Pictured above is the Arc’teryx Expedition Naos 85L in gold rush yellow, costs about 500USD.
The bigger the backpack, the more it will get filled up by the time you leave.
When thinking about traveling once more, I am reminded of this axiom that I have heard before. It means that if you take a large pack with you, at some point in time, it will be filled to the brim with stuff. So the bigger backpack you take, the heavier it will get.
I have thought a lot about how we packed and how we went about our trip in Thailand over Chinese New Year.
There were a lot of areas where I could improve.
My next trip will take place in July 2007. I will be gone for a whole month. I plan on taking minimal gear, going the route of the lightweight backpacking. Since I don’t really have to bother about a sleeping tent, cooking gear or sleeping bags, this makes stuff a lot simpler. A simple good daypack could do the job easily. In fact, I am already looking at some used gear that I found in Taiwan that might be appropriate for my trip. I am thinking about a 35L internal pack that would most probably be suitable. Since I am going to a hot environment that could get wet, I should be taking a good gore-tex raincoat (Berghaus, Arc’teryx, I haven’t decided yet. I might just use an old one that I have laying around).
One of the errors I made was to bring along a lot of cotton clothes. All cotton clothes do is absorb sweat and stay damp. This time, I will bring along a few clothes, but not that many. A pair of good pants made out of microfiber, maybe a microfiber shirt and some baselayers to wick away the sweat. I will be using a hydration pack and I hope to be able to use my pack as my daypack; always carrying all of my gear with me.
The last time, I had a large pack with me. I also had a daypack with with, which was my shoulder bag that housed my DSLR camera. I was very uncomfortable and very heavy. It must have been close to 25kg in total in two bags that I could not really carry together. Next time, I plan on using some of the internal housings of my bigger backpack in the new smaller pack, so that it can hold my camera gear comfortably and safely. Instead of wasting money on new gear, I found some almost new gear that was worth a look. Most probably, a very important part of the pack will be the raincoat; it’s important to get a breathable gore-tex raincoat that doesn’t keep in the sweat and moisture.
The pack I’m looking at will have two places for hydration packs. I will probably take 2x3L just to be sure. I want to take about 10kg with me or less.
One thing that definitely killed me was the weight of my laptop. I need to scale that down as much as possible. The trouble is that I will be gone for a month and the last time I took 2000 photos in 9 days. Multiply that by 5 and you got 10000 pictures that need to backed-up. A small MacBook might be ideal, but as before, I am unsure if I will purchase one for that time.
Ideally, I would like to buy a Arc’teryx Naos backpack, but they are insanely expensive for backpacks (from 320 to 500 USD for the largest 85L version). However they are completely waterproof. I have read that you can actually drop them into water and they will stay dry. They use a new way of fitting the backpack together instead of seams. Unlike other backpacks, they do not have a lot of pockets, which kind of sucks, but the Naos 55 has been singled out as the best backpack for 2006 by a few sites. That kind of puts my whole Oakley Kitchen Sink idea out to the wind. As much as I want to get that pack, I can’t justify the purchase. I would rather get some more useful packs that will actually be necessary for my trip than just get another backpack that has a lot of so-called features.
For now, I will buy used gear.