Useless and Useful things

Posted: January 26, 2013 in In My Backpack, TRAVEL

I was at a hostel-in-progress and met an amazing Norwegian named Sabine who is biking around Central America. She asked me what things I have found most useful and we traded information for a few hours.

Things that I have found useLESS (and have left behind):

  1. Metal Cup
  2. Knitting stuff (This actually came in handy when I made a belt for myself. But then I taught someone else how to knit and left it with them).
  3. Clothes… lots of clothes. (you can pick up and drop off clothes at any point, really.)
  4. Clothes line (is just too long. I ended up cutting it in half and leaving half the rope somewhere).
  5. Wellies (rubber boots). When I needed these, they were useful, but when I’m working on a beach, they couldn’t take up more space. So they were left behind.
  6. Medication. (I thought I would get sick ALL THE TIME, apparently. I haven’t broken into any sinus/cold/immodium/etc meds since I’ve been traveling.)
  7. Bug Spray (I used this in Belize- then I stopped. It doesn’t really do any good, it pollutes the environment and it was liquid that was taking up space/weight in my bag.)
  8. Paper (books, notepads, etc.) All abandoned, save for a few sheets of paper.
  9. Markers (colored!) I left these at a hostel that was just opening up. They could use them for art projects more than me.
  10. Card games (I had Flux). Left at a hostel.
  11. Shoes (that ended up being useless/uncomfortable). abandoned.
  12. Waterbottles that didn’t have a clip holder. abandoned.
  13. My jersey dress that my friend (so lovingly) made for me. 😦

Things that I had my parents bring me from the states:

  1. quick dry pants that zip off into shorts. (hands down the best thing I got for xmas).
  2. Another backpack. (I abandoned my huge-bulky bag after it just got to the ridiculous weight of 75lbs.) I don’t need that much shit. So I downsized and got one of these.
  3. Go Pro camera. (woot! I can take pictures underwater now!)
  4. Batteries (AA) — the reason is that the AA batteries that are typically found in Central America are the expired/rejects from the states. (hence why they are so cheap!) but they don’t last very long. 😦
  5. Headlamp (I didn’t actually have one. Now I do!)
  6. A bathing suit (mine broke. I wanted a TYR/speedo-type.)
  7. Vibrams (they don’t exist down here.)

Things that have been SUPER HANDY:

  1. My steripen (water sanitizer pen)
  2. Battery charger
  3. Ziplock bags (for food)
  4. re-fillable sunscreen tube.
  5. ipod shuffle
  6. my endless supply of microsoft pens.
  7. lighters (just useful in general)
  8. dental floss (one of these days I’ll describe all the various uses of dental floss!)
  1. Diego says:

    Amazing to read all the stuff you left behind and to see how the good things are Universally Useful., zipper pants, headlamp and dental floss.. Clothes were no issue for me, I wore the same tshirt for days and nobody seem to really care.. they noticed it, made jokes of it, but I was easy to recognize… My thing was the books, a whole pile of books that I never read.. The worst thing that could happen -given i was travelling through Asia- was to stumble upon a bookstore full of Spanish books.. For my next trip, 35L max… Enjoy!

    • lnlurie says:

      My kindle has been my best friend since 2009. I will never ever ever have books again. The kindle just makes it oh so convenient. (plus! My books are always in a language that I can read!)

  2. Megan says:

    Kindle would definitely be a requirement for me. Hell, I won’t go to weekend drill without it. :d Bummer that the dress didn’t work out. 😦 No use for a dress? Or was the dress design not practical/whatever? And does the steripen really work? I’ve been looking at getting a water filtration water bottle that kills 99% of viruses and bacteria, but I’ve been wondering if a steripen would be equivalent/better. What do you think?

    • lnlurie says:

      Steripen worked– until it didn’t. I don’t know what’s wrong with it (battery? reader? whatever) but it won’t work anymore. There are others that are cheaper/similar that I would look into. The problem with the water filtration is that you need all the parts/etc and it was bulky. The steripen was easy and small.

      I did end up using a lot of iodine, though. (I kinda like the taste now, too… weird!)

    • lnlurie says:

      Also- RE: the dress- it was made out of jersey and there is NO place to wear jersey in the tropics. Especially that much fabric. I still have the dress (it’s at my folk’s) and I will wear it often again, once I return home/back in a place where it gets below 20/70 degrees.

  3. […] is a “what i actually found useful vs not” […]

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