What's in your bag?
What’s in your bag? Jason Leung/Cropped/Unsplash

I have a minor obsession with carrying a sort-of “explorer’s kit” of items that I might need in a pinch. As a pre-teen, that meant a backpack loaded with, among other things, fantasy maps I’d torn out of my favorite books. As I got older, the items I carried became somewhat more practical, like the multitool and mini-binoculars (why?!) I carried in high school. Even today, I tend to carry an ever-changing collection of just-in-case objects. Do you have your own version of an explorer’s pack? We want to hear about the objects you never leave home without.

Since I’m insufferable and like to think that every day holds the potential for adventure, these are the items I currently never leave the house (and certainly never go exploring) without:

  1. Notebook w/ pen (never pencil)
  2. A hand-painted runestone I got in Iceland—for good luck
  3. Adhesive bandages
  4. A set of metal role-playing dice
  5. A lighter

Some things are there for personal reasons, and some are more immediately useful, but I find all of them to be essential to my personal sense of preparedness no matter where I’m heading.

Use the form below to tell us about the essential items you always carry with you on your travels, whether near or far. (And if you happen to have a picture of your items that you’d like to share, please email them to eric@atlasobscura.com, with the subject line, “Explorer’s Pack.”) We’ll choose our favorite collections and share them in an upcoming article. Remember, it’s dangerous to go alone, and true explorers are never caught unprepared.

If you have your own collection of essential exploration items to share, head over to our community forums and tell us about it!