Going on a trip and wondering what to pack? This is not a full travel packing list but here are four ultralight backpacking essentials that should be in everyone's bag.
A Child Sized Headlamp
Buy a headlamp meant for children to use as emergency lighting. They are smaller, lighter and cheaper than an adult headlamp or torch but are still perfectly sufficient for most situations.
Keep it somewhere you can find in the dark so if the lights ever go out you can rustle around and find it. It doesn't have to be super accessible, you just want to know roughly where it is so you aren't dumping out all of your stuff in the dark looking for it.
Alternatively, you can use a phone to provide emergency lighting unless of course you are somewhere where the electricity supply is really unreliable meaning that you might wind up sitting in the dark with a flat phone unable to see and unable to call anyone.
Dental floss is basically string in its own little dispenser, surprisingly strong string at that. It can be used to hold up mosquito nets. It can be used to repair holes in mosquito nets. It can be used to rig up a temporary washing line.
If you also have a travel sewing kit it can be used as heavy duty thread to sew up anything that regular thread isn't strong enough for. The uses of dental floss are many, particularly once you get used to thinking of it as string. If you get yourself a mini-dental floss it also takes up a really tiny amount of space.
A few simple Ziplock bags can be incredibly handy. You may know them as sandwich bags, specifically the ones that can be sealed shut. We have used them to store cables, spare sim cards, papers, our passports, and anything else we want to keep bundled up and protected from rain.
When they are empty they pack down to almost nothing. They are also extremely cheap so you can periodically replace them if they start to get a bit worn. They don't usually form a completely waterproof seal so don't put stuff in a ziplock bag and then take it scuba diving but for most common situations they are water proof enough.
A Stash of Toilet Paper or Tissues
Keep either toilet paper or tissues on you at all times. You never know when you will find yourself in a toilet that doesn't feel it necessary to supply toilet paper. Even if you embrace the use of water to wash yourself instead of using just toilet paper you will still require some means of drying yourself. Don't get caught short. You have been warned.
We are big advocates of simply bringing less stuff when you go traveling however there is some lightweight gear that it is always worth tossing in your bag when you are thinking about what to pack.