travels: choosing a rucksack

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

a. eagle creek salta 65l medium fit travel pack
b. patagonia ascensionist 45l pack
c. quechua forclaz 50l hiking rucksack
d. fjällräven kaipak 38l
e. patagonia snowdrifter pack 40l

choosing a rucksack is an important part of your trip and something you should not look down upon when getting ready to travel abroad. it will ensure your adventure gets off to a good start and doesn't shamble along the way. you may have read wild: a journey from lost to found and know how much trouble cheryl got with her pack 'monster'.

the amount of clothing and gear you will be taking with you will be determined by a number of factors: the length of your trip may play a part, the number of destinations you will be visiting as well as the variety of scenarios you will find yourself in. for instance, our upcoming trip will take us to three countries with tropical, warm and humid conditions in bali, warm summer on the east coast of australia and catching the end of the summer in new zealand. considering the type of activities we will be doing such as surfing, camping and hiking will mean we'll have to pack with the outdoors in mind.

a few things when choosing a rucksack to consider would be:

a. the capacity — which is a tough one to get right, i have to admit. going for a large capacity may result as a nightmare, having to carry a monstrous pack around; and choosing one too small may mean you won't be able to take the necessary gear for your adventures to run smoothly; with all of this in mind we recommend not to go for larger than a 60l pack.

b. the way it opens up — a travelpack as opposed to a toploader. after travelling around australia and south east asia with a toploader and seeing how easily other people would get clothing out of travelpacks in hostel, i promised myself i wouldn't make the same mistake the second time around. a travelpack opens up like a suitcase, you can lay it flat and access things anywhere in your pack.

c. multiple compartments — to separate your shoes and your sleeping gear from your clothes, especially when wet if you want to keep what's left of your clothing safe and dry.

d. adjustable padded shoulder straps and a padded hip belt — 70 percent of the weight of the pack will sit on hips, whilst 30 percent will be taken on your shoulders.

e. lockable zippers  for safety whilst travelling as well as in hostels.

f. abundance of external buckles — to attach extra gear such as a tent, tarp or a sleeping mat.

g. water-resistant material  although most rucksack are made of water-resistant material, it may be worth getting a rain cover for extra protection.

h. saving some space for travel finds.

ps: remember to pack light and functional!

jack's choice  patagonia 35l + an aiguille bum bag:
jack researched lightweight travel backpacks for a long time before he stumbled on the ascensionist pack from patagonia. top loading, lightweight and versatile, it seemed like the obvious choice for him. he wanted a pack that could be loaded to the brim for wayward travelling yet able to be stripped down for daily pursuits regardless of conditions.

julia's choice  quechua forclaz 50l + a topo designs 16l kletterpack pack for my blogging gear:
i am very fond of quechua, i have bought items from decathlon since being a child and have rarely been let down. this pack had all the features i was after including that all important front opening on the top of my priorities, 50l, which i believe is ideal for me, multiple compartments and external buckles.

travels: adventure films to inspire

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

what inspires people to travel? stories. here is a compilation of some of my favourites.

a. wild — driven to the edge by the loss of her beloved mother, the dissolution of her marriage and a headlong dive into self-destruction behaviour, cheryl strayed (reese witherspoon) makes a decision to halt the downward spiral and put her life back together again. with no outdoors experience, a heavy backpack and little else to go on but her own will, cheryl sets out alone to hike the pacific crest trail — one of the country's longest and toughest trails.

b. into the wild — christopher mccandless, son of wealthy parents, graduates from emory university as a top student and athlete. however, instead of embarking on a prestigious and profitable career, he chooses to give his savings to charity, rid himself of his possessions, and set out on a journey to the alaskan wilderness.

c. 180° south — adventurer jeff johnson retraces a 1968 trip to patagonia undertaken by his heroes, yvon choinard and doug tompkins.

d. the way — an american father travels to france to claim the body of his estranged son, who was killed on a trek through the pyrenees.

e. touching the void  in 1985, two young climbers, joe simpson and simon yates set out to be the first to reach the summit of the siula grande in the peruvian andes. they succeed and the two embar on the treacherous descent down the mountain — only to meet with disaster when simpson breaks his leg in a fall, leaving yates to lower him the rest of the way with ropes. when a storm threatens both their lives, yates must decide whether to cut the rope and risk simpson's likely death.

f. darjeeling limited estranged brother francis, peter and jack reunite for a train trip across india. the siblings have not spoken in over a year, ever since their father passed away. francis is recovering from a motorcycle accident, peter cannot cope with his wife's pregnancy, and jack cannot get over his ex-lover. the brothers fall into old patterns of behaviour as francis reveals the real reason for the reunion: to visit their mother in a himalayan convent.

g. the secret life of walter mitty walter mitty, an employee at life magazine, spends day after day developing photos for the publication. to escape the tedium, walter inhabits a world of exciting daydreams in which he is the undeniable hero. walter fancies a fellow employee named cheryl and would love to date her, but he feels unworthy. however, he gets a chance to have a real adventure when life's new owners send him on a mission to obtain the perfect photo for the final print issue.

h. 127 hours — while exploring a remote canyon in utah, mountaineer and adventurer aron ralston becomes trapped when a boulder falls on his arm. over the next five days, ralston examines his life and considers his options, leading him to an agonising choice: to amputate his arms so that he can extricate himself and try to make his way back to civilisation or remain pinned to the canyon wall and likely die. 

i. tracks accompanied only by her faithful dog and four camels, an australian satisfies her craving for solitude by embarking on a solo trip across the desert from alice springs to the indian ocean.

any suggestions of films, which have inspired you to travel?

travels: tools and tips for planning a trip

Monday, 19 October 2015

we have been busy dreaming and planning of our four-month trip away. converging the wish lists of three people, searching for the cheapest flights allowing surfboards, finding the best way to get to places, getting the best price for rental cars and nice places to stay.

i have compiled some of our favourite tools when it comes to traveling abroad:

a. rome2rio  it not only shows you the quickest way to get to your destination but all the different ways you can take to get there whether it is by plane, train, bus, ferry or car, along with a breakdown of the cost and length of the trip.

b. kayak — we used this site for flights comparison and it consistently showed the best deals, it offers the same services for hotels and car hire. we recommend flying during the week, tuesdays and thursdays are always cheaper, select flexible dates when researching for flights so you can pick the best prices. if you're considering changing your flights at any point, we recommend you book your flights directly with the airline company of your choice.

c. airbnb — we decided to camp for most of australia and new zealand, and stay in cheap hotels in bali, punctuating our trip with nice airbnbs along the way. airbnb is often a cheaper option than staying in hostels when you're not traveling alone.

d. dk eyewitness guidebooks bali and lombok, australia and new zealand this collection is my favourite, they contain an appealing ratio of text, images, illustrations and maps, which beats most other guide books in my eyes.

e. google calendar — to help us organise our trip visually and share with our family so they know where we are supposed to be at any given time.

e. friends  there is nothing more valuable than advice from people who have recently been in the country.

i hope you will find this list helpful, do you have any tips or tools you use regularly for organising a trip abroad?

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