As a travel blogger with an outdoor adventure focus my long time readers already know that I do my fair share of traveling. In 2016 I counted 30 trips and for 2017 – when I said I’d slow down, I am just coming off of my seventh trip in eight weeks. Fortunately I never get tired of going places but I don’t get a lot of enjoyment out of packing and unpacking, especially on trips when I’m trying to go carry-on only.
Basically there are three types of trips I do; day trips where all I need is a small backpack; weekend adventures that require a large backpack or a duffel to stuff in all the gear needed and much longer trips – sometimes in very remote settings where I need a combination of daypack and duffel.
What’s the best gear for adventure travel?
When I’m home and if the weather cooperates I try to head to the mountains for at least a day on the weekend. In Calgary I have lots of choice with Kananaskis Country just 45 minutes away and the gates to Banff National Park about 70 minutes away. My favourite five hour door to door outing is the hike up Prairie Mountain. For that, a simple but rugged backpack will do the trick. An example would be the Afar Backpack by Eagle Creek. The size is right; there are lots of pockets and it’s built to last.
If it’s a backpacking trip then I’m looking for three things – the right size, durability (how many times do you drag your backpack over rocks?) and enough pockets and compartments to keep everything organized. I would love a pack like the one pictured below. I can’t tell you how many times I get to a base camp situation where I don’t want to carry my big pack – just a day pack. This one offers the option to remove a 15 L day pack so you can travel light.
I also love weekend canoe or kayak trips. A few years ago I did the three day Milk River canoe trip that ends in spectacular Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. For that a couple of duffles come in very handy especially as you have to carry your gear quite a distance to a campsite on one day. Duffles are great for stuffing but they can also become very disorganized in a hurry. That’s where pack-it cubes in various sizes come in handy. Eagle Creek makes a very lightweight sports version now.
When it comes to duffles I like to have a couple of sizes depending on what I’m doing. Eagle Creek offers everything from overnight sized duffle bags to rolling duffles with a 120 L capacity. I actually prefer my duffles without wheels. The bag pictured below is especially useful with its two massive end compartments and plenty of grab handles. My husband and I will both take one on our trekking trip to the Zanskar region of India this coming fall.
Lastly, I love a good carry-on bag with wheels. Eagle Creek does a first class job with the DoubleBack™Carry-On. One part of it goes in the overhead compartment, and the smaller pack can fit under the seat. You can jam the larger one with enough clothes and gear to keep you going for a couple of weeks, longer if you’re a good packer.
Thank you to Eagle Creek for making this post possible. They are a great company that stand behind their products and completely guarantee them. You might wear out before your travel gear wears out.
Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
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