Guest blog by our friends at Banana Backpacks.
You’ve just booked your Free & Easy adventure and you’re ready to hit the road. But there is one big mountain standing in your way - what are you going to bring and how will you carry all of it?
Packing and staying organized while you travel may seem like inconsequential parts of your trip, until you end up having big headaches as you carry your life around on your back for a 10 or 40-day adventure.
So, where do you start? The first step is finding the perfect adventure backpack for your trip. Here’s what you should be looking for in yours and why a good pack makes a big difference on your trip.
Staying organized with packing cubes and a wet/dry bag:
Imagine dumping all of your gear out every several nights and then stuffing it back in as you move locations. Then imagine trying to find that one warm pair of socks you brought along for your jungle trek on Free & Easy’s Northern Thailand Trip.
Suddenly everyone is ready to hit the trail except you. You’re still digging for that special pair of socks, but who knows where they could be. I spent years travelling in this chaotic way with a top-loading pack. That was until I discovered the beautiful world of a clam-shell opening backpack and packing cubes. It’s like having drawers on the road. My socks are always in my top right packing cube, so they never get lost and I can stay on track with the rest of the crew.
Another saving grace for backpack organization has been a wet/dry bag. I used to use plastic bags to transport my still wet swimsuit or my muddy hiking shoes, but these would inevitably rip or leak, not to mention adding to the plastic waste problem we face globally.
A wet/dry bag solves this issue by keeping wet travel gear away from your dry items. This is also a time-saving hack, as it means less laundry visits required on your trip!
You can find awesome packing cubes and a wet/dry bag that all integrate into your clam-shell style backpack in the Khmer Explorer Travel Set.
Finding the right size pack to carry your gear:
Carrying an 80L pack when you’re visiting the tropics can be a sweaty nightmare. Equally, trying to fit anything beyond hiking boots into a carry-on sized 35L pack to tackle the 26km Colca Canyon trek on your Peru Trip can be, well, a serious challenge.
A 50-60L pack is usually versatile enough to carry the different types of gear needed for any kind of adventures or climates you’ll meet on your future trips. This means less future purchases and a comfy size no matter which climate(s) you’re heading to.
Choosing a tough and durable bag:
It can be tempting to choose an ultra basic backpack to save some cash for more beers on the beach or cocktails in a new city. But there’s nothing worse than having your pack rip or disintegrate on you while you’re abroad.
The lifespan of cheap packs also tends to be limited and you can easily find yourself paying more in the long run when you have to replace your backpack before every new adventure. To prevent this from happening, it’s wise to choose a backpack made of strong materials like kodra nylon used by the military (and the Khmer Explorer :)).
A tough and durable fabric like this will ensure your pack can handle any adventure you throw at it, from temple touring to trekking to see elephants, for many years to come. It’s also critical to make sure your new pack is backed up by a quality warranty, so if anything does go wrong, you know you’ll be looked after. The Khmer Explorer comes with a lifetime warranty on all defects.
Finding your best match:
Travel friends are what make your trip truly incredible. One of the most constant of these friends is your travel backpack. The way it looks, the way it fits, and what it means to you is important, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time with this travel companion!
Your Free & Easy trip will change your life, so make sure you choose a backpack that will support you in this and just maybe change someone else’s life in the process.
That’s my favourite part about the Khmer Explorer Travel Set. Each bag supports one student’s school meals twice a day for an entire year in Cambodia. This student’s name is embroidered on your pack, making it truly unique - just like you and your adventure. After all, the most important thing is that you love your bag and want to take it on all of your future adventures!