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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

Back Pack Commentary

VIETNAM | Sunday, 22 July 2007 | Views [923]

Every trip, on or off a bus, train, plane, or car is an ordeal.  We assemble our back pack straps, pulling them out of their big protective sacs for bus/plane ride protection, and load p for our usual peruse through town to find a spot to sleep.  Our packs are getting heavy which is a problem on our Air Asia flights which only allow 15K per person cargo; we've now been in Southeast Asia for 3 months and we've accumulated not just souveniers, but excesses like guide books.  I seem to have this problem of becoming a pack rat for certain things, namely Lonely Planet Guidebooks, which I collect as we go through each country, and have a hard time parting with, even after we've left the country.  For example, right now my heavy library consists of Lonely Planet Guides:  Southeast Asia, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand Island & Beaches, Vietnam, in addition to two pleasure books, a book on Angkor, and another South East Asia travel book.  We've got these books highlighted, annotated, receipts and notes stuck into the city sections... things that aren't important long term, but are part of documenting our trip and for filling in details for our blog entries.  Luckily our friend Deanna is meeting us in Barcelona and bringing an extra bag for us to send stuff home in.  The other things I tend to collect are those essentials we find in the half decent hotel rooms we occasionally stay in... pens, shampoo, soap, and extra rolls of toilet paper.  I've at least learned to shed the load down to a supply to hold us over just a couple days emergency.  Darrin makes fun of me, but when he's in need of toilet paper, he's very happy when I can produce a stash upon demand.  

All this said, we need to find a better set up for our packs.  We have special travel covers for each of our Osprey packs, called an airporter.  While a great concept - it has really protected our packs, and the airporter has taken quite a beating - holes, tears, nasty liquids, dirt and grime have tested the cover, ad we've resorted to duct taping it together so it will continue to last.  The problem is with the airporter design... it's just a big vinyl sac with a zipper on the top half.  There's only one strap that I think you're supposed to use to sling the big heavy sac over your shoulder.  Not quite ergonomically designed for a pack of 15-20K's.  So we find ourselves awkwardly packing and unpacking before and after every move we make, which is especially difficult when we're dumped off curbside in the middle of a city with touts swarming all around us.  It's difficult to assemble and reassemble while simultaneously keeping an eye on other hand bags.  Short of having Osprey redesign the airporter, I think we need to just shed our load, and carry just one, lighter, manageable pack.  But for the Osprey designers out there in cyberspace...  we need a cover with a straps that allows us to just strap it on and go.  

Tags: Packing & gadgets

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