Travel Light – Travel Right
I love to travel light. Before every journey I lay out all my stuff and try my best to eliminate anything that I don’t think I will really need or use. Still, as we all know, nature abhors a vacuum. By the time I’m ready to head for the airport it seems that I have managed to fill all those nooks and crannies in my luggage with various odds and ends that “just might” come in handy. Yep – if there is space – seems I can’t avoid using it. What? You too?
So I have been considering a new grand plan – one with less space for me to fill with stuff. It’s not a unique plan. Others do it all the time. It’s just new for me. The Plan? Travel with only a carry-on. Take that month or two month trip through South America or Southeast Asia with a real minimalist approach. Gotta admit. There is a lot of appeal to this idea. But for me it will also be a challenge. Happy to say, however, that I have taken some first steps to face that challenge.
Step One: Find the right carry on bag.
For my journeys I have been looking for a great multi-purpose carry-on. The size had to be right of course. I want the largest that is workable for carry-on status. It has to be sturdy. After all, it will have all my stuff in it. For me that includes clothes, electronics, and camera gear. It has to be easy to carry. Sometimes I want a regular carry handle but mostly I want to be able to use it as a backpack – keeping my arms and hands free to handle other things such as my photography. That’s one of the biggest advantages of traveling light. I also wanted the bag to open in standard book-like fashion rather than loading from the top as most backpacks. I think this will make it much more usable for me as an all purpose carry-on.
My Selection: VentureSafe 45L GII anti-theft Travel Backpack
This bag is made by Pacsafe (Pacsafe.com), a company that specializes in safety minded, security oriented travel equipment. Security features include “eXomesh” – a flexible, stainless steel wire mesh that is laminated between fabric layers – providing extra strength as well as protection from being cut intentionally by a thief or tearing if accidentally caught on a luggage conveyor or other sharp corners. Stainless steel cables also run through the straps for the same reason (Back pack straps also can be stored when not needed so they aren’t just dangling around, looking for something to snag on). Zipper pulls interlock to resist separating and pulling open. All zippers also can be aligned to one single anchor lock point where one lock secures the entire bag. It even includes a stainless steel locking cable so the bag can be locked to a solid object when you don’t want to take it with you.
There’s lots of room inside – (HxWxD): 22 x 14 x 9.1 inches – and weighs in at 2 lbs 15 oz. Inside there are the typical straps to minimize load shifting. There is also an internal zippered mesh pocket in the top. On the outside there is a large front zippered pocket with several smaller mesh pockets inside. There are compression straps on both sides to keep the pack as compact as possible. The back side of the pack has a moulded backing providing air channels for cooling air flow when worn as a backpack.
The pack comes in three colors – an Olive/Khaki, a Gunmetal Grey, and a Blue. When I travel I try to blend in and not draw a whole lot of attention to myself. The less flashy the better for my style of travel. For that reason I selected the Gunmetal Grey bag. In fact, I am thinking I will likely cover that big Pacsafe logo with some of my photographers gaffer’s tap just to be a bit more in the “Stealth Mode.”
I have high hopes for the bag. I think it’s a great first move toward my goal of carry-on only travel. I’ll have to take it on a test run and see how it works. Check back for a trial run report.
Pack Light …………… And Enjoy the Adventure!
Dr.B, The Photo Trekker