"" Writer's Wanderings: Backpacks - Not just for Backpackers

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Backpacks - Not just for Backpackers

One of the handiest pieces of "luggage" to travel with is a small backpack. For years we saw lots of European travelers with them on their backs and just assumed they were "backpackers." Not so. True backpackers heft large backpacks that stretch from their heads to their knees and require a strong back to tote them all over the hiking trails and through the airports.

Our backpacks are more student-sized but they provide an easy access to those things we need to carry on board an airplane with us or just even to venture out on a day's touring. For example, on our plane trip, I put all of my meds in there (never be separated from your medications when you travel), sound-canceling headphones, my ebook, my small HP mini computer, camera, glasses/contact lenses, wallet, and 311 bag (the plastic bag of liquids and gels I want with me). There is also room on the outside in a little mesh pouch for a bottle of water--purchased of course after going through security. And the backpack is soft sided so it stows more easily than a carry-on suitcase.

When we are touring, it is a convenient carrier for an umbrella, a light jacket/sweater, camera, wallet, snacks, water, and a place to stash a few souvenirs instead of having to lug them in my hand. Just be aware to keep valuables down in the bottom of the main area and not in outside pouches where they can easily be lifted by a pickpocket. And trust me, they are quickly about their business before you ever notice them. I've seen some people wear their backpack in front of them in areas where there are more crowds.

All in all, backpacks aren't just for kids and backpackers. They are for the savy traveler as well and you can even get them in fancy leathers--although I would imagine those are heavier to carry. Happy trails!

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