Whether you’re back on campus, embarking on mini adventures around your neighborhood, or just running your everyday errands, there are some items that you’ll always want to have on hand when you go out this winter. As the temperatures get colder and the threat of Covid-19 remains, use this checklist to fill up your backpack with the essentials, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll be prepared for anything.
Face masks are essential for both your personal safety and the safety of those around you, and many public businesses and buildings require them for entry. But we know how easy it is to accidentally forget your mask at home when you’re rushing around in the morning—so keep a handful of disposable or reusable masks in your backpack at all times. (Pro tip: Store them in a zippered accessory pouch, so you can ensure that your mask is clean when you put it on.)
You’ve probably been using a lot of hand sanitizer over the last few months. With cold and flu season in full swing, you’ll want to continue that habit, especially when you’re out in public. Slip a travel-sized bottle of sanitizer into the mesh water bottle pocket of your backpack, or get a bottle that attaches to a keychain for easy access and convenience.
After using so much soap and sanitizer, your hands might be a little dry. (And that’s not to mention that cold winter air can also leave your skin feeling thirsty!) Tuck a travel-sized lotion in one of the smaller, easy-to-reach front compartments of your backpack, so you can grab it every time you clean your hands. Pick a scent that reminds you of something happy (a field full of flowers, perhaps?) and it’ll boost your mood whenever you moisturize.
Pack of Wipes
You’ll probably touch lots of contaminated surfaces while you’re out and about—and then you may spread bacteria onto your belongings, such as your phone, bag, and wallet. Keeping a small pack of wipes in your bag allows you to quickly disinfect your frequently-touched possessions, so you can stay safe from germs. Bonus: You can also use the wipes to clean off chairs, desks, or any other surfaces you may come in contact with while you’re in public.
Dehydration is a risk even when it’s cold outside. Plus, sipping water throughout the day helps your body stay healthy. So fill up your water bottle and slip it in the side compartment of your backpack. Drink up!
Dropping temperatures means noses get runnier, but you don’t have to get caught sniffling. Tuck a small pack of tissues in your backpack, ideally in a front pocket or pouch so they don’t get lost at the bottom of your bag.
Cold weather can also make for super chapped lips (the worst!), so you’ll want to store a tube of lip balm in your backpack. They’re easy to lose, so if you’ve got room, you may even want to tuck a couple extra in a small inner pocket. That way, your lips will be soft and moisturized no matter what.
Portable Phone Charger
On a long, busy day, the last thing you want is for your phone to die on you. Tuck a portable charger into your zippered pouch and you’ll never worry about low battery power again.
Handless Door Opener
One of the best ways to stay safe against Covid-19 and other viruses is to limit the number of surfaces you touch. A small door opener will help you come into contact with a few less germy surfaces throughout the day.
You never know what could happen that could cause you pain and throw off your plans, whether it’s a minor injury, a headache, or cramps. Carrying a small amount of pain medicine with you just might save the day.
Now that you have your essentials figured out, how should you pack them in your bag? Read on for tips about how to keep everything in reach while you’re on the go.
By: Annie Blay