Most useful and/or useless kit taken on a trip.

Just a question that can apply equally to bikes,cars, trucks and even travellers by foot.

What is the most useless piece of equpment or tool that you have bought or attained and the flip side of that is what is the most useful?

Lonely Planet Guide

For me the Lonely Planet Guide for Australia slotted perfectly into both categories.The bastard thing is about the size of a Bible bodge taped to a Koran and weighs the same as a house brick.


Even though I carried the bloody thing for over six months, I never needed to open and peruse its knowledge for anything.


To remove my bikes rear wheel to repair a chain or puncture, required me to detach a pannier and place it under the bikes bashplate, then lift the bike up onto the pannier to clear the ground ....all it needed was a spacer about the size of a bible and Koran bodge taped together. Yep The lonely planet guide fitted perfect.
Useless - I bought one of those handwarmer things where you light the charcoal stick, put it in the case and it warms your hands when you hold it. Fatherless thing has barely ever worked at all, let alone properly. The sticks fall apart making a mess of everything if you dare open the packet. Binned it gleefully when I moved country.

Useful - my helly probably still has to be top. Recently my gaiters have been proving themselves a surprisingly useful bit of kit too.
Fiamma Grip System - LINK

I thought "what a good idea". It doesn't take up any room and it might get me out of mucky stuff.
"What a total waste of money" I thought as I grovelled in the clag trying to get some proper rocks under the drive wheels.

Who-ever thought this one up I just hope that their next one's a porcupine
I am the camping shops biggest ********, no wonder I need a 2 1/2 tonner to go camping as I have bought more useless crap than you see at a car boot sale, When I did my pre-season clean out I found
3 re chargable lanterns
2 windup tortches
4 waterproof Kag-in- a-bags
3 walking sticks, and a pair of treking poles
An inflateable three piece suite for in my awning,still in the sealed bag
2x2 burner gas stoves, I have no idea why I bought them
3 Swiss army knives
2 Bar-B-que cooking sets
and a set of solar powered garden lights
10 paires of Tesco £3 blue jeans and about 20 grey T shirts still in bags
and thats not all


Book Reviewer
Most useful: My OH. She navigates better than me.

Most useless: My 10Mp D-SLR Camera. Too big and bulky to take everywhere if hiking so normally gets replaced by a teeny-tiny pocket sized 10Mp compact.

(Oh, and the video camera. Why did I ever bother?)
The good: A small desk top rechargeable LED lantern. It cost me 60,00 dong - about 3 dollars US and is perfect for when we get power cuts (which is every other bloody day).

The useless: My interpreter. Nice tits but she speaks no known civilised language and is well known for translating a question that I want to ask a local, discussing the matter animatedly with him or her for 15 minutes and then buggering off without telling me the answer.

The indifferent: My Garmin GPSmap 76CSx. Good bit of kit. Highly accurate. But there are no maps of Vietnam available for it.
Three years ago this week I bought a complete set of ice climbing gear, and went to Glen Coe, and climbed wearing a T shirt and shorts as it was the warmest April in about a hundred years, all the gear is sitting in the van unused, on the 16th of April I was at Colloden and people were dropping like flys from the heat, I bet it would be interesting climbing there today


Book Reviewer
Most useless AND useful.

My lovely wife, depending upon my mood.

Some huge enormous chains bought at an Auto Jumble in North Yorkshire and used by Tankies for pulling tanks. Hung on the wall of me sh*d for 3 years as ballast. But should I ever need chains with a 60 ton breaking strain.... you know?

The Bamford Rapid Mill. A quarter ton of 1932 iron standing 9' tall in the woods, waiting for the day I need to grind flour or work out a way to make it produce candy-floss. Or Unicorns.

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