Tag Archives: backpack

Fifteen and a Half Steps to (Back)Packing Mastery

5 Aug Hiking boot with yellow and green moths sipping moisture from it.

[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]1: Heavy Stuff High, Light Stuff Low
Thanks to the high-school physics principle of moment, things at the bottom of your pack feel heavier than the stuff at the top. Pack the heavy stuff higher up your body to reduce the strain.

2: Centre the Really Heavy Stuff
If you have more weight on the left-hand side of your pack than on the right, your shoulders will feel it. Soon followed by your back, your hips and your legs. Place the heavy stuff equidistant from left and right sides, and secure it with internal straps.

3: Distribute Less Heavy Stuff Evenly Across Two Sides
If you’re carrying water, put equal quantities on either side. In fact, even quite light stuff can unbalance a pack. Put the washbag on one side, medical kit on the other. Continue reading

On Books

15 Jun

Back in Udomxay, the construction town in northern Laos where our two-day odyssey from Vietnam reached a natural close, we met a crazy Canadian chap with an Irish accent and a Beer Lao can seemingly stapled twixt thumb and forefinger. Not so much met as, perhaps, attracted.

Charming chap. Pushing 70. Thoroughly pickled 24-7. And found in me, yikes, a kindred spirit.

Having travelled extensively with his own nipper, when the boy (now my age) was eight (roughly junior’s age), he had uncharitable things to say about my backpack. Particularly, the size thereof.

Now, to a degree, I second that emotion. Although, in our defense, I will say that I have only one pack, which goes on my back, rather than the “pregnant” two-pack look (one front, one back) so popular among our Nordic friends. Continue reading

Backpacks and Zacpacks

27 May

Z with his new backpack on the pier of Cat Ba island, Vietnam

A brand new backpack!


One of the reasons for the longish silence I’ve been keeping is that Z’s dad joined us in Vietnam this last weekend.

The boy, it would be fair to say, is overjoyed. They’ve enjoyed quality time in arcades… pavement eateries… Hanoi’s really rather A-list waterpark… Vietnam’s first university, the Temple of Literature… And are currently chilling out on a very pretty beach on Cat Ba island, Halong Bay.

Z’s père arrived bearing gifts. A new backpack (a Deuter Fox 30, with all the functionality of an adult pack but tailored to his small frame). Books and goodies from my parents and my auntie, including E. H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World. Continue reading