What do you bring for a year long flashpacking trip around the word? This is a very common question we get. So we created this page in an effort to more fully detail our gear, along with reviews and recommendations based upon our experience on the road. We will be updating the page with additional reviews and commentary as we continue our travels.
Backpacks: This is pretty critical piece of gear. It carries all of your stuff and needs to be big enough, but not so big you are tempted to carry around lots of extra gear. We went with backpacks over rolling bags or other types of luggage as it offers the benefit of keeping your hands free as you negotiate crowded and unevenly paved streets, stairs and ferry boarding ramps. As a rule, if you are not bringing lots of technical camping type gear, 60-65 liters should be more than enough. If you don’t think so reevaluate what you think you need. As we have discovered along the way, a backpack also needs to be tough. We bought both of our packs at REI and while we are generally happy with them, Keith’s pack in particular is built to be super lightweight and as such seems more vulnerable to wear and tear. If we had it to do over again Keith would get a traveler pack, something like the Osprey Men’s Waypoint 65 Pack that had a couple of key features his does not including:
- Front loading, traditional top-loading packs are a pain to pull things in and out of. Keith is jealous of people with front loading packs as they can lay it down unzip itand have access to all contents in 30 seconds.
- Lockable, our packs have so many openings it is impossible to lock them, and while we have not had a problem yet, we end up leaving our packs in hotel luggage rooms unattained all the time and we are more worried about someone putting something illicit in before we head to an airport, vs stealing some of our dirty clothes.
- Tough material, the Osprey pack is very lightweight but as such it is much more vulnerable to abrasion and the abuse of getting through under buses, on top of vans, through airports and such.
In addition to our main large packs we also each carry small day packs. We use our day packs as carry-ons when flying and for keeping the important/breakable/valuable stuff with us at all times, including things like the laptop, back-up hard-drive, and camera.
Security Stuff: When we talk with people back in the States we often get the question if we have had anything stolen yet. Thankfully, the answer at this point is no. We like to think it is mostly due to the fact that most of the people in the world have a base level of morality and are not looking to swipe our belongings at the first chance they get. It is also probably a result of our somewhat fanatical approach to security. It starts by having travel locks to secure all the zippers of our small day packs and a small cable and padlock to secure our big packs when they are stored under buses as we have heard of bags being mistakenly taken out when buses stop in the middle of the night. We also use the PacSafe to secure our laptop and camera when we leave them in our room. Finally, when we are traveling from place to place, we use the universal traveler accessory, the Eagle Creek passport and money belt. By taking the security of our stuff seriously and consistently using these simple methods we hope to avoid becoming victims.
Travel Insurance: When you are headed out on a trip, insurance is always a consideration. When looking for the best options it is a great idea to do a bit of comparison shopping. After all you wouldn’t buy an airline ticket from the first airline website you check, right? A great site to compare travel insurance rates is Money Supermarket.
*If you click on any of the links above and purchase something we will get a tiny amount of money – hopefully enough to buy a paperback book from Amazon at the end of the year. I’m just telling you this because the FTC thinks you aren’t smart enough to figure this out for yourself.