A towel 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, or use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth.
Wet your towel 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, which is such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you. 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.