Finding a Backpack

The American philosophy to life is that bigger is better, but when it comes to buying a backpack throw that belief out the door. At the store you are going to want to buy that big backpack because you will start to think: What if all the clothes I want to bring won’t fit? Or, what if I need some space for all the things I am going to buy? Get those two thoughts out of your head because they will kill your back when you are traveling.
Most people over pack when they go on a trip because they think that they will wear all the clothes than they are bringing. When you first pack take about a third of your clothes and put them back in your drawer. No one in Europe is going to remember that you wore that shirt two days ago in a different city. While traveling you will be too tired to go out at every night so put back the all the fancy clothes that you intend on bringing. If you do plan on going out every once in a while you should pack one nice shirt with you and a pair nice pant or skirt and that’s it. Don’t forget to bring nice shoes as well because unlike in the United States bouncers won’t let you into many clubs or bars just wearing sneakers.
With the question about having enough room to bring souvenirs from Europe, try not to buy a lot of things while traveling because they will hold you down. The souvenirs will put a lot more weight on your back than you really need and more than likely will break when you are throwing your backpack around. I mean, have enough space for one or two things that you really like, but don’t go overboard.
Backpacks are split into two categories; Ones that have an external frame and ones that have an internal frame. The backpack that I would suggest choosing is the internal frame because it provides easier movement than the clunky external frame ones. If you are going to be camping then purchase an external frame so you can strap your tent and sleeping bag to it.
Whichever type of backpack you choose make sure that it has hip belt. What most people don’t know is that your hips can carry more weight than your shoulders, thus taking a lot of weight off your back. Another must for any backpack is that it has to have tightening straps. The straps are used to take off stress from parts of your back and redirect it elsewhere.
One thing that I cannot stress enough is to go to the store and try on backpacks. You need to be able to see how it feels and to look at the seaming on it. Go to a camping gear store, I recommend REI, and try on the backpacks and get some more advice from the helpers at the store. If the prices are too high for you at the store, remember the brand and type of backpack that you looked at and check the prices on the internet.
Things to remember: Don’t buy a big backpack, anywhere from 5000 to 6000 cubic inches is big enough. Don’t over pack and don’t’ buy too many souvenirs. Make sure that the backpack that you choose has hip belts and tightening straps, and go to a camping gear store to take a look at the backpacks and get more information on them. Good luck on finding a backpack and happy travels in Europe or wherever you may be going!






















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