Travel Essentials

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You may think of us as a camping store, but "adventure" is our true middle name, and we love to travel just as much as hit the trails. From experience, we recognize that there is more to making your trip smooth and stress free, than just packing some rocking, red shades and a carton of cold milk. In fact, one of our much loved KAMPers is prepping for a tour oversees (a mix of #cruiselife, city trekking and daily excursions), and in the midst of putting together some recommendations for her, we thought we'd post a blog about it, to assist some more of you who might also be planning to enjoy some Fall weather abroad this year.
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ESSENTIALS
This is a list of items available at KAMP that we highly suggest in order to make your journey joyous. It is by no means meant to be a list of the only things you'll need however.
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1. Luggage
Option One- Fjallraven Splitpack Large with Kanken 15"
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The Fjallraven Splitpack is a full-time travel beast. It is so named for its ability fold open and lay flat like a suitcase (or like an Anaconda, if its ability to unhinge and consume everything you want to pack is any indication). It is also functionally split between a duffel and a backpack, which gives it great versatility to grab and go or to help keep your hands free. The shell is constructed of one of the outdoor industry's strongest and longest running fabrics, Fjallraven's exclusive G-1000, and is pretreated with the manufacturer's Greenland Wax as a durable, non-toxic, water resistant layer. This bag will last you years and years.
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On the inside, the bag features three large zippered compartments, two made of mesh to allow you to easily locate what you need. If you are traveling with a laptop, a generic, padded case or a Fjallraven Kanken 15" loaded up with your CPU and packed flat and fit inside the smallest compartment and can be removed without having to unzip the whole bag. The Kanken application gives you a great daily carry/purse option for your trip. 
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Option Two- Topo Designs Travel Bag and Rover Pack
 
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Another great option to encourage you to ditch the annoying wheeled suitcase is the Travel Bag by Topo Designs. This 40L pack is made of 1680 denier ballistic nylon, arguably the MOST abrasion resistant fabric on the market. Like the Splitpack, it is convertible from shoulder bag to backpack, which makes maneuvering with it so much easier. Another benefit of the Travel Bag is that Topo has designed it as a system pack, meaning that it is compatible with a broad array of smaller bags, organizational accessories, and attachment options. One of the coolest innovations that we've seen from any manufacturer (and so simple!) is the Travel Bag's ability to piggyback on smaller day packs from Topo, via included gate keepers and small loops sewn into the smaller packs. This option, combined with easy access pockets for your laptop, travel documents and other need-at-the-ready items, makes the Travel Bag "king of the road" in our minds as a pack to get you to your destination and keep you exploring once you get there.
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A benefit of the Rover Pack, one of the optional smaller bags compatible with the Travel Bag's lashing mechanism, is a layout that makes organizing everything you need to carry while traveling, a breeze. When you get home, the bag's side and top compression straps could translate the bag into a great camera carry or even an overnight UL camping option (depending on geography and season).
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2. Packing Cubes
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Over the years, we've learned that an absolute essential for traveling are packing cubes. The Travelon Packing Cubes (top) and Topo Designs Pack Bag (bottom) are both excellent options, each with distinct positive aspects. For the Topo, the cube is larger than the largest cube in the Travelon set, giving you more internal packing volume (though less than the combined volume of all three Travelon cubes), and is constructed of a much more durable (though slightly heavier) material. The Topo is, of course, designed as a system component, so it fits perfectly in both the Rover Pack and the Travel Bag (great fit means less wasted space and more packability).
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That said, the Travelon cubes have been a gold standard in the industry for years, and some of that experience shows in the mesh opening, which makes the flap easy to fold out of the way while packing/unpacking and convenient for you or a TSA agent/cruise ship official to see what you've got stored inside (this means less likelihood of having them opened and your undergarments strewn over a security checkpoint). The multiple sizes are a benefit too, allowing you to organize your packing more efficiently (of course, we stock additional Accessory Bags by Topo that do this also and fit within their system).
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Another good option, if you don't worry about keeping everything neat and cleanly folded, is the Sea To Summit Stuff Sack 20-Liter. This convenient bag weighs only 2.3 ounces, yet can store a massive amount.  The 13L Lightweight Dry Sack is another possibility, if there is the chance of needing to keep certain items dry.
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3. Money/Passport/Travel Document Organization
Option One- Travelon RIFD Blocking Units
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It's real ya'll- the threat of identity theft via data transferred wirelessly by certain documents that that you are likely to carry on your person (credit cards, driver's license, passport, etc.). There are certainly positions on both sides of the argument over exactly how vulnerable your personal data is (US Passports are among the most "harvestable"), and the probability of this technique being used increases or decreases depending upon where you travel, but even so, why take a chance with something that could be a real pain to clear up, or even irreparable, especially when you are just trying to get your vacay vibe on? 
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To this aim, Travelon offers several RIFD blocking "wallets" whose functionality goes far beyond just that. The top unit, the World Travel Essentials Currency and Passport Organizers set, gives you both peace of mind and the flexibility to choose exactly which documents to carry/access. As far as these sorts of organizers go, they are actually pretty attractive too. The bottom unit, is the lightweight Undercover Neck Pouch, which is made to be concealed underneath the clothing (though the neck access makes finding boarding passes and other identification easy and readily available when going through security bottlenecks). Obviously, this is a great option when traveling to areas where pickpockets are a concern.
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Option Two- Sea to Summit Money Belt
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Though the Sea To Summit Money Belt may lack RIFD blocking technology, it does have a lot of other benefits going for it. Like the Neck Pouch above, the Money Belt is made to be worn under your clothing giving excellent protection from would be thieves. Because it sits around the waist instead of around the neck, accessing documents while it is under your clothes is much easier. Though none of the items in this category are heavy, the Money Belt is lighter than either of the Travelon options, and the Money Belt add the option to disconnect from the waist belt, converting into a nicely organized document wallet.
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4. Personal Safety and Security
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The Sea to Summit Combination TSA Lock is a simple tool that lets in those who may need to access your checked luggage, as per security procedures, but keeps out all those who don't. The red diamond insignia on this lock verifies it as TSA compliant, meaning that it allows those agents access via a universal key that they have at their disposal. You never know when your luggage will be randomly screened for inspection, and if you use any other type of lock, it will be cut off and disposed of (if that lock helps to keep your bag closed, that's a big "uh oh").
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The Fjallraven Splitpack above includes lock loops on its external zipper, which makes attaching these a synch. 
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The Ultralight/Watertight Medical Kit .3 by Adventure Medical is a perfect first aid companion for any traveler (though marketed for river rats). Weighing only 2.3 ounces, this handy item packs all of the fixes you are likely to need to stay comfortable on vacation, including insect bite relief, moleskin (to prevent those blisters that the new shoes you just bought are forming), aspirin, and of course a variety of bandages.    
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5. Technology
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If you don't already have a usb charge bank (or even if you do), we highly recommend the Charge 20 by BioLite. It is the perfect size for travel, with a 5200 mAh/3.6 volt battery that delivers enough juice to fully recharge your iPhone twice (you will almost definitely be caught low on battery and needing it for something). It is also dunk proof, in the event that you accidentally drop it in the pool (hey, it was either the usb bank or the margarita!).
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The World Travel Essentials Tech Organizer, by Travelon, is an indispensable option for keeping your dongles from dangling (see what we did there?). A constant annoyance while traveling is trying to keep up with the many detachable tentacles of the various electronic devices accompanying you on your quest. The Tech Organizer provides a slim, lightweight, stylish solution (that matches the Currency and Passport Organizers outlined above).  
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6. Dopp Kit
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"Dopp Kits" are named after Charles Doppelt, who fashioned the first one out of leather, in 1926. Another popular name is shave kit, though they are often referred to just as accessory bags, given the elasticity of there use for traveling. Obviously, the choice of which kit to get will be necessitated by the extent of personal care items that you need to come with you (note: because of liquid restrictions always check your dopp kit if you can, to avoid a hassle). The top unit is an expertly crafted, Five-Panel Dopp Kit designed and stitched right here in St. Louis by artisan, Isaac Richardson. It is constructed of 100% organic canvas, hand-waxed in Texas using locally sourced beeswax. This is certainly a bag you'll love for a long time, and it will age beautifully.
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The bottom unit is the Topo Designs Dopp Kit, and it is designed to filter seamlessly into the same system perpetuated by their Travel Bag. It features an unusual triangular shape that is surprisingly spacious, and because of its design, it sits well on almost any surface without toppling (cruise ships with narrow shelves, we're looking at you). It also has a long, handy loop that slips over your wrist to make carrying it to the shower easy.
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RECOMMENDATIONS
This is a list of items available at KAMP that we highly recommend be used along with the essentials. Pick and choose what fits you best. It is by no means meant to be a list of the only things you'll need however.
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1. Nibbles
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In the earliest sense of the word "travel" it was considered torturous to do so. With this in mind, it's no surprise why airline food tastes so bad (they must love etymology). Long story short, you are going to need some good grub, and these bars by Kate's Real Food are the bee's knees. Not only are the delicious and nutritious, but they are 100% gluten-free, 100% organic, and hand-rolled in small batches.
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First a confession, KAMP Counselor Jason is a total coffee snob. With that out of the way, no matter where you are headed, hotel room coffee is either: 1. gross, or 2. expensive. To combat this, we are recommending two possible solutions.
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First up, Jason's favorite is to pre-grind some beans (or pick some up at a cafe near the destination) and bring along a device to brew his own coffee (snob, we know!). The Sea To Summit X Brew is perfect for this task, and works well around the campfire or even at home when the trip is done. At only 3 ounces, you won't even notice it in your bag. Second option is to just snag a box of Alpine Start Original Blend Instant Coffee. Each box comes with eight packets of what decidedly does not taste like instant coffee, and you can enjoy it hot or cold!
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2. Mental Health
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No matter what kind of traveling you do, there are always moments of waiting around. Why not spend that time getting stoked for the fun ahead with the Summer 2018 Issue of Stay Wild Magazine? This copy is full of travel inspiration! 
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Keep the possibilities close and the memories closer with The Adventure Log by Word. Notebooks. Each notebook (sold in packs of three) make trip planning and recording your experiences easier. We've been traveling with a journal for years, and it is super fun to look back through and remember where you've been and what it was like being there.
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3.Gadgets and Gizmos
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Every seasoned traveller has devices that they never leave home without. The Luci EMRG Solar Lantern by MPOWRED is one of those. About the size of a hockey puck when deflated, this 2.4 ounce light is fully powered by the sun, and is the perfect late-night reading/writing companion. 
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Depending on your vacation destination and/or style, you may need a device to keep you dry. The Pocket Umbrella by Sea To Summit and the Emergency Rain Poncho by Travelon are both perfect for just that, weigh just ounces, and take up almost no space in your bag. Score!
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If you are more worried about keeping your smartphone dry, or you are planning on swimming and don't want to leave an expensive device on your beach towel, the Travelon Waterprood Waist Pouch is all you need.
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We are always happy to help, so if you are traveling or trekking and want some advice, feel free to stop in anytime!