The one where a Newb enters the (faux) Backpacking World

The last time I went overseas – for 3 months, also during winter – I took a sizeable suitcase. It weighed 23kg when leaving home. On the way back, it weighed 25kg plus a 15kg carry on (thanks to a massive hardcover book I decided to get for my sister as a gift), plus a handbag, plus over 10kg of stuff left at my aunt’s house. Evidently, I am NOT a light traveller!

This time around, it is recommended by Intrepid that I take a backpack that weighs 10kg. LIKE WHAT!?!  *enter panic mode*

I am currently going through a cycle of self-conversation that goes like this:

“You can DO THIS! Rough it. 2 shirts, 2 pants, 1 jacket is all you need really. It will be an amazing experience.”
“Am I seriously going to wear the SAME outfit everyday? Or once every two days? For THREE MONTHS”
“Yes, you will. It’s not about what you’re wearing but what you are seeing. And doing.”
“But I’m going for 3 months. The. Same. Clothes. For. THREE. MONTHS.”

Even if I overcome the What To Take barrier, I am so unfit that I’m sure carrying a backpack would be the end of me.

So, I looked into my options and found that there are backpacks that also have wheels, AKA hybrid – sounds fancy.

There seems to be much debate about the wheels&harness combo – I’m sure the suggestion of this makes many hardcore backpackers cringe (sorry guys). As a newbie into the world of backpacking, I was unsure where to turn but I took the piece of advice that one must get a backpack that suits ones needs.

Going with my gut, I’ve decided on a backpack that has the wheels&harness combo. My reasons:

  1. I’m not going to be hiking where I’ll be required to carry all my belongings on my back for an extended period of time
  2. I will only be on Intrepid’s Best of Morocco tour for a total of 15 days (tiny portion of my whole trip) where they recommend a 10kg backpack
  3. Even on the Intrepid tour, they make it clear in their Trip Notes that the main luggage will be left at a hotel/storage while we go and do the sightseeing
  4. I will be using the backpack on its wheels for pretty much all of the time after Morocco

My decision made, I went to Kathmandu believing that they are brand with good quality gear, and purchased this baby that makes me look like a turtle:

Kathmandu Hybrid v2

The Kathmandu Trolley Hybrid v2, 70L: 

  • its retail price is $500 AUD, which is ridiculous. I got it for $250 AUD, which is still really expensive but I figured it would be worth it.
  • I liked the fact that it was really light, even though it has wheels, at 3.5kg.
  • It has an extendable handle (see featured image).
  • It has a main zip that opens all the way around – very much like a suitcase, making it easy to access my things. The zip can also be locked.
  • Another feature I liked was that the harness has a hip belt, and the harness packs away really easily into a zipped cover. You can see how it looks with the harness packed away in the featured image.

When I got home, I did a google search for reviews and I was REALLY disappointed to find this review claiming that it was really crap 😦 that is, bad quality and falling to pieces after using it for a short period of time. Thanks to the interwebz I was feeling much buyers remorse, but my friends and family said not to worry and if worst comes to worst and it falls apart, then that can be remedied by purchasing a new one while overseas. One of my travel partners, D, said that even brands that have a reputation of being excellent quality may fall apart if one is unlucky. So I think I might take my chances with this turtle. Stick around to find out how it fares on my trip 😀

Also, I like turtles.

P.S Here is a tangentially relevant cat meme:

Cat meme

🙂 Peace

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