Backpack for daily walking toursgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Travelite.FAQ Packing Guide : One Thread
I'm going on a 4-6 week trip around Western Europe. I need to know what kind of a purse and/or backpack to take so that I have everything I need for the day. I'm concerned about the horror stories of slashing backpacks and I think a purse is not practical. I want to carry bottled water, my own TP(since I've heard you must buy it in some resrooms) It will need to hold an umbrella, etc. Safety is my main concern. I am not backpacking in Europe but each daily excursion calls for basic items.
-- Debbie Downum (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 29, 2000
If your primary concern is security, make sure you don't carry anything irreplaceable in your daypack. Your everyday money should be safe in a Velcroed pocket, and your stash money needs to be on a money belt under your clothes. You will still want to carry a daypack for things like souvenirs, and an umbrella as you said. You can line the inside of your daypack with a metal mesh (think of the kind you use as a window screen to keep out the insects). That way if they slash your daypack nothing will fall out. Keep a spool of dental floss with you so you can mend your daypack if you get a hole, too.
You're definitely right about avoiding a purse. You'll get far more mileage with a daypack.
Depending on how much you want to carry, your daypack doesn't need to be very big -- especially if your daypack needs to be packed up in your carry-on while you travel. If you know you want to carry water on you, you might consider a Camelbak backpack. These days I swear by my Camelbak, which is a "personal hydration system" made of a bladder-and-tube system that lets you sip your water from the tube hands-free (while the bladder sits in your bag). That way it takes up way less space as it empties, and it folds flat for your carrying around (at least their "Un-Bottle" bladder, which you can find at http://www.camelbak.com).
Have a wonderful time, and happy
-- Lani Teshima (email@example.com), May 29, 2000.