Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Travel Gear: Backpack and Sandals Purchased!


You may have noticed that it’s been a long time since I’ve taken a real, decent trip.

That’s going to change.

I have a trip in the works.  Several of you already know what it is.  I can’t reveal anything about it here yet, but believe me, in time, you’ll find out.  And it’s going to be glorious.

This trip requires a lot more gear than what I already own.  I’ve been accumulating that gear slowly.

The biggest purchases I need to make are a backpack, day pack, netbook computer (and case), travel sandals, hiking sneakers, PacSafe and moneybelt.

I found two of those items today!

For my backpack, I chose the REI Venturi 40 Pack.

Isn’t that a beautiful color?

A 40-liter backpack is a small size, even for women, but I chose this for a few reasons: it’s small enough to count as carry-on luggage, it will keep me down to the essentials, and it will probably be better for my back.  (My back has had on-and-off issues since my waitressing days in college.)

I got the idea to buy a 40-liter backpack after reading Sofia’s post on As We Travel on how to travel the world without checking luggage.  Check it out; her tips are great!

Next, I chose the Teva Tirra for my travel sandals.

I knew shoes would be a difficult search — a year and a half ago, I developed tendinitis in my right ankle, and then my right arch fell sharply; finding comfortable shoes has been a battle ever since.  (I miss wearing heels like you wouldn’t believe.)

I started my travel sandals search with Chacos, which are the female backpacker favorite and earn raves for their style as well as their comfort.  Unfortunately, Chacos just don’t fit me well.  I found the straps to be too long around the ankle.

Then I found these Tevas — and they felt AMAZING.  They may not be acceptable for the club, but they have splashes of purple.  And I LOVE anything purple.

I have to give credit to my mom, who brought a month-old ad to the store that announced a 20-30% off sale, though it wasn’t a coupon.  Well, she showed the girl at the register, who wasn’t sure what to do with it — so she gave us 25% off!  YES!  (I originally told my mom not to bring the coupon…I’m NEVER doing that again!)

Coming up next: the netbook, which I may purchase this week!  I’m leaning toward a Toshiba.  Any suggestions?

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18 Responses to “Travel Gear: Backpack and Sandals Purchased!”
  1. ayngelina says:

    Kudos on the 40L pack, I travel with a 65L but now that I’m on the road I wish I went with something smaller.

    I also wear Chacos and it’s the best item I purchased but I can understand they’re not for everyone.

    • Kate says:

      That’s what I keep hearing, Ayngelina — everyone wishes they brought less stuff and a smaller pack. Hopefully I won’t be one of them!

      • Tony says:

        Nice work on the small backpack! It is really hard to regret packing less… although Meg might disagree since she has a 32 L pack and misses having a little more variety in clothes!

        We love our PacSafe, just be careful not to over stuff it. Our zipper broke on ours and now the bag just stays open… kind of defeats the purpose!

  2. Cynthia McCulley says:

    I LOVE that backpack!! Let me know how you like it…I might be in the market for a new one soon!

  3. Wow, can’t wait to do this kind of “shopping” !!! 🙂
    Thanks for the advice, I’ll check out Tevas for sure (thin ankles here!) 🙂

  4. Shannon OD says:

    Congrats on starting the major purchasing! Those sandals do look uber cute…and even though I am a chacos die-hard, they look comfy 🙂

    As for the bag – seems like the perfect size! I carry a 52 litre (it was free from a friend) and often have some extra space becuase I like to keep it light, so you can def fit everything you need in 40Ls!

  5. Michael says:

    Nice choice on a backpack! I’m so excited for you! My backpack was carry-on as well and always took with me everywhere I went. It never went under the bus and always carried it with me on the plane. I’ve been called out several times on how small it was heh. It’s so worth it.

  6. Gareth Sear says:

    Hi Kate

    Looks like you are planning something adventurous – but somewhere hot. Walking safari in Africa? Inca Trail?

    Nice bag and it’s great that like the colour and mention the purple splashes on the sandals. It is important to look good and one of my dear friends runs a website dedicated to things that look good for girls going travelling. Why be a dowdy traveller? When I worked in outdoor shops selling travel and walking gear they struggled with the concept that it is important to look good wherever you go and that colour is important. To men and well as women!

    As for the size, my bags are getting smaller when possible. I’m selling a lot more 40 liter travel bags than I used to, purely as they are easier to use as carry one and it means you can keep your kit to a minimum. A lot less effort.

    Just out of interest, why did you get a pack safe and what one did you go for? Is it a full mesh one? There are some schools of thought that by using one you are saying that you don’t trust the people in the local area and that you have something work stealing in your pack. So they they will steal your pack anyway… or did you just get a lock and cable to stop the opportunist bag thief?

    Look forward to hearing about your next glorious trip.

    • Kate says:

      Hi, Gareth! I’m keeping the trip under wraps for now…you’ll find out within the next few months! 😉

      I haven’t yet bought a PacSafe, but I plan to. I won’t keep it on my bag while out and about — that’s taking it too far — but I absolutely plan to use it to lock my bag to my bed or something stationary whenever I leave it in my room. I don’t think it makes you MORE likely to be robbed — if anything, it will deter opportunistic thieves, and most thieves are opportunistic anyway!

      The PacSafe debate is interesting — I think I’ll write about it next week!

  7. Ben says:

    Hi Kate, I’m heading off on my first RTW soon, and am taking my Netbook. How do you keep yours safe and in one piece when travelling? I’m sightly worried about it being in my backpack and it being tossed about, and leaving safely in Hostels etc. I know your back from your trip know, and was wondering if you had any advice on keeping a Netbook safe and sound 🙂


  8. Vanessa (@turnipseeds) says:

    Love this post- keep it up! Curious to see what you’ll pick as a day pack!

  9. Kate; I actually recommend a Macbook Air for you. Costs a bit more but you get what you pay for in construction and reliability, you get to run Mac OS X which has essentially zero virus/trojan/malware problems and just overall a much better day to day computer experience.

  10. Melissa says:

    Have you considered the HP Envy x2? It’s a laptop that doubles as a tablet. Best of both worlds? It’s 3lbs with an 11″ screen. Might be worth looking into, or another similar product.

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