christmas giftsWhat to get for the nomad who has nothing? Here are a few items that he or she can easily slip in their backpack for a better life on the road.

Klean Kanteen: Hearing all the bad news about plastics lately? These stainless steel water bottles should be on everybody’s wish list.

LED Keychains: Tiny, wind-up LED lights on a keychain ring are perfect for digging through your backpack in the darkness of the hostel without disturbing all the other sleeping bodies. Wind for one minute, for five minutes of light.

This summer, in protest of the ballerina flat fad (can we say ‘lower back support?’), I bought a pair of orange casual shoes from El Naturalista and have worn them for several 12-hour press trip days without experiencing any foot fatigue. Coloured using natural dyes, the shoes also have soles made of recycled rubber and are the funkiest ones I own.

Soap Leaves: these thin sheafs of soap are enough to wash up before they melt away, eliminating the hassle of carrying around a gooey bar. Plus, the tiny size of the package means more room in a cosmetics bag and less hassle at security.

OHSO Travel Toothbrush: toothpaste is stored in its handle and a cap covers the bristles. Plus, it’s shiny and looks like it might be hiding a rocket launcher in its base.

These are, of course, just a few of many ideas. Travellers to exotic locales might appreciate compact hammocks, fold-away mosquito nets or bed-bug sheets, while any insightful traveller can always, always use a small journal for recording their trip’s intangible gifts.

Photo by Brungrrl