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Being equipped properly bags & clothes galore

mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
Yes I've read threads, I've looked around, I've asked around and I'm one confused person (ah but who isn't?).

I really want to try a small bout of traveling, it won't be RTW but it will give me a taste of doing RTW and if its for me, shoot I love seeing new things but sometimes I just make things a bit too cumbersome for myself unintentionally ;). I will be traveling mostly the USA at first, maybe a little bit of Canada, and will spend a couple months in Europe (mainly Germany & Switzerland) for the first time at some point in late winter 2012.

Well anyway I am 5'4" and a bit stout (I hope to change the stout part) so a huge backpack is a bad idea I think. I did a couple trips in 2010, one to NYC and one to Honolulu, I took a 21" carryon roller with me and I found some challenges, the luggage itself is expandable but isn't recommended to maintain the 21" factor in order to be airline compliant and not have to pay to check it.

I was fortunate on BOTH Of my trips to not have to pay even though I had to check my luggage for most of my trips. Every gate agent would eyeball it and they'd just put a gate check tag on it, only once they could not check it because the plane was within 2 minutes of departing so I got to stow it in a closet. And on another flight I was actually able to put it in the overhead bins despite agents telling me it wouldn't fit but that was the whole reason why I bought it!


I feel that in order to make my "tryout" more successful is to have better and more proper equipment for what I'm trying to accomplish. I have seen awesome backpacks with a variety of features, and I really like the daypack option because then you're not toting two bags all the time like I currently do with my carryon roller and laptop bag.

I saw another thread about someone who wanted to make their backpack extremely airline complaint as different airlines have different rules, I don't see how one can fit all they need in less than 30L but I suppose that depends on what kind of travel they want to do. I actaully find carryon luggage to be more reasonable than checked luggage I can check in online/at kiosks and go through security and talk to a minimal amount of humans that are so disruptive (TSA).


So here's what I want to do whether or not it is realistic I guess I will find out and will pare down based on results: My Goal: travel long term RTW regardless of the seasons barring any hazardous weather (hurricanes, tornadoes, etc), I probably will be more of an urban traveler more so than a wilderness traveler due to my walking disability so that should also be a deciding factor on backpacks.

I want to try to find a bag 40-50L (so I guess I wouldn't fly on Ryanair in that case unless I want to check my luggage, which on the other hand I guess isn't so bad is it?). If I am going to check my luggage regularly, I might as well get me a decent 65-85L bag which are the bags that are more likely to come with a daypack and rain cover (I kind of think a rain cover is important especially if I will have a netbook and a DSLR and other small electronics).

Some of the 65-85L bags even have wheels on them, so weight issues could be mitigated by converting to wheeled luggage when I can no longer support the weight on my body. My delima with either going <50L or 65L> is how much I can bring with me or how much I will be able to carry? I have found that my 21" roller is about 46L it does not carry enough clothes for 4-5 days to accommodate all 4 seasons (remember if I'm going to travel through a variety of seasons, I'd rather have it all on me than having to buy it and then toss it I'd like to minimize waste really). I can sometimes get cold easily, so layering would have to be done though I am not used to doing that I am used to picking the clothpiece that suits my needs based on how cold/warm it is. (and I don't mind layering if someone would tell me what to get and what to put over it).

The smaller 40-50L bags do not seem to commly come with a daypack option, alternatively I could buy a wheeled rucksack/backpack with no daypack option and use my existing laptop bag but then that defeats the point now does it? I can't wear both backpacks at the same time, and one will always have to be wheeled so I might as well keep my 21" carryon roller for that purpose but then again it doesn't fit everything I need to clothe for all 4 seasons.

II'll ask about clothing needs in the next post cuz this one is long enough

mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
I've been looking around casually at travel clothing and I've found some interesting stuff whether or not I need them is another issue. I have done a little bit of reading about wool and nylon varieties of clothing materials as they are either keep you warm & fast drying or keep you cool and fast drying, etc.

Doing laundry efficiently is a concern to me, while here in the US we have dryers (I know Europe has some dryers but they prefer the clothe line/rack which is cool too :)). I don't want to bring/wash clothes that are going to be hard to dry or take a long time to dry so denim is definitely something I'd like to avoid (and I might save space if I don't tug along denim, although having at least 1 pair would be good).

I've seen tshirts that are of a nylon/twill or some kind of mix or nylon/cotton mix (my understanding is that less cotton = faster drying time and less perspiration remains on your clothing while perspiring. What does a Nylon tshirt feel like? I don't think I've ever felt one before, I've felt nylon hoses (for women but I am not a woman so making a shirt out of that would be kinda silly :P) .

I have some pretty decent clothes for cool/cold weather but some of them can be rather thick and prevent any true layering. I have a really nice cotton/fleece zippered hoodie its not as thick as my chamois dress shirt (I LOVE that shirt! but dry time for that is ungodly!).

Well anyway my point boils down to this: I'm looking to create a travel only wardrobe from head to toe, rain-gear would be nice but to me that sounds cumbersome as some mentioned in other threads I do have a pretty small umbrella I know I will be taking with me no buts about that! So it would be important to get pants/trousers that would not get as wet as denim jeans would. I have a pair of "wind breaker-like" cargo/convertible pants to shorts but I don't like the materials and I have bad experience sliding off leather or plastic seats with those!

mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
Oh, and I don't know the rules for links, etc but backcountry.com is having a sale and so are some of the other backpack/sporting goods websites so this is why I ask the questions. I won't necessarily get all on one go but the backpack would be a good start.

Edit/add: Also while I probably can carry more on my back than I can lift it (say I want to get it on the bus roof in South America someday...) that could be problematic. Wheels are not necessary if I can be assured I can pack reasonably light, actually the Eagle Creek Exploration system 3 weighs in about 12lbs empty.

I just want to have 3 main features: enough room, capable of lashings on the outside, rain cover and daypack.

Mama-to-many

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
You don't want a big bag. End of story.
I carried a 65l pack and I don't want to do it again. But I was carrying gear for myself and two kids aswell - including sleeping bags and four-seasons clothing. Our temperatures ranged from over 50 degrees celsius to well below zero. If I can fit gear for three into a 65l pack, you can get it into a 35l!

Here's what I'd take:

underwear and socks x3
quick dry long pants x2
quick dry shorts x2 (or x1 if one of your longs are zip-off)
merino tshirt x2
longsleeve merino shirt x2
fleece vest (optional)
fleece jacket
lightweight rain jacket (others would skip this, but I used mine plenty, and it'll keep you warmer than an umbrella when you get to really cold places!!)
Keens Newport sandals (good for everything from trekking to snow walking with two pairs of socks - experience speaks here)
flipflops (optional)
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mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
Mama-to-many wrote:You don't want a big bag. End of story.
I carried a 65l pack and I don't want to do it again. But I was carrying gear for myself and two kids aswell - including sleeping bags and four-seasons clothing. Our temperatures ranged from over 50 degrees celsius to well below zero. If I can fit gear for three into a 65l pack, you can get it into a 35l!

Here's what I'd take:

underwear and socks x3
quick dry long pants x2
quick dry shorts x2 (or x1 if one of your longs are zip-off)
merino tshirt x2
longsleeve merino shirt x2
fleece vest (optional)
fleece jacket
lightweight rain jacket (others would skip this, but I used mine plenty, and it'll keep you warmer than an umbrella when you get to really cold places!!)
Keens Newport sandals (good for everything from trekking to snow walking with two pairs of socks - experience speaks here)
flipflops (optional)


I don't particularly like vests, so what would you put in place of a vest? hoodie? As for fleece jacket, can you recommend one? They come in variety of thickness so that's something of concern same with the rain jacket. I have two jackets here, one is columbia the other is more of a denim jacket/hoodie kind of thing, my columbia jacket is canvas and does well in rain not water proof.

I'll check out newport sandals, but I'm limited ot what shoes I can wear for heavy duty (including snow & trekking for my feet are heavy duty) I wear MBTs they compound the shock absorptive so much I can't tell my feet are pounding the ground as much.

What kind of quick drying pants do you recommend? if you say 35L then its reasonable to go 40L except I'd want a daypack as well, I don't want to have to carry two separate bags when transiting via train, plane, taxi whatever but maybe I'd be better off not going the backpack route and using my existing 21" (46L) roller which can't be backpacked.

mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
Looked at some Merlino at backcountry.com, I know what to get as far as that goes... I'm gonna wait till I head up to Portland to see REI :)

Little J

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
You know, you don't have to fill and carry the daypack separately. What I do is take an REI Women's Traverse Pack which has a capacity of 30 L, which I then fill with my gear. I pack half of the pants of the previous commenter. I put a Sea to Summit keyring bag (currently a shopping tote, but I have used others in the line) inside, all compressed and keychain sized. When I get to my destination, I remove that tote and it becomes my daypack for traveling around while the Traverse Pack lives at the hotel/hostel/CS host.

When it is time to move on, I empty the daypack. Repack my pack. And off I go.

The Traverse Pack fits comfortably underneath all the airline seats I have encountered.

I'm 5'2".

By the way, there is nothing "Women's" about the Traverse Womens pack. Except the color of some of them is burgundy, but older and newer ones are green and blue.

mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
Little J wrote:You know, you don't have to fill and carry the daypack separately. What I do is take an REI Women's Traverse Pack which has a capacity of 30 L, which I then fill with my gear. I pack half of the pants of the previous commenter. I put a Sea to Summit keyring bag (currently a shopping tote, but I have used others in the line) inside, all compressed and keychain sized. When I get to my destination, I remove that tote and it becomes my daypack for traveling around while the Traverse Pack lives at the hotel/hostel/CS host.

When it is time to move on, I empty the daypack. Repack my pack. And off I go.

The Traverse Pack fits comfortably underneath all the airline seats I have encountered.

I'm 5'2".

By the way, there is nothing "Women's" about the Traverse Womens pack. Except the color of some of them is burgundy, but older and newer ones are green and blue.


Never thought about using a keyring tote/bag for anything, that just gave me a brilliant idea, allow me to go shopping and carry stuff in it.

I don't know what kind of gear you pack, but here's what I'll pack:

1 10" netbook w/power supply (its not that big), wireless mini mouse and mini usb hub and portable DVDRW drive which is also pretty slim too
1 travel surge/extra outlets
1 monkey power battery recharger
1 Jabra bluetooth headset with optional usb to 3mm jack cable
1 Samsung Galaxytab (7 inch)

I also carry some extra equipment most people do not carry but those are pretty small, glasses case (unless I can find a bag that has a good/protective spot for glasses), glasses cleaning (I can use water, but this stuff works better than water since my glasses get dirty a lot) I also carry an FM system for my hearing aids which is quite small but needs quite a bit of protection as its fragile and then finally I also have a hearing aid dehumidifying kit which is a small cylinder container nothing else can be in it except my hearing aids of course but I know this will take up some space too.

I have some sea to summit products, their daypacks look interesting, if I could figure out how to pack everything I need in 46L (or 21") I would not need to buy a backpack and go with this setup and still be able to carry all my gear in my carryon roller, yours will fit under the seat mine will not which is/would be another good reason for a separate day pack so I can access my gear while my stuff stays in the bin cuz its annoying to bother cattle if I'm by the windows.

I dunno I kinda like the backpack idea for some reason.

halfnine

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
whether a pack fits as a carry-on on a plane is the least of my worries. Having one that I can fit between my legs on a bus, sit on in the back of a lorry, etc. is. So wheels are out and something durable and less than 50L is in.

If you have the money skip the fleece jacket and get synthetic fill. More compressible, warmer, lighter. Bring a warm hat and you are done. Ditch the rain jacket and take umbrella for light rain and a poncho for heavy rain as it will also keep half your pants and entire pack dry.

mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
halfnine wrote:whether a pack fits as a carry-on on a plane is the least of my worries. Having one that I can fit between my legs on a bus, sit on in the back of a lorry, etc. is. So wheels are out and something durable and less than 50L is in.

If you have the money skip the fleece jacket and get synthetic fill. More compressible, warmer, lighter. Bring a warm hat and you are done. Ditch the rain jacket and take umbrella for light rain and a poncho for heavy rain as it will also keep half your pants and entire pack dry.


50L isn't much bigger than what I have now, so if I went 55L I could be happy, you know I have never had my luggage lost by the airlines, I'm not saying it won't happen to me because I'd be a fool if I thought that and I know ANYTHING can happen but maybe it would be worth checking my luggage when it comes to airline travel? (and if I get lucky maybe I'll get it on the plane if they have room otherwise I wouldn't plan on it).

Can you recommend which materials are considered synthetic fill? Money is not an issue, so if that means getting all my clothing with synthetic fill for fast drying/warmth/lighter, etc I'd rather go that route. Is Merlino wool enough of a synthetic fill?

mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 25th, 2011
EDIT

the backpack I saw isn't gonna work, Asolo doesn't offer men's/unisex in 60L or less, only 70L or more and the 60L or less are for women only so scratch that.

halfnine

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  • Added on: February 25th, 2011
mynetdude wrote: 50L isn't much bigger than what I have now, so if I went 55L I could be happy


The biggest issue with how well a bag this size compresses into small spaces is the hipbelt. I prefer more minimal padded ones for this reason. It isn't much of a drawback because I am not wearing the pack all day anyway.

Can you recommend which materials are considered synthetic fill?

here.

You can also get more generic ones for a lot cheaper. I take my 40 dollar one traveling and my 200 dollar one when climbing.

MrPlow42

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  • Added on: February 25th, 2011
I find it difficult to conceive of being able to pack clothes for warm and cold weather, for more than a few days and still fit as a carry-on unless you limit yourself to one pair of shoes, no electronics and doing laundry every day. Even then, it would be tight for me.

When I use checked luggage I carry 3 pieces: a roller suitcase, a carry-on backpack, and a laptop bag. I split my stuff between checked and carry-on because I don't want to lose all my stuff at once. Yes, it's a pain waiting for checked luggage. It's more of a pain losing everything but the laptop bag. The suitcase gets checked, even though it's carry-on size, because it's harder to steal from.

My backpack is one in name only. That is, it's designed to be worn for a kilometer or so before it gets too uncomfortable. I can handle it from the plane to ground transport. If I were walking longer than that I'd get something with proper straps and a waist belt, trading comfort for less space.

Cube Dreamer

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  • Added on: February 25th, 2011
Mama to Many -

I just checked out the Keen Newport Sandles you mentioned and they may be the solution to what I am looking for (sandle and sneaker in one). We plan to travel in a variety of climates (warm and cold) through south america and I would love to go this route to save some space.

My only question is how you keep your feet dry when you "walk through snow" or trek through a jungle. I am bringing smartwool socks so am comfortable I can keep warm on that front. Do you think I could just put plastic bags on top of the socks if I need water protection?

Thanks for the suggestion!!

mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 25th, 2011
halfnine wrote:
mynetdude wrote: 50L isn't much bigger than what I have now, so if I went 55L I could be happy


The biggest issue with how well a bag this size compresses into small spaces is the hipbelt. I prefer more minimal padded ones for this reason. It isn't much of a drawback because I am not wearing the pack all day anyway.

Can you recommend which materials are considered synthetic fill?

here.

You can also get more generic ones for a lot cheaper. I take my 40 dollar one traveling and my 200 dollar one when climbing.


Good points, I will mostly be using the pack to move my stuff (the big one) from hostel/hotel/CSer to train/bus/plane/lorry whatever or short walks from point A to point B. I don't climb, so that really isn't an issue but a bag that holds up and takes punishment is one to consider.

Thanks for the link :)


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