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Author Topic: Backpack and Insurance question  (Read 4749 times)

Alexandra

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Backpack and Insurance question
« on: October 30, 2013, 09:00:24 AM »
Hey PCVs, I figure some of you can offer some advice --

Do any of you recommend any particular travel backpack for a girl who is not physically active?

If you don't have anything to recommend, did you have any particularly BAD experiences with any backpacks (I would appreciate company name and model name, if you can remember).

Also: does anyone have any recommendations for good travel insurance, or maybe I don't even need it   Does the Peace Corps provide insurance for your stuff?  I am thinking of high-value electronic items.

Offline sjbirkhead

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Re: Backpack and Insurance question
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 12:50:30 PM »
Having worked at REI before I joined the Peace Corps, I will have to recommend a day pack.  I am encouraging you to buy a day pack as opposed to a backpack.  A large backpack for most people ends up to be too large and too heavy to carry.  All you need for week-end trips and short trainings is a smaller pack.  You will soon learn to travel light.

Two of us in my group had the REI Lookout which suited my needs perfectly. It is 40 liters, I believe.   I used it for every travel trip and to do my grocery shopping.  I could not have carried anymore weight anyway and it is not too expensive.  If you live where there is an REI, go in and have them fit you in a pack.  I would strongly recommend a pack with a waist band which helps distribute the weight on your body. 

I think you will receive an email from the insurance company which many volunteers used during their service.  The name of the company is Clements Worldwide.

Offline Amelia.Plant

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Re: Backpack and Insurance question
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 12:16:46 AM »
Definitely get a smaller pack - the 40 lb sounds good.  I took a 70 lb and I found that it just encouraged me to pack more than I needed,  even for a trip like a week.  If you are going some place where there isn't much sand, don't forget that you can also take a rolling bag on weekend trips.  PCVs forget about this.  We tend to use backpacks, which we can keep on our laps in buses (plus) but can also be heavy if we carry them too far.  Keep your options open in that way.
Amelia
RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013

Offline shawn

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Re: Backpack and Insurance question
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 02:35:28 AM »
Two of us in my group had the REI Lookout which suited my needs perfectly.


I've known several Volunteers here in Rwanda who've used the Lookout packs or ones like it and have loved them. 40 liters is about right for  agood size, too. Personally, I've been using a GoLite Pinnacle, whcih is an utlralight pack. The only reason I've been suing it (given it's cost compared to more mainline packs) is beause I already had it.

I would say head over to REI or a similar store and try one on. You'll be using it every time you travel for 27 months plus, so its important you like it!
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
NPCA Serving Volunteer Advisory Council

Offline jlmanzak

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Re: Backpack and Insurance question
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 06:20:17 AM »
Definitely make sure you get one that fits you! I've borrowed a number of backpacks from other people over the years and have never been quite comfortable, I always assumed I just had a bad back or something. Then I went to REI and got them to fit one to me, and I love it! REI is great for helping you find the right fit for you. They'll also let you walk around the store with it on and weights in it for a while to be sure you're really comfy.

Alexandra

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Re: Backpack and Insurance question
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2013, 06:23:03 AM »
Thanks for the advice everyone.  Ok I am going to REI.

Now I am thinking of getting one about 40 L for travelling, and another day pack for everyday use. 

For the larger one, some backpacks have just an open container and others are opened into a bunch of sections.  Is one style better than another for travel?

Offline shawn

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Re: Backpack and Insurance question
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2013, 06:39:58 AM »
I like the open container kind because they tend to weigh less, cost less, and hold more. At the same time, it does make it more difficult to reach things when you need them unless you pack them at the top. More pockets = easier on-the-fly access.

But also more pockets = more ways for someone to steal things from your bag.
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
NPCA Serving Volunteer Advisory Council

Offline jlmanzak

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Re: Backpack and Insurance question
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2013, 06:47:06 AM »
Many packs with just one big compartment will also have another opening about a third of the way from the bottom that will let you access things on the very bottom without taking everything out. This is a nice compromise because it lets you access more without adding to the weight.

Offline chebeler

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Re: Backpack and Insurance question
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2013, 09:56:06 AM »
I took a box of ziplock bags with me and used them to help keep some stuff orderly in the backpack.

Offline cdillon8769

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Re: Backpack and Insurance question
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2013, 12:31:16 PM »
Two of us in my group had the REI Lookout which suited my needs perfectly. It is 40 liters, I believe. .

I want the REI Lookout...
Caroline
Invitee: Lesotho, Africa June 2014

"The ones crazy enough to believe that they can change the world, do" Steve Jobs