Preparing the backpack is a crucial moment for the traveler: it’s the symbol of departure and it will depend on much of the success of the trip. Here are some tips that the experts of Lonely Planet recommend to prepare the best travel backpack: what to wear, how to choose the backpack well, how to distribute the weight, where to buy the most appropriate…
1. Bring the essentials
It seems a simple premise but … what is there to really take? You do not have to put anything that can not easily be bought along the way. One of the motivations of a trip is the break with the customs and the environment,but also with the possessions and for that reason the backpack must allow to be autonomous and also to travel light. Everything depends on the way of traveling of each one: if the program is dense and is expected to carry out many activities, the backpack must be equipped accordingly. If you travel more freely and less planned, you must lighten up and improvise along the way. Of course, the contents of the backpack will depend on the place, to the climate, planned activities, the degree of contact with civilization, etc.
2. Choose the backpack well
The main thing is the quality: in addition, the weight, shape, and size that will depend on the type of trip, there are basic rules for choosing a backpack. We will carry it continuously in the back and will contain almost everything that one owns, for that reason it has to be demanding. You need to test it, put it on weight, compare it with other backpacks … you need time to get right with the choice.
Before buying it, it is advisable to check the backpack to check that the fabric is resistant at the base and the front and that the inner seams are lined to prevent wear. It is very important the coating resistant to the elements(such as urethane), although this can be solved with a protective cover impermeable. And lastly, you have to check the load with a weight higher than you are expected to carry (about 15 kg).
You should opt, whenever possible, for an economic and ecological backpack. Some clues to save (not forgetting the quality): swap markets and second-hand markets are good reefs for the second-hand material. The discussion groups onCouchSurfing, especially the one of the own population or country, also are an interesting option to recover or to buy second-hand travel material.
3. Make sure the backpack is comfortable
There are different structures for the part that is in contact with the back is comfortable: foam, grid, aluminum frame, fibers,etc. The most comfortable are usually the simplest, but the best is still to try them since the thing changes according to the morphology. The two essential elements of a backpack adapted are the size (it is advisable to the choose the size of the backpack depending on the length of the back and not the height)and the harness and the belt (the backpack has to be adjusted during the test toProve it in a situation as close as possible to reality). The best is a backpack that has the part in contact with the back of non-adjustable size. Some backpacks are specially adapted to the feminine morphology, what optimizes the adjustments: straps more together and adapted to the top of the feminine bodies,
4. Adapt the size of the backpack to our type of trip
The size of a backpack is expressed in liters. Sometimes the backpacks are extensible and can be deployed if necessary. The side pockets are practical for frequent use, but the backpack is more cumbersome, especially if you are in a tight place or if you have to store it often, such as when hitchhiking. The solution is a backpack with pockets that can be folded flat under the compression straps.
From a more physiological point of view, the total weight of the backpack should not exceed 15-20% of the weight itself, ie12 kg maximum if one weighs 60 kg.
5. Security and Discretion
In general, it is advisable to carry a sober and discreet backpack, which does not draw too much attention. An orange fluorescent backpack will only attract people’s attention. In a poorer country, one will be immediately classified as a tourist and therefore more prone to robbery. It is better to be discreet and this is also applicable to gadgets that are sold for backpacks and are often useless: giving the illusion of innovation, only make the backpack heavier and are susceptible to break it.
It is advisable to choose a backpack equipped with secret pockets (cushioned compartments in the part in contact with the back or with the hips, the double bottom of cloth in the interior, to pass closing cord, etc.). This pocket may be useful for hiding money, papers or other things.
6. How to “backpack”
It is important to distribute the weight well inside the backpack so that it is well balanced, thus reducing the sensation of weight and not obstructing the movement. The rule is to place the heavy objects near the center of gravity itself, stay right that is, at the level of the navel.
In addition to weight distribution, do not forget that the functional aspect of organizing the backpack is paramount. What are the objects that one is going to use first? In the case of rain, can the necessary material be accessed? Finally, make sure that the backpack is well balanced. To check it, you have to stand it in front of one: stay right.
Here’show to better distribute weight in a backpack:
In the lower part of the backpack, you put the light material and the one you want to access easily if you have an opening from below (sleeping bag, a pair of shoes).
In the middle (back area), heavier objects such as water, food, or the tent a replaced.
7. How to distribute content
In order to gain space and time, you have to think about organizing the load in bags. Small sachets will be very practical, especially if they are provided with closure cords (such as sleeping bag covers). It is about distributing objects in bags following logical categories: clothes, warm clothing, underwear, pharmacy, food, miscellaneous objects, etc. So everything is organized and easy to take it out and put it back in the backpack. It is also a good way to keep things clean and protected from moisture the bags are waterproof.
At the top and front, intermediate or bulky objects will be placed.
On top of the backpack and side pockets, the material of the day it is placed.
8. Maintenance of the backpack
The first rule is to protect the rucksack from wear and tear, by first of all not leaving it anywhere. For the same reason, the waterproof protective cover usually provided with the backpack must be used as much as possible. If it is necessary to change it, it costs very little, much less than the price of a backpack.
One has to think about cleaning the backpack from time to time since the granites of sand accumulated in the fibers of the fabric could get to make microscopic cuts that over time weaken and tear the fabric. Just use water and soap and rub with a soft bristle brush. Washes that can weaken the fibers and affect the impermeability of the fabric should be avoided. Once the backpack is clean and dry, it can be re-waterproofed by an appropriate spray.
9. Backpack accessories:
The shoulder bag, bag-belt, waistband document holder can be very practical complements.
The shoulder bag, simple and light, will serve to keep what you need during the day, such as a book, a booklet, a bag with gifts, some food, a notebook, pens, etc. The bag-belt is perfect for carrying your wallet, passport, maps and things of value; Like the waistband or document bag, smaller than the waistband and extra-flat(like a rather thick belt). There are also other models such as bags attached directly to the belt of the pants with rings or the hip bag, much like the waistband.
10. The contents of the backpack
The contents of the backpack are as important as your organization. Its content will depend on the way you travel and vice versa. Among the essential elements, we highlight three: footwear, computer equipment, and folding bags.
It is advisable to select a multipurpose footwear for travel, such as trail- type models, ie those used for cross-country races and as a complement, it is advisable to wear a pair of flip-flops for warm countries or closed shoes for other climates.
Another element is increasingly essential is the computer equipment: in addition to our gadgets, it is good to carry an USB memory, for storage of photos and personal information. The third basic element is a collapsible gift bag that the traveler can fill with small purchases.