In 2005, I took a year off of college to backpack through Europe and Northern Africa. From the get go I didn’t want to be “that guy” with the huge 90L pack. I went directly to REI and walked out with a 41L Osprey Eclipse, which served me perfectly for 30 countries over the course of 12 months. For this trip I didn’t really need a new pack, but couldn’t resist. I decided to go a little smaller and went with the Osprey Kestrel 38. I absolutely love this pack so far and I hope it will serve as well as my previous Osprey. I am normally a pretty minimal packer and tend to shy away from packing things that I normally don’t use in everyday life (but I am also a gadget and bag addict). But as you will see, with this trip I am making a few exceptions (i.e. Pack towel). Over the course of the last trip, I went through an array of daypacks and styles.  I carried backpacks of every size as well as messenger bags. This time I’m hoping to travel with just one daypack. After lots of research and bag testing I opted for the REI Flash 18 for a number of reasons. It is small enough to pack into my main pack, can be used as a stuff sack, never gets too heavy, and can really take a beating. I have been using it for about a month already and am hopeful that it will last for the duration of the trip.

Left: Osprey Eclipse; Right: Osprey Kestrel; Center: REI Flash 18
Left: Osprey Eclipse; Right: Osprey Kestrel; Center: REI Flash 18


1. Bottoms: One pair of Jeans, two pairs of shorts, and one pair of running shorts
2. Tops: One button up shirt, two t-shirts, one long sleeve shirt
3. Underoos: 5 pairs of Lululemon underwear, 3 undershirts, 3 pairs of LuluLemon running socks
4.  Kicks: One pair of Flip Flops, one pair of New Balance minimal shoes, and one pair of Sanuks
5. Accessories: 2 baseball hats, one Buff, Oakley sunglasses, and G-Shock watch
6. Toiletries
7. First Aid kit containing and Epi Pen (for Steph who is allergic to insects), band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain medication, antibiotic z-pack, Pepto, Benadryl, Renitadine, gauze, and tweezers.
                     Everything put into eagle packit cubes and ready to go!
bags             Osprey Kestrel 38, REI Flash 18, Osprey GrabBag (Sony NEX-5R)

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