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Budget Travel Gear Yo Nellie, which backpack should I git? Questions and answers on gear related topics (i.e. backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, hiking boots, stoves, etc.).

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Old 05-03-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
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I'm new here, but I checked out a lot of the useful information on these boards last night at work. My brother and I are planning on taking a 15 day trip to Ireland starting May 23rd. We will be planning on hitting up a lot of different places We're flying into Shannon, and going straight to Galway for a couple days. Other cities we'd like to go to are Cork, Limerick, Kilkenny, Kilarney, Dublin (only for a day though), etc. We are trying to pack as lightly as possible, so I figured I'd give a list of things we're planning on taking. I will mark the items we still need to buy before going with a * and you can tell me if it's worth it or not.

-Duffel Bags (to put our backpacks inside at the airport) *
-TSA approved lock (to lock the main zipper of the duffel bag) *
-Small Notebook *
-Small LED Flashlight *
-Elastic Clothesline *
-Small thing of detergent/soap for laundry *
-small first aid kit *
-sewing kit *
-swiss army knife *
-ear plugs *
-sleep sheet *
-quick dry towel
-odor eaters *
-watch with alarm *
-small mp3 player (cheap old one that I don't use much anymore)
-harmonica (i love music, and I think it would be a good way to meet people)
-guide book (maybe tear out pages if it's really big)
-deck of cards
-portable umbrella
-day pack
-plastic gallon bags *
-various toiletries

Clothes:
-3 tshirts
-1 long sleeve shirt
-1 kinda dressy button up shirt
-1 light windbreaker
-2 light pairs of pants (dark khakis)
-4 pair underwear/socks
-mesh shorts
-tennis shoes (saucony's)
-flip flops
-dressy pair of shoes?

A couple things I was thinking of bringing, but not sure if it's worth it:
-1 pair of jeans (they would take forever to dry.. )
-cheap paperback book or two


Note that since my brother and I are going, we can likely share some of the things (first aid, sewing kit, boks, detergent, toiletries) so some of the stuff won't be taking up room in both of our packs. I really want to pack as lightly as possible, so any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm also planning on getting cheap shirts from a thrift store so that if they get too nasty, I can just toss them.
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:57 AM   #2
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oh yeah, my brother is bringing his digital camera and a large memory card for pictures.
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:10 PM   #3
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ha, I wish there was an edit button b/c I don't want to keep adding stuff. We already have our passports and flight tickets. We have moneybelts and we're planning on using Debit Cards the whole time. I have a credit card with a low limit (1000 bucks) just in case there's an emergency. I'll probably let the bank know about the trip too so that they don't freeze our cards.
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:17 PM   #4
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Um, let's see... This is just my opinion, obviously take what you feel you need!

I wouldn't take the clothes line, though it's not going to take up much space if you do decide to take it! If your hostel has a washing machine, I'd think it will have a drier too.

You can buy the detergent for laundry when you get there.

Wouldn't worry about odor eaters (those are the things for your shoes, right?!) 15 days isn't going to result in disgustingly smelly feet. Well, unless you don't wash them!

Definitely just tear out the pages from your guide book if it's big. Or if you've not bought one yet, find a guide in the library, and photocopy just the pages you need.

Umbrella... Well, chances are it will probably rain a little. But you never know, the weather could stay really nice. Maybe don't take one and buy a really cheapo one if it does rain.

Clothes:
Dressy shoes I wouldn't worry about. If you plan on going out in the evening, you can wear your flip flops (if they're the right sort to wear out)

I would take the jeans. I know it sounds gross, but I wear the same jeans for days on end without washing them. If you also have 2 pairs of other trousers, you could only wear your jeans for a total of 4 of 5 days in the trip. I'd take them, and just wash them when you get home!


Finally, take a book. Maybe you can take one, your brother can take one, and you can swap when you're done. Or you might find your hostel has a book exchange so you can read something new!

Have fun!!!
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:23 PM   #5
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If you have a smaller bank, make sure your card will work in Ireland. Ours wouldn't work (specifically Ireland) and that gave our trip a really rough start.

I think your list seems good (and very itemized!). Looks like you've been doing your research. Are you planning on hitting up clubs or planning any big nights going out? If not, you could probably omit the dressy shoes. If you are, definitely take them. I would either leave out the jeans, or swap them for one of the pairs of khakis. What about regular shorts? Or would your mesh shorts double as regular wear? Irelands weather is kind of bipolar, so you may get some warm weather while you're there.

If you get a guide book specifically on Ireland, you may want to take it (or do lots of research/print outs ahead of time) otherwise, you could probably forego that. Maybe that's just me though.

Anyhow, Ireland is wonderful (says all people but the Irish ). You'll have a blast!
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:24 PM   #6
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Three pairs of long pants seems like overkill to me. I'd bring two at most if you are really worried about it, but I'm sure you could do fine with a single (fave) pair. You can do your laundry on the way as you go.

2 pairs of shoes should also be enough - sneakers/hikers and a lighter pair (ie: sandals). If you have a dark pair of hikers then you should be fine - people won't mind if you wear hikers at a local pub. Of course if you really want to hit up the posh clubs or high-scale restaurants, then go for it. I'm sure some people will back your decision for a dressy pair. My argument is simple - pack light and then you don't have to carry around any extra weight.

Personally, I never leave home without duct tape (I roll a bit of it around a small pencil, so I don't have to drag a whole roll around with me) and it's come in hand MANY times - fixing my pack, waterproofing my shoes, mending a frayed hem, etc...

Also, for more info look here for an earlier thread.
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:47 PM   #7
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wow, thanks for all of the help. I figure my brother and I will pack our packs a couple times before we leave so that we can eliminate some of the unnecessary stuff. I am getting really excited about this trip which is making it difficult to write this final paper. hah, but it'll come soon enough. It's strange to think that I'll be leaving for the trip in about 3 weeks!
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:50 PM   #8
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You'll have a great time. I've only been to Ireland once (Dublin) but I really enjoyed it!

Any more questions, ask away!
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Old 05-03-2006, 05:44 PM   #9
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I guess one more thing that I'd like to ask is where to get a good cheap duffel bag? I've looking online and I've seen some that are around 17 bucks or so. Anywhere I can get it cheaper without having to order online? I don't want to spend a ton on it just b/c the only thing I'm going to use it for is to protect my backpack. Should it have zippers to lock it up? Thanks again.
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:38 AM   #10
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Maybe you could go to your nearest camping supply store. Here in the UK, we have a store called Millets, and they sell waterproof sacks that you just pop your bag into, and they cost about £5-6, so what's that, about $10? You might be able to find something like that. They're ideal for when you check your bag onto the plain so all the straps don't get caught up in anything.
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:06 AM   #11
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If you can find a pair of zip-off convertible pants, I'd take those instead of the second pair of khakis and I wouldn't bring the jeans. Check out Columbia for slacks that look halfway normal when the legs are on, and also dry relatively quickly, in case you have to wash 'em in the sink. It's possible you won't need walking shorts while you're there, but it would be nice to have if the sun does happen to come out.

In lieu of a clothesline, I'd take two bungee cords - you can twist em together and hang your laundry to dry, and they always seem to come in handy in a million other ways.

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Old 05-04-2006, 09:06 AM   #12
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thanks again for all of the advice. I'll probably look into the bungee cord idea (great idea, by the way) and the convertible pants. I'm guessing that a good pair of convertible pants and some dark khakis would be perfect for the trip. I cannot wait to start getting all of this stuff together for the trip. It's going to be exciting.
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Old 05-05-2006, 01:30 AM   #13
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Another point, if you have an old double (or bigger) bedsheet around, you can just sew the sides and bottom edge together and save yourself the expense of a sleep sheet. (But if it's not your house, ask permission first!)

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Old 05-05-2006, 01:37 AM   #14
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Since its ireland, I'd probably bring a hoodie rather than a light windbreaker. Ditto on bringing the jeans. Granted, Im a dirty hippie who hates doing laundry, but even when I am in the states I wear a pair of jeans for at least a month before I wash them.
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Old 05-05-2006, 01:57 AM   #15
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I'm glad I'm not the only one! They're so much more comfy when they're unwashed!
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by bellelass@May 5 2006, 04:37 AM
Since its ireland, I'd probably bring a hoodie rather than a light windbreaker.* Ditto on bringing the jeans.* Granted, Im a dirty hippie who hates doing laundry, but even when I am in the states I wear a pair of jeans for at least a month before I wash them.
[snapback]118060[/snapback]
ha, I definitely don't mind wearing jeans for a long time without washing them. I guess the only reasons I wouldn't bring them are because they are pretty bulky and if they get wet from the rain, they'll take a while to dry and I hate wearing wet jeans. What's the reasoning behind the hoodie? I figured if it's raining a bit, a light rain jacket would be better and I could always wear layers if it got a bit cold. I looked at the weather lately and it's been in about the 50's F. Anyways, thanks everyone for all of the advice. Tumblezweedz, I'll definitely look into making my own sleep sheet.
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Old 05-07-2006, 07:31 AM   #17
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Instead of taking a duffle bag to put your pack into I would just bring a rain cover for your pack. I have a Tatonka one that cost about $15 and rolls up to be the size of a sock, it covers my whole pack (60 litres) so there wouldn't be any straps hanging out and it's really useful because you can pack things on the outside of your pack if you want and still keep them dry. Since every time I go backpacking it pours rain I always have it with me...my pack is supposedly waterproof but I don't take any chances. Plus, I can put it down on muddy ground and it won't get dirty! Lots of backpacks come with raincovers attached to them (usually comes out of a zipped pocket in the bottom or top), but I don't know how well they cover compared to mine.
Anyway, just a suggestion...
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Old 05-11-2006, 12:56 PM   #18
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rae_of_sunshine, our packs have a built in rain cover. I'm just afraid it would get torn or something since it's not really thick.

Also, one thing I've been thinking about is what colors should I get the clothes in? I wanted to get a pair of dark pants, but all the shirts I'm going to have are going to be either blue or black, so would a lighter pair of pants be bad? I know it'll show stains, so I don't want to have to wash pants all the time since they'll take a little longer to dry. Thanks again, my brother and I are getting really excited about this trip. Only a week and a half left til we leave!
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Old 05-11-2006, 04:31 PM   #19
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Get stuff that matches with everything you have. Black goes with almost everything, so you've got nothing to worry about there. You might want to chuck in a white tshirt, which will go with most colour trousers, especially something like black, khaki green or brown.

Personally (and I'm a girl, so you may want to ignore this advice!) I would take khaki green trousers, and white, black, and maybe yellow t shirts. But that's just me! I love yellow by the way, and recently discovered that it goes nicely with green.
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Old 05-12-2006, 07:19 AM   #20
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For pants, I'd stick with the darker colours, but for shirts, patterns are good - dark colours, sure, but if they have a plaid or pattern to them, they don't look dirty as fast, and they also don't look quite so wrinkled after a few days in a pack. Seersucker is cool and dries fast, both good qualities in summer travel clothing. My husband usually takes a heavier polo shirt, but they take forever to dry, so it's a good idea to have something a bit lighter/faster drying. Ireland shouldn't be too hot so if you can find something rayon, that's a good option - it dries very quickly, though it does wrinkle and it's sweaty in hot weather... pros and cons, pros and cons.

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