr by HikeVentures.

Merino wool socks by Smartwool. Image from Flickr by HikeVentures.

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.

Buy SmartWool socks

10. Hand Sanitizer, $5 and oh, don’t forget toilet paper!

All Terrain Hand Sanz sanitizer. Image from EMS.com

All Terrain Hand Sanz sanitizer. Image from EMS.com

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.

Buy Hand Sanitizer

Did we miss anything? What gear do you always make sure to bring with you? Comment below!

Alicja

Alicja

Alicja is an economist, enjoys climbing, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, cycling and gets out into the backcountry as much as possible. See all of Alicja's Blog Posts
Alicja
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