It is strongly recommended that you buy or borrow a back pack for the Peru Through the Lens trip. We do not do any amount of hiking with our full size backpacks, however it makes it much easier for getting from hotel to train / boat or private van.
Some things to consider:
Some of the hotels may not have elevators. It is easier to carry a back pack up stairs on your back than lifting a suitcase by hand.
At our homestay in Luquina Chico, there are no roads & houses are various distances from our drop off point. Some people will walk 5 minutes, others may walk 15-20 minutes to get to their homestay. We will be walking with our luggage on paths through fields. This is not conducive to trying to roll your luggage around.
When we get off the train in Aguas Calientes, we have to walk to our hotel which is near the top of a hill. You will need to carry all of your belongings for about 20 minutes this day, as well as when we leave Aguas Calientes (however that’s easier because it is downhill!)
If you are buying / borrowing a back pack, here are a few points to consider:
– Small / Medium / Large / XLarge is the size of a back pack in relation to your height / torso length NOT how much the back pack will carry.
– The amount of litres a back pack holds is supposed to relate to how much the back pack will hold, but unfortunately it varies greatly between brands. A 50 litre back pack in one brand may hold more than a 60 Litre back pack in another brand
Men’s VS Women’s
– The straps that sit around your hips are designed differently for men & women
– The straps around your hips should sit above your hip bone, just below your belly button. This is because the hip bones help give your back pack something to grip on to (sit on).
– Adjust the hip straps first, then the shoulder straps, then the straps that move the back pack closer or further away from your shoulders.
– Back packs should fit closely to your body and have as many points of contact as possible along your back.
– When walking up hill / up stairs, pull the pack closer to your shoulders with the adjustable straps. When going downhill, release the same straps so that it is slightly further away from your body. This is because when you are walking up hill, you don’t want the back pack leaning back away from your shoulders pulling against you, you want it working with you.
– Access points – can you get into the backpack from the top / bottom / side ? It is nice to not have to unpack all of your things every time you need to access something.
– Some bags lay flat and open like a suitcase giving you easy access to everything without unpacking.
– Some bags have covers to protect from weather & to keep all straps tidy & tucked in for plane travel
– Heaviest items should be between your shoulder blades to mid back.
– Light items should be near the bottom.
– Items you need to access daily should be close to an access point (top / bottom or side – your preference)
Try on several back packs, put weight in them, walk around & up and down stairs & hills to try it out. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Readjust straps. If it still isn’t right, that might not be the bag for you. Try another one!
Last year I borrowed an Osprey back pack and it did the trick. This year, I tried on the same Osprey and compared it to the North Face Crestone. For me, the Crestone fit much more comfortably, so that’s the one I purchased. I was really surprised at the difference in fit. The Osprey sat much higher on me hit my neck in a funny place. I didn’t realize there was anything wrong with this until I tried on the North Face one that fit so much better!
Each person has a different body and the pack will fit differently on them, so try several before choosing one.