Choosing A Travel Pack

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Gregory Jade 38

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Gregory Z40

Expect The Unexpected

Choosing a travel pack is a major decision when traveling.  The wrong choice can have a big impact on a trip.  Dragging a roller through sand to your beach side bungalow, carrying a duffel bag by its single carry strap for half an hour through a city or seeing your backpack come up the luggage carousel ramp with one of its shoulder straps torn off is no fun.  If you know exactly what you’ll be doing on your trip then choosing a travel pack to avoid frustrating scenarios is fairly straight forward.  However the longer the trip, the more likely you’ll be in a situation that you didn’t expect.

For example you planned a month in southern Thailand with your roller suitcase.  You arrive in Krabi or Phuket and the roller is perfect for these highly developed tourist friendly areas.  You then decided to go check out one of the Andaman islands after hearing great stuff about it.  Boarding the speedboat isn’t bad but then you need to go from the speedboat to the off-shore loading platform, then to the long-tail and finally jump off to the beach.  Once you get to the beach, hopefully near your accommodation, you’ll have an extremely uncomfortable drag/carry ahead of you.  For reasons like this, a backpacks flexibility has made them the go to luggage for long-term travelling.  Therefore choosing a travel pack is one of your most important trip decisions.

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The Gear Conundrum

Gear Conundrum

Winter is coming… no really it is supposed to snow.  Thankfully we have restored the garage to its intended use and our vehicles are parked indoors so we won’t need to get our the ice scraper in the morning.  After a recent work trip to Chicago by me, we were able to update our countries with carry on only to include the US.   I have to admit I was somewhat nervous about doing carry on with just me.  Paul measured our bag we bought in Bangkok and it fit the requirements so it was just a matter of me lifting it up and since I was only gone for 3 nights, it wasn’t heavy.

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Arc’Teryx Bora 65 Backpack

Arc'Teryx Bora 65 Backpack

Our Arc’Teryx Bora 65 Backpacks are 2 of the best things we’ve purchased.  Despite the miles on them they’ve come through everything with flying colours.  Arc’Teryx has provided us with some great products.  They are located in Vancouver, Canada and produce very high quality gear that they completely stand behind.  Over the years we’ve had 3 backpacks (Bora 80 and 2 Bora 65’s), 4 Gore-Tex jackets (1 15-year-old and 3 newish Theta ARs) and 2 hooded Atom LT insulated jackets from them.  Their stuff isn’t cheap but it performs incredibly well, making them a perfect example of the phrase “you get what you pay for”.

Their solid construction means they more than pay for themselves in the long run due to their longevity.  My 15-year-old Theta AR jacket still looks good and once washed with the correct DWR detergents still performs well.  There’s just some things that have failed with so many years of use such as the snow skirt drawstring glue failing and pocket liners delaminating, likely from always holding my keys.  The packs have been abused by airlines while going around the world several times.  After a recent pressure wash to remove sea salt, they still look great and have given us zero issues after 15+ years of use.  Helen returned her original, 2-year-old Arc’Teryx Theta AR because of some bubbling in one small spot on the fabric.  They sent her a brand new jacket no questions asked.

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Picking a Domain Name

So we knew we wanted to start a website for our journey and one of the first big to do items was picking a domain name.  Based on work I’ve done in the past, I’ve found that picking a domain name is becoming very difficult.  Most of the easy ones are gone due to the billions of people on the internet, unless you get incredibly lucky.  Creativity is the key.  You don’t want it too long or be tough to decipher.  I highly recommend you do it with someone else who you can bounce ideas off.  When you think of one, first find out if someone already has it.  Unless you are rich, you probably don’t want to pay someone for a domain they are cybersquatting on.  I use godaddy.com to do a search which will tell you whether you’ve found an unused one.

The .com “top-level domain” (TLD) is the one you ideally want but if you must have a specific name and don’t care about the TLD you could go for another that is available.  Here’s a good article on the ins and outs of TLDs and another about picking a domain name.

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