In your travel backpack, space is limited. Nowadays digital technologies are lighter and smaller and take part of our equipment for our hobbies or to extend our freedom and our safety. Thieves know this well and this is why I invite you to TAKE IN YOUR TRAVEL BACKPACK WHAT YOU ARE READY TO LOOSE. Let’s see what should take place within your travel backpack!
Digital equipment: Where to buy?
On your travel, you WILL NOT NEED the latest hi-end products for what you are going to do. Say goodbye to the latest IPhone, Mac or Canon Digital Camera EOS 9D Mark II (if it exists!). You would spend more time worrying about your stuff instead of traveling.
The first rule to avoid the “Recommended Retail Price” is to BUY BEFORE YOU NEED IT! The more you anticipate your need, the more chance you will buy at the cheapest or at the good time (like On sales). It is even worth anticipating choosing free delivery instead of Fast one.
My generation is also more confident purchasing on Internet. I do not hesitate anymore doing my shopping list for consumption products on Ebay or Aliexpress in China, Singapore or Hong Kong with 3 weeks time free delivery. Digital products are mostly made in these countries, so why adding more middlemen between the manufacturer and you? It is not because you pay more that the product will become more reliable!
Another solution to get your equipment at a bargain price is to buy something new but out-dated. Therefore I got a brand new LG G4 (2015 model sold €699 at its launch) for €147 on Ebay two years later at a Hong Kong Wholesaler. Don’t you think €552 savings sound interesting? And what if I confess that the price dropped down to €139 two weeks later at the same wholesaler? Of course you must be more careful and buy the correct version for your country (H815 for Europe) but it is worth the risk!
Second hand products should really be considered as well. One of the best examples I can give concern my digital camera Canon Powershot SX220 HS. I got it brand new at its launch in 2010 for €250. Three years later, I bought it for €150 (stolen by 3 Muslim kids to who I gave a lift, lost in the middle of nowhere at 10pm in FRANCE!!!), then I bought a third one fixed by a professional for €80 (I lost this one in Costa Rica…) and finally a forth one I won an auction for €23 with a camera case, 32Gb SDCard and two genuine Canon batteries!
As you understood, what determinates the price you pay for something is a combination of its launch date, how many middlemen take place between the manufacturer and you as well as its condition and your patience!
Outdoor Equipment: Camping gear
Being well equipped for camping can be really expensive depending the country you plan to travel in. If the average temperature at night is comfortable and never goes underneath 15°C, it won’t be too expensive and your camping equipment won’t take too much space in your travel backpack. Conversely, if you explore lands where average temperatures approach 0°C or lower (Scandinavia, Iceland, Patagonia…) you will need a far better equipment if you want to maintain weight and volume occupation within your travel backpack. A good sleeping bag for such conditions starts around €300 such as Valandré Swing 500 I own. Depending on the nature of the ground, you may also need a freestanding backpacking tent if you cannot use pegs. Again, a good backpacking tent (such the Hubba Hubba manufactured by MSR) costs at least €300 if you want something well developed and reliable.
Anticipation, comparing sellers on internet, on sales, member cards, less middlemen, selling what you don’t use anymore or what you will replace by something new…must be think about!
For instance, I just bought the MSR Hubba Tour 1 BEFORE I NEED IT. Its retail price is €445. This one didn’t get a lot of success from its launch at the Vieux Campeur Shop where it got on sales 20% cheaper (€356, the lowest price I found on the European market). This shop won’t sell it anymore after this. Thanks to my member card, I also got a €25 voucher. Finally, I sold my old Camp Minima 2 SL tent €80 easily (I should have sold it more as I wasn’t in a hurry…). Therefore, with all these opportunities, The MSR Hubba Tour 1 cost me €251: 43,5% off on a brand new product just released this year!
Thinking this way may seem complicated, but I prefer having this 30 minutes of reflexion (without any headache!) to save €200! It allows me to get my equipment at a “far better” price and I can spread my expenses in time.
Joy and Happiness resulting from your travels alternate with intense period of stress, doubts and tiredness. You should not hesitate buying high quality camping gear that will offer daily comfort to reduce those difficult times.
Equipment: restricting robbery
Several rules must be taken when you travel in a country with a bad reputation. I told you how to not attract attention from thieves with a small travel backpack and wearing local clothing, now I will highlight some common sense habits:
- Prefer day arrivals to night ones
- Take information from trustworthy locals about risks in your area
- Do not use the transportation network with headphones or any kind of digital equipment visible
- If you go out at night, do not carry anything of values (flip flops, cheap cloths and a little bit of cash. Nothing else)
- Do not hesitate to get a cab at night (like a tuk tuk)
- If you camp, choose a hidden spot from others, hard to reach and without attracting attention on you. Leave at dawn.
- Get information about common robberies (cab, entrance fee, visa, departure fee…)
I have known many travellers who lived in poor countries with the same lack of care they do at home. As a result: stolen backpacks and bladed weapon mugging in Peru or even kidnapping attempt (a friend of mine almost got stuck in a brothel on one of Indonesia Muslim islands). Carefulness really matters!
Equipement: What I take with me
Here is an exhaustive list about the equipment taking place in my travel backpack:
- Mattress Nemo Tensor 20R
- Basic silk sheet
- Inflatable pillow Decathlon
- Sleeping Bag Valandré Swing 500
- Tent MSR Hubba Tour 1
- Emergency blanket x2
- Headlamp PETZL Tikka Plus
- Stove Primus Mimmer Duo
- cooking Set Quechua 2 people with Spork
- Smartphone LG G4 H815
- Tablet LG Gpad 8.3 (only abroad)
- Adaptater OTG
- Canon Powershot SX 220 HS et its case on my backpack strap
- External Battery 15000mAh
- Multi-tool like Leatherman
- 3L water tank Source
- Walking poles Black Diamond Trail
Now you are well prepared for your next adventure! Safe Travels my friends!