Awkward moment when your pack is bigger than you.
Replies: 23 - Last Post: Dec 14, 2012 3:25 PM Last Post By: travelinstyle46
Nov 11, 2012 5:15 PM
Awkward moment when your pack is bigger than you.Hi everyone,
Im backpacking through Europe and parts of the middle east for a year. I plan on doingall of europe minus scotland, ireland, wales and england. I dont plan on buying anything over there as my budget is teensy! (forget Europe on a shoestring Im doing Europe on an aglet) I will be camping to save costs where I can. Im female, Im 5'3", weigh 53kg and extremely daunted by a 70kg pack thats almost as big as me. Im quite strong but they look so big and I will be doing a lot of walking. Any reccommendations for packs....especially size. I live in Australia.
thanks in advance.
Nov 11, 2012 8:25 PM
1Sounds adventurous :)
How far do you think/are you willing to walk?
As a bloke, 5'6 and weighing 70kgs my self I lumped around 30kgs and wouldn't to carry more than that.
I would look at a minimum 65L pack, if you know someone with a pack I would strongly suggest borrowing one, throwing some weight in it and going for a walk.
Trying a pack on in the shops with some weight in it is nothing compared to being loaded up with everything you plan do to live off on your back 10kms down the road.. I think you will reconsider taking that much weight.
Nov 12, 2012 4:02 AM
2Ally Hi - yes this sounds like a great adventure. But just to check - you have a very, very limited budget but are considering 70kg of luggage! Did I read this correctly? If so then your excess baggage costs will take away most of your budget - 30-40kg of excess baggage from Oz to London, or Paris would (my estimate) come to around $300-500. Rule 1 for backpacking - if you can not lift it then its too heavy; Rule 2 - if the total weight is more that 10% of your body weight then its probably too heavy.
I know you said you have a very limited budget - so start saving and acquire around 3 sets of quick drying underware; a couple of quick drying shirts (maybe 3 - 2 short sleeve; 1 long of vice-versa if you feel cold); a couple of quick drying skirts - knee length & a pair of quick drying hiking pants (zip-off can double as shorts). Check when Kathmandu or Paddy Palin or one of the other hiking outfitters are having a sale and then buy.
I have read a few reports here and a couple of good books (written by women) and they all recommend travelling light - not more than 14-17kg. Also a very good pair of light weight hiking boots - again check during sales - best recommendations are boots that are less than 450grams each.
You might want to consider having two pack - one you can carrying with stuff you need for the next 10-18 days and send you bigger bag on to a location you know you will be staying at. Best of luck
Nov 12, 2012 4:34 AM
3Do you mean a 70L pack? Whatever you mean you should aim to be carrying no more than 15kg. Less if possible.
That was enough for me and I'm considerably bigger than 5' 3" and 53kg. You can't carry everything you need for a prolonged trip so work on the basis that you will be washing clothes frequently. For an 8 month trip I managed with 2 pairs of travel trousers, 1 pair of shorts, 2 t-shirts, 2 stringy tops with 2 blouses to go over them and 1 dress. I think I also had 5 pairs of briefs and 2 bras plus 1 pair of sandals and a pair of trekking shoes. Add in toiletries, medi-pak, first aid kit, sun hat, swimming costume, sun glasses, camera, sleeping bag and maybe even a tent and you start to see why you just can't take much in the way of clothing. But you really don't need to either. Oh and I agree with buying quick-drying clothes - they are a godsend when travelling.
Travel as light as you can get away with. You'll be really very glad that you did when you are carrying your pack.
Nov 12, 2012 6:07 AM
Nov 12, 2012 10:45 AM
Nov 13, 2012 6:20 AM
6Oh yes sorry 70L. Thanks for all the advice. The lady who helped me at Kathmandu had never even been hiking and recommended a 70L pack. I plan on walking a lot and camping instead of staying in hosta. I will defintely be making use of the schengen visa and washing clothing a lot! How did anyobe go packing for both winter and summer. Im going to try and spend a large portion of my winter in the middle east but I will also be visiting scotland for uphellyaa.
Nov 13, 2012 6:34 AM
To save carrying the weight and bulk of cold weather gear around when not needed buy the wet/cold weather gear in Scotland. I know this goes against trekking on an aglet but reasonable kit is available fairy cheaply but I guess it depends on what you need; a waterproof and is one thing, full winter expedition stuff another...
Nov 13, 2012 8:09 AM
8On our first big trip we spent 10 weeks camping in New Zealand. We'd had 20 weeks before that in SE Asia and Oz and another 10 weeks afterwards in South America. To avoid carrying lots of camping gear for the first 20 weeks we bought sleeping bags, mats, cooking equipment in New Zealand (although we did take our own tent from the UK). We then shipped most of it back to the UK before setting off for South America. We are still using the sleeping bags and mats years later........
Still work on travelling as light as possible and buy what you need for specific climates as you go along.
Nov 14, 2012 3:43 AM
9Are you planning to bring a lot of things and planning to walk around? I'd go with a 40L pack if I were you. Just bring the essentials. No need to carry a lot or you will not enjoy your travel. Remember, the lighter the better! :)
Just don't forget the impt stuff like:
- cash, atm/credit/debit card
- travel documents - passport, map, guide book, itinerary, ID with photo
- first aid kit with meds, paracetamols, vitamins
- sewing kit (very handy)
- swiss knife
- small pack of laundry detergent
- communication gadget
- camera for taking photographs.
Nov 14, 2012 4:28 AM
10Find a larger friend (I am 5' 10" and at 64Kg, weigh less than your proposed pack). So find a friend who weighs around 70Kg and give them a piggyback. Carry them around for 5 mins. Then imagine carrying them around Europe, onto busses and trains, through crowded cities, etc. Imagine lifting them up onto overhead storage racks on your train ...
Nov 14, 2012 4:33 AM
Nov 14, 2012 9:21 AM
12We always have a foam sit-mat each. Gives a bit of comfort when waiting for trains / buses etc.
Also have a few muesli bars and dried fruit stashed away.
Unless you are staying most of your time in one place an assuming you are not camping I would try to limit yourself to a 40 litre pack.
I have a couple of old favourite outfits, not particularly trendy, that have been all over the place because they do not look crumpled when washed in the sink and can be used anywhere. I tend to choose colours that do not show the dirt too much!!
You also need decide whether you will be travelling through colder areas or out of season. I like microfleece waistcoats. Current favourite is a Rohan Kombi with lots of pockets and unfortunately not discontinued.
.. And yes I carry a swiss army knife. useful whether hostelling or staying in hotels and I want to prepare my own salad or what have you. If you are hoping to use just hand luggage on budget flats then substitute some plastic cutlery.
Nov 14, 2012 1:47 PM
13#11 - I think our poster was being generic - most multifunction knife/tools are referred to as "Swiss Army Knives" - when they are not made in Switzerland and probably have to many functions to be really useful. One with a couple of knives; a can/bottle opener; screw driver will usually do.
Nov 14, 2012 1:49 PM
Bags feeling light?
Coffee table looking bare?
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