Hi there, this is Jack formerly of the VPO team in Nelson B.C. I am currently out of the store and traveling around Europe, and thought I could offer some insight into traveling with outdoor gear and how you can fine tune your gear to suit adventures of your own. This will be a constantly updated process so stay tuned for the whole thing!
Before I get to gear talk I will briefly go over my trip plan. I am seeing the sights in Europe for three months, with my girlfriend (she took all the photos), we have been volunteering work for accommodation and sometimes food through the Workaway organization. We are currently working on a family farm on the Croatia/Slovenia border, and were previously helping at a surf AirBnB near Aljezur, Portugal.
Lets start with luggage.
I wanted to keep it simple, one carry on and one checked bag. The carry on had to be a medium sized hiking bag for daily excursions abroad, and back home. For the checked bag I wanted a duffel or large hiking bag.
My choice for a hiking pack
For the hiking bag I chose the Osprey Kestrel 28. The Kestrel has all the bells and whistles of a lightweight hiking bag, vented back, raincover, a full adjustable harness system, designated water bladder compartment, and although it’s on the small side it has the classic drawstring and clip top instead of a zip top like a school bag. Whether its biking to the beach in Portugal, hiking in the French Alps, or walking through endless airports, this bag is comfortable and streamlined.
My larger bag for the long haul
The bigger bag is a different story. I decided I didn’t want an eighty litre, expensive backpacking bag. Mainly because I’m not going on a backpacking trip. Also a bag with lots of straps and buckles can get torn up in transit if not shipped properly. In the end I settled for a fifty litre Marmot Long Hauler Duffle bag. The Long Hauler is a classic duffel bag, with the addition of beefy zippers, super tough nylon construction, and a rubberized, weather proof lid. It is easy to carry as the main shoulder strap splits into two adjustable backpack straps for an easier haul. The backpack-esque carry system was a welcome relief when we had to walk across Valencia for an hour, in search of our hostel.
Available in four sizes: The Marmot Long Hauler comes in 4 sizes: 35L, 50L, 75L and 105L
About the Author:
Jack McKimm lives, works and plays in Nelson BC. The Kootenay’s are his playground but he has been off traveling and experiencing the cultures in Europe. There is sure to be more to come from Jack. In the meantime, you can follow his adventures both at home and abroad on his Instagram feed.