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One Travel Pack, Two Trips: A Packing Tale from Southeast Asia and Beyond

There’s something magical about traveling with just the pack on your back, loose plans, and a hunger to see the world. At Eagle Creek, we call this unscripted travel. Other times, for backpacking trips that involve the backcountry a plan is as necessary as a fail-proof (and comfortable!) pack.

Having gone on different types of travel adventures recently, unscripted travel through Southeast Asia and wilderness guiding in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, I wanted to share some thoughts on both approaches, and the unique travel gear needs of each.

Traveling to Thailand and Cambodia

Eagle Creek’s lead product designer Chad fit me with a travel backpack before I headed out for a 22-day adventure exploring Thailand and Cambodia. I spent seven days scuba diving, a week learning at an orphanage in northern Thailand, and the rest with PEPY Tours in Cambodia. We moved locations every few days, traveling  by plane, boat, bus and pedicab. I quickly came to appreciate my travel backpack for its full-front panel loading, Secure-Zip™ Toggles and zip-away suspension. I would watch others blindly rifle through the contents of their top-loading packs and try not to appear smug as I casually opened mine and pulled out the exact Pack-It™ Cube I needed.

A Trip Through The Colorado Rocky Mountains

A few months later I packed up the same travel pack, this time for a week on the trail as a wilderness guide, carrying nearly 60 lbs of gear and food. If a pack was ever tested for durability and comfort, it was during this trip. All relationships are tested during travel, and the good news is that I fell in love with my travel pack while travelling over the mountain trails all over again. This trip it was the incredibly comfortable suspension system, the narrow silhouette which kept me balanced on the trail, and the beefy, self-repairing zippers that comforted me with a look which said, “I will not bust on you.”

I discovered that a good adventure travel backpack must be versatile enough to fulfill the specific needs of the journey. Next on the itinerary: India

By Stasia Raines, Traveler and Creeker