Choosing a Backpack for Your Adventure Itineraries

Depending on the duration and luxuries that you’d want to take on your trip, an ideal backpack size can go anywhere from 10L to 85L. For 3-day trips, where you’ll be staying in furnished backpacker inns or hotel rooms, a 35L backpack is just enough. Don’t ruin your holiday trip by sacrificing essential gear and accessories just to pack it light. Pack smart and have fun on your holiday getaway this December.

Been looking around for outdoor equipment lately since I started planning a backpacking Mindanao trip in 2011. It has been over 10 years since my last climb and I’m really excited.

I’m squeezing a few hours of trekking into the itinerary. Seriously, I’m tempted to try either a full day climb (ascent and descent) or camp overnight. I just wish I can join Conquer’s contest to win a tent! They’re giving away outdoor equipment.

From the original post:

“Prizes:

1st prize: 4D/3N Backpacking Tour to South Cotabato for 1 person

2nd prize: 1 Conquer Micralite Tent

3rd prize: 1 Conquer Track II Backpack”

For those who want to join, you can check out Conquer’s Facebook page.

In the meantime, I’m contemplating whether to use my husband’s North Face 35L backpack or not. Though, I would very much prefer using my old Jansport 33L pack, I should let it retire now. It’s just too comfortable to bring despite the loose inner waterproofing and a small hole at the bottom.

My old reliable Jansport provides a combination of top and panel loading access. Inside, it’s very roomy but I usually use smaller storage bags to keep contents organized. The front organizer (can double as helmet holder) also provides a convenient space to store rain gear. Inside the backpack, there’s a large pocket where I usually store documents (Letter-size envelops can fit). And then there’s a sturdy net-like pocket sewn on the inside front panel for important items like keys, coin purse and IDs. Yes, sometimes I get paranoid and keep some IDs in the backpack instead of in my wallet. I am certain no one’s going to try to grab my usually heavy and bulky backpack.

When backpacking in the Philippines, its best to keep valuables out of sight and out of reach. You play it safe when you play it simple.

I allot the outside compartment to tissue, face towel, wipes, energy bars/grab-n-go food, notepad and pen, and sometimes a good book for long land trips. This model has 2 spacious side pockets for beverage bottles. I like it that they’re deep enough to keep the bottles from slipping out. But I try not to put bottles on both pockets as it gets difficult to get on and off buses and jeepneys when backpacking in the countryside.

Instead of another water bottle, I put my food waste in a plastic and keep it at the other pocket until I am able to throw it in designated trash bins. I just hate seeing travelers flip the smallest trash at their shoulder and think its ok. It’s not! Trash belongs to garbage bins, not on trails, rivers and summits.

My husband’s Ridge Runner, made by Conquer, is more compact. The main panel opening is smaller than my Jansport’s and it keeps the pack compressed. I like the flap that hides and protects the main compartment. Though its a little tough when you have to jam a lot of stuff hastily. The front compartment is smaller than my Jansport’s but features more smaller pockets. Many of today’s backpacks are being designed to help outdoor enthusiasts organize their gear. Your gadgets can be kept safe but still accessible with all the pockets inside the front compartment.

Being one of Conquer’s old models, the Ridge Runner falls short on airflow on the back and doesn’t really fit me well. The padding for the shoulder is a little off for backpackers with a small torso. It fits my husband well, though.

For me, a 30-35L backpack is enough for an overnight camp out. I’ve tried carrying my own 65L backpack before but prefer not to do that anymore. For longer trips, I bring 2 day packs. But again, its going to be a hurdle when going on and off public transportation.

Once I went on a trip with one of my sons, I brought a 35L backpack and a medium-sized carry bag. I had wanted to bring a beltbag instead of the carry bag, but babies just need more space when traveling. It was too difficult, actually; Especially when my 1-year-old son wanted to be carried all the way. I was so grateful the airport had pushcarts!

I’ve looked at the more expensive luggage that feature convertible systems: backpack to trolley and vice versa. They’re just very convenient and strategic. You can hide the small wheels and take out the shoulder pads to make it a backpack. Awesome! Be awed by the range of its prices, though.

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~ by theorangehut on December 14, 2010.

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