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Backpack Issue! eep!
erinmariephoto
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Hey All!
This is my first post to the forum. I’m trying to plan my very first trip to Europe with my friend…and let me add that this is the very very first time I’ve EVER been out of the US…in fact it’s the first time I consider myself ever really traveling for(I’ve taken a road trip to Colorado…but AZ, and NV really don’t count from my standpoint). Anyway, I’ve managed to actually save up enough time from work for a month of adventure, so I’m trying to make sure all my ducks are in a row. I’ve got things like airfair, passport, and at least our first week of lodging taken care of, but I’m having problems picking out a backpack.

I’ve been to REI and got fitted. I was originally going to go with a Kelty because I found a phenominal price, but ditched that idea when I figured out the wait straps didn’t tighten without difficulty. So I’ve decided on an Osprey. I was looking at the Aura 60 because, again, for that bag I found a phenominal deal…but I’m not sure if it’s going to be too much bag. We aren’t going to be hiking a lot, but we didn’t want to roll out luggage around town when we leave London, haha. So I was also looking at the Osprey 50(which honestly may still be quite large), but the 60 was getting way better reviews for quality. So if anyone has any input I would really appreciate it.

**side note, I would looke at smaller bags, but my roommate wants be to go backpacking with her at some point next year, so I figured I’d rather invest in a bag than borrow.

Thank you!!!

I am leaving from Southern California with $6000 for 29 days
London, Paris, Venice, Rome, Brussels
oldlady
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I don’t know anything about these specific packs, but assuming from your user ID that you’re female and assuming from that fact that you aren’t 6’ and 180, I’d go with the smaller one. IMO, you aren’t going to want to carry more than about 15% of your body weight and the bigger pack is an invitation to take too much stuff.

finnegan
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The best advice is to get everyting you plan on bringing (clothes, shoes, etc.) and put them in a garbage bag. Now you have an idea of what size pack you’ll need. Now go Buy the pack that will fit your stuff.

Fill your new backpack and then walk around your local city for a day. How do you feel? If you feel tired then you’re packing too much stuff (take the bag back, reduce the amount of stuff you’re packing and get a smaller bag).

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

erinmariephoto
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Thanks for the comments. I’m not too worried about over packing a larger bag. The larger pack weighs about the same as the smaller one(about 3 1/2lbs). And I’m packing according to weight. I’m not super high maintinence, and we plan on doing laundry, so we are going to share shirts(to have more choices on outfits), and whatnot.

I’m more concerned about being able to get the bag on as a carry on. My camera equipment(which i’m only taking a few pieces) is going to be my “personal” item…I bought a pack from a friend for the girl I’m going with, and it’s only a 40L, but looks so much bigger than the other 40L’s that I’ve seen in store. Turns out American Airlines doesn’t measure carry on bag by weight, but by size. So height/width/length can be no bigger than a combined 45inches. The larger pack is about 22 inches tall…so with compression bags for the clothing items, I think I may be able to squeeze my neccessities down to the required size.

REI lets you weigh a bag down and walk around the store with it. We were there for a couple hours, and they filled it with 20lbs of weight, and it was really easy to walk with at least the time we spent there. I think i’ll be more concerned when I go hiking with my roomie and have to carry water in it, haha.

Thanks so much!

I am leaving from Southern California with $6000 for 29 days
London, Paris, Venice, Rome, Brussels
oldlady
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You’re unlikely to be toting your full pack for more than 2 hours unless you’re hiking with it from village to village in Cinque Terre.

You’ll need to check the carry-on restrictions for your specific airline. If the big pack isn’t full you may be able to use the straps to compress it enough to meet the requirements. I usually end up checking a bag to have more than 3 oz of contact lens solution plus more other liquids and gels than fit into a quart zip-lock. Allergies mean I can’t easily buy what I need in Europe. I also carry a Swiss Army Knife which I consider essential gear for any travel.

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I think my pack (46 L) ended up weighing around 26 pounds, and that was fine for me (I’m a female and barely 5’4, so I needed a smaller pack). I liked having a smaller sized pack, and had plenty of room for what i wanted to bring. I think the most I had to carry it at any one time was about an hour, trying to find a hostel. Otherwise, it was left in a hostel for the day while I traveled with a small (12 L) daypack.

Whatever the size of your bag, I recommend just checking it. 3 oz of liquids is barely anything, and then you’d have to buy as soon as you got to Europe. Plus, I never was able to find “travel size” anything in Europe.

I am leaving from Boston, MA with $5000 for 47 days
Madrid, Barcelona, Athens, Santorini, Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Lyon, Paris, Zagreb, Grabovac (Plitvice), Split, Dubrovnik, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Sights
erinmariephoto
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The only reason I’m concerned with checking is becasue I really don’t fly much…I don’t even think I’ve been on a plane for about 6 years now, and I have this deep fear that they are always going to lose my luggage…I know, it’s a little bit paranoid, but I really can’t help it, LoL…I don’t trust airlines, period.

I’m 5’4’‘ too, and we don’t plan on trekking the bags around for too long, so I’m not super worried about the weight…but I’m trying to figure out how to take my liquids, because my roomie’s mom works at a salon, I may be able to just get a bunch of sample sized stuff in the pouches, not bottles, so it should be farely easy to pack enough shampoo and whatnot…my friend that is going with me is African American too, so with her hair type, she doesn’t have to wash it nearly as often as I do, so she said she would lug extra toiletries for me as well. If worse comes to worse, I’ll just check my bag.

And I just bought a small satchel type purse, instead of hacing to carry a day pack. I don’t really plan on putting much inside of it, except for things like chapstick, and probably a small lunch, because we rented a flat for the first week, we will be making our own food(my friend in London said the food isn’t all that crazy different out there so we wouldn’t be missing out much, haha).

I am leaving from Southern California with $6000 for 29 days
London, Paris, Venice, Rome, Brussels
oldlady
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Quote:
my friend in London said the food isn’t all that crazy different out there so we wouldn’t be missing out much, haha)
London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities on the planet, thus it has some of the most ethnically diverse eating places on the planet. These aren’t located next to McDonalds, however. Self catering is probably a good option in London in any case as it’s an expensive city for meals, but I always find a way to hit a good Indian restaurant while I’m there.

Remember that all of your shampoo and whatnot must fit in a single 1 quart zip-lock bag. A travel tube of tooth paste, deodorant, shampoo, nasal spray (I always pack this as essential to flying) contact lens stuff, sunscreen, small bottle of lotion, etc. fill up the bag pretty quickly.

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I agree you shouldn’t pack too much, but when you’re traveling, you typically don’t have to carry your backpack around all day. You have to carry it around the airport or train station, you have to carry it on public transit to your accommodation, and you will probably have to walk a few blocks with it, but generally you won’t be carrying it. The exception, of course, is if you are doing something like the Camino de Santiago.

erinmariephoto
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oldlady wrote:
Quote:
my friend in London said the food isn’t all that crazy different out there so we wouldn’t be missing out much, haha)
London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities on the planet, thus it has some of the most ethnically diverse eating places on the planet. These aren’t located next to McDonalds, however. Self catering is probably a good option in London in any case as it’s an expensive city for meals, but I always find a way to hit a good Indian restaurant while I’m there.

Remember that all of your shampoo and whatnot must fit in a single 1 quart zip-lock bag. A travel tube of tooth paste, deodorant, shampoo, nasal spray (I always pack this as essential to flying) contact lens stuff, sunscreen, small bottle of lotion, etc. fill up the bag pretty quickly.

I understand the London diverse foods things, totally…but I’m really not big on Indian food(we have a few restraurants around where I live). I like spicey food…but that goes a little overboard for me, and my friend out there knows this. But to get the idea of it, he already said he will be cooking my friend and I a traditional English roast…he didn’t go into detail, but since we will have a kitchen at our disposal, it’s a fun and cheaper option as well. We are really going to delve into local cuisine when we get out of London. So we have a decent amout of our budget set aside for that.

As for packing toiletries…I’m still going to try with sample sized stuff, and see if I fail miserably…if so, I’ll admit defeat and just check my bag, haha, but I’m going to give it a go first…I don’t wear contacts, so I’m not super worried about that, and my glasses I really only wear when I’m photo editing since I strain my eyes to get tiny imperfections cleared(I do side jobs for extra cash, so when I say edit I mean for weddings, familiy portraits, etc). So I’m not even going to bring them…just a couple pair of my cheap sunglasses. I work as an Animal Control Officer, and cheap sunglasses are in abundance in my field, as dogs will often lead to breaking them. 5 years in and I’ve gone through 20+ pairs. And sunscreen I usually use the little trail packs too…I have a friend at the port of Long Beach, and when they do events they have little packets of sunscreen and little mini first aid kits they give out as promo items, and he’s given me a box full of them. So I’m set on that.

If I make this work, I will take a picture of my handy work to show everyone

I am leaving from Southern California with $6000 for 29 days
London, Paris, Venice, Rome, Brussels