Let’s review what you absolutely need to bring with you and why.
A tough flashlight
The flashlight is THE thing to have.
- It will lighten your way at night in the dark places (there aren’t so many street lamps)
- It will help you visit caves in good conditions (and also not rent a flashlight at the entrance)
- It will show you the way to your bed when the light switch is across the room
- It will call for help when you get lost somewhere (but do net expect somebody to get you )
- It will help you pick your toenails in low light situations
- It will be useful when the power goes down, especially on the islands
Make sure to chose a real solid flashlight, small and luminous. You can even consider a forehead light according to your needs.
I did choose the Fenix E11, it costs between $20 and $30 on ebay and it is very small, resistant, waterproof and it works with just a standard AA battery. The autonomy is very correct (several hours) and most important : the brightness is far more powerful than a crappy chinese two dollars plastic flashlight. The difference is considerable. When I was visiting caves and other people had cheap lights, the brightness of mine was like ten times better and yet, mine remained so small!
A swiss knife
Probably the most important thing to bring with the flashlight.
Without it, you won’t open any beer. You won’t be able to cut small ropes (or more hardly), but anyway there is always a use for a swiss knife. You will find out soon enough.
As I was snorkeling, I accidentally stepped on a sea urchin on this Ko Rong desert island. In that case, do not expect to go to the emergencies. So, my nice swiss knife, along with some alcohol allowed me to slit my big toe in order to take off the unwanted spine stuck a fifth of inch underneath my skin.
A lighter will allow you to buy cigarettes in serenity whose price would almost make you want to start smoking.
No, I’m kidding but a lighter has a good reason to be carried (like disinfect a knife blade so that you can butcher yourself peacefully or light up a candle hoping the power to come back on). Ask the former candidates of the “Survivor” show if they weren’t dreaming of having one of these huh ?!)
Whether you need to fix a broken strap, or attach things together, or tie up a roast veal, the string will always have a use for something.
A toilet paper roll / tissues
It is highly recommended to begin your journey with some tissues or toilet paper because you won’t get any in the cheap accomodations and you will always need to wipe something, if not your but. And, the more chili you eat, the more tissues you will water.