The knife, the notebook and the money belt – Day 28 of 30 Days of Indie Travel – Gear

BootsnAll 30 Days of Indie Travel

Day 28 of 30 Days of Indie Travel Project, from BootsnAll

Prompt #28: GEAR

“The right gear can make or break your trip. What is your favorite/must-have gear item?”

The knife, the notebook and the money belt

Three items make their way into just about every trip: my Swiss Army knife, my Moleskine notebook, and my money belt.

The knife

Swiss Army Knife
My Swiss Army Knife - also has scissors, not shown

This is not just any ol’ knife. Purchased when I was 12, with my own savings, my Swiss Army Knife was my very first knife. It’s gone with me on every trip (unless of course I’m flying carry-on-only, then it stays home and out of the hands of airport security).

My Swiss Army Knife has opened countless bottles, sliced up grub for many meals, and has made my traveling life easier in so many ways.

The only thing I would’ve changed? If I’d known, all those years ago, the direction my life would take, I would’ve gotten the model with the corkscrew instead of the Phillips screwdriver. And maybe a saw, because saws are cool.

The notebook

Photo by Memphis CVB -

If you ever want to see me have a fit, steal my Moleskine notebook. I imagine my reaction will be similar to how I’ll react if ever I don’t know where my child is.

Since 1995, a notebook has been on my person. My need for notebooks has even influenced my sense of fashion, leading me to a need for cargo pants and jackets with lots of pockets.

My Moleskine holds receipts, keeps track of travel budget, records contact info for new friends, and retains my memories of a trip. It’s part of me, and as much part of my traveling kit as my rucksack. It’s like an auxiliary brain.

The money belt

Money Belt

Back in, oh, I’ll figure 2001, Rick Steves (of Europe Through the Back Door fame) gave a talk in Eugene, Oregon. Some people dig on Rick, but I think the man’s brilliant. He’s passionate about travel and helping people understand that travel is not beyond them. He’s built an amazing, well, empire of travel books, shows and tours.

And he’s an advocate of the good ol’-fashioned money belt. I bought my money belt at that long-ago talk, and to this day it goes with me. In it go the crown jewels of travel, as taught to me by the Traveler of travelers, Nick O’Neill:

  • Passport
  • Plane/train/bus tickets
  • Emergency cash

As long as I’ve got my wee, cotton/nylon money belt, I can weather damn near anything travel throws at me.

See all of Anthony St. Clair’s travel blog posts for 30 Days of Indie Travel »

See all 30 Days of Indie Travel blog posts »

More like this: Urban Fantasy and Travel Stories from Rucksack Press »

What is the 30 days of indie travel?

BootsnAll 30 Days of Indie TravelEvery day in November, the BootsnAll Travel Network is inviting bloggers from around the world to a daily blogging effort designed to reflect on how our travel experiences over the last year (or whenever) have shaped us and our view of the world. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as we like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on our own blogs. More information: Join the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project »

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