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Thread: Packing Challenge - which Bag?

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    Packing Challenge - which Bag?

    I'm planning a long trip - ride only 'local' buses only from the US to Tierra del Fuego. The way I travel, fifteen countries will take me around 4 years!

    I have traveled the 'chicken hauler' route through Latin America before, and one thing is for sure, if it isn't secured in your lap, - its gone! I might skip the laptop - camera - iPhone type baggage for that reason as well, although I will need something to pay for the trip with Bitcoins, which requires at least the code and a smart phone - still working on this, because I don't want to carry much cash.

    The Rolf Potts 'No Bag' site is a great idea, but too extreme for 4 years. If I add the right bag, however, one that can remain in my lap on the bus, be carried through markets during stops, checked into motels along the way, it might work.

    The only clothes I would take are what can be comfortably worn, washed and dried every day (or so). So the bag would carry: underwear, socks, swimsuit, water filtration, towel, sketchbook, (maybe a spare shirt) food, and the sundry stuff that seems to accumulate. Of course anything can be purchased or discarded along the way.

    My favorite of the moment is the Super Ego - more volume for less space, and can be used as a pillow.

    Any ideas?

    Wyodan

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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Packing Challenge - which Bag?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyodan View Post
    My favorite of the moment is the Super Ego - more volume for less space, and can be used as a pillow.
    Welcome. TBH, a Super Ego seems really big for the items you mention wanting to carry, unless by "food" you mean "enough for 2-3 days." Since you'll be laundering every day and aren't bringing a ton of electronics (though I imagine a phone of some type is a good idea), I would suggest looking at the smallest bag that would meet your needs and then see if you need to scale up.

    For instance, assuming your towel is a packtowl and your water filtration system is a bottle system, I think you could fit what you describe in any of the following: Co-Pilot (might be a squeeze), Large Cafe Bag, Synapse 19. These are all significantly smaller than the Super Ego, and will all definitely fit on your lap.

    I'd also suggest packing a small reusable shopping bag (not necessarily TB). They have a million uses and can help you deal with lugging extra items if need be, as well as serving their purpose of holding your groceries.

    Good luck--where is your starting point exactly?



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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    WOW! I am too wowed to process your questions! What an intrepid soul you are!

    What water system do you use?


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    I have the super ego's smaller sibling and I would think your load would fit in it ... Less weight/bulk.

    Although personally I would probably go for the smart Alec in dyneema for such a trip - less weight again and the flexibility of one or two shoulder carry.
    List under construction ....

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    I would take a Synapse 19.
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    Synapse 19, Co-pilot, Travel Tray, PCSB, Western Flyer, all in Dyneema, Side Effect and pouchmania

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    I am a little confused?
    You say you want to avoid the laptop looking bag but them choose the laptop looking bag in the SE?
    A SE will certainly hold what you list but it will look like a messenger bag because well it is a messenger bag.

    Synapse all the way for me!
    Holds much more than looks possible and is unassuming at the same time.

    I have the 19 and would have had the 25 if it was around when I got mine,the 19 can look a little silly/puny depending on your size I think?
    You can also get a decent sized bottle in the bottle pocket and that would come in handy if using a filtration bottle system?

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    JLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canonsue View Post
    I would take a Synapse 19.
    I would go with the Synapse 25, but only because I can't get my head around the idea of travelling for four years with nothing more than a 19! Sounds like an amazing trip!
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    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    How exactly do you pay for items using Bitcoin, particularly in countries with cash-based economies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    WOW! I am too wowed to process your questions! What an intrepid soul you are!

    What water system do you use?

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    I'll try out the new water straws for markets/restaurants, and I've got a Sawyer Mini that looks promising for everything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Good luck--where is your starting point exactly?
    Wyoming - or maybe Texas

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    Quote Originally Posted by daisy View Post
    Although personally I would probably go for the smart Alec in dyneema for such a trip - less weight again and the flexibility of one or two shoulder carry.
    I should mention that I'm 61 years old; the fashion police don't look kindly on old dudes with backpacks. My back doesn't like them much either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    I am a little confused?
    You say you want to avoid the laptop looking bag but them choose the laptop looking bag in the SE?
    A SE will certainly hold what you list but it will look like a messenger bag because well it is a messenger bag.
    Thanks for bringing that up! I might be better off with a greasy old duffel bag or a dirty potato sack - would attract less attention!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    How exactly do you pay for items using Bitcoin, particularly in countries with cash-based economies?
    Good question! Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil and Argentina have active Bitcoin communities, so it should be easy to sell Bitcoins for cash.
    I'll have to carry cash into the other countries. The situation is improving everyday!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyodan View Post
    Thanks for bringing that up! I might be better off with a greasy old duffel bag or a dirty potato sack - would attract less attention!
    I didn't bring it up you did?
    We can only work here with what you give us.

    Oh and good luck selling your Backpack/Fashion Police ideas here too?

    I am thinking the Fashion Police will be the last of your concerns when trying to pay your way with virtual currency.

    Good Luck though.

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    Granted, only you know your body and what it can handle, but a properly loaded and stabilized backpack will, in general, be way more comfortable for daily carrying since the weight is distributed across both shoulders and your chest. The S19 is a favorite here because it is comfortable for most body types, can hold quite a bit without appearing bulky, and, because it is small, helps a person blend in better with his or her surroundings. The 25, whilst it is significantly larger both in terms of volume and footprint, is similarly low-profile. It's also a really good-looking bag--I've taken it to the Westin and no one has looked at me funny (at least not on account of my luggage).

    For a messenger bag, Daisy recommended the Ego, and I agree with her that it is much more appropriate for your packing list than the Super Ego. Personally, I would find hauling a messenger bag for hours on end to be a literal pain in the neck (and shoulder), but I think that overall the message here is to determine the smallest bag for your purpose. If you get something larger, it is inevitable that the extra space will get filled up.

    This is just our advice; if you have time to spare before you depart, get the Super Ego if you like it. Pack it up and see how it feels, and proceed from there.

    Good luck as you make your decision.


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