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The Importance of Towels in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

A towel is the most important item a Hitchhiker can carry.

 

Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels and their importance for interstellar travelers. According to the book, not only can you wrap it around yourself for warmth, but it can give you control of your life if you know where your towel is at all times.

Others apparently agree - When Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster was launched into space on the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket in February 2018, it carried a towel. FiveADRIFT also maintains that a towel has "great practical value" although the bit about total control has been somewhat elusive.

In addition to wrapping ourselves for warmth, protecting us from hot sand burns, and creating beach chair forts, the towel became a symbol for much of what Douglas Adams stood for. He was an environmental activist who campaigned on behalf of endangered species culminating in a non-fiction radio series Last Chance to See and the publication of a book of the same name. In it he and naturalist Mark Carwardine visited rare species such as the kakapo and baiji. 

In honor of Douglas Adams, we proudly celebrate Towel Day every May 25th. Grab one of our plastic free luxurious beach towels to make sure you're ready and don't forget to read up on all the great uses for your new galactic traveling companion:

"A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you—daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with."

 

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