I've got a bit of a girly dilema!! I'm off for ten months rtw and will be doing a trek/tour in China, spending 7 months between oz and nz and then doing another organised trek/tour thingy in S.America. Both the treks are organised and our big backpacks will be transported for us when we go on day walks. Can I get by with a shoulder bag - now I'm not talking of a handbag more of a medium sized canvas type shoulder bag that I can tighten so it can be close to me or loosen and wear more casually. I was thinking that as long as I can get my raincoat, personal bits;money, passport etc and maybe a bottle of water then that should do me. I'd much rather take a shoulder bag than a day-sack you see.
Does anyone have any experience of going on these organised treks/group tours? Was it essential to have a day-sack or can you just take a shoulder bag? My boyfriend will have his back-pack and so things like the first aid kit can go in there. What do people think?
Hope someone can give me their opinion!
I see the dilemma. I reckon a daysack would be much more practical. What would I know tho, being a man?
Fellow girl here, and I'd say take a rucksack. In fact, I've just bought one today for my own travels (the last one fell apart from overuse!). I can see your point as its a bit of a pain hauling a backpack everywhere but once you've put all your stuff in there...camera, guide book, bottle of water, etc. it'll get pretty heavy and then having two shoulder straps becomes invaluable! I'm planning on taking a small, light, foldable bag with me too (like a beach bag or something) for if I go out on the town (a backpack doesn't really go with heels!) but generally will be using a backpack. Generally, they have double zips too so you can padlock them and not worry about your gear, rather than looking over your shoulder over the time to make sure you're not being robbed!
I like to take a triangle pack. These are like backpacks, the only difference being that they have only one strap that goes diagonally around your body. You can carry these packs in front of you or on your back, which is their big advantage. When you carry your backpack or have to watch out for thieves the triangle pack goes front, otherwise it is just like a backpack. They are available in leather and can be very stylish and comfortable.
I also like to take my normal handbag with a small, very light foldable day-sack. The day-sack is just large enough that my handbag fits into it if I get tired of carrying the thing on the shoulder straps. I also have the daysack to store small purchases I tend to make on my outings. The reasons I take the handbag is that I tend to stick out less if I take it. A backpack on a grown woman can scream "tourist" in some areas. A handbag is also easier to watch, you just pull it slightly in front of you. Try that with a backpack! I should also mention that my usual handbag is just the right size to carry a one-litre bottle of water, a sandwich and some fruit, the Lonely Planet guide book or a normal paperback, a rainjacket and a change of undies plus wallet, mobile phone and usual trinkets. That is what I take with me almost everywhere, because at home I simply refuse to abandon the habits I got from my travels.
Ok, I am a man, but I'd say: consider buying a daypack. If you're really going on treks and stuff, even if your big bags will be transported for you, you 'll find that there's enough you want close to you (papers, money, water, camera, raincoat). A shoulderbag, or even the suggested triangular bag has one big disadvantage over its trendy look and compatability with the heels: it has only one strap. I reckon you're not doing the trek on heels, but even if you wear boots that single strap is going to strain that one shoulder. When walking all day, even with only a kg or two in it, you'll start to beg for a small backpack with two straps very soon! And being a girl, you'll probably like shopping (or am I being a typical prejudiced guy now? ), so I'm sure you won't mind buyin a nice bag when you arrive in nz or so, when there is less walking involved...
I must admit: when I left for South Africa for half a year, i took both a daypack for all the hiking I do, and I took a crumpler shoulder bag (those sturdy, canvas things with an extra strap to secure it tightre to your body ) for daily use in the city. Here in Johannesburg it is sometimes more than advisdable to have your bag on the front side where you can see it, and wearing a daypack on the chest just screams TOURIST :p
uhm, I'm not sure if this helps in any way in making the decision, but enjoy your trip anyway!!
i agree with chix and take a day pack, but then take a foldable bag (like a beach bag) for if u go out and dont wanna take ur day pack. 2 straps are defiantly better and they are also completly hands free...whenever i have a one strap bag, i end up holding onto it, so it doesnt fall off, get stolen etc etc, so then only have one hand free to take pics, hold hand rails, etc.
Thanks I'm going to take my day pack! You're all right in saying that I'll appreciate two straps when I'v been walking round all day - I have a little cloth bag that would fit passport and money in so if I do get taken out in the evening I can use that.
Thanks for helping me out!