I was picnicking on an East Coast mountaintop awhile back when a passing hiker joked, "Avez-vous Grey Poupon?"
To my questioner's surprise, I pulled two packets of the stuff out of my knapsack. No big deal. Spicy mustard packets are among two dozen or so items I always take on my travels.
Whether for convenience, safety or simply self-indulgence, my favorite pack-alongs give me a prepared-for-anything feeling.
Foodstuff: High-protein or high-carb energy bars stave off hunger pangs on flights or provide an energy boost during strenuous hikes. Besides mustard, I take other items, including plastic utensils; moist towelettes; a water-heating coil plus instant coffee, tea bags, sweetener; and high-fiber dry cereal and powdered milk.
Hardware: A mid-size Swiss Army knife is a must-have. I take two flashlights: a mini-light and a headlamp for night-time reading or walking. Extra batteries, up to 16 for a long trip. And two small combination padlocks so that I never panic over a lost key.