PACK SIZE???? PLEASE HELP a first time backpacker
Replies: 24 - Last Post: Jan 22, 2013 10:42 AM Last Post By: rjwicks
Jan 14, 2013 9:24 PM
PACK SIZE???? PLEASE HELP a first time backpackerSo i will be leaving to Thailand and surrounding countries in September of this new year, this will be my first backpacking experience of my life and I am nervous and excited beyond belief. I have a TON of questions but figured i would ask them a couple at a time so i can hopefully get more detailed answers. Question #1 is what pack size do you recommend (keep in mind this is my first experience backpacking) and what is your opinion for a good route?
I plan on traveling for 6-8 months
I would like to mostly take ground transportation, but i do have the means to fly if needed
Jan 15, 2013 12:43 AM
1Backpack size of around 30-40litre is enough to carry the basic necessities with enough extra space to carry your new-found Singha Beer and Full Moon t-shirts. As a first-timer you may be inclined to over-pack but the old addage "when in doubt leave it out" really is true, especially for a place like Thailand with warm weather year-round and easy to pick up whatever you may have forgotten to bring with you. Beyond the bare essentials of passport, money, cards, and a couple changes of clothes, basic toiletries, etc. there is very little that you are likely to "need". If traveling 6-8 months be aware you only get 30 days visa-exempt to Thailand by air, so check out getting a tourist visa at home beforehand. Let your bank know your travel plan too so they can put a travel flag on your cards to avoid having them blocked for "suspicious activity". Hope that helps get you started.
P.S. Feel free to ignore snarky time-waster reply above ;-) The guy hates tourists.
Jan 15, 2013 12:57 AM
Jan 15, 2013 1:48 AM
Jan 15, 2013 3:40 AM
4Buy a good reliable make of Rucksack , something like Berghuis , Karrimore La Fuma etc ...
You may think that it's huge difference in the price of one of the high end packs and something that you would buy in Walmart or similar , but believe you won't regret it and you will have a product that should last for life , as long as it's not stolen ..
I've been travelling for many years now with my La Fuma 45 Ltr pack it's comfy when walking it's got no protruding side pockets , that can be a hindrance getting on and off Trains ..
I find that 45 Ltrs is more than enough , that a small day bag that either attaches it's self to the pack or will fit inside would be perfect ..
As for packing , i normally bring
1. One pair of Cargo pants .
2. One pair of tidy jeans .
3. Two pairs of shorts , one of a Cargo style and one a more trouser style .
4. A couple of short sleeved cotton shirts .
5. A light water proof Jacket ( when it rains , it rains hard )
6. Don't bother bringing toiletries with you as they are readily available from 7/11's Tesco's and Boots ...
8. One pair of Sandals , a pair of light trainer type boots are worth bringing if you plan on trekking , i bring mine for every day wear , as i don't like to be in Sandals 24/7 and some of those night buses can be deathly cold with the A/C cranked up to Eleven ..
9. T-shirts just buy as you go ..
That's about it , of and don't forget not to leave your common sense at arrivals , so many possible problems can be saved with it , you would be surprised the amount that do just that ..
Enjoy i'm sure that you will have a great time , oh and ignore the resident Grinch in poster #1 he's had many incarnations on the board , hate tourists invading his personal Kingdom :-)
Jan 15, 2013 3:45 AM
5The tongue-in-cheek post by #1 is good for a laugh only.
Backpack vs roller bags debates have been raging on this forum for aeons and there is no right or wrong answer - it all depends on your needs and preferences.
Before you buy something, layout what you want to take, rationalise (get rid of half) and this will give you an indication of what size backpack/bag you will need. If you chose a backpack, make sure it's of good quality (has to last at least your 8 month trip), put your 'stuff' into it and go for a 5-10km walk and see how it feels. Adjust what goes in it accordingly.
Jan 15, 2013 4:13 AM
6Seem to have lost my post. Much shortened version
Some travel with 7kg carry on luggage for list look here http://www.onebag.com/
A couple of hints I found useful when I went by myself for first time.
Whenever I got lost I headed for the nearest pharmacy , green cross on white background, someone always spoke English.
If you get prickly heat rash in hot season go into 7/11 and buy"St Lukes Prickly heat powder" works really well and is soothing.
Try and learn a few Thai words from a web site and take a LP phrase book with you which is in Thai script as well as English phonetic writing.
have a great time JoyV
Jan 15, 2013 4:14 AM
Jan 15, 2013 4:15 AM
Jan 15, 2013 4:36 AM
Jan 15, 2013 6:38 AM
10Hi CMH, welcome to TT
Pretty much as above except the 70L....far, far too big.
Basics: Passport, Cash, Tickets, Medication etc go without saying but it's easy to get carried away with what to take clothes and toiletries wise but get your head around how much you'd need for about 4 days and then take it from there. Laundry places are numerous and cheap-as-chips. Toiletries, Suncream etc can be bought on the road as can most anything else you may need should you forget.
Jan 15, 2013 1:59 PM
Jan 15, 2013 2:09 PM
Jan 15, 2013 3:04 PM
13I take a large pack - about 70 litres, but try to fill it only two thirds. For a day pack/carry on bag, I take a small over the shoulder bag - so I can fit that inside my pack when I need to. That way, if you need to walk somewhere you can do so without having stuff hanging off you.
It's also much quicker and easier to pack a larger pack that is not full to the brim. If you're moving around a lot, it will become a big pain if you have to struggle every time to fit everything into your 30/40 litre pack and get the zips done up!!
I also agree with the packing approach: get out everything you think you want to take, then go over and over it asking: will I really need this??
Jan 15, 2013 9:25 PM
14I think it depends on what your routing around SE Asia will be...and what time of year. If you plan to visit, say, Beijing in the winter, you're going to need some very warm clothes. Same goes for the northern part of Vietnam. It does snow in Sapa. With that being said, when I got cold in China, and traveling for 2 years with a 35L pack, I just bought some cheap jackets, hats and gloves and tossed them when I headed back to Thailand.
Pretty much any kind of clothing can be purchased here. From North Face to cheap knockoffs. I bought quick dry undies, Ts and shorts before I left. Great for when you are in a hurry, but need to wash something quickly.
With a 70L, you'll look like a noob walking around. I traveled around Thailand for 2 months with a day pack.
FYI...if traveling a lot, try to get a front loading pack. It gets old having to take everything out of your top loader when, invariably, what you need is at the bottom.
Also, you'll have a day pack. So that, combined with your 35-40L pack, will be more than enough.
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