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We’re back!

After more than a year on the road backpacking around the world we’re back and ready to start-up the site again. It’s been an amazing year visiting 14 countries over in 3 continents. 100’s of hours on buses, boats, planes etc.

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Julia and I climbing the volcano in Pucon, Chile

We’ve now got some extra experience in outdoor clothing / travel clothing and gear. So stay tuned for more blogs and reviews!

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Take a laptop backpacking?

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Image by dasnake via Flickr

There seems to be an increasing trend for people taking laptops with on backpacking holidays. It seems a bizarre thing to do, after a little investigation here’s some point about why you should and shouldn’t take a laptop backpacking.

Advantages

  • It could be cheaper in the long run as you won’t need to pay for internet cafe usage, that’s providing you can get free wifi.
  • Staying in touch with people back home is easier. If your suffering from home sickness a call or Skype home can really help. Skype also works out cheaper than paying for phone cars and pay phones.
  • Work, you don’t want to be working while on holiday but you can keep earning from article writing or other online schemes.  Having your laptop means you can keep bringing in cash as you travel which can extend your travels.
  • Back up, it’s another pace to backup your data from your camera or video camera. As well as having the files on the laptop you can then send back home or upload to sites such as Flickr or Facebook.
  • Preparation, you can surf the net easily to find our about your next destination for places to stay or things to do in the local area.
  • Entertainment, you can fit a lot more songs on a hard dive than a laptop. It’s also better for watching TV or films than using a iPod. You can even play solitaire!

Disadvantages

  • It’s heavy, you’ll have to carry it about, including the power lead. Even if you take a small notebook laptop it’s still going to be heavy to carry, you may need a bigger bag too.
  • Breaking, your bag will get bashed about when traveling so without protection a laptop going to get smashed into bits. Adding protection does the trick but adds weight to your pack
  • If you lose it or have the laptop stolen your going to have to foot a bill to buy a new one, or pay the excess to claim on your travel insurance. Check your travel insurance covers it, some only cover a couple of hundred of pounds for theft of items which won’t buy you a new laptop.
  • Travelling for some is about getting away from technology and not being connected 24/7, so taking your laptop isn’t really getting away from it all.

Overall there does seem more advantages to taking a laptop, for me getting into the outdoors and travelling is about getting away from TV, laptops and computer games, so best to leave the laptop at home!

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Need a Pillow When Travelling?

Travel Pillow
Image by brunomiranda via Flickr

If your planning on going backpacking then one item you maybe considering taking is a pillow. With space at a premium in your backpack a pillow could be seen as a luxury item. Here are a few options that you could consider instead of lugging a large pillow around.

1. Travel pillow with compression sack

You can pick one up for a couple of quid and a compression sack allows you to make the pillow really small when carrying it around. It’s going to just enough to fit your head on.

2. Inflatable pillow

A small inflatable pillow it a great option. A few puffs and its up, best of all it should only take up a little space in your pack once deflated.

3. Clothes

Use the clothes your not wearing in the day and stack them up to make a pillow.  The only problem is you might not have enough clothes to make a decent pillow and often your clothes are drying at night.

4. Clothes and hooded sleeping bag

Some hooded / mummy sleeping bags have a pocket in the hood allowing you to stuff clothes in. This helps keep your clothes in place allowing for a comfortable night’s sleep.