I decided to walk the walk that I’m asking from my students and pack light. So, this year as I lead the study abroad course I’m only packing my backpack and I’m bringing a packable day backpack to use while we are touring. Usually, I don’t pack as light as I encourage my students to do because I’m away from home longer than them. They are in South Africa for right at two weeks and I usually am in SA for about a month. However, this time I decided to dive headfirst into the backpack traveler world.
Honestly, when I got my first backpack, claiming to be a backpack traveler was purely aspirational! I bought the Tortuga pack but still “needed” to bring along my backpack I use for school. I had the Tortuga backpack for two years and it served me well traveling to conferences and home to see the family. Then in the summer of 2018 I passed that pack onto one of my former students who was traveling to Kenya for a month-long medical internship.
I moved onto the Eagle Creek Gear Hauler [click here] and fell in love with this rugged all-purpose pack. I first used it when I traveled to Botswana in July 2018 and you can check out this post on everything that I stuffed into this pack in a post from right before the trip [click here]. I the reason I fell hard for this pack was mainly because of how much I could stuff into it and still easily carry both by hand and on my back. Additionally, I felt confident using this pack as I traveled around Southern and Central Africa because of the high quality construction and the water/dirt resistant bottom.
I know one of the reason that I have resisted only using a backpack for “secruity” purposes. I don’t mean safety and security, but rather having extra clothes “just in case” kinf of security. I can always hear my grandmother’s voice in my head telling me to pack a little extra “just in case something happens”, but something always happens and that’s why we wash our clothes! It’ll be interesting to see how this trip goes and if I am one of those newly converted people who will then sing the praises of backpack travel.