Your Luggage Will Grow Travel Tip

Tourists and Travelers buy things, stuff, etc. This travel tip explains how to make your bag expandable.

Your Luggage Will Grow Travel Tip

How to manage gear that grows? First of all you must accept reality, gear really does grow for odd reasons, and people naturally accumulate new things to carry in their luggage.

One must plan for expansion, for sure carrying around plastic bags full of souvenirs is the sign the traveler was not prepared. We must accept reality, we buy things, stuff, junk, weird gear, all sorts of things we do not need, but want.

Expandable Backpack

Tourists and Travelers plan one trip, then live another one; there is no way the trip you planned, it the one you will take.

My guesstimate is that the average tourist returns from vacation with at least 20 extra pounds. I have seen backpackers out for a six month tour send home a 20 pound bag every month.

If you do not buy extra gear, souvenirs, strange and exotic items along the path, then you are the weird one out, but 99 percent of people buy tons of stuff.

I now have two grain bags, they are small, light, strong as can be, and when I am not using them, I can still afford to carry. I do not need to throw away, and buy again; they are quite light and small.

I buy new ideas for gear; I am constantly trying to invent travel gear, to make my life simpler. My bag grows full of gadgets, then I dump them, and try again, some ideas work, but most travel inventions are not sustainable, and my bag shrinks.

But, how does one attach these bindle to a backpack?


Looks like an improvised version of the PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) devised by the U.S military for the MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment). Loop ladders give the ability to weave extra pouches and utilities as required. One year I used such a pack in an experiment for travel adaptability. However, most of the afforable packs this system are on are of a small capacity to begin with and I found that they also didn't distribute weight as well as civilian packs. Lastly, nearly all were made from a material durability designed for military use, hence overly heavy to begin with. The way you've done it is probably better. Rather than being 'covered' in rows of ladder loops, just a few on there to lash on gear that is gradually aqquired.


Military gear, especially the WW II type, or Vietnam War stuff was real smartly designed, and some great ideas. I purchased a knockoff Ranger Bag before coming to Africa, but the back had too many problems to use. Military surplus is not military surplus, until you was in the military and know what was really used.

Generally, in the last 2-3 years, the Airlines have made carrying two bags on the plane too expensive. Therefore I carry core gear, and acquire gear after I am in country.

The cost of the gear is cheaper than the cost of paying bag fees.

99 percent of the gear I carry can be purchased in any country.

Distribution of weight is more of a backpacking for mountain problem, but I am always prepared to walk 1-2 miles when I make a travel mistake.

For walking less than 50 yard, I now just put the bag on my head, carry it like people carry water, the most comfortable way of walking with weight. The serpas of Nepal do this, few normal people, from the mass of countries carry large bags on their backs.

As the video showed, there are times when you have a bag on the side, there are times when a square is better, a box, or a long plank bag. Putting a bag in, on, or attached to a motorcycle requires a bag to adapt.


I learned a long time ago to travel light. Start by packing up what you "think" you will want and need on your trip. Do this 5/6 days prior to departure. Then about 3 days prior undo and repack again. Invariably you discard a lot of things you realize are not necessary. I have also developed over time 2 lists for travel, 1- has just about everything you can think of on it, that is mainly to be certain I don't forget something I really want to take. 2- this is my short must have list which works for most anywhere I will go. Even after I pack up with this list I still redo prior to leaving.
We generally always end up with a few things we could have left behind and for me my system works.
I basically learned to do this when I was in the Marine Corps. They always had us packing so much stuff we would never use or could get where we were going. 30 to 50 lb packs were ridiculous and most all of us eventually learned to go light with only the bare necessities. I'm speaking of basic travel not in combat zones.
One of the things I learned on short trips, 3/4 weeks at most is I do not carry a computer of any kind. I check at a local shop wherever I'm at 2 maybe 3 times a week for very little cost.
You are right about buying what you need and leaving stuff behind that becomes unimportant after some use.


Paul Thearoux doesnt carry a computer. Uses pencil and notebook. Transcribes via Internet cafe periodically. Recently listened to a PBS interview with Rick Steves interviewing Thearoux. Steves was incredulous that Thearoux didnt use a laptop. After years of real travel Thearoux probably knows a thing or two.

I travel with about 20-25 pounds of gear. One small knapsack. People think they 'need' much more than they actually do.r


15 year old Jansport knapsack (scothguarded)
small nail clipper
pen knife
20 feet parachute cord
immersion heater
2 tin cups (one actually very light small Japanese cooking pan)
small soap container
one pair pants (olive)
one pair shorts (olive)
one belt
3 pairs black socks (Ortho brand)
three t-shirts
two golf-shirts
one long sleeve button down
one fleece
$2.99 rain poncho
brimmed hat
3 lb sleeping bag w sleeve
neck pouch w documents id cards plus 2 sets of copies
one pair of really good shoes (scotchguarded)
small notebook
netbook 3 lbs
usb drives (2)
small camera
2 cords for above
plug adapter w/ surge protector

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