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Everything I Pack in My Dopp Kit While Traveling

by , March 25, 2013

A great Dopp Kit is kind of an art form.  The ideal setup more or less consists of 2 parts survival kit, 1 part toiletry bag and a dash of EDC.  A curated selection of quality and necessary items for personal hygiene, minor emergencies, and increasing basic comfort.  All this, while being compact and mobile.

Dopp Kit Dump Sandqvist Mickel Washbag

We’ve covered Dopp Kits before here and here.  But our EDC Pocket Dump series got us to thinking… let’s see what’s inside of a few of our Carryology contributors’ Dopp Kits.  Maybe even see what some of our readers carry in their kits, too.  Sure, it’s kind of an intimate and personal subject, but one that potentially we could learn from.  Maybe interesting, maybe not.  Either way, here we go, here’s mine (Taylor’s) below…

Dopp Kit Dump Sandqvist Mickel Washbag 2

SANDQVIST “Mickel” Washbag:
Made from heavy cotton canvas, cognac brown leather grab-handle/hang-loop and zipper pulls, and metal grid YKK zippers.  One zippered large main compartment with 3 additional liner pockets inside.  One external zippered pocket.  5 pockets total.

Designed in Stockholm, Sweden. Crafted in India. Dimensions are 22 cm x 15 cm x 10 cm / 8.7″ x 5.9″ x 3.9″ (W x H x D).  I just received this as a gift, perfectly in time to retire my old single pocket hemp thing which had developed a bunch of holes over years of wear.

Dopp Kit Dump Sandqvist Mickel Washbag 5

For the sake of the article, I had to look up the price of this gift, coming in at €55 ($72.70 USD), available here if you’re interested.

I dig this thing.  Looks handsome as hell and offers phenomenal organization, especially compared to my previous solution.  Judging by the premium materials and the quality construction, I’m certain that I’ll never need another Dopp Kit in my lifetime, even with my frequent domestic and international travels which can be pretty abusive on travel gear.

Dopp Kit Dump

Bic lighter
– Ray Ban glasses case w/Lens cloth

Dopp Kit Dump Lip Balm Cash 2

– $20 bill and $10 bill (hidden in an empty lip balm tube)
– SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2 GB flash drive (w/encrypted scan of Passport)

Dopp Kit Dump Sharpie Gorilla Tape

Sharpie Fine Point wrapped w/Gorilla tape (backpacker’s trick)
Tin of Firehouse Moustache Wax
Tin of Murray’s pomade

Dopp Kit Dump Keys Photon Shard

Sparehouse key
Gerber Shard multi-tool*
Photon Micro-Light II keychain LED*
Liberty Mountain Compact Travel Toothbrush
– .9 oz Tube of toothpaste

Dopp Kit Dump Gaffers Tape

 Eyeglasses Repair Kit wrapped w/Gaffers tape (to cover bright LEDs/LCDs at night)*
Shaving cream (in .5 oz Travel Capsule)
Deodorant stick (full size)
Spert mini comb

Dopp Kit Dump Ear Buds

iPhone ear buds (wrap method #2)
iPhone wall/USB charger
Gold Bond Body Powder (in 1 oz REI Travel Bottle)
Altoids mints mini tin

Dopp Kit Dump Streamlight Stlus Pro torch

Streamlight Stylus Pro LED pen light*
Ear plugs (in .25 oz REI Plastic Travel Capsule)
4 Quarters*

Dopp Kit Dump Mehaz Clippers

MEHAZ 660 stainless steel nail clippers*
Mini nail scissors

Dopp Kit Dump Ziploc Sandwich Bag

Ziploc sandwich bag: 
10ft of 4mm nylon utility cord (who knows)
3 Business cards (for ID, in case of loss)
Roll of Tums (necessary for Asia)
2 Emergen-C packets
2 Wet Nap packets
2 Band-Aids
2 Paper towels
Sewing kit

Dopp Kit Dump Plastic Pill Squeeze Pouch

Plastic squeeze pill pouch:
4 2mg Loperamide aka Imodium (also necessary for Asia)
4 50mg Diphenhydramine aka Benadryl*
– 3 800mg Ibuprofen
3 Muscle relaxers
2 Pain killers
4 Sudafed

All of this fits tidily into the SANDQVIST Mickel.  Now that I’ve typed it all out, I’m kind of shocked at how much it is able to store, as well as how organized it all can be in such a small form factor.  Plus, there is still room to spare.

Dopp Kit Dump Sandqvist Mickel Washbag 4

Items that I’ve eliminated over the years:
– OHSO travel toothbrush w/toothpaste stored in handle:  Though super clever and compact, this unit literally snapped in half with no more than a finger tap worth of pressure.  Cannot recommend.
2 oz Hair/body wash:  The nicest hotel or even the shoddiest hostel, there will always be some free soap around… or I can just buy some for $1 / reduces “liquid hassle” with TSA.
Electric razor:  Even the small units are too large and heavy, plus they require a power cord or charging base.  I just leave this at home, not necessary on a trip.
Safety razor w/1 blade:  Too much hassle with TSA, even when the blade was removed they would search it… best to keep the “nice” razor at home.

Items I’ve been thinking about adding:
Extra pair of socks
Extra pair of boxers
Whiskey, 1.7 oz airplane bottle size:  Yes, it is allowed… but I don’t really want to have to keep it in a 1 quart Ziploc bag and then remove it every time I go through security.
2.5″ Mini Swiss Army knife:  May or may not get taken by TSA, only $2-5 to replace / still not sure if it is worth the headache.
Energy bar or trail mix bar:  Nice to have some calories if there are no other options, seems slightly over the top though.
– Zip Ties, but I feel the Gorilla tape is probably adequate in a pinch.

Dopp Kit Dump Sandqvist Mickel Washbag 3

So, back to the beginning of this post…
What do you carry in your Dopp Kit? 
Is there anything that you see here that could/will help you out? 
Do you have suggestions for any item(s) that could help others out? 
Any revisions you’d make to this list?

We’d love to hear your input.

*UPDATE (3/25/12):
Based on reader comments (special thanks to Jason), I’ve added a few new items to my Dopp Kit contents.  Keep the discussion going and suggestions coming, great stuff so far!

Streamlight Stylus Pro LED pen light:  Compact, very bright, great battery life, uses simple batteries (2 AAAs), nearly indestructible, and only $20.  Always nice to have a quick access light source.  Info here.
 Photon Micro-Light II keychain LED:  Super tiny and reliable, with plenty of lumens to find my way around a dark room in the middle of the night without having to wake anyone else in the room (if I cover part of the LED with a fingertip).  After quite a bit of research, this unit appears to be the hands-down winner among its competitors in this category.  Works great.  About $10.
Gaffers Tape:  Just a few feet of it, wrapped around my eyeglass repair kit tube.  Used to cover up those annoyingly bright blinking lights on electronics that can keep you awake all night.  Leaves no sticky residue.
4 50mg Diphenhydramine:  A really helpful sleep aid for when the time zone difference is between 8-12 hours.  Only used for desperate measures.  Aside from its sedative properties, it’s also an antihistamine (its primary purpose).
Stainless steel nail clippers:  I found the MEHAZ 660 “Professional” nail clippers, made in Japan.  KAI is the parent company and manufacturer of Mehaz products… they also make Shun knives.
Gerber Shard:  TSA-friendly travel multi-tool that actually works.  Small and large flathead drivers, Phillips driver, wire stripper, pry bar, bottle opener, keyring hole.
4 Quarters:  Payphones, laundry machines, vending machines, etc.  Sometimes even cash is useless.


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