Possibly My Most Useful Travel Item? What’s Yours?

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Each time my partner and I re-pack we manage to lose more items. The bags are shrinking as we become master minimalist travelers. Everything goes through another round of scrutiny and although we are not at the stage of breaking the handles off our toothbrushes everything needs a purpose. The one item that survives pack-after-pack is a yellow rope picked up years ago on our arrival in Cairo.

Egypt is hot, as I am sure you are aware, and within a few days we had already pretty much soaked through all our clothes. Staying in a hostel with no laundry facilities we had to get some laundry soap and hand wash in the shower! Of course we needed a way to hang all that wet washing, even if it would only take 25 minutes to dry!!! So out to the sticky street we ventured to dirty another set of clothes and find ourselves a suitable rack or line. As luck would have it (rare when trying to find something in Egypt) we found a perfect rope in one of the first stores we came across.

Back at the hostel it took over our room. Before the clothing was hung up it looked like some complex security set up with yellow lazer beams!

useful yellow rope in Cairo

At the end of our hostel stay we decided to keep the useful yellow rope just in case we needed to hang some washing in the next few weeks. 4-years later it’s still with us and has been used to hang countless loads of washing, to air out exercise and hiking clothing and for general tying duties such as holding doors and windows open!

As soon as we arrive at a new place the rope finds a home, hanging in a corner somewhere ready for action.

It’s definitely one of my useful travel items.

Now, share with me some of yours?

I'm a Digital Nomad. I can't get enough of experiencing new places and keeping my lifestyle minimal to ensure I can easily move to my next abode. Maybe one day i'll settle but right now I can't see that happening!


  1. Dayhawk Kim

    January 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    We always pack little Tide travel packs that we break out once a week–or more often when in a hot climate like that of Egypt.

    • Forest Parks

      January 8, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      I’m happy with normal laundry soap in general so normally buy on location but it’s probably often better just to have it with you! I know it’s only a small saving but maybe you could fill small Tupperwares with the tide from your larger box at home?

  2. Forest Parks

    January 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Hey PGR, I have not ever used a portable filter so would be interested in giving one a go at some point. Thanks for the contribution, i’m sure it’s been a real life saver!

  3. Jonny Blair

    January 13, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Nice piece Forest! I also carry some string/rope as it’s small and handy in your backpack. Apart from the obvious ones, I find my torch fairly useful as it happens! I actually run a feature on Tuesdays called Tuesday’s Travel Essentials!: http://dontstopliving.net/category/tuesdays-travel-essentials/ Jonny

    • Forest Parks

      January 13, 2013 at 5:51 am

      Thanks Jonny, I have a little maglite torch actually, quite handy but I also find myself using the iPhone as a torch too! I’ve subscribed to your blog now so expect me over here and there :).

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