August 24, 2019

Unexpected Travel Uses for S Hooks


As much as I love using caribiners, sometimes they just don’t cut it. Either there’s no hook inside the bathroom door or shower stall, or the pole that you could otherwise clip it to in order keep your bag off the ground is too wide to accommodate your caribiner at all. While these issues don’t arise that much during luxury cruises or resort-style getaways, they sure come up during long term independent or adventure travel where going light and low budget is critical. Two ways to use s-hooks to your full advantage?

Create a hook where there is none.

This is great in those bathroom stalls with wet floors. Using an s-hook over the top lip of the hinged door, create your own spot to hang a pocketbook, day pack, backpack or any tote bag type of item you don’t want on the floor getting dirty. It also helps keep them out of reach and out of view of thieves walking by who could reach under the door gap and grab your gear while you are otherwise engaged with answering the call of nature. Hey, it happens.

The hybrid approach.

We like to keep large caribiners permanently clipped to the loops on the tops of our packs. When hooks and properly sized poles are available, it takes three seconds to get your pack or purse out of the way. When they are not, having an s-hook in a readily accessible side pocket is the next best thing. Just hook it over the pole or stall door and use your caribiner as normal. I wouldn’t recommend this for hooking your pack on the side of a truck or off the back pole of a tuk-tuk, but for stationary situations it can save the day.

I’ll admit that finding the large thin s-hooks even at various hardware chains can be a bit of a pain. The safest bet that works for us every time is Ikea. They even have large thin s-hooks that are flat instead of tubular. The regular ones would work fine of course, but the flat ones can provide extra stability. Do you use s-hooks for anything else on the road? Do you have another inside travel tip to share? Sing out loud in our comment section below!

Photo Credit: Ikea


  1. My favourite bit of equipment like this is a bungee – great for shoring up tents, making makeshift shelters, keeping bits & bobs on your rucksack, making a washing line, the list goes on

  2. webmaster says:

    Hi Heather,

    Nice to see you stopping by again. My husband would agree with you. He’s a huge fan of both bungees and zip ties.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for this post. I ordered the Ikea hooks based on your recommendation, and they work perfectly. Here is some more information to help people find them.

    These S-hooks are from the Grundtal product line, and are made of stainless steel. There are two sizes: 2 3/4 inches long (7 cm), or 4 3/8 inches long (11 cm); you want the larger size. They are sold in packages of 5. Prices below are US-based.

    $3.99 at Ikea, plus $10 minimum shipping if ordered from them online:

    For those without a local Ikea store, to just buy one pack of hooks, you can save on shipping by ordering from one of several small businesses reselling Ikea products online from their own local Ikea store.

    $8.46 including shipping from QQ-Outlet, or $8.97 including shipping from Shop At Clares:

    $8.99 including shipping:

    $6.99 plus shipping, currently closed while their local Ikea remodels:

    $10.48 including shipping from qq-outlet on Ebay:

    $10.48 including shipping from bestbrandsbestbargains on Ebay:

    $10.55 including shipping from wisemanpro on Ebay:

    $10.99 including shipping from spiders*and*ladybugs on Ebay: