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I'm not selling any of these products, this is only a collection of impressions about some of the things I have traveled with, or plan to travel with. As I use them, I will add updates. Remember that not all items are appropriate for all travels, and the importance of packing light cannot be overstated: when in doubt, leave it out! Where practical, I have added links to manufacturers or retailers for anyone who wants more information. Text in GREEN has been added since my latest trip.



Facial Tissues

A travel basic, don't leave home without some. But don't take more than you need... I actually ended up coming back with a lot of these little packages...


Hair Bands

Essential for days when you just don't want to deal with longer hair. They're likely to get lost or left behind, so bring several.


Lens Towelettes


These might be an extravagance, but then it makes sense to take good care of binoculars that should last a lifetime. Zeiss lenses are precision optics with multi-layer anti-reflective coatings, and are deserving of a little special care. I brought a number of these, but only used 2 or 3 in four months...


Chewing Gum


Any gum will do, for helping to keep ear pressure equalized on long flights, staving off desperation between meals, and freshening breath between brushings. I had a hard time finding gum without artificial sweeteners in the UK and Europe, so I was glad I had some with me.


Moist Towelettes

Another nice-to-have item, especially for cleaning up before and after meals. I didn't know these things have a limited shelf-life... some were dried out by the time I tried to use them.


Glue Pen


For use in scrapbooking little bit and pieces I accumulate in my travels, this glue pen has a dual personality--stick things together while the glue is wet for a permanent bond, wait until the glue dries for a repositionalble "post-it" style bond. Wish I'd used it more, instead of ending up with a big bag of little bits and pieces... oh well, there's always next time.


Drawing Materials


A zippered canvas pouch holds an assortment of ink pens (including waterproof Sharpies) and pencils (including charcoal and mechanical) extra leads and erasers, and a sharpener. Overkill... I only really needed one extra fine point Sharpie, one ball point pen, and one or two mechanical pencils with refill leads.


Lens Cleaner


This works great for cleaning glasses, sunglasses, palm pilot screens, camera lenses, etc. I gave it away halfway through my latest trip in an effort to lighten my load, and didn't miss it too much.



I suppose if I were really a gung-ho travel light enthusiast, I would forgo anything as patently vain as makeup, and truth be told I use very little most days, but I am going to take just a few small touches of what I consider to be the bare essentials for special occasions: concealer, mascara, lipstick, powder. The only thing I really used much was lipstick.


 Laundry Soap


Everyone says this is great stuff, and why shouldn't it be? It's very concentrated, so a little goes a long way, it gets your clothes clean, but it's gentle enough to be used for shampoo (in a pinch). It's also environmentally friendly. It cannot, however, manage the almost impossible task of getting underarm odor out of coolmax shirts... for that, I needed actual detergent (and lots of it!) and a shot of anti-odor spray (see below).


Anti-Odor Spray


Those of you who are quite fastidious, just skip this... because the fact is that one cannot always have clothes as clean as one may wish when one is traveling cheaply and at length. This stuff really helps make you more presentable, and is especially useful on some of the more high-tech fabrics, which will stubbornly refuse to let go of odors even after a good handwashing. I still like this product, but it also became something I choose to let go of halfway through the trip to lighten my load.


Stain Treatment


When a pigeon dive-bombed me in St. Peter's Square during breakfast, I just whipped out one of these moist towelettes and quickly made my skirt presentable again. These saved me time and again, highly recommended. When you only have a few clothes to last you for months, it's really important to keep them looking their best.


Zip Lock Bags

These are indispensable for organizing... I prefer the thicker "freezer" style bags for durability, with the plastic slider closure, in both large (gallon) and small (quart) sizes. I take enough to organize my gear, and then some extras for the inevitable surprises that arise on the road.







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