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How To Protect Things You Packed.


Hobo Travel Tips
By Andy the HoboTraveler.Com

ISSUE:  043
DATE:  August 17, 2001
TIP:  How To Protect Things You Packed
LOCATION:  Belgium

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~ TODAY’S TRAVEL TIPS

HOW TO PROTECT THINGS YOU PACKED

Is your suitcase unbreakable?

If not, then this hobo tip is for you.
Hard, durable, heavy luggage, has been replaced by lightweight
flexible materials.

For the modern hobo budget traveler the backpack is the standard
gear of choice, and if you travel long enough something will
get broken, or destroyed. For the adventurous hobo’s that plans
sudddenly change from a bus trip, to hitching a canoe ride
there are many types of hazards.

A good budget travel needs to be ready for unanticipated problems.
There are many things that happens. Ranging from a simple
drop of your bag by the taxi driver, to my friend that had her bag
fall out of the baggage compartment of the bus while going down
the road. Being prepared can minimize the loss. There are many
types of dangers. Dropping, falling, throwing, dust, vibration,
bouncing,
or subjected to rain, floods, oil, and other spills.


MY LIST OF THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN DAMAGED.

Shaving Cream.
Toothpaste:
Travel Electric Razor
Disposal Razors (Just the top part breaks off)
Alarm Clocks
Light Bulbs
Electric socket for light bulbs.
Coffee Jars
Spices, Popcorn, Mate, Rice, Eggs, raw and boiled. Bananas.
Eye Glasses
Paper Bags that are around food.
Hot plate
Shampoo
Books
Salt and Pepper Shakes. Spice shakers.
Papers
Water bottle.
3. 5 Floppy disk
Film
Batteries corroded
Watch
Water Bottle


PRINCIPLES OF PACKING
Backpackers buy equipment to climb Mount Everest
and find themselves in an Amsterdam Hostel.
Simple things like cofffee, eyeglasses, and you water
bottle can become major headaches if not packed
correctly.

CARRY ON
You daybag, or rucksack that you carry on your front,
or with you in the bus, train, or airplane is the safest location
for valuable stuff. I carry my digital camera, computer,
and computer disk with me. The chance of a careless baggage
person ends when I am in control of my bag.

STORAGE
When things are put in baggage compartments, storage rooms,
tops of buses, then you loose control. Choose the place where
you leave your backpack cafefully. When the backpack leaves
your site is when the trouble starts.

WHERE LOCATED IN BAG
Probably the most inportant principal of packing safely.
The most dangerous places are in the top, and
the bottom of the backpack. The safest location
is in the center, and closest location to your back.

ROLL UP
Wrap you cloths around valuable packages. Separating
hard things from other hard things with your clothes.

COMPATIBLE
Toothpaste is pretty safe for the most part. Except when
you pack it with a fork, knife, pens, or even toothpicks.
Take care that the things are compatible.

SPACE
Saving space at all cost will not protect valuables.
Space is needed between delicate objects. A very
tightly rolled Tshirt is not always soft. When packages
are packaged commercially, they use stryrofoam chips,
or bubble wrapping. This give space, that allows for compression.

DOUBLEWRAP
If one bag is good. 2 time is better
If one shirt wrapped around that glass souvenir, then 2 is better.

DOUBLE CHECK
Check twice, that the lids are screwed on tight, bags are zip, or
twist tied closed.

PACK AFTER READY
The things that get broken, are the things you forgot to pack,
and add at the end. I first take everthing in my room and put
on the bed. After EVERYTHIING is collected. I put in small bags
and containers. Make sure you check the shower !

SEND HOME
“I will send home any soveniers”
A common statement by travelers. The experiences ones will say.
“If it gets home is will be safe” Not all countries are safe.
Commercial companies can be safe, and they are experienced
in packing, and some sell insurance.

WORRY PRINCIPLE
If you find yourself worrying about a valuable, or precious soveniers.
Send it home, or do not buy it.
I will be away for over one year. I choose my soveniers to use like
Tshirts, or small like coins.

WISDOM AND EXPERIENCE
At the end of the day, the person that does not have lots of lost,
damaged, or broken things in their bag is the person that choose
wisely what they buy, and carry in their backpack.
The hobo backpacker makes a sacrifice when living on 3-15 dollars a day.
A tourist may spend 3000 dollars in 2 weeks,
and hobo budget traveler will live for 6 months.
The money is the same, the time is different.
Choose carefully what you buy, or carry.


LIST OF HELPFUL THINGS TO BRING
Pill bottles
Shampoo bottles with screw on lids
Plastic coffee jars with screw on lids.
Hard holder for glasses.
One gallon ziplock bags.
Hard plastic drinking cup
Electrical tape
Twist Ties like used on bread bags.

NOTE: DO NOT USE POP OPEN LIDS
They do that... They pop open !

EXAMPLE
WRAPPING A GLASS FIGURINE OR LIGHTBULB
If for some reason, you decide you are going to carry
something delicate for the next 3-6 months.

Although this explanation is extreme, realize
I am trying to teach you all the ideas possible.

Take some toilet paper, and wrap around the glass figurine.
Place this inside a hard plastic drinking glass. Take a plastic coffee
jar,
and place the glass inside the jar. Making sure there is not too much
tissue, and loosely packed. If it can move a little but
not too much this is good. Take electrical tape and
wrap around the screw on lid at the seam. Make a minimun
of 3 wraps around. This tape can be used over and over if
it is electical tape. Put this in one gallon plastic bag
and wrap around the jar. Tape it shut. Now do it gain, and
put the seam in the bottom of the bag. Tape it shut.

Now roll up this coffee jar, plastic encased jar in a towel, or
couple of shirts. Place that in the center of your bag, closest
to where you back would be. Then surround with all your clothes.

If water sensitive use some rice to absorb water.
If bigger. Find bigger containers.

SAFE AT LAST !
Everything on the list of things to bring can be found in
almost any country in the world.


MOST DANGEROUS LOCATIONS

Airplane luggage checked in airplane
Top of bus
Taxi drivers.
Getting into a boat.
Friends
Rainstorm when your bag is on top of bus
Back of bus when people are sitting on top of your bag.
When your bag falls off a bed, car trunk, car boot.
People who sit on your bag.
Train overhead rack. Tie it so it will stay up there.


SHARP STUFF

Forks, spoons, knives
Pens, pencils
Toothpicks
Tacks, Nails
Screwdrivers


STORIES OF DANGER FOR MY BACKPACK

Airplane baggage people: They are the absolute worst.
Taxi Drivers - Throwing my bag to the curb.
I am dangerous. I got in a hurry and dropped my computer bag.
It only fell 1 foot, but caused minor damage.
We was catching a truck in Colombia. They wanted to store the backpacks
on the tarped roof. When the young boy tried to pick up my bag it was
too
heavy for him, and he dropped it.
I was getting on boat on the river near Livingston, Guatemala.
The guy wanted me to throw my backpack to him. I kept trying to hand
it slowly to him, but he would not help me. In the end. I threw it at
him.
It totally knocked him over on his back, and I said “Ninos”
The Amazon River ride was difficult. We was packed in like cattle, and
they would walk over your bag. Sit on your bag, plus water would come
in on the floor of the boat below our hammocks.


GUIDELINES TO PROTECT

Do not allow people to help you carry your bag.
If you do have help. You carry the most fragile backpack.
If it is breakable. Carry it with you on the plane, or bus, train.
If you backpack is very heavy. Do not allow it to be carried.
Keep your bags low, things that fall break.
Be the last one on the bus so your bag is on top of the heap.
If they are unloading the bus, or train. HELP them with your bag.
The higher the place, the greater the fall.
Storage rooms. Put it low, so it does not fall off a shelf.
If you stand up your backpack on your bed or on chair, It can fall off.
Store the really delicate stuff in your carry on.
If you put something on the floor. It can get wet. Rain, Shower that
leak. Spills.
Space is necessary. Too tight, and thing will still get smashed.
Tape is shut with electrical tape.
The more the layers of plastic bags the less chances of a leak.
Bags will squeeze, leave a little space around stuff. To accomodate the
squeeze.
Those carts at the airport. Do not your small bag in the compartment at
the top.
When you take the your large backpack off. The cart can fall over.
If they are going to put your bag on the top of the bus, check that they
have a rain tarp.
Do not sit on your backpack unless you are sure what is inside.
Do not pack things that break.


HOW I PROTECT STUFF

SHAVING CREAM: I tape the lid on with electrical tape, and put inside a
coffee jar.
TOOTHPASTE: I always have double bagged in 1 gallon plastic ziplock. I
use these
to hold all my shower supplies.
ELECTRIC TRAVEL RAZOR: I really like these devices. But they will stop
running
if they get wet and rust. I keep them in a plastic peanut butter jar, or
coffee jar.
DISPOSAL RAZORS: The tops break off easy. Especially the cheapest one.
I put them in a plastic coffee jar.
ALARM CLOCKS: I keep this in my boy scout type campfire dishes. Wrap in
rag, and put in between plates, or pots.
LIGHT BULBS: I put the light bulb into a plastic glass. I put a rag
around it, and
inside my aluminum pot for coffee. Note: The airline has totally smashed
this
2 or 3 times.
ELECTRIC SOCKETS FOR LIGHT BULBS: These are pretty cheap, so I do not
worry much, but usally it goes in a plastic coffee jar. In the center of
the other stuff.
COFFEE
Coffee collects water. I transfer the coffee from the normal glass
containers
into a plastic coffee jar, or buy the one that is plastic. I put the jar
inside
a plastic bag.
SPICES, SALT, PEPPER
Pill or vitamin bottles. Take special notice that they are a soft type
of plastic and not the hard type. Do not use pop off types.
EGGS, RAW or BOILED
Carry in your hand. When you get tire of carrying them.
Throw them out the window, or eat them.
EYE GLASSES
Buy a hard plastic case. It is just too expensive. You have to do this.
CAMERA
I have a padded case. I carry this with me in my small rucksack, or
carry on backpack. If it was very small. I could put it in a plastic
coffee jar
and carry in there for safety. Be careful of condensation.
MATE, POPCORN, RICE, FLOUR ETC.
These come in paper bags. Plastic bags around the platic bags is better.
Pack all your clothes around them. They do get puctured easy. This stuff
is
cheap, and avoiding a mess is the highest priority. Do not buy more than
you wll eat in 2-3 meals.
HOT PLATE
I put it in the lower part of my back, Put a aluminum pan on the heater
side.
Then use a frisbee on the outside. I also use the frisbee for a plate.
SHAMPOO
I have special bottles: SEE Bottles that leak newsletter.
I then put them in a plastic ziplock.
BOOK:
Bottom of my backpack. In a stack. Place in cloth bag, and wrap around.
Water is the biggest problem.
WATER BOTTLE
These are little grenades in your bag. The ones you buy are good, but
the 1 liter purified water bottles must be kept in pockets on the
outside
of the bag, and watched all the time, or carried in your hand. Do not
ever pack inside your packpack.
3.5 FLOPPY COMPUTER DISK
If possible buy the ones with the plastic slide door, and not the
aluminum.
The aluminum will bend. I use to have a nice flexible, holder. My disk
got ruined all the time. I use a soft, but hard plastic case. The hard
plastic
case you buy the disk in do not work. I put on top of my portable
computer.
Or with my books. It has to be a flat spot.
CD ROMS
Tough. Too big. I have a special carrying case. But they still get
broken.
That hard plastic case is brittle.
FILM
I am going to write a letter just on film, and developed pictures. The
camera you carry is of little importance, but the pictures are worth
a forturne in memories.
BATTERIES WILL CORRODE
Keep out of water. Bag them, or just be careful.
WATCH
I had my watch in my money belt. A cockroach ran across my table
in Maceio Brazil. I used the money belt to kill the cockroach. I open
my money belt later, and found the crystal of my watch broken.
Wear the watch, or put in plastic coffee jar when carrying, or just
have a very cheap watch. An expensive watch just make you a target
for robbery.
WATER BOTTLE
Plastic one quart or liter bottles will break, leak, or puncture. Either

carry in your hand, or put in an exteriour pocket of your bag. Do
not every put deep inside your backpack.

There are many ways to protect things in your backpack.
Devices, and containers can be purchased at any good
backpackers store. The ideas here utilize things you can find
anywhere in the world. I do not always pack up as my example,
opting for a simple method of only putting stuff coffee jars.
I carry cooking oil in my backpack, and that does get the full
treatment.

CLICK ON LINK TO SEE PICTURES
http://andylthe Hobo.virtualave.net/belgium13Aug01protectbreakables.htm


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Have fun! Life is Good!

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

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Article written by Andy the hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
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NOTE: There is a newsletter written about
Bottles that leak.
This is very good if you carry liquids.

 

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