Travel Preparations Part 1

13 03 2011

I thought that after the fun of the previous post, something which still cause ripples in the pond of my mind, I should go for a change of subject. To really kick off my related travel escapades I thought I’d do a little thing about how I’m preparing for it.

There’s a lot of information about travelling, as well as the anecdotal form of information presented by various sources such as popular media. When you think of someone backpacking around the world you get the image of a big rucksack, of about 75 litres in capacity with plenty of clothes, objects, sleeping bag, roll mat, etc etc ad infinitum. However, from some research on the net it’s fairly universal that such images are of people who are making a critical mistake.

Big is not always best. Whilst carrying around 75 litres of equipment means you’ll be well prepared for eventualities, it does mean that you are critically flawed when it comes to travelling. If you carry a big bag then hitchhiking becomes more difficult as that’s a beasty bit of kit to manhandle into any vehicle. As walking is something that will be a regular feature, weight is a very important factor and unless you’re prepared to spend obscene amounts of money on your kit, then a big bag full of stuff will weigh quite a lot so a heavy bag slows you down immensely.

Ok, so what’s the solution? The well informed traveller uses the IATA (International Air Transport Association) standards for carry on luggage which gives you limitations to work within and also means that if you’re lucky to get on a flight then your bag doesn’t go walkies. The actual specs provided by IATA are;

Dimensions – 56cm x 45cm x 25cm
Weight – 10kg max

There is some interpretation in these rules as airlines, whilst agreeing with IATA, tend to do things their own way. However it’s a good place to begin and if a flight is taken then limits can be played with.

The bag I chose to use is this Tatonka flight case which isn’t cheap but then it has a padded carrying system, it’s waterproof to a good degree, and has some good little bits which should see it survive a lot of abuse. It doesn’t make full use of the IATA standards but having loaded it up with random items it’s seems to have enough capacity for my needs

So what now? Now it’s a matter of loading up the bag with about ten kilos of anything and walking some distance to see how it, and I, fair. Beyond that it’s a matter of getting the stuff I want to take and then seeing how it can be packed etc, packing, repacking, repacking again, all to make sure I know what I can use and what I can’t.

Hopefully my next travel prep post will about all the back end kit to support my Palm Pre which will be the thing to keep me in contact and blogging and entertained.




2 responses

14 03 2011

Have you got the bag then? I recommend practicing some distance with it full packed…..dont just walk to the top of the street and back…..get walking over the fields etc etc. You are braver than me… way could i carry a bag weighing 10k on my back for days on end….plus I dont think Id fit everything I need….should i say want in a bag that size.

14 03 2011

Lol yeah it’s a matter of taking needs rather than wants for me, you’d be surprised how much stuff you don’t need when you have to pack lighter than normal.

I have the bag, I’ve done a little testing, it holds more than I thought it would but haven’t yet got it up to the level I’m looking at, will do soon tho. I’m walking a few miles to work and back so I’ll get some practise in then and in spare time when I can. Reckon 15 miles a day when I’m travelling would be about the limit but it depends on time/finances/ability to hitchhike so we shall see in the tests.

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