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1. Posted by billyboy33 (Budding Member 8 posts) 2y

Any recommendations for back pack size for six months around new Zealand and oz?? was looking at 75l ones is this too much or not enough please help!! also would any one take a small back pack as well for day trips etc?? sorry first time all new to me!

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2422 posts) 2y

I travel independently for indefinite periods (several months at a time) via hotels/hostels through 3 climates with a 46 litre carry-on size backpack with LOTS of room left over - all the cinch straps are yanked to their tightest dimensions so the backpack is really only about 35 litres.

That's including a set of nice clothes to crash an Embassy party or high-end club, normal day-to-day casual and hiking wear, beach clothes, personal hygiene products and everything else you need to be safe/comfortable plus a laptop, digital still/video package and all the peripherals.
I have a separate daypack that fits inside the backpack, or stays with me with all the essentials when the backpack is in an overhead bin, etc.

It's easily doable and you'll see LOTS of experienced backpackers doing the same - or even lighter. Seeing other travellers - especially smaller women - struggle with 60 - 70+ litre backpacks (sometimes with extra daypacks!) is insane.

Going light makes sense to me because it allows me to keep my backpack with me (almost) all the time - it's carry-on size for aircraft, it doesn't need to be checked into the baggage space under the bus where it's out of my sight and out of my control - and it's obviously way easier/faster to navigate a crowded train aisle, keep with me inside the taxi, stow in a small boat, fit into a tuk-tuk, onto the back of a motorcycle and a million other situations.

Everyone's needs/requirements are different though... different strokes for different folks...

Good luck with your research and have fun shopping.

Cheers
Terry

3. Posted by Borisborough (Respected Member 429 posts) 2y

What Terry says!

A 70 litre pack can carry lots of stuff but it'll weigh something like 15-18kg when fully packed and you don't really want to be carrying that around with you all the time. I have seen someone advise travellers to lay out all the stuff they want to take, put half of it away and then get a pack big enough to carry the rest.

If you're coming to Oz & NZ soon, you won't need tons of warm clothing - t-shirt and shorts during the day and a jumper for the evenings - easy to pack!

Whatever you decide, enjoy your trip.:)

4. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 2y

Haha I love these sort of threads. There is always this brigade of people that think they have to show how amazing they are because they travel with only carry on luggage. Some of them have different needs from you and some are just outright lying, because this is the internet and this is the only place they can try to impress someone.

These days traveling with only carry on baggage means, no toiletries are going with you. No shampoo, no soap, no toothpaste, no liquids period. It can become a real pain in the rear, if you have a number of flights. Its not that big a deal to check baggage and pick it up. Travel is about the experiences you have, not about rushing around as fast as you can with a day bag.

having said that 75l is really on the big side. I have a 55l and I can usually keep the weight down to 15kg with hiking boots, a rain coat and other essentials, for New Zealand.

New Zealand, even in summer, can mean needing to be dressed for all seasons, sometimes all in the same day!

5. Posted by Borisborough (Respected Member 429 posts) 2y

Quoting Dodger

These days traveling with only carry on baggage means, no toiletries are going with you. No shampoo, no soap, no toothpaste, no liquids period.

This is not actually true! Carry-on only means you can't take scissors or a swiss-army knife but it certainly doesn't mean you can't take soap, shampoo and toothpaste - these items were definitely allowed in carry-on baggage from Auckland to Sri Lanka via Singapore in July this year. But then these items can be bought in most places in the world anyway so not travelling with them is hardly a hinderance.

In November - March, New Zealand is warm (unless you're climbing to the top of Aoraki/Mt Cook) but not necessarily dry. Heavy, bulky, warm clothes aren't required but a long raincoat isn't going to fill out a pack-pack and weigh more than a hundred grammes or so. And it would be advisable to wear the heavy hiking boots and carry the lighter training shoes when moving about rather than carrying the hiking boots.

6. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 640 posts) 2y

Travelling light isn't mainly about avoiding baggage reclaim, though even there the gain is more about reducing lost or damaged luggage than time saving.

It's really about not being tied to a giant heap of stuff to lug around with difficulty every time you move on.

If you want to carry giant bottles of shampoo around, go right ahead, but I'll just take a small one and be more comfortable - I'd sooner enjoy travel than make it an ordeal.

7. Posted by tatianaabreu (Budding Member 86 posts) 2y

I have always travelled with a 35l backpack, even for longer periods of time (3-6 months). It perfectly covers my needs, but i am quite minimalist when carrying my possessions: enough clothes for 1 or 2 weeks (i wash them often while travelling), hiking shoes and flip-flops, toiletries (and yes, you can take them in a carry-on baggage, at least the miniature items), a towel, a sleeping bag, some books, my juggling balls, chargers and adapters, sometimes gifts for the locals.

I also carry with me a small daypack (10l, easily attachable to the 35l backpack) where i put my photographic equipment, cell phone, travel guides & maps, water and the more important stuff.
In case i am travelling with a low-cost company that doesn't allow two carry-on luggage, the smaller daypack fits into the bigger one, but i usually have to wear my hiking shoes and warmest jacket in order to make space during the control.

As a 23 year-old girl (50kg) i almost never feel that it's tiring or unpleasant to carry 35-45l, unless when i am hiking for more than 3-4hours. In daily hikes, i prefer to just carry the 10l daypack.

[ Edit: Edited on 21-Nov-2013, at 03:39 by tatianaabreu ]

8. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 2y

Quoting Borisborough

Quoting Dodger

These days traveling with only carry on baggage means, no toiletries are going with you. No shampoo, no soap, no toothpaste, no liquids period.

This is not actually true! Carry-on only means you can't take scissors or a swiss-army knife but it certainly doesn't mean you can't take soap, shampoo and toothpaste - these items were definitely allowed in carry-on baggage from Auckland to Sri Lanka via Singapore in July this year. But then these items can be bought in most places in the world anyway so not travelling with them is hardly a hinderance.

In November - March, New Zealand is warm (unless you're climbing to the top of Aoraki/Mt Cook) but not necessarily dry. Heavy, bulky, warm clothes aren't required but a long raincoat isn't going to fill out a pack-pack and weigh more than a hundred grammes or so. And it would be advisable to wear the heavy hiking boots and carry the lighter training shoes when moving about rather than carrying the hiking boots.

No that is actually not true. The rule is no more than 100ml of any liquid or gel and no more than a total liquid and gel that will fit in a 1 quart zip lock bag. Finding shampoo in a 100ml isn't easy when in Asia and I guess I should have been more clear when I said soap, I mean shower gel which also isn't easy to find in 100ml. Congratulations for getting your stuff through 3 airports, but most travelers are taking a lot more flights than that on a their trips and some airports are stricter than others. Yes you can find these things, but Id rather be spending my travel time looking at sights then constantly shopping for toiletries.

Between carrying a light weight fleece,(Sorry but NZ is not always warm during those months, Ive had some freezing times, when I wanted to wear every bit of clothing I had, plus once it's wet, you need something else to put on.) a rain coat, and boots, your carry on bag is now pretty much full. I've tried your suggestion of wearing my boots to the airport and its the most uncomfortable experience, since now you have to wear them at every airport you travel through including all those steaming hot ones in Asia. Not only that but then you are stuck with hiking boots on long haul flights kicking around on the plane.

All for what? So you can rush through an airport and save 30 mins. Or because like Andy you are so paranoid that out of the millions of pieces of luggage that go through airport check ins everyday, YOURS will be the one that goes missing or gets damaged. If you are that paranoid maybe travel isn't for you and you'd be more comfortable staying at home. :)

9. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 640 posts) 2y

I've had a bag lost (Toronto-Manchester, turned up a week later) and also had one wrecked (Montego Bay, where they appeared to drop a cargo net full of cases from a great height).

So is it paranoia or good sense?

As for the mystery of finding toiletries bottles, in my travel kit are two 75ml acrylic bottles which i refill with shampoo and mouthwash. That much shampoo lasts me weeks. Plenty for moving around - if I'm staying somewhere a while I'll buy a bigger mouthwash. Can't say i ever found a need to fly with bigger amounts - I'd sooner bin a few remaining ml.

But then we're all different. I just prefer not to feel I'm owned by my stuff.

10. Posted by Borisborough (Respected Member 429 posts) 2y

Quoting Andyf

But then we're all different. I just prefer not to feel I'm owned by my stuff.

Spot on, Andyf, And clearly Dodger does things his own way. That's fine by me but not necessarily the best advice to the casual traveller, I know what I can and can't get away with at an airport and I also enjoy walking through the odd shop or two in a foreign city (especially to see how much a bottle of the local brew will set me back!) so buying more soap or shampoo is not a problem.

Seven days to go and then South America here we come!:)