Choosing a Travel Backpack

Choosing a Travel Backpack
I am in the final design phase of making a travel backpack. How to choose a travel backpack, it has become clear to me, it is simple to choose a backpack.

The real problem is,
“What to pack for travel?”

If you know what to pack, choosing a travel backpack becomes easier.

Manila, Ermita Philippines
Monday, August 4, 2008
Blog of Andy --- --- Backpack Design Survey

I left the majority of my gear in a Hotel Storage Room in Bangkok, Thailand; I found it interesting what I decided I needed for a two-week trip to Manila, Philippines.

I really despise and annoyed by this word, it is not the correct word. Maybe I should say, I left my personal possessions in a Bangkok.

“What did I buy in a travel gear shop?”

After reviewing my personal possessions, the only thing I purchased in a gear shop was the “Backpack.” I like to go into Gear shops, I almost never purchase anything. What I really want, the items I would really like to buy, and they do not sell.

Here are some personal possessions I packed to come to Manila, however I do not know many people who carry.

This is a large plastic vegetable oil jug; I cut off the top, used some duct tape to cover the edge so it does not cut the fabric of my backpack. I put inside the pack to protect valuable electronics, I use to wash clothes, and strangest, I use for a table for my computer. The number or uses for a bucket are never ending.

Cooking with alcohol, this is my system, I just put a tuna can in the bottom and fill up with rubbing alcohol purchased anywhere on the planet. It is not as simple as it seems, I purchased that rectangular cooker at a garage sale in Ghent, Belgium. If you want to eat and live healthy, you must cook in your room.

I also brought a small umbrella, I use this continuously here in Manila, and it has been raining buckets of water. I can never understand people, they will buy quick drying, extremely expensive clothing, yet will not buy an umbrella whereby they would not need the expensive clothing. They also buy this stuff, but refuse to carry nylon cord for a clothesline.

Ok, how to choose a backpack?

1. Buy all the junk you think you need, but really do not need.
2. Pack it all in a cardboard box, or maybe a plastic garbage bag.
3. Measure the volume or…
4. Take to the backpack shop.
5. Stuff all your unneeded junk into the bag.
6. Buy a bag 25 percent bigger, I do not buy souvenirs, however the other 99 percent of people do.

Now, grow up, read close, not that you are going to be able to find the bag easy, but you 100 percent NEED a bag that locks.

The bag should have only one opening, no exterior pockets for to carrying gear you do not need. If there is an exterior zipper, it should have a way to lock it, if it does not have a way to lock it, then you are buying a hiking bag and not a travel bag.

Simple, you want a bag that locks, and will hold all your personal possessions.

I suppose comfortable shoulder straps or harness is good, but really the least of your worries, if the salesperson is trying to push this as a high priority, again you are buying a hiking pack, and not a travel backpack.

My guess is 99 percent of people buy hiking backpacks, 1 person buys a travel backpack. Then 99 percent of people need a travel backpack, and 1 percent of people need a hiking backpack.

What to pack? Passport, Bank Card, the only two essentials to travel the world. Trust me; they sell what you need where you are going, if you forget, not a big problem.

Choosing a Travel Backpack


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Ever heard of those small efficient alcohol stoves? Try these URL's:

For some cool DIY projects to make efficient stoves, might work better than a tuna can :)

I have heard, in fact on Zenstoves, there is a couple of links to my site.

What is really inside that is a trangia stove. I have a small and a large one. I had before I through it out, a clipstand thing, that was suppose to protect from the wind.

I cook about five times per week in my room. The Trangia is nice, it hold the extra fuel, but in the end the tuna can works just as good if not better.

I can buy the tuna can anywhere on the planet. My friend Chris sent me the Trangia.

I do not recommend, but a nice toy.

The problem is getting the proper amount of oxygen, this set up protects quick, 2 second to set up, and you can super heat the metal by filling up the bottom with a lot of extra.

Plus, if I want to protect the floor, I fill the bottom up with water and let the tuna can float, or the Trangia.

I have traveled the world over, and rarely have I had to cook my own food. I find that I have been able to choose (somewhat) healthy foods almost everywhere I've been. Of course, I am not the type of person that gains weight easily, that might have something to do with my choose of eating in small "Off the Path" local type eateries, market district vendors.

I guess you said it,

After over 10 years of continuos, never ending travel, I needed to stop eating somewhat healthy and start to eat healthy.

I use that bucket to clean Vegetables and soak them in clorinated water to kill the e-coli. I also am carrying a vegetagble peeler.

I boil the water in the bucket with an electric heater, then add clorine, add the vegetables. This works for many fresh foods.

Oh, you use a Trangia! I've cooked on those myself before. They're good, but might work better outside cause they burn hotter with good oxygen flow, which is why that protective screen you threw away had all the holes in it. Trangias are pretty cool.

I come from a backpacking/hiker and canoe tripping background. My gear shelf has several backpacks of various designs and dimensions. The needs of a lightweight backpacker is different from a canoe tripper and also different from a Traveler.

I like the bucket pack liner idea. It is always good for a piece of "gear" to do double duty.

I have been using alcohol for boiling water several years on my expeditions and have experimented with cat stoves, pepsi can stoves, fruit juice cans, zen stoves etc.

Some people get anal about testing their stove for the amount of alky it takes to boil 1 cup of water. A Traveler doesn't have to worry about the minutia of Alcohol stove cooking.

I have also found alcohol stoves work best when it is warm. It takes much more fuel to boil water in a cool or cold climate.

I made a comment about the weight of your laptop and if you had considered purchasing an Asus EEE.
You didn't allow the comment and immediately deleted the photo of your HP Laptop.
Why did you do this?

Hello Frank, there has been no deletion and I even replied to your comment.

What happened is this, there are seven days of blog post on the main page. I believe what happened is the post you commented on became over seven days old and went further down the list.

Sadly, the system used to do this blog does not allow readers to gracefully go back in time and look at post.

If you click on the lowest link in the left hand column it would bring you back to this link.

The trangia is ok, it has a lot of problems.

I realize, I should modify one and see if I can fix it.

I use this thing daily, a tuna can almost works as well. I will alter a tuna can, I think I can make a tuna can work better.

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