Humanitarian aid workers are an indispensable part of the efforts to mitigate disasters, crises and help people get out of poverty. They travel the world serving humanity, often at a moment’s notice. And after our many (many, many) years traveling, we know it’s important to have some go-to essentials to stay safe and secure in sometimes difficult and off-the-grid environments.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite travel essentials that everyone should have when they depart for an aid mission or development project. We promise these will make life on the road (and off the grid) easier!
Five Essentials That Make Humanitarian Travel Easier:
Here’s something you probably haven’t seen before, a collapsible energy source for your devices. The Stower Candle Charger is a compact, portable and powerful personal energy product that converts heat into usable power. With the Candle Charger, you can charge your smartphone, LED lights, and most other USB devices completely off the grid.
All you have to do is put the charger over a small candle or cooking fire, fill the bath with water, wait a minute, then plug in your device that needs charging. And as if turning heat into power wasn’t nifty enough, the Stower Candle Charger’s water bath is FDA approved and provides safe, sterilized water for drinking or cooking!
The Sunjack Waterproof LightStick Powerbank is a super bright, 350 lumens waterproof portable light and charger in one. The LightStick offers 40-hours of bright light or can recharge most smartphones three times on a single charge, and the sleek design makes it easy to fit in a crowded pack and carry wherever you go.
Unlike some portable lights on the market, the SunJack LightStick is extremely rugged and waterproof up to six feet deep. It offers two brightness levels and an emergency flash setting. On it’s lowest setting, the LightStick provides 60-hours of light, and it only takes 5 hours to recharge.
WakaWaka – Lightweight, Collapsible Light
There are few things more travel-friendly than portable, collapsible lights – especially when going into off-grid communities. WakaWaka Light is an ultra-rugged, highly efficient and sustainable solar-powered LED flashlight that provides users with up to 80 hours of bright, safe and sustainable light after just 5 to 10 hours charging in the sun.
WakaWaka (“shine bright” in Swahili) is an award-winning social enterprise that develops, manufactures and markets the world’s most efficient solar flashlights and smartphone chargers.
Regardless of how long you’ll be traveling, if there’s any doubt you’ll have access to fresh, clean water, you need the DayOne Waterbag. This amazing, portable “backpack” is so versatile that you’ll be able to collect water, transport it, treat it, and store it hygienically with only the Waterbag itself and some water purifying tablets.
A single packet of P&G Purifier of Water weighs only 4 grams and will treat 2.5 gallons (10 liters) of water in just 30-minutes. They’ll remove turbidity, cysts (>3 logs), viruses (>4 logs), bacteria (>6 logs), and arsenic. Your purchase of a DayOne Waterbag includes 60 P&G Purifier of Water packets, so you’ll have everything you need to treat 150 gallons of water!
When it comes to mosquito nets there are two things you want to look for; that the net is durable, and that it is a long lasting insecticide incorporated net (LLIN). If you’re not familiar with that term, it means that insecticide has either been bound to the fibers of the net or is infused into the fibers. Point being, the net provides not only a physical barrier from mosquitoes, it also deters them with insecticide.