It's ok to not be a real backpacker (part 3)

I don't want people out there to think that I am making fun of anyone who doesn't qualify as a "real backpacker." I'm actually just trying to save you some headache and backache by letting you know that as someone who has been traveling the world for over 20 years and has been to 6 continents and scores of popular backpacking destinations, that you don't really need to a backpack to go to 90% of it. In fact, I would say that there are very few destinations that people actually travel to where a backpack actually would be useful. Mostly, they are a hinderance and a rolling suitcase would be much more suitable, yet people still use backpacks....

I just don't understand why. You are making it harder on yourself by doing this and it isn't necessary.

This guy needs a backpack, but you are not going there

I would say that especially in the past 8 years or so, about 90% of the people i see traveling with backpacks are really making their journey more difficult by choosing this type of luggage. It has been especially true in South East Asia where people think they are going to be trekking through the jungle only to find out that while you can do this, it is a day trip... your bungalow or hostel almost has cement footpaths leading all the way to your room.

I have stayed on islands that didn't even have roads for cars and there was still cement footpaths all the way to the rooms. In fact, I have only been to a couple of places where backpacks were truly necessary at all. Nepal and the Cameron Highlands. Honestly, the Cameron Highlands it is kind of up to you if you want to stay somewhere that is remote and a backpack is necessary to reach it.

Nepal on the other hand, you are kidding yourself if you think you are getting around anywhere with rolling suitcase.


I suppose you could hire a porter to carry your rolling suitcase for you but then I think you need to ask your self what the hell are you doing in Nepal if this was how you planned on getting around. When I would occasionally see people with porters and they weren't elderly or disabled to some degree I will admit that I looked down on them. WTF are you doing here if you need someone else to carry your stuff for you?


If you do hire a porter or "sherpa" I hope you give them a big tip. These guys work really hard for very little money.

Other than this, I haven't actually been anywhere, outside of some very strange and avoidable circumstances, where having a backpack would have been in any way beneficial. Even the really expensive backpacks really start to hurt after a while too and no matter how light you pack it starts to feel like you are carrying a person on your back after a certain amount of time. I know that when I was in Nepal I got my pack weight down to 8kg and I felt like a damn Army ranger after about 4 hours of walking with just that on. I'm not a small guy either nor am i new to this.


If you are going to ignore my advice at the minimum at least have a look at the hybrid backpacks that exist out there. They have wheels, they have straps and you know what? You'll be pulling that thing and not wearing it almost all of the time. I guarantee it.

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