Bought a Pack!

December 31, 2006

Back from the long hiatus that was my month in Miami.

So, who ever thought I’d have a hard time finding a bag in Miami? It seems every mall in the county carries either Louis Vuitton, Coach, or Marc Jacobs, but I couldn’t find a backback to save my life. No amount of Googling produced an outdoor store in Miami. There’s Outdoor World in Hallandale, but that caters mostly to the hunting and fishing crowd.

I figured I’d have better luck in Japan so yesterday, I went to the local outdoor shop and bought an Osprey Aura 35.
Osprey Aura 35

It’s advertised as a 35 liter, but the Small size is really 32 liters. For a 4-month escapade, this is a really small pack. One thing that I noticed on my previous trips to SEA is that people have HUGE backpacks. But this bag is the exact size of my torso; it doesn’t tower over my head, nor does it plunge below my butt. It will be easy to carry. But, me, Girl of Much Junk, the pack-rat, will have to survive for 4 months on 3 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, and no eyeshadow whatsoever.

I chose this pack because, of all those that I tried on, it was the most comfortable. The hip belt cushioned exactly what it needed to cushion, it has a breathable mesh back so that I won’t die of sweat, and the straps didn’t dig in to my armpits, which I know would drive me nuts. Other features that I liked: a zippered panel. This is like your standard-variety, third-grade bookbag, that zips open nearly 100%. Most backpacker packs are top-loading (read: if you need something at the bottom you have to fish your arm in blindly for it or dump everything out.) Not good for the perpetually disorganzied.

The Aura 35 is also light and small. It could make it with no problem into an overhead bin and could (probably) fit on my lap during a bus ride.

The biggest problem? It’s size. Okay, maybe some people could survive for 4 months on the bare essentials. Maybe I could be one of those people. But, some people can also go 4 months without every setting foot in a store or shopping mall. I am definitely not one of those people. The temptation to shop will be great. And yes, I could always ship it home. But this could mean many, many trips to the post office.

I’m doing a trial packing-run today and will see how much room is left over once I get all of my essentials in.

But this dilemna is so me, for I ask you, how can an object’s best and worst feature be the very same thing? When will I ever make up my mind?

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