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Can't Travel Without These

While I am currently in the quest in becoming a fashionable adventurer (effect of watching too many America's Next Top Model episodes on cable!),  I always bring the following essentials when packing for a long trip, well, aside from cash and my mobile phone.  Happy Traveling!

1. First Aid Kit - It's for you and for others who might need your help. Prior to an incident on the road ,I don't bring first aid kits because I didn't think I'd need it.  One time, on my way home from Baler, we chanced on a collision between a van and a truck. The public van I rode was several vehicles behind and no one could pass through because the truck had blocked the entire road. We were also in an area that had no cellphone signal. Several people were shaken and injured. I remember one lady who was a bit in shock and had a deep punctured wound in her leg. Luckily, I had a first aid kit at that time and I was able to give her Betadine and bandage.

I also had a rock climbing accident where the skin from my left leg was ripped and it had to be covered. I didn't have a first-aid kit then but my friends brought theirs so they were able to cover it before we had to go down the mountain and travel to the hospital about 2 hours away.

2. Headlamp and back-up flashlight - because I'm afraid of the dark and sometimes, the places I go to have no electricity. Don't forget to bring extra batteries. My favorite brand of batteries are Thunder batteries which can be bought at Handyman stores (very cheap, lasts long and cost less than 40 pesos for 6 pieces of AAA or AA). Petzl headlamps can be bought at outdoor shops like Conquer in Robinson's Pioneer or at the locally based outdoor online shop of T3ck Outdoor. Energizer also has a headlamp sold at about 800 pesos each. Some friends are using it and they told me it's durable.

3. Pocket Knife – for whatever reasons you might need it. Be it opening a canned good, cutting off a hang nail (?!), loose threads, etc. It does come in handy especially when you go camping.

4. Travel Adaptor – don’t forget to consider that sockets overseas can be different from ours. Not all hostels have an adaptor you can lend so it can be a hassle. You can buy one in Handyman at 199.75 pesos.

5. Notebook and Pen – for your notes and to write email addresses of newly found friends or contacts. It’s a great tool to keep your expenses on track. It’s also helpful to keep all your notes, travel itinerary and tickets in one pouch for easy access.

6. Maps – my favorite type are the locally produced EZ Maps which are sold in National Bookstore at 99 pesos each. It contains details on the location of business establishments like banks, gas station, hotels, restaurants and tourist destinations. It’s easier to adjust and less scary when you get your bearing first when you’re traveling.

7. Waterproof pouch – be prepared for any adventure you might engage in. Be it white-water rafting, trekking in the woods or simply walking under the rain. Make sure your money and gadgets are protected by keeping them in a water-proof pouch. These pouches can be expensive, so you may opt for the cheap ones sold at the Japan Home Center. I bought mine from there at less than 100 pesos. It kept my cellphone and money dry when I went water tubing on the raging Sibulan river in Davao Del Sur. I just wore it around my neck and kept it inside my shirt to keep it from bouncing everywhere and it worked perfectly fine.

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