We'll forgive you for leaving these pieces of gear at home—even though you shouldn't
Imagine cramming items into a suitcase three minutes before a cab arrives to take you to the airport. Especially if you’re backpacking, it’s no small task to decide whether an object is necessary or just dead weight in an already overpacked bag. And in all the confusion, you might even end up forgetting the tiny essentials you rely on most when away from home. Here are a few reminders.
Outlier Merino Shirt ($98)
Merino wool is extremely breathable, efficiently wicks away moisture, and actually works great in the heat. Outlier, a company based in New York, uses ultrafine merino fibers for superior softness, and the fabric is naturally antimicrobial, which means you can wear it many days in a row without a stink.
Darn Tough Light Crew Sock ($12)
If you can bring only one pair of socks on a trip, it should be a light hiking hybrid like these Darn Toughs. The high wool content will keep your feet dry and blister-free, while the durable nylon and spandex mean you won’t see your toes poking through the fabric anytime soon, even after repeated abuse. Plus, they’re thin enough to work with different shoes and look just as good at a job interview as they do on the trail.
REI Multination Travel Adapter Plug ($30)
Any self-respecting traveler should be opposed to gadgets with a million easily losable pieces. This cube from REI does a lot of the basic work for you: It comes with a USB port in case you forget your charging brick and makes it easy to convert voltage so you won’t fry your computer or appliances.
Rhodia Rhodiarama Notebooks (Prices Vary)
A notebook is something almost everyone forgets, but it’s easily one of the most useful tools for trips for keeping track of unfamiliar addresses or overcoming the language barrier with a quick sketch. These notebooks from Rhodia have thick paper and brightly colored covers that make them hard to forget at a bar.
Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 60 Sunscreen ($31)
This broad-spectrum sunscreen from Vichy uses a sophisticated blend of UV-blocking chemicals that goes far beyond the components in your average drugstore variety. Most important, unlike most sunscreens, this one isn’t a nuisance—it doesn’t smell like sunscreen and applies easily, which means you won’t be as inclined to not-so-accidentally leave it at home. (The bright-orange tube offers a hint of what your face will look like if you do.)