Some time back I acquired a new daysac. To my mind, it is prudent if such a bag routinely has certain items stored in it. I had recently been writing about the “six tools of travelling” so I thought that it might be interesting to use these as a guide towards stocking my bag.
The first item of the tools was a hat. Often my old daysac had contained my favourite sun-hat, an advantage-pattern boonie. I decided it would be useful to have something for colder conditions too, so I acquired another headover. Very versatile items are headovers, as I will discuss in a future blog. Treating headgear as a component of the category of protection of extremities I also placed some gloves in the bag. These were cheap acrylic gloves I found in a poundstore. With them I placed some disposable vinyl gloves which could be used with the acrylic gloves to form a vapour barrier system if it was really cold.
The next “tool” would be a towel or cloth. For this I chose a keffiyeh which can serve a variety of purposes. A bandanna or old triangular bandages are good alternatives. I chose a black and red keffiyeh which could also be used for signalling.
For the medicine component I brought a red medical pouch from the 99p store. It came with some items inside but I mainly brought it for the pouch. For a basic medical kit ensure it has a useful number and variety of plasters. Add some painkillers and alcohol wipes and pack it all in waterproof bags within the pouch. I added some diclofenac since I get migraines and a small tin of Vaseline. Suncream and insect repellant often also rides in the daysac.
For cordage I added some hanks of string and paracord.
For the fire component I brought a bundle of disposable lighters from the 99p shop and placed a couple in the pack.
The last traditional tool of travelling would be a writing kit. It is quite common for my daysac to hold a notepad and pen. Possibly the pack should contain a pencil and some paper at least. In fact this last category tends to make me think about documentation and signalling in general and is what inspired me to add some additional items.
Whilst in the 99p store I saw a whistle that also incorporated a compass, a thermometer a magnifier, a microlight and a mirror. I’d not use this as my primary means of navigation, of course but it forms a handy and novel ring pull for one of the daysac zips.
I added my Platypus waterbottle with its drinking tube to the bag. If you do not have something like this add an empty 2litre soda bottle you can use for water. When travelling my daysac usually carries a supply of boiled sweets that can provide a very welcome energy boost.
The contents of my old daysac had included a mini-maglight. I’d been rather impressed by a hand-crank LED flashlight from the 99p store. Not as robust as the maglight, it was true, but something that could sit in the pack until needed without worrying about the state of the batteries. I acquired another example and added it to the daysac contents.
One of the first items I had added to be pack was my All-Weather blanket. This is a more robust version of the emergency mylar “space” blankets. It is provided with grommets at the corners and has a non-reflective side. Mine has been on many adventures with me and several times I have found its warmth and water resistance useful. If you do not have one of these you should at least include one of the smaller emergency space blankets in your pack. My local poundstore has two for a pound at the moment, so it is worth stocking up!
The AW blanket makes a pretty effective raincape but I also added a pacamac to the daysac.
The final item that my daysac carries is a roll of toilet roll in a plastic bag. Should I need to make a fire that is going to be my first source for tinder.