Oct 20, 2014

Don't leave home without it!

There are two axioms to keep in mind when packing for travel, especially if you're carrying everything on your back.

1. Everything weighs something.

2. Everything takes up space.

When I did my luggage purge back in Liddes and came away with 2 kg less in my backpack, one of the items I kept was a simple rubber drain plug. I think I paid a buck or two for it at a hardware store, but it was so long ago I really can't remember.

A shower is much more energy efficient than a bath, which is most likely why hoteliers never make a plug available even when there is a bathtub.‎ Even sinks generally drain out immediately, which makes it challenging for someone hoping to shave, or in my case, do laundry.

That's why this simple little piece of rubber is invaluable for the road warrior or pilgrim. As long as it's large enough to completely cover the drain, the water pressure will hold it in place, allowing the weary aching pilgrim to dissolve the knots and pain in a hot bath. Just be careful not to bump it loose, or your relaxing soak may be interrupted!


  1. It's been part of my kit for so long, I don't recall where I picked up that little trick. Robert A. Heinlein gets the credit for pulling the cardboard out of a roll of toilet paper and then putting the much more compact roll in a ziploc baggie.The campground I stayed at in Etroubles didn't have any tp in the toilets (Always check before using a public facility!), so I guess I owe the old man for that one. And of course, ear plugs are a given. Even if there's nobody else in the dormitory, there may be nearby train tracks, as in Verrès.