I am going to be spending about a month in Thailand. This is going to be my first big adventure. I need to get a backpack. I have spent quite a few days doing research, and yes I did read the top of the page that says Gear: Picking a Backpack. I am still kind of confused(or just and idoit). I just don’t know what to get. This is the most important piece of equpiment on any trip. Can anyone give me some good suggestions, and maybe a couple of links to websites?
I will be spending most of my time island hoping. Probably a couple of nights in Koa Sok National park, then about a week in Cambodia (itinerary help will come later.)
#1 Andreph has been a member since 23/9/2009. Posts: 6
The pack that will suit you best will depend on what you plan on bringing.
Personally, I like to travel with as small a pack as possible. I have a couple that size-wise qualify for airline carry-on. No checking-in at the airport, no waiting for luggage when arriving, no worries about lost luggage, and taking public transport is a breeze. If you want to bring stuff back, cheap bags (for your souvenirs) are available all over the place in Bangkok.
Here is a little secret - many people travel without backpacks, some even use suitcases! When you are waiting for you gear to come around on the baggage carousel you will notice lots of suitcases.
Most of the time I use shoulder bags myself. I can pack more in and my clothes don't get all wrinkled. One bag I check in on the plane and one fits in the overhead. Sometimes I even use a big wheelie bag. I like to change my clothes pretty often. Sometimes you have to hold on to your dirty stuff until you find the time to get them washed. Having spare changes comes in handy unless you like wearing the same underwear all the time.
Most of the time the only time you have a pack on is from airport terminal to bus or taxi, then from bus or taxi to your hotel/hostel. It is more rare that you will be walking around with a pack on for long periods of time. When you are away from your hotel you will probably have just a smaller walk around bag. Some tourists in cheap dorms might take everything with them when out because they can't trust anyone in the dorm.
A bag or backpack you can lock with a padlock is a good idea. That way when you are out of your hotel room you can lock it up. When I was in the military I had a big pack in back and a smaller pack attached by D-rings in front. Telling your buddies that you went "backpacking" sounds so much more manly than you went "suitcasing!"
Again, keep it small. Up to you whether you want something that you could use as carryon, I personally need something bigger, but even so dont buy anything over 60L because you'll just be tempted to fill it up!