First Gear Purchase

First Gear Purchase

With my travel date growing ever closer it was time I began spending some of my hard earnt savings. First on the list were two items I believe to be fairly important to any would be backpacker. A backpack and some good shoes.

Like everybody I hit up Google, read other blogs and consulted with my travel book. I was searching for something I liked the look of and also fit with the idea of trying to travel light. You can call me vain but I just couldn’t pick a glow in the dark backpack or the pack that would not fit down the aisle of the bus, seriously who wants to knock someone’s head off as you disembark?

In the backpack department I decided on the Deuter Quantum 55L + 10L. I had a preference for this pack from the beginning so before heading out to shop I told myself not to choose with my heart but with my head. I would let the store assistant direct me to what they thought would be a good fit given my travel plans (I’m a newbie to all this after all).

As I explained my itinerary I quickly learn’t I was not only talking to a sales assistant but a dedicated backpacker. This put me at ease about being potentially lead up the garden path by a sales assistant just looking for a commission sale.

From there we chatted and tried on packs. After rejecting a horrible yellow pack (yes I’m vain deal with it) she grabbed the Deuter Quantum and loaded me up with weight bags. I really couldn’t feel the back on my back. It sat well across my hips and balanced perfectly across my shoulders, I was sold.

What’s so good about this pack then you ask. Well apart from it feeling weightless when wearing it the slim size makes me feel less like an elephant and more like a gazelle when its on my back. I can safely walk down a bus aisle and know I’m not about to get stuck on an arm rest or knock the really attractive girl I spent the last 2 hours trying to impress in the head.

It also has top, middle and bottom openings giving me complete access to my gear hiding inside; the adjustable harness ensures it fits my frame size and it comes with a Rain Cover/Travel Duffel to help protect itself from careless airline staff to name just some of its features.

The day pack of only 10L is too small to be my dedicated every day pack but will be nice for getting lost somewhere as it will fit a bottle of water and my camera nicely. I still have to decide on a backpack to hold my Macbook and other important goodies but there is no rush for that.

With the backpack decided we moved onto shoes. I’m only taking one pair of shoes besides my flip flops, so I was looking at something that’s going to pass as both everyday walking shoes as well as allowing me the ability to head out to the local pub/club and not look like I’m wearing runners.

After trying on a couple of pairs of shoes and walking about I wasn’t sold. Then she handed over a pair of Asolo Fulcrum shoes from their discount rack. I’d seen the same type on shoe hero the other day. Nothing wrong with them they were just old stock and the owner wanted to move them out. I wasn’t about to get all “I want the latest and greatest” especially when they have $100 knocked off their price. Tried them on and I was instantly grinning, felt great to walk in and no bright colors to be seen.

The box had them labeled as Enduro Trail Running shoes, lightweight, grippy Vibram sole and very breathable. The only lacking feature is water resistance but I’m hopeful that by the time I really need that type of shoe I’ll be working in the UK and can afford something else.

As for the price of this shopping spree, a respectable $500 which was under my budget for the two items. If anybody finds themselves looking for some new gear in Melbourne I can happily recommend Bogong Equipment. Alice sorted me out without being an overly aggressive sales assistant like I encountered at other nearby stores.

Next purchase will be my one way plane ticket to Paris… excited I am.

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34 Responses to First Gear Purchase

  1. CORNELIUS AESOP February 9, 2010 at 2:45 AM #

    Love the gear, I am with you 100% on the bright colored bag. If I don’t have to then I’d rather go for something dull and less obtrusive. As for the shoes that’s a hard one for me, deep down I’d want to bring one more pair for nights out on the town. Then again working on a budget will I or should I be spending money in places that have shoe requirements?

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 9, 2010 at 6:06 PM #

      Hey mate, I kept looking at the bright coloured gear in the shops and was like do I need anymore of a sign I’m a backpacker.. oh I know lets get the pack that glows in the dark and can be used to signal aeroplanes to land.

      i contemplated bringing 2 pairs of shoes with me but really couldn’t justify all that extra space they would consume. If i get really desperate and need them I’ll just buy some plenty of shoes along the way. Dude i don’t care about the budget i will be consuming beer in Europe.

  2. MONICA February 8, 2010 at 11:28 PM #

    Woohoo! I’m more excited about your ticket purchase than the backpack and shoes. Lol. Let the countdown begin!
    .-= Monica´s last blog ..Happy Monday! It’s Moving Day! =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 8, 2010 at 11:42 PM #

      lol thanks Monica. Ticket will be paid for this week or next week just working out a couple of details 🙂

  3. JOHNNY VAGABOND February 9, 2010 at 11:41 AM #

    Congrats, mate! The pack is the biggie and you’ve knocked it outa the park.
    .-= Johnny Vagabond´s last blog ..Vagabond Travel Tip #2 — Never Trust a Monkey =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 9, 2010 at 7:00 PM #

      Thanks mate I’m finally glad to have spent some money and moved closer to leaving.

  4. STEPHANIE February 9, 2010 at 11:42 AM #

    I remember when my dad took me to REI to get fitted for my backpacker backpack (It was a university graduation present). There are so many choices and it’s difficult to figure out what’s right for you. Looks like you made a good choice- and are one step closer to your travels!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 9, 2010 at 7:02 PM #

      Thanks Stephanie. To say its overwhelming when you walk up to the backpack section is an understatement. So many brands and colors and shapes. You really are reliant on the sales staff to know what they are talking about. I’m glad it was a fellow backpacker helping me out.

  5. ANJ (@1WRITERGRRL) February 9, 2010 at 11:43 AM #

    Great work! Only advice for future, use your US connections as much as possible when buying gear – you can try out certain brands, styles, etc, but the cost (especially with sales) will be sooo much less. Example, my hubby got a pair of dress Rockports in Vegas for $75 USD, arrived in Melbourne 2 days later only to see the exact same pair in the CBD for $220 AUD. That said, there is nothing more thrilling that testing out the gear buying and walking out of the shop with it straightaway!! 🙂

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 9, 2010 at 7:06 PM #

      Good advice Anj and I think with more experience and some awesome friends in the states (hint hint wink wink people) i might just do that. Being my first backpack I wanted to have it in my grubby hands straight away so was happy to pay the price here.

  6. NOMADIC CHICK February 9, 2010 at 12:18 PM #

    Looking good Chris, and not dorky. And dude, nobody looks good in yellow. Good call.
    .-= Nomadic Chick´s last blog ..Gypsy Bits and Bytes =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 9, 2010 at 7:10 PM #

      Hey Jeannie your so right yellow just doesn’t work 🙂 Yes the only dork will be the one carrying the bag.

  7. ABBEY HESSER February 9, 2010 at 1:59 AM #

    Nice choice on the pack. You’re going to love the detachable daypack. That’s the ONE thing I hate about my pack and it’s not easily remedied. Even if it’s too small to hold your laptop etc. it will still be a nice small pack to have. Also, an opening at the bottom?! Love that! I’ve been looking for a pack that zips all the way around since I saw a girl with one in a hostel about 2.5 years ago. Something that opens at the bottom may be a good compromise! Good find, sir.
    .-= Abbey Hesser´s last blog ..Ohayou gozaimasu! おはようございます。! =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 9, 2010 at 5:59 PM #

      Thanks Abbey. I’m really happy with it although I haven’t tried to put anything in it yet 🙂 I think the 10L day pack will be good just to take and wander with when i’m not out looking for wifi and so forth.

      yes I can get into my pack from the top, under the day pack a big flap zips open and I also have a zip at the bottom that gets me in which should allow me to always find what i’m looking for… hopefully.

  8. CALEB February 9, 2010 at 6:21 AM #

    If the Quantum 55+10 is of the same quality build as the Futura 32, and I’m sure it is, you’ll fall in love.
    .-= Caleb´s last blog ..Sit Down =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 9, 2010 at 6:11 PM #

      Hey Caleb. Yeah feels really good and I don’t think I read a bad review on anything Deuter so here’s hoping we become life long buddies 🙂

  9. AYNGELINA February 9, 2010 at 11:59 AM #

    Very nice. I’m still contemplating what I’m going to use as a daypack. I’d love to just get a messenger bag while out walking around, I always use one for short trips and it makes me feel less touristy but it’s not practical for day hikes or carrying gear for any long period of time.
    .-= Ayngelina´s last blog ..The 8 Weeks and Counting List =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 9, 2010 at 7:09 PM #

      I’ve been thinking about a messenger type bag actually as my small day pack will be fine for normal day time wandering etc. I just need something to hold my macbook and other items when I’m out searching for wifi and so forth. Carrying yet another backpack for that will be cumbersome where as a messenger bag can fit with your backpack on. If you come across a good one let me know.

  10. SASHA February 9, 2010 at 12:19 PM #

    I’m so excited for you, i always find once i start buying the travel gear it feels like the trip is really a reality!!!

    Sadly this next trip of mine i have everything so i didn’t have to buy anything! 🙁 I loved shopping for my backpack, i went to so many different places, talked to so many people it become an awesome backpack chat fest LOL. Having a zip off daypack was a necessity for me, became really handy for bike rides and short hikes much better than my day satchel for those activities.

    Unfortunately for me i had alot of probs getting backpack to fit really well because i’m pretty small and petite and i nearly toppled backward numerous times before they had even weighted it! In the end i had to get one on special orders. Apparently not many ppl who travel are as small as me!!! Gosh i didn’t think i was that short!!! LOL
    .-= Sasha´s last blog ..On UR Way Magazine Issue #1 =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 9, 2010 at 7:17 PM #

      That’s exactly it Sasha. Now that i’m buying things its all so real and I can’t wait to start using it. I almost did a practice pack to see what I could fit in my bag but held off for now.

      I know I’m a short ass but am very grateful i didn’t have to special order a pack. I really wanted to be able to just walk away with something on Friday and glad I did. I’d looked at shops already and researched as well as I could. It was definitely buy time.

  11. SOFIA February 9, 2010 at 11:43 PM #

    Looks like a great pack, similar to the one I have myself. I’ve got a Deuter (55+10L). After a while on the road I found it slightly too big for my liking, but it’s still an awesome pack and Deuter’s backpacks are of really good quality.
    After what my pack has been through I’m quite amazed it (almost) looks like new..!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 10, 2010 at 12:23 AM #

      Hey Sofia. Thanks I am really glad I grabbed this pack, especially with glowing reports like yours. While I am yet to try and pack anything into mine yet I am glad I didn’t get a 65l pack this one is just the right size for now I think.

  12. DTRAVELSROUND February 10, 2010 at 11:34 AM #

    YAY!! Your pack is soooo pretty. And love that is so light and feather-y. Makes me want to go exchange mine. Let me know how it holds up!!
    .-= DTravelsRound´s last blog ..The City of Stairs =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM #

      Hey D. hehe the pack is manly not pretty geez 🙂 Time will tell how it holds up but I’m hoping its going to last me for awhile.

  13. ALY February 10, 2010 at 4:40 PM #

    Paris!! You’ll be looking quite fashionable in your new attire. I can’t wait to start reading all about your crazy adventure…cause I’m sure it’ll be quite entertaining! 😉 Now start packing!!
    .-= Aly´s last blog ..You’ve Been Traveling Around, Now What? =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 11, 2010 at 6:13 PM #

      hehe I guess I’ll have to find some clothes that will match my pack huh?

      lol are you saying I’m some kind of crazy aussie guaranteed to get up to no good…. yeah ok maybe I am 🙂

  14. SPUNKYGIRL February 19, 2010 at 3:02 AM #

    Awww look at you, all grown up and buying travel gear! haha. Awesome post. I can’t wait to buy my gear for my trip. At least I can read your posts for now 🙂
    .-= SpunkyGirl´s last blog ..Where were you when Canada won its 1st Gold Medal? =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 19, 2010 at 10:13 AM #

      hahahahha thx Pam I know right. I’m trying to get my shopping list together for the rest of my items as there is a sale on here next week. Major excited.

  15. SABINA March 20, 2010 at 10:30 AM #

    That is a very nice looking backpack. Mine is absurd.
    .-= Sabina´s last blog ..Top Ten Foreign Travel Films =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD March 20, 2010 at 4:49 PM #

      lol thanks Sabina. I couldn’t bring myself to buy a bright coloured one. In saying that my waterproof jacket I just bought is very RED 🙂



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