Choosing The Right Backpack For Your Trip
Before I left for my trip, I’d been reading lots on what backpack to buy, as well as checking out all the local outdoor and travel stores in my area.
Everyone seems to agree, whether you are choosing a backpack, a suitcase, a duffel bag, or a rolling pack to carry as little as possible. Pack light. Wash more frequently (or turn your undies inside-out).
Easier said than done, for a first-time traveller especially.
You may have heard of the
On the tour I did of Turkey, I noticed a lot of people using standard hotel/airline luggage, the rolling variety. I guess that’s because there wasn’t a lot of walking with luggage. So, well-planned, if the tour was their only trip in the near future.
But for me, doing a long-term trip, the backpack was really the only plausible solution, with the condition of the roads in Europe, rolling luggage just wouldn’t cut it. And I’ll be damned if I’m carrying a duffel bag around on my shoulder for miles!
If you go the backpack route, there’s a few options. I’ve seen a duffel bag with backpack straps built into the back. Nifty. But I think more of a gimmick than a long-term solution.
Top-Loading or Front-Loading?
There’s the top-loading packs, and there’s the front-loading packs. It’s really up to you to decide. I personally went with a front-loading pack, because the zipper gives access to all my belongings in one easy opening. I don’t have to pull everything out of the backpack to find a pair of shoes or sweater when the weather turns a bit nippy.
The Backpack I Chose
I really lucked out with my pack. It’s an 80L (yes, too big) MacPac Gemini, that I scored off my cousin who used it 4 years ago for their tour around Europe. Sure 80L is a lot to carry (and I’m regretting filling the pack already), but I got it pretty cheap.
* flickr image credit (cc)