10 Essential Items Every Hobo Should Pack

10 Essential Items Every Hobo Should Pack

If I were to attempt to pen a comprehensive list of all items that you should take while travelling, I fear you would start to chew off your own elbow out of boredom before I reached number five. Each nomad’s trip will be different and it’s tricky to create an all-encompassing list of the essentials, as they vary depending on which country you are heading to and for how long you plan to flee. However, there are some non-negotiable items that come in handy whether you are ice-fishing in the Antarctic, getting drunk on a boat in Thailand or re-creating scenes from Game of Thrones in Morocco.

You can always make your own money belt out of some duct-tape and string, but your trip will be beyond awful if you don’t pay attention to these 10 golden nuggets of knowledge.

Earplugs
A packing classic, these noise-cancelling bad boys will be able to assist you throughout a plethora of sticky situations. Can you sleep through the squeaking of rusty bunk springs as two hobos make sweet love above your face? Whip out these squishy little bastards and plug you ears so hard you can’t even hear yourself breath. Bring along a few pairs to share with the most attractive backpackers in your dorm and you may find yourself rocking the bunk springs the following night. Sometimes karma must be taken into your own hands, right?

Dry shampoo
Personal presentation is never going to be easy; sometimes there is just no time to shower, or you might even find the $3 hostel you splurged on is having some serious plumbing issues. This is the time when I worship at the altar of the altruistic human who invented dry shampoo, an amazing “shower-in-a-can” that makes filthy hair look and smell as clean as a baby wrapped in lavender. Be careful not to asphyxiate anyone within the spraying vicinity – deodoriser with the power to cleanse your hair of dirt and dust can’t be good for the lungs.

Thongs
Look, I’m not saying everyone pees on the floor when they hang out in hostel bathrooms, but it is a common occurrence. Try not to imagine all the hobos who’ve had sex in these showers, but acknowledge that there is no way you want any questionable substances spreading between your toes as you pad barefoot around a dorm. Chuck some cheap rubber thongs in your backpack to make commuting between your bed and anywhere else in the hostel a whole lot more hygienic.

shower thongs

Plastic Zip-Lock Bags
Since you wasted all those hard-earned hobo dollars on fancy dry shampoo, you will need to compensate by sustaining yourself on as much free food as you can. Zip-lock bags will come in handy when you need to take spare food from the free breakfast put on at your hostel, or when you steal food from the hobos mating in the bunk above until 4am. These little plastic treasures also come in handy for transporting globs of shampoo squeezed out of bottles left in the shower or packing anything that has a tendency to explode at high-altitude in your backpack.

Narcotics
In no way do I condone the transportation of narcotics through border patrols, but I will advocate the use of strong sleeping assistants such as valium or cough syrup in order to endure a dreamless and unshakeable sleep on a 24-hour bus next to a chicken coop or large snoring human. Don’t overdo it, but make sure you have a well-stocked “first-aid kit” before departure.

Hand Sanitizer
It might be an obvious one, but you will be patting yourself on the back with fresh hands after remembering to pack this compact miracle when faced with squat toilets, roadside food stalls and in case you ever accidentally touch Todd Gisondi in Bali.

Oral Rehydration Salts
Aside from the standard benefits provided after any kind of dehydrating sickness, oral rehydration salts can be a valuable alcoholic accompaniment. When consumed the next day as a hangover cure or even that night as a chaser to your vodka shot, these soluble water crystals will help keep you hydrated through a night of liver-drying partying.

Eye-mask
The novelty factor of a panda-shaped eye mask will wear off quickly, but the total sensory deprivation provided when combined with your earplugs will last forever. Not only will it help you nod off to dreamland in numerous situations, it can also be used in a wide variety of impromptu party games such as ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’ or ‘Marco Polo’.

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Flashlight
Don’t be the dickhead turning on the light in a dark hostel at 4am to find your passport for a 5am flight. Bring a small flashlight to assist with excavating deep into your backpack and navigating around a darkened dorm room without pissing off everyone inside. It will also come in handy if there’s a blackout, zombie apocalypse or if you’re camping in the Australian outback and need to check for drop bears before bed.

Spork
Self-explanatory. When will you not need a hybrid of fork and spoon to eat your food? Aside from saving space due to the combined force of two utensils in one, this cutlery maverick could also be used to dig a really small hole or as a handy self-defense weapon if attacked by someone smaller and weaker than you.

Bonus Item: Duct-Tape
Not just for murderers and handymen, duct tape will allow you to craft a lot of items from scratch and save money on those expensive Kathmandu products that we all lust after but can never afford. Money belt? Tape your money to your stomach instead. Raincoat? Wrap some tape around your head and you will be as waterproof and snug as someone in an actual raincoat. Graphite Anodised fry pan? Don’t be stupid. There is some limit to the power of duct-tape and home crafts.

Feel free to print out this list and check off each item before you embark upon your next trip. If all else fails I have no doubt you could commandeer most items from hapless hostel guests, but try and avoid the bad karma and just spork over the cash for these 10 essential items, you stingy bastard.

Rowan still hasn’t finished War & Peace, but she did use it to balance her dinner once. Living in London, she’s steadily working her way through the Europe’s great cities and hopes to try every wine in England before her visa expires.