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Help me build my daybag emergency kit

I tend to pack way too much “what if” stuff. Even though I know there’s a pharmacy on every other corner. I know I can find what I need there, if need be. I just feel a little more comfortable carrying a little “emergency” kit in the day bag if the need arises, so we don’t have to disrupt plans to find “x”. I end up with a Mary Poppins bag full of various things and can’t find what I need when I need it.

For the next trip, I’m challenging myself to keep it to one small clear zippered makeup bag, about the size of my hand (7x4x1”). I’ve tried to fill it with things that we’ve had a need for over the years while out and about. Here’s what’s in it so far:

Allergy pills
Dental floss
Nail file
Tiny eyeglass repair kit
Bug repellent wipes
Wet wipe (antibacterial hand wipe)
Hair tie
Salonpas patch
Alcohol wipe
Eyeglass cleaner wipe
Body wipe (deodorant)
Mini sewing kit (tiny scissors, needle, thread, button, safety pin)
Shout wipe (stain remover)
Eye drops
A few Euro coins (for bathrooms)

Added based on responses:
2 small zip ties
2 binder clips
Small post it notes (3 or 4 sheets)
Pen, with duct tape wrapped around it
Pepto Bismol tablets

The only liquid is eye drops, so I’ll just transfer that after security. I keep a hand sanitizer connected to the outside of the daybag.

I have a little more space! What’s in your emergency kit that I’ve forgotten?

Posted by
859 posts

I don't know what the difference is between a wet wipe, shout wipe and body wipe. Do you need all three?

I always take sunscreen as I easily get sunburnt.

I also always take a paper clip for changing SIM cards.

And a USB stick with copies of important things like tickets, itinerary, photocopy of passports etc, in case I lose my phone.

Posted by
27 posts

I don't know what the difference is between a wet wipe, shout wipe and body wipe. Do you need all three?

A wet wipe would be for your hands, a shout wipe is to prevent stains on clothes from food spills and body wipe (I'm guessing here) is to wipe down your body when you feel sweaty. Shout wipes are the best and I always have several in my bag.

The only thing I would add is a pad of post it notes to go with the pen and a couple of zip lock bags of different sizes.

What do you use the carabiner for?

Posted by
2420 posts

I’d ditch the sewing kit and eyeglass repair kit and bring some duct tape instead. Instead of bringing an entire roll of the tape, cut a piece of a drinking straw and wrap a length of duct tape around it. A trick I read about here several years ago.

Posted by
6781 posts

Pepto Bismol (or generic equivalent) tabs, rather than Tums. You get the heartburn relief, plus gas, bloating, and maybe most important, diarrhea relief.

I seem to recall a post on this forum years ago saying that Pepto wasn’t available (or maybe even legal) in Europe - maybe that was just in Britain.

Posted by
18 posts

I like your list.

I separate some of these things a little differently, as they are things that I regularly use and want handy.

I include a small tube of antibacterial ointment in my small “what if” kit (transferred after security check). Personally, I would keep the sewing kit as it is so small but I have no need for the eyeglass repair kit as I bring an extra pair of glasses. I also bring duct tape as the above poster mentioned, but I wind some around an index card to create a flat pack. I usually bring one or two clothes pins. Many of these things would remain at the hotel during the day for me.

Posted by
6245 posts

For a daypack that you're carrying everywhere? I'd skip pretty much all of that.

Well, OK, all of it expect for the loose change (Euro coins), a pen, extra pair of eyeglasses, and whatever personal care products you really need on any given day. And I do I have several mini carabiners clipped to the exterior of my day pack in case I need to attach something (those are always handy, even when I'm not traveling). But that's about it for the stuff listed above, for a day-pack. It boils down to personal preference, but almost all of the things on your list ("I just might need this") stay back with my main bag in my room, and I see no real need to carry all those things around all day every day. Everybody's different.

I completely understand the "eagle scout" be prepared!  feeling that you want to be ready to handle minor emergencies or contingencies while traveling, but we have to be careful not to go crazy with that or you'll have a steam trunk along filled with power tools. I do have a first-aid kit that I bring with me on trips. I also have a couple of small pouches of specialty items (one is a general "fix things" bag (duct tape!), one is just small personal stuff, one is a tiny sewing kit, etc.) and those different mini bags do contain many of the things on your list. But I figure if I get a splinter, if I spill something on my shirt, if I get a headache, I'll survive a few hours until I get back to my base of operations (ie my room and my larger pack).

Of course, it depends to some degree on exactly where you are going. I pack differently for a trip to European cities (where you can find and buy almost anything) versus a trip to a developing country, a jungle or a remote island (bring the full mosquito netting for the bed and the very serious DEET bug repellent, maybe the snake-bite kit...) but I can get by without those things in Rome.

Only you can/should decide what you really need. That said, I'm not sure I see any stuff missing from your list above - for your day pack. Consider adding s small roll of "Gorilla Tape" (stronger and better than Duct Tape), but I'd still leave that with your main bag.

Posted by
1259 posts

Your comfort level is the only important factor. If you're the kind of person who likes to provide emergency services for everyone, your kit is woefully under-equipped. If you're in a group, organize a group kit. If you're satisfying your own anxieties, maybe remove the several items that seem redundant or that you have never actually needed. For instance, easier to carry spare glasses than a repair kit.

I see several items I'd not bother to carry but that's just me. "OMG! What if?" and "convenient stuff" are separate lists. You're not expecting to cope with a medical emergency by yourself and so you are not carrying a complete first aid kit.

Posted by
2558 posts

The only thing I take on your list is a pen and some coins if I have any. I am much more motivated to reduce the weight around my neck than I am to be prepared for emergencies. I can’t think of a single time I have needed any of this stuff (not counting the tampon before I went through menopause) and if I did, I feel sure I could make do until I got back to my room.

Posted by
552 posts

Your list sounds fine. But, is it all in one bag? Are you going to dig through this one bag to find your singular item you

Posted by
13820 posts

Pepto is available in the UK but nowhere else in Europe.

Here's how I decide what OTC meds to take: It's midnight. I need xxxx. How much do I need to have to last me until I can get to a pharmacy the next day? The only exceptions are Pepto and Alleve (naproxem sodium.) The latter is available by prescription only.

You don't have to take enough of everything else to last your entire trip.

Posted by
552 posts

Your list sounds fine. The problem I always have is where are these things? Are they all in one bag? How easy is it to dig out the one item from the entire list from the one bag? Do you carry that entire bag with you all the time.
If you actually put all of that list in one bag, it would be significant in size and weight. Do you take it out and about? Dental floss, that’s a daily thing, so no need to have it with the salonpas patch.
So then you may say, well I may separate them according to a criteria. Now you have either multiple bags or stashes within your luggage to put these things.
I have the same problem. Bandaids, where are they, top pocket of my RS original bag. Along with moleskin. Maybe the carabiner. Then a small bag inside the RS with eyeglass repair kit, chapstick. Then another stash bag maybe with just the Tylenol, Dramamine, etc. All of which become sort of disarranged during travel.
You get the picture. It becomes a sort of search and find all the time. It becomes more of an albatross than a help. Then perhaps, I have the carabiner, but she has the chapstick. Do we remember? Where is it now in my/her pack?
All contents of my pack strewn across the hotel bed. I know I had those tweezers somewhere.

Posted by
16015 posts

Sounds like you enjoy the adventure of the planning ... good for you. Put everything in an Excel spreadsheet then track usage in the spreadsheet so you always have a full supply.

Posted by
3401 posts

The items from your list I carry around daily are
tums (I have had the same small roll for the past 5 trips with just a few used)
wet ones (just 2)
aspirin ((your choice but just 4 pills)
those plastic tooth picks
small tube of face sunblock,
2 precut strips of moleskin.
The picks, moleskin and tweezer are in my coin purse, along with coins, so I always know where they are. As I’ve stated before, I usually wear a belt bag so I need to keep it to a minimum. I sometimes throw in a Shout but I find just dabbing with water works just as well. For my eyeglasses, my Dr. told us never to rub your lenses with any cloth, causes scratches. Wash with soap and water and dab them dry. So I ditched the cleaning cloth. Many of those items are back at the hotel if needed, such as an extra pair of glasses (no repair kit).

Posted by
8071 posts

I might have some of that stuff back at the hotel, but I'm not afraid to pop into a local shop if I need something. But the one thing conspicuously missing from your list is a pack of tissues.

Posted by
1943 posts

The only thing I'd consider missing from your list is a small pack of kleenex. My emergency kit includes much of what you described, except I don't carry all of it with me during the day. I ditched the crappy scissors in the sewing kit and use nail clippers to cut thread. I ditto the suggestion for Gorilla Tape, I made my own flat pack by winding a long strip around a piece of an expired credit card (you can also cut it using nail clippers). I also pack a small binder clip (keep curtains closed, emergency luggage repair) and a foldable spork for eating take out items on the fly. After each trip I evaluate what I packed and determine whether to cut (or add) something from my kit. And as was mentioned, it does depend on destination. My trip to Ecuador and Peru had different potential emergency needs than my trip to London.

Posted by
5926 posts

I'm with David; your list sounds fine, but I wouldn't carry all that around in my day bag. I usually carry a pen and small notebook, some aspirin or acetaminophen (in a tiny flat box Bayer used to use,) a benadryl (in case of wasp sting - I'm allergic,) and some tissues. I do like the idea of the Shout wipe or Tide pen, though, although last year after I spilled red wine on my white garment, I was still able to rescue it after we got back to the hotel room. And that spill was so extensive I don't think the Tide pan would have covered it; I don't know about Shout wipes.

All the other useful items are back in the hotel room, waiting to be needed.

Posted by
4514 posts

I only realized after reading half the comments that this is something you bring with you every day while out traveling. I'll be honest - I have never thought of doing such a thing. The only things I take with me in the morning are homemade hand lotion bars (which double as chapstick), pens and a small notebook, my iPhone, my wallet and my keys/hotel card. 15+ years ago I would have added tampons but luckily, I don't need them anymore. 😊 Wipes would be handy, I guess, but I've usually been able to handle any stain with water and a napkin.

Just curious if you take all that stuff with you when you travel in the US?

Posted by
24856 posts

I don't carry all the same things, but I probably have about as much emergency stuff with me while I walk around. The key things I see missing are toilet paper, Kleenex and a tiny bottle of sunscreen. I also carry a quart-size ZIP Lock bag in case I purchase food that could get messy (berries, pastries, etc.), and a lightweight, packable tote for shopping. Quantities of items are intended to be not much more than I'd use in one day, if I need the item. I refill the containers from my full supply when I return to the hotel room at night.

I separate painkillers from tummy pills; I take several kinds of each. Unless they're sold in blister packs, I mix pills in each category in a single small container (sometimes a mini-Zip Lock bag), with a description on the outside in case I forget what they look like.

I don't bother to carry any form of spot remover around with me; I figure generous application of water is OK in the short term for a small stain. An utter disaster wouldn't be fixable without being able to wash the garment, anyway.

I think a major factor is whether you're the sort of traveler who tends to return to the hotel room during the day. That's something I virtually never do. If I begin to get a headache, I don't want to suffer until I get back to my room (I might even be on an out-of-town daytrip). I'm going to need a painkiller/fever-reducer at some point during my (long) trip, so I start out with the pills I'd use, bought cheaply in bulk at home. Acetaminophen/Tylenol cost me the equivalent of about 50 cents per pill in London. Like Pepto-Bismol, zinc lozenges (Cold-eeze) seems not to be available in Europe, and I want to have them at hand immediately if I begin to show cold symptoms, so I always have 2 or 3 in my purse.

I know this doesn't apply to most travelers--and it's about what is carried in a suitcase rather than in a purse or daypack--but when you take long trips, there are quite a few things you're almost certain to need at some point. I've never understood the logic of planning to buy those things in Europe rather than taking a carefully calculated quantity with you. It's a waste of money if you have to buy a full package of something you already have at home, and unless you discard the unused product immediately, you're stuck carrying the full bottle/package/etc. around with you for the rest of the trip. I'd rather try to guess how much I'll use. I can tell you from personal experience that a full roll of gorilla tape is extremely heavy, bulky and expensive.

What I carry around in Europe is basically the same as what I carry around during out-of-town trips in the US. The pills, tissues and packable tote go with me locally if I'm going farther than my local supermarket. I do strip unnecessary items from my wallet (and switch to a lighter one) and keyring for trips to Europe.

Posted by
5926 posts

Acraven, thanks for the reminder about a small tote bag. I have one that zips into a tiny bundle, about the size of a travel-sized tissue pack. It's almost indispensable for shopping.

Posted by
1481 posts

I love those teeny tiny shopping bags that fold back into themselves. On our recent trip to the Christmas Markets, I grabbed 3 of them for us so we would each have a bag. My daughter is used to this, but our other travel mate is new to European travel and was amazed by this.

The only things I carry in my purse during the day is my readers, inhaler, bandaids, coins, and my pared down travel wallet. The travel wallet is my backpacking one, so just a tiny cloth thing that has room for a few cards and a couple of folded bills. It is a bright color so I can find it whether in my pack or in my purse. I take very few of the items in the original list above, even in my carryon bag (don't check bags). I do take just a few pepto, Advil and excedrin as well as immodium tablets. Floss is in my toiletry bag. I don't carry any of the rest of that at all.

Posted by
1972 posts

I’m loving all the suggestions so far. I’ve added a few post it notes and a couple binder clips (I use them for holding curtains closed, as someone else mentioned and always miss place them), and I’ve wrapped some duct tape around the pen. I do have a tiny pair of nail clippers that I failed to list, so I’m removing the tiny scissors. Other items that are more everyday use and are always in the backpack: tissues and sunscreen.

My little bag measures 4” x 7” x 1” and weighs 8.8 oz. I wrote out everything in the bag and added that to the bag so I know what’s in there.

When traveling in the US, I know I can run in to Walmart and find anything I need. I have brought this little bag on a few recent trips and each time I’ve needed something from it: nail clippers, shout wipes, allergy pills I forgot to take at the hotel.

Posted by
12620 posts

It sounds like you may already do this since your pouch for this items is pretty small, but I put all my OTC pills in the small ziplocks from Michaels. They are in the jewelry department and are 1x2 and 2x3, I think. You have to buy 50-100 of them, lol so I've got enough for a lifetime! I carry about 6 allergy pills, 6 motrin, a sheet of Pepto and 2-3 Immodium. I have nail clippers because I can't get into the Immodium otherwise, lol. I always have 2 chapsticks or a chapstick and another brand. Plus the aforementioned tissues, eye drops and a small spool of floss. I also have started to carry an extra N95 mask since returning to international travel.

The rest of the things I might have in my suitcase back in the hotel but would not carry around on a daily basis. All of the above will fit in my very small purse I wear on the plane or if it's raining as it will zip up under my rain jacket.

I have bandaids and paper tape back in the room. My travel shoes are all broken in well enough that I don't get hot spots. I use the paper tape in lieu of moleskin. It's easier to manage, can be torn, will stay on thru a couple of showers and if you get it on ahead of time is as effective as moleskin. My brother, a retired forester, always used that as he had a hard time getting boots to fit. I started using it with boots as well and it's lightweight and works great.

Posted by
613 posts

You come more prepared than I do.

Things I carry all day:
* Chapstick
* Bug repellent wipes (only for a few destinations, like Egypt)
* Hair tie
* Pen and/or pencil (and small notebook)
* Wet wipe or hand sanitizer -- I rarely pack both.
* Carabiner
* Bandaids (1 or 2)
* Eyeglass cleaner wipe (for camera lens, not for my glasses)
* spare change for bathrooms and tips

Additional things I carry all day:
* sunscreen
* Pepto and/or immodium tablets (only when I am traveling to semi-exotic locations. In Europe, it stays at the hotel)
* Zinc lozenges (very difficult to find in Europe). I keep 1-2 in my day bag and more in my suitcase
* gaffer tape (a little bit wrapped about my pencil)

Things I pack, but which stay in my suitcase:
* Dental floss
* Nail file
* Shout wipe (stain remover)
* Tylenol
* Body wipe (deodorant)

Things I don't pack at all:
* Tiny eyeglass repair kit
* Allergy pills
* Dramamine
* Tums
* Salonpas patch
* Moleskin
* Alcohol wipe
* Mini sewing kit (tiny scissors, needle, thread, button, safety pin)
* Tweezers
* Eye drops

Posted by
1481 posts

Pam--I use those tiny ziplocks for my meds as well. I order off of Amazon and found ones that have labels on them so I can write on them. I label each one for each day, so it is easy to keep track of. I always have bandaids on me, which served me well a couple months ago. My daughter and I took mom out to dinner, walking a whole 2 blocks to the restaurant. Mom fell and had quite the bloodied knee. Long story short, we had to use a large paper napkin over the knee, and I used regular bandaids to hold it into place. As soon as we got home from that trip, I made sure to restock my bandaid supply in my purse;)

Posted by
2324 posts

Everyone has their daily needs. In transit I pack bath bag and supply bag in my suitcase. Drugs and 311 bag are in my tote. I take enough stuff for the trip with only a few exceptions. I can buy cold pills and Maalox (which I can't buy in the US) in Europe. Drugs are packed in small pill baggies or their blister packs, I use several RuMe Baggies (now discontinued) to hold everything. Easy to organize without adding lots of weight. I learned a bit about weight from the last two trip -- cut as much as possible!

Out and about for everyday (from my packing list) I pack the following. Some days are small purse only, some include the backpack.
Purse health supply bag: Pack in small coin purse, keep very light, refresh daily
[ ] toothpicks
[ ] disposable toothbrush
[ ] 2 pills Dramamine
[ ] chapstick
[ ] 2 bandaids/blister bandaids
[ ] 1 pill pepto bismal
[ ] 2 eye drops
[ ] 2 glasses wipes
[ ] 2 wet wipes
[ ] drugs in 2 small containers: Advil, Advil migraine, pain pills, Tagamet, dicyclomine
After TSA add hand lotion.

Misc daily carry for purse and/or packable backpack: adjust for daily sightseeing.
[ ] sunglasses
[ ] reading glasses
[ ] brown coin purse for € & small purchase contactless VISA, immediate money
[ ] black coin purse for $, driver’s license, health cards (US only, put in bottom of suitcase upon arrival in Europe)
[ ] Kleenex - 1
[ ] small hand sanitizer
[ ] cell phone – wear on lanyard around neck during airline check-in
[ ] phone charger cord--short
[ ] ear buds
[ ] mophie (charging block)
[ ] travel hair brush
[ ] flashlight
[ ] emery board
[ ] purse day supply items (above)
[ ] anti motion sickness wrist band
[ ] Shout pen
Use packable backpack to carry camera, water, sweater/jacket, misc. for sightseeing. (My purse is so small, I also carry it daily for convenience; it's easier than getting into the backpack for phone or money.)

Sorry this is a little messy. I cut and pasted from my master packing list and can't get this spacing right for here. I had to edit several times to make it readable.

Posted by
10093 posts

I have a large safety pin pinned inside my luggage for closing drapes, etc. But there is no way I would carry all on your list. Our MD told us to take Pepto Bismal tablets along in third world countries and take them as a preventative with meals and at bedtime for travers’ diarrhea. It works!
And I keep moleskin in my day bag too just in case of blisters.

Posted by
6781 posts

Carabiners have been mentioned at least a couple times, including in the OP’s list. For a compact, lightweight emergency kit, those have to be the cheap mini versions, of which I’ve had several fall apart. Certainly not actual, mountaineering models. I think many of the ones I’ve picked up were part of a giveaway, clipped to a sample bottle of sunscreen, for example. I wouldn’t count on one to stay together, or to be too sturdy or fold onto anything essential, if it was one of the tiny, cheap ones. Just like real carabiners, though, there are both versions with a spring loaded lever, and a @licking” model, with a tiny screw-down cylinder that holds the lever in place. Would a safety pin work just as well for most applications, where a toy carabiner was going to be used?

Posted by
6781 posts

The more I think about it, how about a couple of plastic zip ties? They come in various sizes, but a 3 inch tie might save the day - more than a toy carabiner.

Posted by
7786 posts

If you cannot get it in a quart plastic zip tie bag, don't take it.

I'd hate to see what your luggage weighs if you need to take so many items in a "emergency kit."

Posted by
3961 posts

I would agree with others who recommend paring down the items in your day bag. Carry only the necessities. I recall taking a travel class years ago at Rick Steves. “Know ahead of time what you can’t purchase on your journey.” As already mentioned: Pepto Bismol Tablets. I used to work in travel medicine & it was suggested to bring. A small first aid kit is a good idea during the day, eg. Bandaids, etc. Another item that I discovered years ago was Compeed blister pads. I had developed a toe blister. I applied the pad and it healed in a few days. I would also add a pulse oximeter to your emergency kit. Could have used this a few years ago when my husband’s Bronchitis worsened. Of course I didn’t have my stethoscope, but could hear wheezing. We immediately went to urgent care.
Edited to add: gauze pads for abrasions & paper tape. They are light weight to carry and take the place of having to use multiple bandaids. Have had to use them multiple times over the years!

Posted by
12620 posts

"My daughter and I took mom out to dinner, walking a whole 2 blocks to the restaurant. Mom fell and had quite the bloodied knee."

Oh yes.....this is why I started carrying the big bandaids! Yep, fell on my first trip to Rome, banged my knee and my brother had 2 big bandaids which I used for my knee. I swore I would never go without, hahaha! I'd forgotten so yep, will add one back in the day bag!

Posted by
2705 posts

If this is all just for emergencies and in your day bag, I’m trying to think why you would need a sewing kit or Dramamine?
Although maybe you get motion sickness.

In my day bag for emergencies, in Italy, France, UK,etc:

Bandaids, maybe 3 or 4.
Four tablets each of Tylenol and ibuprofen.
Five or six individual wetwipes.
Printed list of any allergies and contacts, in case of emergencies.
Two small packs of tissues.
Asthma inhaler.

That’s it!
The rest is back in my accommodation, where
I have a proper first aid kit.
The lighter the better for day bags.

Posted by
1972 posts

Yes, several of my family members get motion sickness, which is why I carry Dramamine.

This bag is smaller than a quart size ziplock. We (family of 4) typically travel with 3 carry on size bags, one 26” bag, and 4 personal items (backpacks) total. The big bag holds one person’s clothes, plus: an extra pair of shoes for each person, liquid toiletries, foldable duffle for souvenirs, hair straightener. We’re definitely not hauling trunks across Europe. We’ve been about 8-9 times and know better!

Posted by
1481 posts

Pam--Add more than one;) Mom's poor knee was so bad we used a large rectangular napkin and I had to use 6 bandaids, 3 on each side, to hold the napkin to her skin.

Posted by
8040 posts

Twist ties
Nail Clipper
Paper Clips
Post It pad
Bungee Chord
Golf Course pencil
Pack of gum if you are a gum chewer
Butterscotch candies
Ear plugs
Kleenex packets
Stim-u-dent packet

EDIT: various sized Zip Lock bags.

Posted by
859 posts

"My daughter and I took mom out to dinner, walking a whole 2 blocks to the restaurant. Mom fell and had quite the bloodied knee."
Oh yes.....this is why I started carrying the big bandaids! Yep, fell on my first trip to Rome, banged my knee and my brother had 2 big bandaids which I used for my knee. I swore I would never go without, hahaha! I'd forgotten so yep, will add one back in the day bag!

Nurse friends recommend sanitary napkins or panty liners for wounds. They are designed to absorb blood/fluids and do a good job. Then just some sticking plaster to hold them in place.

Posted by
1481 posts

Aussie--Yes, I keep those in our backpacking first aid kit. Hmmm, might need to throw one in my purse for when I visit mom this week, just in case.

Posted by
174 posts

When I was in Madrid on a Rick Steve's tour I ran out of band aids and I discovered Compeed in the drug store next to the hotel. I never leave home without it especially on a hike or long walk.

Posted by
2324 posts

I'm loving this thread. I thought my list was comprehensive, but I picked up several ideas and things I left off. Thanks!

Posted by
2705 posts

“Bungee cord.”

I now have a vision of you bungee jumping off a monument in London on one of your trips there ! :)

Posted by
3961 posts

Leslie- I discovered the Compeed blister pads in Portugal years ago. A gal on our tour gave me one and then I bought more along the way. They stay put and don’t peel off. I too, would not leave home without them!

Posted by
8040 posts

@ S J ….Not a pretty picture is it?

Besides securing the backpack to my roller bag I recall on a trip to a small town in Italy that I used one to properly secure a shower curtain.

Here in the Land of La I use one to secure my kitchen cabinet doors. Trust me. Native Californian who has experienced countless earthquakes. Nothing worse than all your plates and glasses shattering on the kitchen floor.

I find one a practical travel accessory.

Posted by
613 posts


Carabiners have been mentioned at least a couple times, including in
the OP’s list. ...

I usually keep a screw-lock carabiner attached to the strap of my day bag (actually, my day bag is my camera bag). I have used it to attach a variety of things: scarves, rain jackets, shopping bags, sunscreen, or water bottles.

Posted by
346 posts

I keep much more back in my hotel room. The following is what I take with me when I leave the room for the day:

Disposable plastic rain poncho, if there is a slight chance of rain. With a higher chance of rain, I'll bring a light rain jacket and maybe a travel umbrella.

Light jacket or hoodie

Packable hat

Hand-held fan (not battery operated)

Aspirin/Tylenol/Advil with me, as well as Gas-X. They fit in a very small bottle that Dramamine comes in.

Small comb with a hair tie wrapped around the handle (in case it is very windy)

Pen and something to write on

Credit card/cash for the day (I wear a money belt under my clothing with other credit cards, passport, insurance card, cash)

Coins for the restroom

Antibacterial gel and face mask (both the lightweight surgical type and a KN95)

Lipstick/Chapstick/powder compact

Small snack such as a Kind bar or nuts

Quart sized baggie (Used this several times on my trip to Italy in August for leftovers, worked great)

A couple of bandages

Eyeglass cloth

Small binoculars

Water bottle/water enhancement powder

Cell phone

Anker power bank

The smaller items go in a small Travelon crossbody purse. I'll also bring a very lightweight backpack (Eddie Bauer 20 L Stowaway Packable backpack, love these!!) for the larger items.

Posted by
154 posts

Not for the carry-around bag, but to keep in the room - if you are expecting bug bites - Cortizone or Benedryl anti-itch cream.

A friend turned me on to hand sanitizer to kill the itch of a fresh mosquito bite.

Maybe for the carry-around bag:

a couple of bandanas / handkerchiefs:

handy for soaking in cool water to wrap around your neck on a hot day or to cool down potential heat exhaustion in an emergency.

handy to bind up a larger wound until you can get a better bandage.

may be used to tie a temporary splint. Hopefully there would be emergency services available in this situation.

Posted by
2705 posts


I like the bandanna ideas.
I'm going to add one to my next trip packing list.

Posted by
154 posts

I like the bandanna ideas. I'm going to add one to my next trip
packing list.

Make it 2. If you need a temporary sling, one won't be long enough.

And again, you always hope emergency care is nearby.

Posted by
140 posts

I carry a few emergency supplies, although not nearly as many as you.

You and others mentioned a safety pin. I bring a couple of small ones (especially to help “hem” a seam that has come undone) but I also carry two diaper pins. They are so much sturdier and I’ve used one on a purse strap while traveling. They take up so little room and I don’t travel without one or two.

Posted by
1167 posts


I was thinking the exact same about the carabiner! I have carabiners attached to all my rucksacks. I usually use them to help secure my collapsed walking poles when not in use, but there is an added bonus in that they do give off a certain (probably erroneous) air of being a ‘hard man of the hills’ and create the (somewhat implausible) impression that I might scramble up a cliff or scale a wall at the drop of a hat!


Posted by
154 posts

Nurse friends recommend sanitary napkins or panty liners for wounds.
They are designed to absorb blood/fluids and do a good job. Then just
some sticking plaster to hold them in place.

Another manager where I used to work actually used sanitary napkins on an injury one time. The male victim wasn't too happy about it. But, hey, the 1st aid kit didn't have enough gauze for the job and the pads are sanitary, have a plastic coating on the back and are made to soak up blood/fluids.

Posted by
745 posts

This depends on you and depends on where you are. For a trip to much of Europe:

Depending on weather - Light jacket
Credit card/cash for the day (these are in a bra wallet, rarely in my actual bag)
Coins for the restroom
hand sanitizer, maybe a wipe
Lipstick, powder
snack - usually half of a protein bar, just in case
ziploc bags so I can buy more snacky snacks (pain au chocolate, anyone) while out and about
nail clippers; file
contact lens rewetting drops
reading glasses
extra water bottle flavoring (small powder sticks)
Cell phone
Anker power bank
water bottle, which is hooked via carbiner to my crossbody
foldable, lightweight bag for purchases
for Paris - Navigo Decouvert (I have a droid, so I may try to go paperless and download to my phone).

Posted by
86 posts

Nail clippers. They are good for more than nails. I have used them for tags and other small things.

The smallest of Swiss army knives. I have this one, but I can only pack it if I am checking my bag. If I can find one without the blade, it would probably be more useful.

Posted by
1602 posts

Oh Heck no! That is way too much stuff to carry around.
What I pack daily "what if emergency supplies":
Tums (I get nasty acid reflux)

Must have Will Use 100%:
Hair Ties
Dental floss (one crown food constantly gets stuck in)
Hand sanitizer
Lip balm
Voltaren Gel tube (hand lotion size)

Once in Italy I could not find Tums and I was almost at the throw up stage of heart burn, so yea some stuff you can just pop into a pharmacy and find, others live and learn. I think now I could just use google translate (Did not have then) and they would have found me something similar.