This is one of the most important item of gear I carry on any trip. Why? It doesn’t matter how awesome your touring bike is, how killer your kiteboarding setup or how many times you’ve been to Calcutta…if you don’t keep your hands clean you will get sick. Being sick ruin a trip and is never fun. The most important way to stay healthy is to wash your hands regularly and especially after high risk activities like going to the bathroom, touching raw meat or shaking hands with a large group of people.
Most people don’t wash their hands properly with soap and water so hand sanitizer is a good option for traveling. Especially since it doesn’t require water or a towel. It’s cheap and now widely available. A little goes a long way. I’ve spent 3 months in India with a few tubes of the stuff.
My record for staying healthy on the road is nearly perfect and frequent hand washing is definitely a major part of the reason.