As a book-geek there are three things I feel the need to travel with on principle; something to read, materials for writing, and a towel.
Douglas Adams made the towel famous as a must-have travel accessory in his Sci-Fi classic, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
“A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Not having the same needs as an interstellar traveler, I have found towels just as valuable in my more mundane travel needs.
- Stuffed inside wet boots, a towel will wick out moisture helping to dry footware more quickly.
- You can travel light by washing clothes in hotel sinks. Wring them out in a towel before hanging and most garments will be dry in a couple of hours.
- A towel can cover dirty chairs or benches before you sit.
- A towel makes a good makeshift curtain when privacy is difficult to achieve.
- Rolled up, a towel makes good, firm back support on long flights, drives or train rides.
- Fold up your towel and it is a perfectly comfortable neck support or pillow.
- Use your folded towel as a stadium cushion or unfold it for a lap blanket.
- Wrap wet or dirty items in your towel when they have to squeezed next to clean, dry things in your pack.
While there are towels marketed specifficaly for Douglas Adams fans (and some are really clever!) I prefer a more practical approach to towel selection. I travel with is the Aquis microfiber towel. It’s not a bulky terrycloth towel. It’s thin and packs tight, but it’s incredibly thirsty, and comes in sizes big enough to wear as a sarong after swimming.
This towel has come with me coast to coast in the USA, Mexico, and Canada. You bet I’ll be taking it with me to Southeast Asia in the spring!
Read ~ Write ~ Wander
What are your MUST HAVE travel items? Is a towel among them?Add a comment