Author Topic: Backpack recommendations and packing list help  (Read 1724 times)

FiguringItOut

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Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« on: June 05, 2019, 08:05:01 AM »
Hi, I will be traveling to South America in July, Argentina and Chile.  2 days at the Iguazu falls, 3 days in Buenos Aires, 4 days in Santiago, and 3 days on Easter Island.  I am having hard time figuring out the most compact way to pack. 

My fist stop will be Iguazu Falls.  I plan on taking boat trip to under/along falls, so at least one of the days will get very wet.  Second stop is Buenos Aires and I will have washer/dryer there at Airbnb.  Then Santiago, and then Easter Island.  It is winter there and is supposed to be somewhat rainy. Temp wise it should be equivalent to NY fall or early spring. And I don't really have 'rain' clothing or shoes.  I'd prefer not to spend $ on clothing I won't need after this trip, but I am not sure there is a choice.

What I currently have and normally wear are regular sneakers and keds.  I also have a pair of Tiva sandals, but they are open and for the summer.  Of course they can get wet, but I'm concerned that I will be cold in them at the falls. 

I don't have wind breakers or rain coat.  My fall jacket is of the regular material, but dries fast.  I do have a rain poncho that I used in Iceland at the falls, and I can take it with me to Iguazu Falls, but I would't be comfortable wearing it in the cities.

So, any way I can pack for this trip, 2 weeks, in a backpack?  I always travel with my regular size school backpack.  The longest trip I did with that backpack was 12 days in Germany/France, but it was summer and dry.

Also, I am not liking that backpack anymore, it seems to not be fitting my back well.  So if anyone has recommendations for an inexpensive travel backpack that's not too big and doesn't look like hard core hiking backpack I'd appreciate it.

So what would be the most compact way to pack for this trip?  Should I go in my sneakers and pack my Tiva's for the Falls trip.  My Tiva's are bulky, but will solve wet shoes problem without having to buy new waterproof boots that I don't really need otherwise. 

What would be your packing list for this?






Enough

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2019, 08:26:16 AM »
Neither are cheap, but I can recommend the Osprey Farpoint 40 or 55. 

The 55 gives you some extra room, but the biggest benefit is a day pack that zips off. For air travel, the day pack can be your personal item while the main pack has a flap that covers the backpack straps and fits as a carryon luggage on most airlines.  The biggest downside of the 55 is the design where the daypack (which is usually heaviest with electronics, waterbottle, etc) zips on the back of the main pack. that means that the heaviest part of your backpack is farthest from your back, making it unwieldy and uncomfortable when carrying everything on your back.

If you are going to be carrying everything often and don't need the daypack or extra room, the Osprey 40 would be better.


Laserjet3051

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2019, 08:28:07 AM »
An ultra- lightweight, durable windbreaker that doubles as a raincoat is an essential for these type of travels. They roll up into themselves for super small compact storage when not in use. As an outer, paper thin layer, a well designed one will keep you dry and warm in unfavorable conditions. Columbia offers the best value for this category but if you want to spend more, theres plenty of other manufacturers out there.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2019, 08:30:50 AM »
Neither are cheap, but I can recommend the Osprey Farpoint 40 or 55. 

The 55 gives you some extra room, but the biggest benefit is a day pack that zips off. For air travel, the day pack can be your personal item while the main pack has a flap that covers the backpack straps and fits as a carryon luggage on most airlines.  The biggest downside of the 55 is the design where the daypack (which is usually heaviest with electronics, waterbottle, etc) zips on the back of the main pack. that means that the heaviest part of your backpack is farthest from your back, making it unwieldy and uncomfortable when carrying everything on your back.

If you are going to be carrying everything often and don't need the daypack or extra room, the Osprey 40 would be better.

Thank you.  I just looked them up.  Definitely more expensive than I'd like.  Also, I have a small fold-able backpack that I use as daypack when I travel.  This one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0157N2HKU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_image?ie=UTF8&psc=1.

I also don't carry electronics or photo equipment, only my phone.
 

FiguringItOut

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2019, 08:42:20 AM »
An ultra- lightweight, durable windbreaker that doubles as a raincoat is an essential for these type of travels. They roll up into themselves for super small compact storage when not in use. As an outer, paper thin layer, a well designed one will keep you dry and warm in unfavorable conditions. Columbia offers the best value for this category but if you want to spend more, theres plenty of other manufacturers out there.

Do you mean something like this? https://www.columbia.com/womens-arcadia-ii-jacket---plus-size-RW2436.html?cgid=women-jacketsVests-rainJackets&dwvar_RW2436_variationColor=455#start=3

MidwestTrails

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2019, 09:05:26 AM »
The Osprey Porter 30 is a bit cheaper and with a good use of packing cubes, you could manage it. I like Eagle Creek packing cubes. They really do make a better use of space and since you'll have a little access to laundry, its definitely doable as long as you have clothes that can pull double-duty.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2019, 09:25:38 AM »
The Osprey Porter 30 is a bit cheaper and with a good use of packing cubes, you could manage it. I like Eagle Creek packing cubes. They really do make a better use of space and since you'll have a little access to laundry, its definitely doable as long as you have clothes that can pull double-duty.

What's the purpose of packing cubes?  I've seen them advertised, but I don't understand how they help with packing.
I usually pack my clothes by folding and then dividing them between several regular grocery plastic bags.  Roll each plastic bag tight and into the backpack they go.  I feel that having them in several plastic bags prevents clothes from moving around too much inside the backpack, easy to take each bag out when needed, and prevents stuff from getting wet if I get in a rain or such.  Do packing cubes have the same function?

AMandM

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2019, 10:14:39 AM »
An ultra- lightweight, durable windbreaker that doubles as a raincoat is an essential for these type of travels. They roll up into themselves for super small compact storage when not in use. As an outer, paper thin layer, a well designed one will keep you dry and warm in unfavorable conditions. Columbia offers the best value for this category but if you want to spend more, theres plenty of other manufacturers out there.

I agree with this, and a jacket like that is not just a special-purpose travel item. You can wear it in rainy or windy weather in NYC or any other city. I have the Marmot PreCip jacket whose retail price is $100 but that is easy to find on sale for $50-$60 if you are not picky about the color.

Along with that, I would recommend quick-drying top and pants, at least one set for the boat trip day. Hang them up in your room when you get back and they will be dry to pack or wear the next day.

FireHiker

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2019, 10:43:29 AM »
Another vote for Osprey packs (I have 3 different ones for very different needs) and the Marmot PreCip jacket. I have used them in various conditions: backpacking in various places (Osprey Ariel 65), Europe travel carry-on for everything (Osprey Porter 46), and LONG day hikes like Mt. Whitney (Osprey Mira AG 34). I've had the Ariel for 13 years and taken it on several backpacking trips and it has held up really well. It still pretty much looks new.

I LOVE my Marmot PreCip. I bought it at REI using a 20% off coupon. I've had it since early 2015. I bought it specifically for backpacking because my previous jacket finally wore out (an REI brand that held up for 10+ years with heavy use) but I also use it as my regular (only) raincoat. Living in So Cal I don't need it often of course, but it's great and so light.

I also agree that quick-drying clothes are a good idea. I like Columbia pants but I've had REI ones in the past and I've heard good things about Prana. For footwear I generally wear trail runners: La Sportiva Bushido are the ones I wore to summit Mt. Whitney, but there are several out there. If you aren't picky about colors or styles you can generally find things at least half off if you do some hunting.

A lot of the brands I mentioned can be $$$ if you're picky about this year's model or a certain color, but you can probably find better deals looking at clearance items/last year's colors. I got a Mountain Hardware down jacket half off once because I bought the previous year's version. The ridiculous part was that it was black, and the current year at the time also had a black one that looked identical for twice the price! Check REI Outlet or ask around on your local Buy Nothing group on facebook? It may be someone already has something they can lend you even for the trip. I see that a LOT on my group.

Your trip sounds amazing; enjoy!

NorthernBlitz

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« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 10:49:40 AM by NorthernBlitz »

yyc-phil

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2019, 11:44:25 AM »
Neither are cheap, but I can recommend the Osprey Farpoint 40 or 55. 



I second the Osprey Farpoint series. I have the 80 which gives me enough room to carry a very light sleeping bag and can be converted to a standard bag if needed. I ordered it from an outfit in Germany and paid 121 Euros, shipping to Canada included, not cheap but it didn't break the bank either for a quality backpack.

ericrugiero

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2019, 12:17:11 PM »
I just bought an Osprey Nebula off ebay to use as my travel/carryon luggage.  The osprey farpoint 40 would have been my first choice but it seems to be harder to find a deal on those.  (maybe that means everyone likes them?)  I really like mine because it's well made, fits well and has an awesome warranty even though it was purchased used.  I should be able to use it for a LONG time.  Ebay has a couple different osprey packs for about $60 shipped right now that would probably work for you.  I'd be looking in the 35-50 liter range if I was you.  The smaller end of that might be tight to pack for the length of trip you are talking.  The larger might be questionable for carryon size depending on the airline. 

A thin, light, waterproof jacket with hood is a useful item in general.  Well worth the investment if it's used regularly.  (I also love my marmot jacket)  I'd pair that with the cheapest waterproof pants I could find and call it good.  Put plastic bags over your shoes or wear wool socks and let them get wet (wool still helps keep you warm when wet). 

Maybe think about whether it makes sense to buy a cheap poncho or rain suit locally after you get there.  I don't know the area or your transportation situation but it sounds like others will probably need wet weather gear as well.  If you can buy something outside of the tourist traps it might make more sense to buy there. 

MsPeacock

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2019, 12:41:57 PM »
Ditto what others have said about a good rain jacket. They are indispensable for travel as well as "regular" life. Patagonia has an online Outlet w/ last years colors, etc. and their products are very good. I bought a very expensive Gortex jacket from North Face, at what seemed an unimaginable sum of money at the time (I think $400 -which is still a very very expensive jacket). However, 20 years later that jacket is still going strong. I wear it, my kids wear it, by boyfriend wears it,  it has been all over the globe. Gortex has come down significantly in cost and you should be able to get a good jacket for far less than $400.

I tend to travel with one pair of shoes. I'm not sure if you are hiking much - but getting a good pair of waterproof hiking boots may be worthwhile. Amazon usually has a good selection (I am partial to one particular style of Timberland boots that also seems to be indestructible). Alternatively a pair of trail running shoes, some of which are waterproof.

Layers are your friend for iffy weather. I tend to travel with the same sorts of clothes that I wear at home because I don't like "travel clothing" very much. I find jeans and t-shorts and a sweater or sweatshirt (plus abovementioned jacket) to do very well. Plan to rewear things and do a load of wash mid-trip.

Dee18

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2019, 02:36:13 PM »
You can certainly use the pack you have, but it sounds like you do need more appropriate shoes and a rain jacket.  It will be chilly when you are there so you will need a waterproof shell and a warm fleece pullover or jacket that will fit under the shell.  You do not need to have Gortex.  Just get a jacket that is waterproof.  I have recently seen some by North Face and by Columbia at very low prices at TJ Maxx. An online place to shop is Sierra Trading Post, which sells last year’s styles at great discounts.  For shoes I would get trail running shoes.  They can be all purpose for your trip.  Have a great time!
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 08:14:47 AM by Dee18 »

El_Viajero

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2019, 05:48:01 PM »
I spent a year and a half backpacking from Nicaragua all the way to Patagonia. I zigzagged around a lot, which is why it took as long as it did.

For the first six months, I had a 28-liter backpack. I even strapped a small travel guitar to the outside of it. Aside from whatever I was wearing, I had 2 changes of clothes. You can wash clothes by hand in the sink and dry them at night. If they don't dry out during the night, no problem. Just leave them up all the next day. Remember: you still have that one extra change of clothes. Oh, and just wear the same clothes you wear at home. There is no reason to buy any fancy North Face moisture wicking ultra-traveler blah blah blah. By the time I got to Colombia, I was so sick of my travel pants that I ditched them and bought a regular pair of jeans.

Shoes: Yes, just wear a pair of normal sneakers and bring along your sandals and/or flip flops. You'll be just fine.

In that 28-liter backpack, I also fit a laptop, camera, cell phone, and all toiletries. You could put a few extras in, such as a rain coat and rain pants if you're planning on getting wet. That said, you'll only be getting really wet one day. You'll have to carry the rain pants around EVERY day, so think about that. It might be better to just get wet one day and change into dry clothes later.

I only increased my gear load when a friend came to visit and brought all of my real backpacking gear so that I could do some multi-day treks through the Andes. If you're not doing anything like that, you won't need more than the 28-liter pack. Most people overcomplicate packing and bring all sorts of contingency items. If you find you need something, you can just buy it. Get a 30-liter pack if you're really worried about space.


use2betrix

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Re: Backpack recommendations and packing list help
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2019, 06:36:21 PM »
This is what we brought for 2 months backpacking in Asia for both my wife and myself. We had a bit more than some people may need. Laptop, Kindles, some workout resistance bands, gym clothes, etc.