Mountaineering Backpacks Vs Urban Backpacks

Backpacks are one the most versatile and important pieces of outdoor and camping gear. You need them for your running, school next year, hiking, laptops accessories, and for your martial arts uniforms and gear. They are often made of a nylon or canvas. These materials are durable and water-resistant. They are also easy to maintain and are soft on the body and very strong for carrying heavy equipment and water and food supplies.

They are designed both to keep vulnerable contents snug and safe and to distribute the load evenly. They are also designed to be functional and sturdy, so you know that you will get the most of them. Backpacks are made to offer comfort, balance, versatility and load-carrying proficiency.

Before you decide which one you are going to buy, you should ask yourselves two questions. First, “What are you going to use it for?” And second question, “How much do you want to pay?”

They can be very useful whenever you are traveling, hiking, cross-country walking, casual walking, shopping, or maybe carrying your important documents. You can use them for all purposes. Also, business people carry them whenever they go to fares and exhibitions where they are giving free merchandise gifts.

There are basically two types of backpacks – mountaineering backpacks and urban backpacks.

Mountaineering pack is the ultimate choice for camping and mountain climbing activities, and exploring the wilderness. They are made to carry a lot of load and without feeling pressure on your back. They have a broad hip belt in order not to put the weight on the shoulders. Mountaineering packs are very flexible. They can be used in very hard environment conditions. Some are made out of materials that make it waterproof and even fireproof (though it is not recommended that you test this theory).

Urban backpacks are great for school, short or long day trips and minimal-equipment outings like day trips to the nature carrying your sandwiches, water, books, cameras, and dry clothes. But they are not suitable for very long hikes or overnight camping. Urban backpacks are designed to be user friendly for travelers. This backpack usually features a large zipper panel. And because of this you can easily access all your gear. Zipper will not leak, even in a pelting downpour. This is very important to travelers.

Remember to keep in mind that the more gear you carry the heavier the backpack will be. This is the main reason why is it so important to get the best model even though it is more expensive.

Top Ten Items For Urban Traveling

Let’s face it – packing for a trip can be very stressful. There are so many questions you might ask yourself, such as “Do I really need to bring that new set of encyclopedias with me? How about an extra laptop? Hmmm, how will I survive without my favorite set of bowling balls? What if I get caught up in a freak blizzard, or if a swarm of locusts suddenly attacks?” The truth is you only need the essentials to be a happy traveler, especially if you are visiting urban areas. On the other hand, you don’t want to have an epiphany halfway to your destination, and realize that you forgot something you really need. I, Buzz the Bumblebee, an experienced traveler, have decided to compile the following list of items to bring on every journey, excluding the fairly obvious ones. Like a suitcase to put all the stuff in.

Here are top 10 items every traveler should bring along:

1. Swiss Army Knife
I can’t even remember the number of times this brilliant little device saved the day. Slicing bread – check. Opening wine and beer bottles – check. Opening cans – check. Plus it fits in every pocket, unless you go overboard and decide to get one as extensive as the one in the picture. Although I’m sure you would never get robbed if you actually decided to carry one of these, since the thief would burst out laughing as soon as you would pull it out, I recommend a more compact version.

2. Inflatable Traveling Pillow
Those long plane/train/bus rides don’t need to be uncomfortable at all. An inflatable neck-supporting pillow such as this one can make sleeping in your seat a pleasant and relaxing experience. There is really no need for mandatory soreness in your neck and shoulders if you try to sleep in such places without this little fellow. You can also use it in a horizontal position, replacing a “regular” pillow if you don’t fancy the ones you got in your hotel room. Be sure to carry a little repair kit with it, since punctures just happen. Don’t use it as a floating device though, unless you’re desperate.

3. Reliable Map
Sightseeing isn’t much fun if you can’t find your way around. This can be especially difficult in large cities you have never visited before, even if your sense of direction is excellent. Therefore, a good foldable map can be invaluable. Don’t rely on maps you can get for free at the local tourist offices, since most of these will be more detracting than helpful. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you purchase a well-marked city plan beforehand, possibly even marking things on your own as you plan which landmarks you’d like to visit. A GPS system or a mobile device with access to Google Maps, for example, is a better, but pricier option. Unlike bumblebees, humans have to actually navigate the streets, which is quite unfortunate. For you.

4. Local Guide
Each country has a specific culture and its own set of “unwritten” rules. The mentality of people varies from place to place. No two cities have identical subway & tram lines. Bummer. I’m guessing you don’t want to offend anybody, so it may be wise to consult a local guide for some insight about your destination(s). You can get a lot of relevant information from online guides, like Bumblehood, or you can opt for a well written country-specific guide, such as Lonely Planet, Fodor’s or Frommer’s. Read at least the basics before the trip, since you will want to explore when you reach the destination, not read the guide and miss out on the real experience. Meet the locals and see the sights – don’t just read about them!

5. Comfortable clothing & shoes
How many times did you bring too many pieces of clothing on a trip, “just in case”? And how many times did those “cases” actually happen? Right. Only bring the things you feel comfortable in, and which are adequate for the season and climate of your destination – don’t bring your entire wardrobe. Yes ladies, this is an inter-species appeal to you from males around the globe. Choice of shoes is especially important, since you will probably do a lot of walking. A sturdy pair of traveling shoes with thick soles can really help avoid the pain in your feet after a long day of sightseeing, so buy the best ones you can afford. Don’t forget to bring adequate headgear – a hat or a baseball cap will protect you from the sun during summer, while a woolen cap (+ gloves!) will keep you warm during winter hiking sessions. Remember, he who would travel happily must travel light!

6. Quality Sunglasses
Chances are you will need some form of eye-protection regardless of the season. Unless you’re going for a skiing trip, in which case you’ll need goggles, a pair of quality (and stylish, of course) sunglasses will be well appreciated on a sunny day. What good would it be to stare at, for example, the Eiffel Tower if you can’t see anything because of the glare. Or to squint and hide in shadows as long as the Sun is up? Just be sure to actually bring these babies, since they are often left forgotten somewhere at home. Or is that just me? And bring along with suitable wiping cloth, so you don’t scratch the lenses while rubbing them against your jeans.

7. Camera
Traveling is oh so much better if you have actual hard evidence that you really visited the locations you claim, so you can brag about it with some credibility. Any camera, be it digital or just plain old analogue, will do the trick, but the bigger your budget the better your pictures will be (obviously). On the other hand, you might not want to bring really expensive models on a trip, since it might get lost or stolen (ignore this line if you are a Japanese tourist). A small tip – if you plan to make hardcopies of your picture, you might want to purchase a photo album in the city/country you are visiting, to make the memento even more authentic. Or you could just upload the whole thing to your Facebook / MySpace profile. Or both.

8. Compact Dictionary
Here is one pearl of wisdom from my big box of pearls – the locals will be more willing to help if you address them in their own language, even if your grammar is not perfect – you just need to show good faith. Unless you speak the language in question, this effort would be impossible without that dictionary in your pocket. You can opt for classic, printed versions, or even electronic dictionaries if that is your fancy. The latter may help you translate the word you are looking for a little faster, but a quality printed dictionary will never fail you by running out of battery power. Beware of tricky phrases though; if your statement comes out something like “I like to bone that sheep” when you meant “I would like to board that ship” people might want to get away from you as soon as possible. But hey, it’s all traveling experience and you can at least get a few laughs afterwards.

9. Secure Belt & Pouch
Seriously, only kangaroos and other marsupials have no need of such a travel accessory. This bumblebee never crosses a state line without one of these babies. Money, a small notebook & pen, aforementioned swiss army knife, city maps, a compact camera and all other small essentials can easily and securely be kept in such belts, and they will always at hand when you need them. Beats the hell out of stuffing your pockets and wondering where you left any particular item. Be careful when putting it down somewhere, in a bar for example, because they are so practical that people tend to forget they even exist. When it’s not attached to your waist, always keep an eye on it! You don’t want to mess around with embassies when your passport gets stolen, believe me.

10. Water Bottle
Even though water is most likely readily available at whichever urban destination you happen to be in, it never hurts to keep a bottle of your favorite liquid by your side. Especially during hot summer days. If you already carry the belt mentioned above (and you should!), you can easily attach the bottle to it with an appropriate clip. You never know how long that museum visit is going to last. If you want something, ahem, stronger, you can replace the plastic bottle with a metallic flask full of firewater of your choice. Either way, you’re sure to save a few dollars on overpriced drinks.

Planes, Cruises And Hotels: Busting The Biggest Travel Myths

We’ve all heard myths and urban legends about Big Foot, tested illogical home remedies like using hot water to make ice cubes faster and have made conservative choices on Friday the 13th, but how many of us have missed out on a travel adventure due to the fear caused by a few travel rumors? Here are some of the biggest urban legends in travel and the facts that debunk them.

Myth 1: Americans Are The Worst Tourists

Are Americans really the world’s worst tourists?

American’s rank 9th best out of 27 nationalities, according to an annual survey of hotel managers. The truth is Americans were ranked the loudest but also the biggest tippers.

Myth 2: Once You Step Onboard Your Money Is No Good

The truth is that your soda, meals, waters in the dining hall and buffets are paid for, everything else costs including alcohol, alternative dining, internet access and more. The fact is an average cruise traveler spend 50% more than the base fare on additional amenities.

Myth 3: Rule 240 = Money Back

If your flight is delayed, the urban legend states that Rule 240 requires the airline to compensate you. This is not exactly true, the rule 240 did at one time exist. It was created by the Civil Aeronautics Board. With deregulation though, Rule 240 has been expunged.

Myth 4: Bottled Water Is Your New BFF

At least 25% of bottles water is simply tap water. So if you are weary of Montezuma’s Revenge while abroad, know that there’s a 25% chance the brand you buy will simply be local tap water anyway.

Myth 5: Your Hotel Key Card Knows More About You Than You!

This again is also not true, your hotel key card doesn’t know everything about you. This rumor was started by Detective Sergeant Kathryn Jorge of the Pasadena Police. She saw a presentation about fraud techniques indicating this as a possibility, and sent an alarming email in response. The police department had to retract the statements of DS Jorge to quell fears.

Myth 6: There’s Money In That Bible

This is another myth which people want to be true, the myth is that people believe that there is a crisp $100 tucked into their hotel Bible. But till date there are no reports of such generosity.

Possibly, all of these myths depends on the mode of your travel, like many cruise lines don’t include soda in their inclusive meal price so you need to pay for your soda every time you buy it or you might want to go for a soda card plan. Other than that I wish I found that money in the Bible or anywhere in my hotel room, but my bad luck.