The Ultimate Daypack
It doesn't matter if you're planning on taking a hike just up the street or meandering through the streets of New York, if you're a wandering soul like me, anything can happen at any time. So keeping a daypack with you that's filled with a few essentials will make sure you're ready for any situation that comes your way.
Heads up: I've personally bought most of these things. If you have questions about any of them, let me know. If you buy something from one of the links I've posted, it might earn me a commission- but if it weren't a product that I fully endorsed, I wouldn't put it on here. Paying the same price you would but also supporting your homie (me) sounds like a win-win to me.
The Bag Itself
Obviously the type of bag you want to choose will depend on where you usually find yourself. And while some of these may look girly, there's a less feminine version of each within the same brand family. But hey, ladies, want all of the details on what features you should be looking for in a bag? Read Walking The Parks' blog for everything you might want to consider.
The North Face Jester Backpack (left) is an adorable option for those who are looking for a stylish bag but with comfort built in, function all around, and room for any laptop, tablet, or other device you might want to bring along. Plus, at $48.50 (on sale right now), it's a steal. Bonus: it stands on its own when you set it down, so loading and unloading it is a breeze. But, if you're going to be around water, this one probably won't do the trick.
For the price and in terms of style, the Travelon Anti-Theft family of backpacks (middle) are some of the best on the market for those who are all too familiar with getting things stolen. These bags feature RFID-blocking compartments, slash/cut-proof straps, and locking zippers, to name a few. Interested in reading more about the best theft-proof bags? Nomad Paradise wrote a super detailed post on it that will give you all of the best options and their pros and cons.
Oh, Booe. I just came across this brand (on the right) the other day and I am completely obsessed. It's a company that makes not just waterproof but fully submersible bags. That's awesome for when you get stuck in a torrential downpour. But also, if you're a river or lake person like me, you won't even need to rely on the waterproof feature very much because these bags all float. Whether you're the kind of person who just wants to bring their wallet and phone along for the ride or someone who likes to take everything but the kitchen sink, Booe has something for you. Can you tell I'm psyched about it? If you want more info, comment below and I'll write up a post with all the details.
You will never need bug spray until you don't have it. Don't be that person who gets caught off-guard. During the summer especially, all sorts of lovely lifeforms come out to prey...er...play... around sunrise and sunset. But carrying around a gigantic bottle of bug repellent just in case you happen to run into some isn't ideal.
Amazon sells a brand called Repel 100 who offer the most potent formulas in the littlest containers so you never have to get bit unless you want to. (Hannah Barron reference, anyone?)
While carrying around an umbrella isn't ideal, you still want to be prepared for those moments when a sudden shower tries to rain on your parade. The solution? Ponchos. They may be ugly, but they take up hardly any room anywhere, and they're a great option to keep your hands free for whatever else you might be juggling when a surprise shower hits.
Pretty self-explanatory. If you're venturing out into the great unknown, chances are, you won't need this. Unless you don't have it. So carry a small first aid kit with you just in case. Band-aids can come in handy, but Liquid Band-aid works the same way and is more versatile. Neosporin To Go is a lot handier than half-empty squished packets of Neosporin gel. Switch that out in any first aid kit you buy and you'll be good to go (pun intended).
Call me ridiculous, but if you want to say you haven't needed a bobby pin at some point or some spare deodorant, I'm calling you out. You're a liar. Whether you're male or female or anything in between, are these kinds of things absolutely necessary for survival? I mean, kind of, yeah.
But in all seriousness little conveniences can be the difference between comfort and chaos when you're out in the world. Pinch Provisions is the only brand I trust for these kind of things, and I am a loyal customer of their Mini-Mergency kits, because I can't tell you how many times they've saved me whether I was out in the wild or on a wild night out.
If you're all about traveling as light as possible, consider buying a collapsible water bottle. They're still leak-proof, functional, and fold into a tiny little space when not in use.
I'm a water brat. I hate water, and the only way I'll drink it is if it's cold. Hydroflasks are the only way I go. They really do keep water cold for 24 hours, and honestly, sometimes it comes out colder than when I put it in if I throw a few ice cubes in there. The 21 ounce bottle is skinny, so I like that one. But they have every size imaginable.
Depending on where you're going and when you're going there, you should think about throwing in sunscreen, snack bars, extra socks, and a packable jacket. Anything you can think of that's a must-have for you in a daypack? Comment below!