Backpack, Messenger Bag, Money Belt??? Finally… the Answer!

by - Tuesday, February 12, 2008

There are about a bazillion forum topics on whether or not to use a backpack in Europe, whether to carry a messenger bag in front of you… or gawd forbid – the ugly “under-the-shirt” fanny pack – aka the money belt.
I for one am scoffing the money belt – a sweaty piece of material strapped to my gut for three weeks – not my idea of a fun time.  And the fact that I would have to show said gut to the rest of the world every time I wanted something out of the money belt – if that doesn’t scream tourist I don’t know what will.
Part of my decision is based on what I plan on carrying with me on a regular basis – a camera (point and shoot and DSLR), my iPod, travel information and of course money and that kind of stuff… so it ain’t going to fit in a money belt and I am thinking that the possibility of me leaving a messenger bag behind is probably a little greater than something that is attached to my back…
I have read the information on pick-pockets (this is a decent article) and apart from the whole gypsy-thing… I am pretty confident that I am not a complete moron… and by that I mean carrying my bag in the front on transit systems and in busy areas, not walking around constantly with my camera out (I might as well have a neon sign above my head that says tourist!!), and generally staying alert.  I also have some small carabiners that I will be attaching to the zippers… small is the key… gawdy is not…
For that reason, I have chosen the MEC Transit 23 Daypack (my colors are nicer) for my day-to-day excursions, and I have already picked up the 4 Million Dollar camera bag for my DSLR which fits nicely into the bottom of the daypack.  The daypack has very tight zippers (given the fact that it is waterproof), and meets all the tough requirements of carry-on baggage in the UK.
That is my two cents… check out the Contiki forum for more information and never-ending discussion.

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