Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

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Stercutus
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Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

Post by Stercutus » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:18 am

I debated putting this in BOG; but it isn't. It is more about stuff I carry on vacation when in other countries.

About every two years we drag the poor kids off on a family vacation and make them endure a round of sight seeing in countries other than our own. The "kids" are getting older now but I hope to continue the trend for the foreseeable future.

Here are all the "survival type" items I normally take on these trips:

1. This First Aid Kit:
https://www.amazon.com/survival-Work-Ho ... ay&sr=8-29

It is by no means complete. Additions includes NSAIDs, various allergy meds, blister wound care pack, more of various sized band aids, sleep aid, Isopropyl alcohol (surprisingly hard to purchase overseas), belly ache meds, tan lotion and scripts.

The First Aid kit is normally our single most used item. We normally walk 5-10 miles a day, often outdoors. No one has ever had anything more serious than a gash but it is good to be able to handle the little stuff.

2. I wear this style bracelet:
https://www.amazon.com/X-Plore-Gear-Eme ... pons&psc=1

Mine is made out of real 550 cord. That is our second most used item. Particularly the compass. We often use the subway when travelling in cities as a fast economical way of getting around. (although not in London, their subway is really pricey, more expensive than Uber, sometimes more than cabs :shock: ) A compass is particularly useful when used with a map to figure out which exits are closer to whatever we are trying to get to. With older, unplanned cities that have winding, meandering streets with limited signage and moving through large urban parks it can also be useful.

The compass/map tends to be more reliable than the smartphone which does not always have service. I use it literally all the time when travelling. I checked to see if I could start a fire with the flint and it can be done but it is not easy. I have to remove the band from my wrist to check azimuth as the metal in the fire scraper will throw it off.

3. I keep this in my camera bag except when on planes:
https://www.amazon.com/Logic-Credit-Com ... 2964&psc=1

The tiny knife blade is useful for opening packages of stuff from the store. The magnifier for reading details on maps. The tweezers for splinters when the First Aid Kit is back at the hotel. Backup compass if I need it.

4. I had a generic folding broad blade 2.5" blade knife I keep in the checked bag at the hotel. It was confiscated by security when boarding the Eurostar even though it met the allowable requirements of being less than 3" long. I did not see the point in arguing about a $5 knife. It seldom got use because it was seldom carried due to various knife laws. But handy in the hotel room. I guess I will get another. It was the same knife for 15 years.

5. Three flashlights. A $1 multi LED flashlight. Kept it in my pocket or camera bag at all the time. The next one is larger about six inches long and has three different settings (low, pool, stream). It is metal with a magnetic base and has a swivel head. I can't find it on line but purchased it at my auto parts store for $20. I added my Nebo key chain light. The $1 flashlight gets used the most, probably because I have it on me the most. The Nebo is starting to see more use though.

6. Gerber Multi-tool. Useful for fixing all kinds of stuff. I put in checked bags and leave in hotel room due to knife laws. Strangely it was not confiscated by Eurostar even though the blade is 3". I think the security guy could not figure out how to open it and I was oddly unhelpful after he confiscated my perfectly legal knife. I would not count on that in the future.

7. New item. Mini-USB Rechargeable electric cigarette lighter. I don't smoke but figured the ability to make fire easily might be useful. Never got used.

Then all the regular items everyone should take such as phone, spare battery, passport, money, credit card, etc. We try to rent a pocket mifi box if one is available.

Water is an interesting problem set. I consider many municipal water sources in very old cities to be unsafe due to the various different plumbing and piping systems in place. In Paris when we observed some street workers for a minute and I showed the kids some water pipes they suddenly agreed with me. Many restrooms will tell you explicitly not to drink the tap water. Most restaurants outside of the US don't simply bring you more free (non-a) drinks or even water until you tell them to stop. A lot of museums and other places won't allow you to bring in liquids, even water. Hotel mini-fridge water is crazy expensive. Restaurant water is crazy expensive.

Typically when we get somewhere I run to the nearest shop and purchase a case of water for 10% of the hotel price and a few snacks. We then run through the bottles and if one gets taken away at a security point then no major loss (although if I see them taking it away I simply drink it while in line).
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

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Dabster
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Re: Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

Post by Dabster » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:45 am

Great list. I'm glad they didn't take your Gerber. The only things I would add are hand sanitizer and a pen.
I am not a 'gray man'. I am a brown man, coyote brown. With FDE highlights, of course.

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CG
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Re: Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

Post by CG » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:35 am

Things I also at least have available in the hotel room, but generally carry:

1. Ankle Brace (because I'm a klutz, and while I can get to the store easily if I mess up my wrists, not so much with the ankle)
2. Umbrella (for rain and for sun)
3. Tiny tube of sunscreen
4. Lip balm with sunscreen (are you seeing a trend here?)
5. Various supplements (vit C, activated charcoal, bentonite clay, eucalyptus capsules, digestive enzymes, probiotics, etc.) - I have a travel pill box that normally has a few of whatever I think I might need for that trip
6. Second government-issued ID, NOT in the same bag as the first
7. Carabiner - to attach various things to the outside of my backpack or to my belt loops
8. Scarf/shawl/wrap/sarong/whatchamacallit - the way this was used the most on my last trip was to wrap a cold bottle of water before putting it in my backpack so it wouldn't get condensation all over everything. Also used for cold, sun, wet, carrying, hair, as a skirt, etc. If you're going to cathedrals and such in Europe, some of them require your shoulders to be covered.
9. Tiny package of wipes
Mater tua caligas gerit!

...I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention to what I was thinking.

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Re: Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

Post by Laager » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:32 am

We typically take a few of the grandchildren to work when my wife goes somewhere interesting and they are out of school.

You never know what the security goons will allow or will not allow. I have had them gone through my first aid supplies and for some reason confiscated quick clot packs, tourniquets. Great flex wrap and even glow sticks for some reason.

We travel a lot to Asia and knives are an iffy thing. Especially in Japan. We have some friends in Japan (working for the U.S. Military so I purchased “stuff” on Post and leave it for the next trip. Had to do the same thing in the PI, just shipped it and never carry it back to the U.S.

Our bags always end up being inspected by the TSA every time we travel. Random inspection my rear end, so far nothing has gone missing, but it still ticks me off.

I tend to carry the cheaper or well used older gear when I travel, especially overseas or out of country.

My wife Lil loves to shop at thrift stores and I usually go with her and have found some nice stuff and unbelievably cheap prices.

I recently bought a Gerber Gator with the sheath for four dollars. Also the ones on Post and near military bases often have Military gear, about six months ago I scored a NIB ballistic sun glasses with three lenses. $6.00 out the door.

Anyway I recommend checking them for used gear.

Also while I do not recommend it, medium sized or large carabiners can be used as a “brass knuckle” in a pinch and so far no one has been interested in confiscating them. I have two attached to my backpack and my sling bag.

Thank you for your post, I added a few things to my bag for our upcoming trip to Hawaii.

I hope you and your family have safe travels.
“Complacency kills. Paranoia is the reason I’m still alive.” If we do happen to make contact, I expect nothing less than gratuitous violence from the lot of ya.

Laager
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Re: Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

Post by Laager » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:41 am

Also if you are near a military post they usually have a yard sale webpage.

I often find odds and ends on them, so I usually check to see what is for sale there as well.

So if you are near Holloman AFB in New Mexico use the base name and you end up with the link below.

http://www.hollomanyardsales.com/military

Just use the nearest base name and yard sales.com.
“Complacency kills. Paranoia is the reason I’m still alive.” If we do happen to make contact, I expect nothing less than gratuitous violence from the lot of ya.

boskone
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Re: Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

Post by boskone » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:27 am

Laager wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:32 am
Our bags always end up being inspected by the TSA every time we travel. Random inspection my rear end, so far nothing has gone missing, but it still ticks me off.
My mom--a dumpty sexagenarian white woman with basically no interesting characteristics--gets searched every time she goes through any airport's security.

I have yet to be singled out, including the several times I've carried (minor) prohibited items like tools and pocket knives through.

Only thing I can figure is that I have a safely comforting number of flags, but mom lacks any flags which itself is a large flag. :crazy:

Laager
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Re: Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

Post by Laager » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:39 pm

Also I carry some Lifestraws and platypus collapse water containers
“Complacency kills. Paranoia is the reason I’m still alive.” If we do happen to make contact, I expect nothing less than gratuitous violence from the lot of ya.

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Re: Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

Post by Laager » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:42 pm

boskone wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:27 am
Laager wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:32 am
My mom--a dumpty sexagenarian white woman with basically no interesting characteristics--gets searched every time she goes through any airport's security.

I have yet to be singled out, including the several times I've carried (minor) prohibited items like tools and pocket knives through.

Only thing I can figure is that I have a safely comforting number of flags, but mom lacks any flags which itself is a large flag. :crazy:

The strange thing is they search my bags but not hers and what is so odd is there is a minor radiation source for checking Geiger counters for Lil’s work. They have yet to search here bag or question her over it.

But throw in some basic bOB supplies and they suddenly get interested.
“Complacency kills. Paranoia is the reason I’m still alive.” If we do happen to make contact, I expect nothing less than gratuitous violence from the lot of ya.

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Re: Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

Post by emclean » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:42 am

Laager wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:42 pm
boskone wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:27 am
Laager wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:32 am
My mom--a dumpty sexagenarian white woman with basically no interesting characteristics--gets searched every time she goes through any airport's security.

I have yet to be singled out, including the several times I've carried (minor) prohibited items like tools and pocket knives through.

Only thing I can figure is that I have a safely comforting number of flags, but mom lacks any flags which itself is a large flag. :crazy:

The strange thing is they search my bags but not hers and what is so odd is there is a minor radiation source for checking Geiger counters for Lil’s work. They have yet to search here bag or question her over it.

But throw in some basic bOB supplies and they suddenly get interested.
I would guess they are afraid to mess with anything radioactive.

Laager
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Re: Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

Post by Laager » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:51 pm

emclean wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:42 am
Laager wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:42 pm
boskone wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:27 am
Laager wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:32 am
My mom--a dumpty sexagenarian white woman with basically no interesting characteristics--gets searched every time she goes through any airport's security.

I have yet to be singled out, including the several times I've carried (minor) prohibited items like tools and pocket knives through.

Only thing I can figure is that I have a safely comforting number of flags, but mom lacks any flags which itself is a large flag. :crazy:

The strange thing is they search my bags but not hers and what is so odd is there is a minor radiation source for checking Geiger counters for Lil’s work. They have yet to search here bag or question her over it.

But throw in some basic bOB supplies and they suddenly get interested.
I would guess they are afraid to mess with anything radioactive.
I would have to check the source but she told me I probably get more radiation from walking across the yard than you can get from the calibration disks she carries.

Still who knows, I just bite my check and keep my mouth shut.

Lil has told me in no uncertain terms that should I “cause a scene” really, really bad things will happen to me, after I get out of jail.

I’m pretty sure she means she will be a tad bit upset.

I used to sit and watch the TSA agents at the gate but when they started pushing illegals through with no documentation and giving them head of the line privileges I had to quit or I was going to open my mouth and get in trouble.
“Complacency kills. Paranoia is the reason I’m still alive.” If we do happen to make contact, I expect nothing less than gratuitous violence from the lot of ya.

Laager
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Re: Stuff I Carry on Family Vacation

Post by Laager » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:43 pm

Went to a wedding last week and sure enough Lil's bag made it through as well as everyone else's check in luggage. Mine as usual was searched.
“Complacency kills. Paranoia is the reason I’m still alive.” If we do happen to make contact, I expect nothing less than gratuitous violence from the lot of ya.

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