Backpack for Central America and Mexico?

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Backpack for Central America and Mexico?

Postby kristasis » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:21 am

Hi everyone, I'm going on the Central America and Mexico Trip (Southbound) (JXS) in December... I'm just wanting some advice on the type of bag to get. I want to get something smallish but big enough, however, I have read that pickpocketing/bag slashing does happen in Mexico and Central America, so I'm wondering do I need to get a slash proof bag like some of the ones pacsafe do? (www.pacsafe.com) or will it be ok to get a backpack that isn't slash proof? Would I be carrying my main backpack around much, or mostly just in transit? I plan on having a backpack for my main stuff and then a day pack for the things I want to take with me during the day (as well as a money belt for under the clothes)... Any advice? Thanks :)
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Re: Backpack for Central America and Mexico?

Postby ballu » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:32 pm

I personally don't travel with a big pacsafe. I did buy a small portable pacsafe travelsafe 100 from them for my Africa trip because I needed to carry around over $1000 USD for over a month.

http://www.pacsafe.com/www/index.php?_r ... tail&id=18

If someone wants your bag badly enough, they'll get it. You main pack will mostly be in your hotel room. In general, it's a good idea to keep your valuables in a safe place. Generally, in my main pack the only thing to steal are my smelly clothes. :wink:

Most hotels will allow you to leave valuables at the front desk safe. There are mixed feelings about this....but I figure if the tour leader does it, I will. On future trips I guess I could put the travelsafe in the hotel safe for extra protection.

If you have a lockable section of your big pack, you can also leave stuff in there locked up. Again, if someone wants it badly enough they'll get it, but it would be a deterrent for most. Don't leave valuables out around the room.

I carry a money belt for my cash and cards. I think it's a good idea.

I also feel there is safety in numbers. If there's a big group of you standing around a train or bus station, pickpockets will likely stay away.

I travel with a 70L bag. It's big enough for all my stuff with enough space left over for stuff I pick up along the way.

I've been on 5 group tours through 12 countries and so far the only thing stolen was a jacket on a bus. Our leader told our group not to put anything in the overhead, someone in my group did and it disappeared.
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Re: Backpack for Central America and Mexico?

Postby kristasis » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:46 pm

Thanks Ballu, That's some really great advice :)
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Re: Backpack for Central America and Mexico?

Postby counterfugue » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:22 am

I just did the Volcano tour (with an extra stay in Costa Rica) and your big pack will mostly go from hotel-to-bus-to-hotel.

You will use your day pack for everything. No one had any problems (except for our tour leader, whose boots were stolen because they were tied to the outside of the bag -- this was on a chicken bus -- you should keep an eye on things there...)
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