Memoir Planning Guides

On The Hunt For The Perfect Backpack

Guide To Perfect Backpack

I’m going, to be honest, outdoor shops have never really been my “thing”. Dark caves of never-ending rails of nylon, fleece as far as the eye can see and let’s not forget the infinite racks of equipment. Tools and gadgets that permit you to live a comfortable and connected lifestyle even if you’re miles away from any vague resemblance of civilisation.

Girl In Plaid

In my mind, you’re either outdoorsy or you’re not. I’ve always quite happily sat in the NOT camp. Jake, on the other hand, would be as happy as Larry if left in the middle of the Andes with nothing other than a Swiss Army knife and a toothbrush. I can safely say I’ve ever met anyone who revels in practicality more than Jake Mason. To Jake, the functional waterproof benefits of Nylon are as exciting and desirable as the Marc Jacobs Ligero backpack. For this, I love him, although struggle to relate.

Outdoors material

It’s on this Inca to Inuit adventure however that Jake’s penchant for practicality will rule and I will need to up camp and embrace functionality and comfort over aesthetics and style.

It’s now just over three months before we embark on our Argentina to Alaska adventure. I have resisted buying any clothes in 2015 (apart from a minor splurge six weeks ago) in a desperate attempt to save as much as possible before we depart. I was left unsupervised this weekend as Jake flew to Lisbon for a stag weekend and as such the inevitable happened. I scratched my shopping itch. This wasn’t my normal trot down to TopShop- no this was something infinitely different.

Woman in woods

My Dad has always said, “Lyndsay, if you’re going to do a job, do it properly” and this was no exception. Being fortunate enough to have parents that live in the Lake District I had access to the mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, the Saville Row of waterproofs, access to Ambleside.

Lake District

There are sixteen outdoor shops in the quaint Lakeland town of Ambleside. Each with something different to offer the measureless march of ramblers that pass through the high street. I had one mission, to find myself a backpack that could satisfy my countless criteria.

As somebody who suffers from an acute back pain, I have struggled to find a backpack that meets my inflated expectations of comfort. Anything short of feeling like I’m wedded to a tempera mattress is a disappointment. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been brushing up on what to look for when choosing a backpack. The choice is nothing short of baffling. What weight, gender, length, frame, openings, pockets, ventilation, hydration reservoirs?!

Thank goodness for Rod. Lovely Rod. Rod works at Gaynor Sports and was a fountain of backpack knowledge. After 20 minutes and a full fitting with Rod (she said tongue in cheek) I was a backpack, guru. Unfortunately Gaynor’s had a limited range in store so I was forced to wander elsewhere and exercise my new found knowledge. With renewed confidence, I stormed out the shop and marched my way across the road to the Climbers Shop.

That’s where I found it. The backpack to rival all backpacks – The Osprey Aura AG. I had found my match. Aura is nothing short of perfection. Anti-gravity back system- wow! The fit on the fly hip belt- Amazing! Biostretch harness – phenomenal! Seriously through this backpack really is incredible. According to the Osprey website Aura will reduce my fatigue so I can push my adventures harder and longer. Watch out South America we’re ready to roll!

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