Comfortable shoes are very important, yes. You’ll be spending more time on your feet than you usually would, walking cobbled streets, strolling through markets, ducking up rollicking country lanes, but comfort doesn’t necessarily mean jelly shoes. There are so many comfortable, practical options available now that are appropriate for walking AND looking stylish. After all, you need your comfortable shoes to take from those cobbled streets right into that hidden romantic caf? you just stumbled upon. If the moment catches you, you don’t want to run home to change your shoes (or worse still, dine in Crocs).
It’s important to remember that the bigger your backpack is, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to carry it on the airplane. Additionally, since you can no longer bring liquids in containers larger than three ounces on airplanes if your bag has soap and liquids in it, you’ll be forced to check the bag. Most baggage sizes are 45 linear inches (22 x 14 x 9 in) or 115 centimeters (56 x 36 x 23 cm) including handles and wheels so if you get a backpack with those dimensions, you’ll be able to carry on. You won’t face any baggage fees from the major airlines for checking your bag when flying internationally. Budget airlines, on the other hand, charge a fee for checking a bag based on weight, so the more your bag weighs, the more you will have to pay to check it at the gate. Even though my bag fits in the overhead bin, I often have to check it when flying a budget airline.
Multiple compartments – A good bag must to have multiple compartments. This way, you can break up your belongings into smaller sections so it’s easier to access and find the stuff you need. For example, my clothes are in the main compartment of my bag, my umbrella and flips-flops in the top, and my shoes in the separated side compartment (that way they don’t get everything dirty). It saves having to dig around your bag.
Hiking gear : Weight and warmth: The weight of a winter jacket can vary from super light (less than 450 grams) to super heavy (more than 1kg). The lightest winter jackets use a down fill and can weigh as little as 200 grams. Down provides the greatest weight-to-warmth ratio. Generally, the lightest jackets (down or synthetic) provide the least warmth and are therefore ideal for moderately cold environments, but not freezing alpine or high altitude environments. Heavy jackets (down and synthetic) are generally the warmest type of jacket but can be cumbersome to transport and trek in. We suggest a mid-weight winter jacket (~500-700 grams) for trekking.
Backpacking Essentials : Backpacking Tent: After taking the tent out of it’s storage bag I stuff it into the bottom compartment as small as possible in a small waterproof stuff sack. I don’t pack the poles or tent stakes in this compartment. They are covered below. For nearly all weather, except 3+ inches of snow or extreme wind I use the REI Quarter Dome 1 Man Tent. The 1 man tent fits me well at 6’2? while propping my feet up on my backpack at night. Get used to it! The weight savings for this 2-pound tent is well worth it! For winter and extreme wind I use the North Face Assault 2 which is heavier at approx. 3.5 lbs but a must have in some conditions! Hiking shoes : Low-cut models with flexible midsoles are excellent for day hiking. Some ultralight backpackers may even choose trail-running shoes for long-distance journeys. Materials impact a boot’s weight, breathability, durability and water resistance. Waterproof membranes: Boots and shoes billed as “waterproof” feature uppers constructed with waterproof/breathable membranes (such as Gore-Tex? or eVent?) to keep feet dry in wet conditions. Downside: The reduced breathability created by a membrane (compared to the ventilating mesh used on some nonwaterproof shoes) may encourage feet to sweat on summer days.
Wear your most comfortable pair of jeans or leggings-preferably in a dark color. Top off your look with a simple tee and a cozy sweater or relaxed blazer. Finally, twist on a scarf (or pack one in your carry-on). We all know that planes get chilly! I usually like to keep my jacket and scarf packed in my carry-on to cut down on the time I spend getting ready to go through security. If I already have these layers off, then I don’t need to worry about taking them on and off during the security screening. Once I’m through security, I usually pile these items on to prepare for the artic temps to come on the plane.
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