Putting together a travel survival kit for the modern vagabond.

The experience of living in the middle of a national power crisis in South Africa has prompted me to think about what one needs in a travel survival kit for the modern vagabond – or at least the modern vagabond who travels with a laptop and works on the road.

Currently my husband and I have the following in our survival kit:

  • Travel sewing kit
  • A very small home-made First Aid kit
  • Two password-protected USB keys on which we keep copies of important documents
  • A selection of spare laptop cables
  • A spare, very tiny laptop

That’s it…not much of a survival kit I know, so I’m looking to upgrade. Here’s what I think modern vagabonds need, in addition to the above:

  • A couple of those small stick-on, battery-powered lights
  • Solar-powered power adapters ad chargers
  • An ebook reader such as Amazon’s Kindle to download updated guidebook versions on the go

And I’ve been told that we really should have a roll of duct tape but I really and truly can’t see how and where I’d use it – I’ve had no need for one so far but perhaps I’m missing something. Anyone?

Posted by | Comments (7)  | February 28, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

7 Responses to “Putting together a travel survival kit for the modern vagabond.”

  1. Debbie Says:

    Funny you should ask, I wrote an article just last week about 10 reasons you should pack duct tape in your travel bag

    Here’s the link:


  2. Wesley Says:

    One of these would sure be nice. =)

  3. Liz Says:

    Last weekend in hawaii, I used part of a mini-roll of duct tape for:

    impromptu band-aid

    wedding ring “keeper” while snorkeling

    faulty window blind repair for privacy and Zzzzzzs

    (inner) temporary patch on unfortunate new hole in jeans

    +sarong = privacy drape for sunbathing on hotel balcony

    fix for bag zipper that wouldn’t stay shut

    fix for tsa-required ziploc that had seen too much use

    closure for bag of rice crackers I didn’t want to finish, but also didn’t want exploding in my carry-on

    I wouldn’t go anywhere without it!!

  4. Toby Says:

    I carry 3 lights with me. A USB gooseneck to light up my keyboard or papers when working on my laptop, a Pak-Lite LED that just attaches to a regular 9-volt battery (I get 200+ hours from a lithium 9-volt), and a AAA penlight from Cyberguys (www.cyberguys.com/product-details/?productid=16059)

    For tools, I’ve got a Swiss-Tech Micro-Pro. TSA safe.

  5. fusilli Says:

    Maby you don’t understand the word ‘survival’ I don’t see how a tiny laptop can provide shelter. And you can’t eat it. Duct tape is more usefull than any electronics you can take. Wake up

  6. DEK Says:

    “Survival”. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  7. DEK Says:

    Dear Linda, You have wandered in at a rather late point in the discussion. No one is talking about becoming a hobo or drifter. Read more of the site and you will understand what is being talked about and why getting raped and robbed three times a day is not an issue.

    I, too, am retired; a dozen years older than your husband and wonder that you plan to spend $60,000 a year on your retirement. Have we not already made all our major capital expenditures and are concerned only with upkeep. Are not our children all raised and educated and paid for? If money is an issue, why in Heaven’s name are you planning on spending $60,000 a year?

    Manage your money better and you will be able to afford to travel the world, which is what we are talking about here. Here we are talking about the joy of seeing the world, not about living under bridges with drug addicts.