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South America - Backpack

Travel Forums Travel Gear South America - Backpack

1. Posted by Gurp007 (Budding Member 13 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hey, this is the first time I have written a thread and it is the first time I will be travelling alone so am new to this all (sorry if I ask really stupid questions). I will be travelling from Central America through to South America for at least 7 months (so from Sept09 to Apr10).

I am looking to buy a backpack that will accomodate the trip (so I presume 65/70L + 10L bag will be required) and had a first look at bags over the weekend. I was surprised to see pretty much all the bags have drawstring to close the bag as opposed to a metal clip of some sort, and am a bit worried about security. I thought I would be using a padlock to lock the bag, but after seeing the drawstring styles, am thinking someone can easily cut into the bag regardless.

Are there bags with metal clips to close the bag or do they all have threaded ties?

Also what bags do people recommend? So far I have only tried on Berghaus C7 65L +10 which felt nice, but as I mentioned, I am a novice when knowing what bag to go for.

Hope someone can help...!


2. Posted by Gurp007 (Budding Member 13 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hey - just wondering if anyone can help out please...?

3. Posted by flydown (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!


As for security there's not much you can do: as anyone here will tell you if someone wants to break into your backpack they will.
What you can do is to make the thief's life a bit more difficult.

For example, when needed, I use a retractable cable lock (with 4-digit code) to lock all clips together (I basically loop all the clips ans zips with the cable. It's not 100% safe (and in the end they can simply slice the backpack open), but it's ok for most situations.
To increase the level of security a tad more, you can wrap your backpack in a Pacsafe and lock it to something solid.

When checking my backpack in I put it in one of those transport covers made to keep your backpack clean while travelling. Mine has a lock so it provides an extra layer of security (however thin it is ;) ).

All that said, it's enough to pay attention to your backpack, especially in bus stations, airports and anywhere there's a whole lot of people coming and going. And when in a hostel either use the lockers they provide (if they do at all and if they're big enough to hold your backpack), or use a Pacsafe.
One more thing: keep all your valuables on you all of the time (in separate pockets+money belt), so even if they manage to open your backpack they will only find smelly socks... ;)

4. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

All I can add to flydown's excellent Post, is that I always wear a pair of trousers with lots of zipped pockets. Some at the front, others at the side and more on the back. I use the side pockets (usually quite low down the leg) for cash, cards, licence, passport and papers. For a tealeaf to get to them, they'd have to bend down quite low before they could un-do the zip.
So far.... Touch wood.

5. Posted by Gurp007 (Budding Member 13 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Great! Thanks for the info ppl - I am trying to decide between:

(1) Lowe Alpine Travel Trekker Pro 70+17
(2) MacPac Genesis 85
(3) MacPac Genesis AzTec 85
(4) MacPac Orient Express 65

Has anyone ever used these packs, and if so, which do they recommend?

Thanks :)

6. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

What's good for someone's back and shoulders - aint necessarily so for another's. You need to try them, all of them.
I've done so much backpacking over the years and seen two people with the same rucksack. One has just breezed along - and the other really suffering.