After spending almost a year on the road, and being thoroughly sick of wearing the same clothes day in and day out (planning my laundry trips has become my greatest challenge – tough life for sure!), I thought I’d have a look inside my beloved backpack and see how the contents have evolved along the way.
When I originally took off from Australia, I was headed straight for winter in the Canadian rockies, so had both my large 55+15L Macpac Aztec backpack and a snowboard bag for the plane hold, plus a small backpack intended for use as a day bag. It wasn’t long before the daypack proved to be too small, and I bought another trusty Deuter bike pack (26L) almost exactly the same as my green one, but larger! Love the quality of Deuter bags, they have pockets and small spaces for stashing things in easy to reach locations, and it even stayed dry inside when completely submerged in water at the bottom of a boat in Isla Mujeres as we made our way out to see the Whale Sharks (one of the worst, wettest, most uncomfortable journeys ever. The bag was completely soaked, but apparently watertight!)
At the end of winter, as I was about to fly to the beaches of Mexico and Central America, I had some friends take my snowboard bag, small daypack and winter clothing back to Australia (thanks Will and Toni) and I continued on with my backpack full of summer clothes. I also sent back the 15L daypack which clips to the front of my big backpack, thinking I would stop myself from carrying too much by getting rid of some of the available space, but this proved to be a mistake as it would have been amazing to have had some expansion room a little later on down the road.
Reaching Panama and Colombia, the time came for a bit of a reshuffle as the rains set in, and the beach gear I had with me had been worn to the point that it was almost threadbare. So new swimsuits and beach clothing was purchased.
Up in the mountains of Peru and Bolivia, the summer threads just wouldn’t cut it so I bought every Alpaca wool product known to man to keep me warm (and the good down jacket I bought in Canada came in handy). However when the time came to leave South America and head back to Mexican summer, this extra bulk had to go to make room for some gifts and souvenirs.
Overall, the Macpac backpack lasted really well and the fabric is awesome, my only complaint is that it can be hard to pack and unpack as there is no zip down the side to fully open out both sides of the backpack. It has only had one small incident where one of the clips on the front got broken on a bus in Argentina. But that was only because the bus was packed to bursting point with all the duty free goods the Brazilians had bought in Uruguay – the poor clip was up against the hold door and stood pretty much no chance!
Looking at the contents of my bag now in Mexico, it is clear to see that what has remained with me for the whole trip is mostly electronics, a few essential clothing items (love my lululemon shorts but they are completely worn out and need to go!) and underwear. The majority has been purchased along the way, depending on what I needed at the time.
For the final legs of my trip back to Mexico City, then onto California and Oregon, I enjoyed the luxury of an extra bag to stock up on some extra shopping on the way home 🙂
*Disclaimer – the photos are missing a few presents I currently have in my bag which could spoil the surprise! They take up almost half of my backpack, and I’ve been lugging a few extra kilos around since Merida. Only two more flights to go!