I just got back from an eight-day jaunt with one bag, so I thought it would be good to revisit some light and useful thing that are road tested and worked hard for me day in and day out.
Many of the gear reviews you read on blogs or in magazines are written by desk jockey sub-editors who are just pulling copy off a press release. Or they might have gotten a sample in the mail and will write about how cool it looks without ever using it out in the field.
So here's a collection of inexpensive and useful items that really do the job out on the road.
Retractable Razor (even bought one of these in Mexico for 3 pesos)
Hanging Travel Toiletry Kit
Perpetual Flashlight - No batteries
Compact Battery Charger (If carrying something that uses AA--like my digital camera does.)
Retractable Cable Lock (Cheap hotels often don't have a safe or lockers.)
Water Purification Tablets
And a Swiss Army Knife of course--just don't put it in your carry-on luggage!