Backpack size for 7 and half month trip!
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Oct 28, 2012 3:50 AM Last Post By: battybilly
Oct 24, 2012 2:08 AM
Backpack size for 7 and half month trip!Hi, this is my first post and first time backpacking so any information will be appreciated!
Me and my girlfriend are traveling to Australia for 3weeks, New Zealand for 6 months and America for 3 weeks. I'm wondering what size backpack we will need to take? We have a bit of accommodation sorted out in all of these places through friends/family. Also seen as its my first time backpacking i haven't got a clue how much clothes i will need to take.
Can anyone help?
Oct 24, 2012 2:19 AM
Oct 24, 2012 5:37 AM
2Big +1 for Wigstan….I have the same attitude to packing…..I too usually take more for a long weekend than I do for a long trip!
However long I go away for, I never pack for more than a week as I’ll have to do some laundry at some point anyway, so why pack for longer and end up carrying a huge bag?
A 45l bag is way big enough for me now…for whatever length of trip. When I first started travelling, my bag was huge and over stuffed with never-to-be-used junk and inappropriate clothes……now it’s slimmed down to about 45l of essentials which has made my trips so much easier and more pleasurable.
So all you need is clothes for up to a week, some money, a passport and a book…. everything else is just junk that distracts you from what you’ve come to look at (and by that I mean bloody laptops, iPhones, and all the other pointless trash that shops have convinced you that you need to have a fulfilling life!).
Keep it small, pack light and you’ll be laughing all the way to the hostel when you see the rest of your fellow travellers buckling under the weight of 3 months worth of clean underpants and 4 different electrical devises that serve no useful purpose other than as a thief attractor.
Oct 24, 2012 3:21 PM
Oct 25, 2012 6:26 AM
4I've spent a lot of time in NZ. Recommend items for each of you: a good lightweight rain jacket, two fleece tops (one lightweight for walking, one a bit heavier for evenings), two pairs convertible trousers, a few polypro tops for walking, a good pair of walking shoes/boots, a pair of trainers as a change, a pair of flip flops. A warm hat, a sun hat, a pair of sunglasses. Board shorts and rash vest for swimming (stops you frying). That little lot should cope with everything NZ will throw at you.
a week's worth of underwear and socks, a few t-shirts, nightwear. Documents, medication, basic toiletries to start etc. Everything will be destroyed at the end of the trip with the possible exception of the rain jacket.
you can of course restock, but stuff is expensive in NZ.
things not to take: jeans, hairdryer, towel (provided or buy there),
Oct 25, 2012 4:07 PM
5The right size Backpack is the one that fits all your gear and fits YOU as well.
Take the advice from the above posters, lay out all the gear you NEED to take, not WANT to take and then go about finding the right size backpack.
If you can, visit a reputable outdoor store and get the Pack fitted to your body type by a professional.
Get used to the idea of wearing the same clothes for perhaps a few days....washing more often (the clothes) and picking up extra stuff as you go.
I spent 9 months in SEA this year with a 45L pack....warm climates, little to no rain. You may need a bit more space for where you're going....Living in NZ, I can tell you that 4 season's in one day is not just a Lyric from a Crowded House song.....be prepared for all sorts of weather in NZ.
Read up on layer systems for travel gear here - http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/a/11061/Introduction-to-Layered-Clothing-Systems
Forget PolyPro...it is old technology, smells after a while and loses it's shape quickly. Merino or Smart wool products are a better option and can be used in all climates. Yes, they are more expensive, but can be worn for multiple days, do not stink, wash and dry quickly, very lightweight and last ages if looked after.
IMHO the first things you should pack are a good, water proof jacket, good comfortable, broken in footwear that suits your travel style and planned adventures and a silk sleeping bag liner......fill in the rest from there. Don't increase weight and volume with unnecessary toiletries and 1st aid. Most of that can be bought on the way... OZ, NZ and USA will have everything you want to cover this.
Have a great trip.
Oct 26, 2012 2:52 AM
6ok, if you want to spend a lot more on walking tops that's fine - just had a look at mine and can't see what they are made of, but I did buy them in the UK. The crucial thing for NZ walks is that you don't wear cotton; gets damp, you get cold, doesn't dry quickly. So you want some sort of synthetic. Merino is supposed not be itchy but I tried the stuff on for a minute, that was enough for me. Personal, I suppose.
wearing the same clothes repeatedly on a multi day walk means you will smell, whatever.
yes, Oz and NZ sell toiletries etc, but you don't want to have to go shopping as soon as you arrive, and if you feel ill the last thing you want to do is to find a chemist. Hence my suggestion of a small pack of basic medications. In some of the places you visit there won't be a chemist anyway.
Oct 26, 2012 8:09 AM
7I agree that ultimaely you need to chose the size of backpack that is right for you. However, do not be afraid to think even smaller than you are. I travel significantly, sometimes for months at a time with a 35L backpack. Why? Because it meets every airlines carry-on guides, it's comfortable to carry, it's big enough to fit everything I need to take and small enough so that it is not a burden when I need to store it somewhere.
I'll offer you the same advice a wise, experienced travelling sage once taught me.
Prior to your trip lay out only the few things you think you'll absolutely need to take on your trip; then cut that amount in half. Then of that half, cut it in half again and that's what you should take.
Remember, you can always wash clothes, donate clothes and make purchases along the way.
Oct 26, 2012 10:00 AM
8Thanks for all your replies. They are very helpful and we need all the help we can get since its our first time! We just thought because we would be experiencing summer in Australia and winter ish months in New Zealand we would need to pack a lot. That doesn't seem the case, a good winter jacket and some trousers will be fine to be warm in the winter months. I appreciate all your replies but please don't stop there we need as much advice as we can get. Cant wait to go!!!!!!
Oct 26, 2012 10:25 AM
Oct 27, 2012 2:12 AM
10There are lots of packing lists on this website, so check them out.
What time of year will you be going to NZ? Where are you from. I'm currently here in NZ (Oct), am from Australia and have just finished 7 months in South East Asia. It is FREEZING! The locals don't realise how cold other people find it. I have been wearing two jumpers and a down jacket, jeans and tights in the morning - afternoons are slightly warmer and the jacket and tights come off. But you can buy everything you need here.
Travelling in SEA for 7 months I took a 25L pack, but for colder climates you'd need a 35L probably.
Oct 27, 2012 11:24 AM
11Yesterday: - Gisbourne 27 Deg C, Hawkes Bay 23 Deg C, Waiouru 0 Deg C!!
Hope for the best, plan for the worst :)
Oct 28, 2012 3:50 AM
It has very little (if anything at all) to do with the size of pack - and 'Everything' to do with how much you take.
Some people lag sacks, others manage with a small day pack, regardless of how long the trip is.
If you're into all the gadgets, DSLR and 4 lenses, i-phone, i-pad, i-tunes, i-pod, i-player etc. Then....
Personally, whether I'm going for a week, month, or longer - I just take what I 'Need', no more.
There are so many posts here nowadays where the traveller worries more about tech - than necessities.
As far as what clothing to take, check the temperatures and rainfall charts.
Lots of walking.... There is much footwear that can multi-task. No need for loads of different pairs.
2 small towels, few layers (if needed), pocket soaps and a few disposable razors etc.
45 litres isn't necessarily packing light ! !....
Just one example of many websites helping you to decide.
Best of luck with everything.
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