Interesting topic! I'm a fan of gadgets and could spend a fortune on travel gear.
But I agree with many others in this thread: The things that I found the most useful (and have seen the most use) in my travels are:
- gaffa tape
- safety pin
- an old German army knife/fork/spoon set (the leatherman doesn't have a spoon but you can use a knife as a screwdriver)
Other than that? Is a flashlight a gadget? I don't know. I guess a GPS would fall more typically under gadget but while I'm always tempted to buy I don't think I'd use it much.
Someone once told me to pack all my shaving gear, deoderant, toothpaste etc in a little cool bag so that I could dump my things and use it to keep beer cool on the beach.
Been looking for a small one since - good idea though.
Strong tape is always useful and often a neccessity. A good torch is a necessity. Those little anti-bacterial handwipes can sometimes be an absolute godsend. I've got a pop up mossie net, you just throw it out and it turns into a little dome mossie-net tent.
The winner for me is the travel pillow though, anything that helps you sleep through 15 hour bumpy Indian bus journeys deserves to be canonised.
Hail to the Travel Pillow.
the best modern invention ever........ Zip Lock Bags!!
they are so versatile, i used them as a wash bag, a first aid kit, dirty underwear bag and most importantly i kept my electronic items in them like my digital camera. so if there was a sudden downpour or i fell in some water i knew my camera etc would be nice and dry safe in a zip lock bag.
another handy thing that i got, when someone left it in a hostel, was a twisty bungy cord wash line. its two bungy cords twisted together connected with hooks on the end to fasten to a bunk bed or whatever and you just slip the corner of your wet clothes in the twisted cord and bingo! you have a washing line wherever u are.