Minimalist Travel Gear: 5 Things to Never Travel Without

“I travel light. I think the most important thing is to be in a good mood and enjoy life, wherever you are.”
Diane Von Furstenberg

If you’re like me, you want to travel as light as possible, but you also want to make sure you’re prepared for anything.  In order to help you accomplish both goals, I put together this list of minimalist travel gear with 5 items to never travel without.

Each item below is something that I always make sure is in my backpack or suitcase before I leave for any trip.  Each item has come in handy multiple times and a few may have even saved my life and each item is something you should make sure you travel with.

Related: Best Travel Blogs

Minimalist Travel Gear Item #1

Full stainless steel pen
w/ a Parker Space Pen refill

A near indestructible writing device that works reliably anywhere is essential. The need to quickly jot down vital information in the middle of a travel day is something that happens pretty damn often, sometimes on whatever surface you can find.

Alternatively, it can be used as a last ditch self-defense weapon; it’s basically a Kubotan. I have also used them as tools in various situations. My preferred pen used to be the Shrade SCPENBK, but have since switched over to a more clicky and compact choice, the Zebra F-701.

Minimalist Travel Gear Item #2

Travel sized power strip or outlet/USB splitter

It’s frequent to only have access to a single outlet and/or one outlet converter for your multiple devices. Having to come back to your room to switch your devices on the outlet is never fun. Additionally, it’s good to have a few extra short cables since they’re so light and a hassle when they break.

I have always used this now discontinued Monster power strip because I have camera gear that need actual outlets but this NTONPOWER2 does a great job as well . Whether you get a power strip or multi-USB charger obviously depends on the devices you own.


Buy on Amazon


Minimalist Travel Gear Item #3

550 Paracord + gaffer’s tape

Paracord is just about one of the most useful things that exist, the applications are endless. You can use it for everything from fishing to towing a car out of the mud. I usually just get the black color and weave it in a pattern around my backpack’s center handle. I can usually manage to get ~7-10 feet of it depending on the pattern I choose, which is plenty for most purposes. This provides extra padding for your backpack handle and make it easier to carry around in one hand.
Gaffer’s tape is just the film industry equivalent of duct-tape (arguably better); it’s super strong, made of cloth, waterproof, can be ripped by hand, and does not leave sticky residue when you peel it off. With paracord + gaffer’s tape, you can temporarily patch up most things in a pinch.


Minimalist Travel Gear Item #4


No need for a description. Like the paracord, its uses are nearly endless. Especially useful if you ride motorcycles. protecting your face from dust, or cleaning up any spilled whiskey.
A must have for committing crimes or doing other shady things.

Minimalist Travel Gear Item #5

A GOOD flashlight with a clip

Always useful to have around, and not to mention, it can save your ass in a life & death situation. I’ve personally had two of such occasions: once when a storm suddenly rolled in while I was lost on a solo hike in Hungary, and I had to find my way down the mountain in near darkness; another time, I had to navigate dirt mountain roads in Vietnam on a motorcycle with no headlight at night.
While the light on your phone might work for looking for something indoors, it will not hold up in any real outdoor situation. If you plan to do a lot of outdoor or night activities, I’d go with a rechargeable Fenix flashlight. I clip mine to one of the shoulder straps of my backpack. Get something rugged, waterproof, and bright. Don’t cheap out.

That’s the list of minimalist travel gear I won’t leave home without. 

I’ve found that when traveling, things tend to go smoother if I have less shit to carry.  It makes it easier, on my mind and body, to move around.  Because I always travel with a singular backpack space is at a premium; which means everything I carry has a purpose.  I want to be prepared for whatever a trip may through at me.  Each item on the list above has proven itself time and time again and has earned its place in my pack.

Stay Gold.

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