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Thread: How big a bag do I need for my 2 week trip?

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    How big a bag do I need for my 2 week trip?

    I am planning a 2 week safari and am looking for a bag that I can carry with backpack type straps or on my shoulder. My original thought was that the Aeronaut would be a good fit for my needs but I am now wondering if I might be able to use something a bit smaller. Keep in mind that I am not a super light packer but more a "mid-weight" packer. I am having trouble envisioning what size bag will hold my stuff. I am planning on packing the following:
    3 pair ladies hiking pants
    3 long sleeve hiking type shirts
    2 t-shirts
    2 tank tops
    1 sports bra
    1 bathing suit
    1 pair pjs
    6 pair of underwear
    4-5 pair of socks
    1 lightweight fleece
    hat
    bandana
    1 pair light running shoes & 1 pair flip flops
    eyeglasses
    sunglasses
    binoculars
    travel journal
    2 medium to large cosmetic bags (I am the mom and will be carrying sunscreen, bugspray, prescription meds, etc.)

    I have no idea of how to tell what size bag I will need to hold all of this. My spatial vision is not great and 35 liters or 45 liters doesn't mean a lot to me. Any advice from you experienced TB folks?

  2. #2
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    You could try packing it all in a bag you already have and figure out the inside volume of that bag. From your packing list, and depending on your size, I would guess that you come in somewhere between 1700 to 2000 cu. in. Anyone else have a guesstimate?


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    My suggestion is go with the Aeronaut. If gives you more options. Don't just think of it as a bag for one trip. It will be a bag you'll want to take in the future.

    Get the ballistic nylon version rather than the Dyneema for a safari. It's a tougher material.

    Add the Absolute Strap and think about packing cubes.
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    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  4. #4
    Registered User flaneuse's Avatar
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    Another vote for the aeronaut and packing cubes. I love packing cubes, they make it so much easier to sort my items. Plus no worries about loosing anything during screening as it's all contained in cubes.
    My TB family:
    A45 in black/iberian, black/steel BB S25 in black dyneema S19 in black/iberian LCB in steel parapack/iberian CP in navy ballistic/solar Swift in steel dyneema LS in Aubergine SE in steel 400d dyneema, nordic dyneema/solar, solar TTs various pouches/key straps/YSSs iPad mini cache LSBs, SSBs PCSB, A45 PCBP in Nordic dyneema 360mm Quiver

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    Thanks, everyone. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to pack another bag to get a sense of what capacity I need (slaps forehead). Great idea!

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    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
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    Another vote for the aeronaut! If you don't fill it to capacity, there will be more room for shopping! Although I have the absolute strap, I find that carrying it as a backpack is much more comfortable.

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Back to your packing list...it looks reasonable to me. I'm assuming you'll wear your hiking/trail shoes on the plane? I've not been to Africa yet, but do you think you could use a super light weight rain jacket to layer over your fleece?


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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    No camera?


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    Yes, Monkeylady I will wear the heaviest shoes on the plane. I'm wondering the same thing about a light rain shell-need to look into that question. The small camera will be in my soon-to-be-ordered Synapse 19 and my husband will carry the big lens. I'm working on the packing list now and keeping it as pared down as possible.

  10. #10
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    I think your packing list looks great! Not too much, not too little. There have been some posts here in the last 3-4 mos. about packing lists for Africa. You'll likely find them through the Search function. I seem to remember someone talking about some chilly nights and another about occasinal rain, hence my suggestion about the jacket. Is all your gear going in the S 19 or will it be your personal carry.
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    Thanks for the tip, I will search for the Africa threads. While I am working to pack light, I'm still a newbie so the Synapse19 will be my personal carry.I'm considering the Aeronaut for my main bag. For the personal carry, I need something that can hold my fleece, binoculars, wallet, sunscreen and everyday items that I can keep with me on the international flights, small planes and game drives. My "big" bag will be squeezed into cargo holds on the small planes so no wheels and no frame are allowed. I am thinking that the backpack straps will be useful.

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    I also use my Synapse (25) as a personal carry. Depending on the time of arrival at my destination, I may also pack in it night wear, indies, and a clean shirt for the next day so that I don't have to rummage through my main bag in the wee hours. I also put my Travel Tray in my Synapse with flashlight, headlamp, glasses case, meds for night and morning, and my mini kit of charging gear. Again no need to rummage through main bag in the wee hours. Sometimes I pack one full set of clothes, just in case I get gate checked. I have ZERO trust in airlines' handling of luggage.


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    Thanks for the packing info, Monkeylady. I am with you on low expectations for the airlines and luggage. I am interested to hear about your S25. I am wondering if the S19 or the 25 is right for me. Here is what I expect to pack: on the planes I will carry a clean shirt, socks and undergarments, wallet & travel docs, kindle, a guidebook, medium cosmetic bag, pashmina, cell phone, water bottle, gum, tissues, compact comb, quart size bag of liquids and a deflated travel pillow. As a day bag, I need to carry a fleece, my small wallet and sunglasses, binoculars, small cosmetic pouch, sunscreen, tissues and wipes, gloves and hat and a water bottle. I am most interested in the dyneema fabric. As someone with experience with the the bag, what do you think about the S25 vs the S19? FYI, I'm about 5'6" and medium/small build.

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Dear Travelmom,
    I have no experience with the S19, so can't compare for you. I'm off to Ecuador and Panama in 2.5 weeks (but who's counting?) and I can tell you what my S25 is carrying. I am 5'8" BTW. For the flight: binocs, a change of clothes including sleepwear, rain jacket, fleece, camera, noise cancelling headphones (the big honking over your ears variety), Kindle, travel tray, bathroom
    kit in a clear 1/4 cube, paperwork for trip, organizer pouch with chargers and cords not in Travel Tray. Suspended inside the bag at the top is a Side Effect with my backup battery, snacks, extra wipes, glasses case.

    In the front side pockets, a stuff sack for my rain jacket, a stuff sack for my Nano puff jacket, more snacks, my passport pouch, 3-1-1 pouch. In the bottom pocket is my other Side Effect which is outfitted as an EDC. This I can remove when I need to use the loo on the plane, instead of dragging in the whole pack (Mr. Monkeylady does an excellent job of guarding my precious belongings in these circumstances). With all this stuff, there will be quite a bit of room left over in the bag.

    For everyday carry, it's going to be woefully underpacked with a rain parka, camera and kit, binoculars, several liters of water, bug and sun stuff, snacks, notebook, pen, wipes, sunglasses, buff, hat when in the jungle. When in the Andes, I'll have room to strip off my Nano puff or fleece as it warms up. But, there will be room for a pony in there as well!

    I chose the S25 because of my height and because i only wanted to invest in one pack, and for me the S25 gave me more options. Last summer, I packed a week's worth of clothing and gear in it for a trip to the Oregon coast and used another bag as a personal carry for my toys. This worked for me because we drove and I could throw my extra shoes and jacket in the backseat with the dog. I don't know if this helpful to you. I hope so.

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    P.S. My pack is steel dyneema/wasabi. I LOVE dyneema. My color choice wasn't as exciting as was possible, but I stuck to a more neutral outer color to facilitate wildlife viewing.


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