backpacking


Fire knife handy on your travels

If you’re traveling to places where you want to ensure that you have fire, you might love this Swedish FireKnife. One of the best knife companies, Mora of Sweden, teamed with the Swedish company, Light My Fire, to create this handy  3.4 oz. (94 g) knife that ensures you’ll always be able to start a fire — as long as you have something to burn. You’ll find it, and other useful travel items here, at Industrial Revolution.


Carry light, give light

I think that we who live in cities, be it on any continent in any city, tend to not realize that there ARE places in the world where there is NO electricity and people do not have light — other than that of the sun. And we who live in cities have so much light in the sky at night that we don’t even realize… how very dark the night really is. Those who live in non-electrified places can wake with the sun and go to sleep with the sun — but there are still issues such as: going to the bathroom before bed or in the middle of the night a mother needing to get up in the night to feed an infant a parent needing to tend to a child a person needing to work until dark and then find his/her way home boats needing to cross a lake or ocean or […]


Scosche – Best card reader for travel & all

Every traveler should carry a light, well-made USB card reader that handles multiple formats. Why? Because you are bound to want some of the photos someone takes of you or for you and that person may or may not ever get around to sending them to you. Granted, you still need to get to a computer in order to upload those  photos, but at least you’ll be prepared. Because you may need to copy data from a computer somewhere and this will let you copy that data onto one of your camera’s memory cards, something you’re likely to have while traveling. The Scosche USB 2.0 Card Reader is THE find among card readers! It weighs virtually nothing so its a no-brainer to carry with you daily as I did throughout my trip, and continue to do. It’s compact and the USB connector and cable are protected within the unit so it packs well. […]


Small things, so helpful

When packing to travel for an extended period with just one bag, regular sized containers of stuff are out of the question. My toiletry pack included one 1-ounce sized facial scrub. I used it sparingly, only when my face really cried out for it. And now, after over 7 months, it was nearly gone. Tonight (Oct 21, 2012) I asked a very, very nice gal from Los Angeles if she had any on her, as she is traveling for just a week. She did! And without a word, she simply handed her full-sized, 6-ounce tube to me. I asked if I could have enough to refill my tube and she said, sure, she has enough. So now I have perhaps an ounce again – the amount that fit comfortably in the tube and then squeezes into my toiletry container. I passed her tube back with money to go toward her […]


FABULOUS place to stay during travel on Lake Atitlán

This is what I walk out to in the morning. It is the view from the dormitory of Posada Jaibalito. (You can have a similar view from a private room, too.) Morning is 6 a.m. for me here — and I love it! The smell of smoke from the homes of surrounding Mayan families greets my nose. The air is full of chipping and other animal sounds that are better than music. The sun comes up behind a volcano mountain so it doesn’t get bright and warm until close to 8. Before that it is a bit of a romantic hazy light and its own warm color. I love it all! Morning is laundry time. My clothes dry in the fresh air. I love the view from the roof — these rooftops and the hazy smoky sky being one. I don’t recall what time of day I took each of these […]


Excellent Medical clinic in Roatan

Here is a great clinic I want to share with not just backpackers and travelers who may come to Roatan, but with all people who like to see or support good deeds. Clinica Esperanza – an excellent project doing much good in Sandy Bay on Roatan. You can read all about it on their site, ClinicaEsperanza.com but first I must add my own personal kudos to them. I have been there and seem the excellent way they treat their patients. There is even a great play set to entertain the children as they wait as you can see in this photo of the clinic. Play things like this are not at all common for the people of Roatan. Here is a photo taken on the main road so you know what to look for. The clinic is a short way up the hill so you need to watch for the […]


What to do for Diarrhea when traveling

In my travels I became friends with an RN (Registered Nurse) who shared some advice with me to help me stay well. I am sharing some of that advice — about what to do for diarrhea — here. However, you must know that I am not a medical professional, this advice does not replace a doctor’s advice, and if you take this advice you may not hold me responsible for the outcome. If, as you are traveling, you develop diarrhea, but do not have blood involved: For the first day just take Pepto Bismal. If it helps keep taking it. On the second day if it is slowing down, just keep taking the Pepto Bismal. On the third day if still getting better, keep taking the Pepto Bismal. If you are not getting better by now and are not allergic to antibiotics, take Ciprofloxin 500mg 2x a day for 3 […]


Packing list – hooks

Consider packing some metal cup hooks, especially if you are backpacking. I am talking about the small, light, metal cup hooks that screw into wood. I prefer the ones that are thin and have a white or black paint or thin plastic coating as I think they will resist rust better than the 100% metal ones. They come in packs of five or so. Why I recommend packing some cup hooks for your travel. As a backpacker, I keep wishing I had a hook upon which to hang my towel or a garment. Hostels don’t have closets with hangers. REI, Sea To Summitt sell lightweight clothing lines that can be very helpful but you still need places from which to hang the line. My REI clothing line has clips, suction cups, and Velcro bands — but I am still typically unable to find away to hang it. Many hostels have […]


Great haircut in Belize

Need a great haircut while you are travelling? If you happen to be going to Caye Caulker, Belize, you are in luck. Go see Elvira at her shop. Yes, this is a photo of it. She cut my hair several inches, following the old lines but adding more layers upon request. She did an excellent job! Belize$20 or US$10. Of course, you may be lucky enough to find a fabulous hair stylist who happens to be a fellow traveler like I happened upon Gary Hudson the first time I travelled. Gary has been cutting my hair ever since that first trip. In fact, this was my first non-Gary haircut since then, except for China, Thailand, and one Midwest cut. It was a bit scary having a stranger cut my hair, which makes my praise of Elvira that much more valuable. Gary is traveling South America as I write this, so […]