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11. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 403 posts) 10y

I carry an 80 which weighs just under 15 kg.. I like the room for optional gear (and I carry a lot of it sometimes), but I have traveled with a 35 many times.

12. Posted by scotty85 (Full Member 88 posts) 10y

i have bought myself a northface 100+25 for my year trip to oz think tht should be enough but a 35l sounds fine for your short trip.

13. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 10y

PS - muchos respect to Gelli for taking a 26l bag on a 15 month trip! Now that's travelling light...

Simple Practice.

When I first started travelling when I was really young, I had a 65ish l bag plus a 20-30l daysack, and more or less carried around the kitchen sink with me. I slowly realised what I did and didn't need/use, and rapidly came down in size. You always carry waaaay to much junk. I admit it's smaller than most get away with, but it works for me and gives me many advantages of not looking so obvious amongst others.

And it's not a game. Travel with what you are comfortable with, not something really small (or big) just because you think you have to, or because others do/tell you to.

14. Posted by aleah (Full Member 400 posts) 10y

Hi there,

I'm looking for a backpack with 40-50l space. Perfect would be a travelpack with a zipper. Does anyone know a brand which produces this kind of bags? (most of them start at 50+10, and that is to big for me) I don't really like the "top-loaders", as I tend to have problems finding my stuff.

Thanks in advance
kat

15. Posted by LauraMC (Inactive 30 posts) 10y

a lot of people from Canada go to Mountain Equipment Co-op. Check out www.mec.ca as they might have a bag that you're looking for. Alternately, REI out of the U.S. is similar to MEC.

16. Posted by philo (Full Member 107 posts) 10y

I have a 55l pack, which I need to change before I go away, as the back padding is good, but it has no breathing space! I was walking round London with it, in the scorching heat, and my shirt was soaked by the end of the day.

I do some mountaineering, so the weight doesnt bother me, its more the heat that it generates, so for 2 months in Vietnam, I'm thinking a better fitting, ventilated 55l pack will be perfectly fine as I'll be moving round a lot. I can always buy another bag when I'm there.

17. Posted by nichoco (Budding Member 22 posts) 9y

Quoting Gelli

PS - muchos respect to Gelli for taking a 26l bag on a 15 month trip! Now that's travelling light...

Simple Practice.

When I first started travelling when I was really young, I had a 65ish l bag plus a 20-30l daysack, and more or less carried around the kitchen sink with me. I slowly realised what I did and didn't need/use, and rapidly came down in size. You always carry waaaay to much junk. I admit it's smaller than most get away with, but it works for me and gives me many advantages of not looking so obvious amongst others.

And it's not a game. Travel with what you are comfortable with, not something really small (or big) just because you think you have to, or because others do/tell you to.

I also have travelled extensively.I think that unless you are well off financially ,you will have to take camping gear etc to Europe and other expensive countries.Anybody can travel with a small pack if they can afford hotels backpackers etc. If you are from a poor country or a country who has a poor exchange rate,ie South Africa, even if you are middle class there to travel in Europe is extremely expensive and not possible for long periods without camping, cooking your own food etc.If Gelli would post a list of what he took on his trip and where he stayed and how he travelled, ie train bus hitchhicked etc, and the costs then that would be a more accurate account of travelling with a small pack for 15 months.Also what were the temperatures of the places he travelled to.Did he carry a mosquito net etc. Did he buy water and then throw away the plastic containers or use a pump or water treatment of some sort.Did he ever borrow anything from somebody because he didn't have the item.This will help in determanning what size you need for your pack.

18. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

Obviously what you need to take depends upon your personal circumstances, finances and destinations. If you will be camping extensively, then you will obviously be carrying more and taking camping gear. However, to site one of your examples, if you are in Europe and essentially doing mostly big cities, camping isn't always particularly practical anyway, as camping places aren't easy to reach or central and you can spend more getting to/from the places than on a cheap hostel. Agree on cooking your own food where possible though (although not so much that you miss out on local cuisine, which is a major part of a trip).

If Gelli would post a list of where he stayed and how he travelled, i.e train bus hitchhicked etc, and the costs then that would be a more accurate account of travelling with a small pack for 15 months.

Heck, why not?

At a very rough guess I would say that I spent about 15,000usd total over the 15months, which included all visas, tickets (nothing was bought in advance, so no discounts there, and obviously includes no plane tickets etc or return tickets which may also bring savings), insurance etc as well as a camera and MP3 player before I left.

15000 for 15months does sound quite high, I admit. However, the total cost was pushed up fairly extensively on some bits which wouldn't generally be part of a normal trip of the same legnth - These include a full 3months travelling around Japan, a somewhat expensive couple of weeks in Hong Kong, some medical expenses not covered by insurance, 2 major weddings, a couple of personal problems which led to some major phone bills (over 400usd or so in a 10day period on payphones), and also a 3 week period in Germany (inc tickets) for the football World Cup. In addition, for assorted reasons I doubled back on several occassions - some places more than once - and also had to make a few wildly illogical detours which all pushed the price up. For example, I travelled from Ho Chi Minh to Lao via Bejing, about a 10day detour and significantly more expensive than any normal route.

If you discount much of that "extra stuff" (assuming maybe a month total in Japan and HK) the total would probably fall down to about 7500usd, at a guess, for 12months, which from other posts on here and elsewhere, would seem to be a less than average budget for a similar trip of that time frame.

how he travelled, i.e train bus hitchhicked etc

I am a surface traveller, thus everything was train, bus or ferry. I tend to hitch hike quite allot, although on this trip I only did a bit of hitch hiking in Eastern Europe, plus a chunk in Japan and a bit in Korea. I only paid for (fixed location) accomodation about half of the time, mostly in Hostels (or cheap hotels in SEA where hostels don't really exist). For the rest of the time, I spent a good number of nights travelling, did a chunk of couchsurfing, and also stayed with some friends, plus a few nights in more random types of accom, especially in Japan. Also on 10-12 occasions, I camped out/roughed it, and whilst it would have been good to have a sleeping bag etc for some of those, it certainly wasn't worth carrying stuff for the rest of the time.

Also what were the temperatures of the places he travelled to. Did he carry a mosquito net etc. Did he buy water and then throw away the plastic containers or use a pump or water treatment of some sort.This will help in determanning what size you need for your pack.

I started off at home in April in Northern Sweden (yes, cold!) although then left my coat with friends in Europe. I was in Japan in late autumn (chilly), Korea in Early winter (snow and sub zero) and then Beijing and Northern China in winter (colder still). Admittedly i'm used to cold weather so know how to adapt and deal with it. I survived in Japan and Korea without any extra clothing, (essentially wearing all my potential layers all the time). Then in China, I bought a thick winter coat for about 30usd which i carried/wore until i got to warmer climes before donating it.

I didn't carry a mozzie net, or any water pump/treatment, instead as is my norm, drunk tap/fresh water etc where approximately safe (i.e. E Europe, parts of Russia Japan and Korea etc), but in most of Russia, China and SEA bought bottled water.

Did he ever borrow anything from somebody because he didn't have the item.

Sure you borrow things every now and again, although I honestly don't recall any times off-hand that I borrowed anything major/large that I specifically wasn't carrying. I found that people actually borrowed stuff off me - admittedly small and seemingly silly stuff like glue, elastic bands, sellotape and pens - significantly more often.

The only exception to this would be guidebooks. I started with a Russian one, which i left with a friend in Japan, where i replaced it with a Japan guide borrowed from the same friend. At the end of my time in Japan, i then gave that back and bought a Chinese one which I then carried for the rest of my trip. For all other countries I was guidebook-less, relying on internet, other travellers experiences and ideas, my own knowledge, and reading/looking at other peoples/hostel guidebooks etc.

If Gelli would post a list of what he took on his trip

I'm not sure i've ever done a full list before (actually, i might have done it before on here), so i'll probably miss some stiff out, but it goes something like this:

Walking shoes, sandals, 2 pairs trousers (zip offs which become shorts), extra pair shorts, fleece, 2x long sleeved tops, 5 t-shirts, 5 pairs underwear, 4pair socks, pyjamas, hat/gloves, cap. Fold out day sack, 1 guide book (which changed), 2-3 books (swapped numerous times on route), MP3 player, mobile phone (each with chargers, and with 1 plug adapter), speakers for MP3 player, camera and extra memory card, floppy-disk, 3 CDs for installation plus camera manual, journal (at times, 2, until a finished one had been posted home), small pocket atlas and small photo album, enamel mug, tea bags, Sheet sleeping bag, travel towel, sunglasses, small medical kit, basic toiletries, deodorant, mozzie repellent, tiger balm, malaria pills, small welsh flag, large communist flag (long story, but it was given to me en route) 2x water bottles (disposable ones, but of the hard plastic recyclable type that can be reused many times). Most of that was kept in netted-bags or carrier/zip lock bags.

Then assorted smaller miscellaneous bits - duct tape, sellotape, glue stick, elastic bands, some empty zip lock and carrier bags, serval packs of disposable tissues, wet wipes, half a dozen pens/pencils, highlighter pen, 2small notebooks, diary, small post-it notes, watch, torch, pack of playing cards, 4 small padlocks, 4 or 5 bicycle toe-straps, keys, 2 wallets and a money belt with money/cards, swiss army knife, length of rope, copies of my passport, visa pages and insurance etc, some photocopied pages from guidebooks or on-line prints scaled down and trimmed and normally a few CDs of music (bought)/photos (Downloaded) and also all my travel tickets to that point, that i would periodically post home. I would normally also have a few snacks or bits of food, plus some sweets and chewing gum, and probably a few bits that i've forgotten.

Of this, I was obviously always wearing at least a minimum set of clothes and had a few bits always on my person (swiss army knife, 1 small notebook and pen, rope [normally], watch, phone, money belt and 1 of the wallets). Everything else was inside the bag excepting the fleece if not worn (in the bungees on the back of my bag), one pair of footwear and the water bottles, which were outside the bag in its pockets. My expandable daysack could be used as well when i had extra stuff (i.e. i'd just bought provisions for a trip) or i was going on a journey where my main bag would be separated from me.

Cripes, that sounds a heck of a lot, doesn't it?!!! You wouldn't believe that all fitted in my bag and I also normally had a bit of free space as well!

[ Edit: Edited at Nov 12, 2006 7:54 AM by Gelli ]

19. Posted by nichoco (Budding Member 22 posts) 9y

Thanks for the detailed reply.It really helps having all this information so i and others can look what is taken in what curcumstances.I am always looking at what others carry,don't carry, and ajust what i take.Also getting information about gear or tempurature or whats available in places that i haven't been helps greatly with my planning.This web site is one of the best around,Thanks again.

20. Posted by Budai (Respected Member 506 posts) 9y

Gelli tt was really enlightening, thx a lot. Planning my gap yr solo backpacking trip to Indochina now, so it really helped. Flying to Phnom PEnh on the 29th, and checkin the gear now....

Im thinking 30 litres with my Deuter Speed lite 30, which ive hauled around myanmar and taiwan... Should be sufficient for all e essentials and methinks its a great pack, really light and spacious.... Any advise would be greatly appreciated....