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How to find travel supplies at the hardware store

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By McClatchy-tribune News Service
Sunday, March 23, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Basic hardware stores are a great source for travel supplies. The following hardware items can help you navigate a number of hurdles on your next road trip.

Connections: Not only can zip ties hold multiple loose items together, they can also be used to create basic loops that can be used as additional docking points for carabiners and hooks. This is especially helpful when you have a large carabiner clip that doesn't easily fit through the opening of a dash handle, roof hook or other existing docking point in your vehicle.

Cords: While it's true having basic cords and ropes in your trunk can come in handy for any number of emergency situations, travel needs focus on cords of a different sort. Electrical extension cords can be more of a life saver on road trips than you might realize. For instance, how many times have you checked into a hotel room assuming you could work comfortably from the bed in your pajamas only to find the only outlet to be clear across the room from where you need it to be? Does your vehicle have an electrical outlet in the back? Pack an extension cord and a fun small kitchen appliance such as a blender or sandwich press to make rest area stops more of a tailgating experience.

Canisters: Those small green gas canisters available at box hardware stores take up far less space than a full barbecue tank and serve a number of purposes on short-term road trips and overnight excursions. For example, a small portable heater by your feet while holding down the fort at that outdoor craft fair can be a real treat. And as far as camping goes, not all grills and stoves have to be huge in order to meet your needs. A small tabletop grill can serve on the road, along with a single-burner emergency stove for boiling water. The tinier canisters serve our needs just fine in those instances.

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