Before you go thinking that I’ve finally lost the plot and further loosened my slender grip on reality, I’ve got to tell you exactly why MBS (Multiple Bag Syndrome) can really be such a terrific thing. Although carrying 1 light backpack (and nothing else) may at first make you feel like you’ve just reached backpacking nirvana, it isn’t always the best option – it isn’t, really, I’m serious.
By now, regular readers will know just how much I’m ‘into’ gear that offers a dual purpose bonus – and the second, small bag is a perfect, shining example of backpacking kit that does just that. In fact, it probably offers a treble, maybe even quadruple purpose bonus. And I’m not bluffing, honestly. Anyway, what we need here is a bit of hard evidence, so here’s my thinking behind this ridiculous claim:-
The perfect bus bag. On a travel day, having only one backpack means having only one thing to worry about, I agree – but it’s also then a case of all or nothing, shit or bust. It’s great when you have it with you, but a right headache when you don’t – and the thing is, sometimes you WILL get parted from it when going from A to B, its inevitable. The conductor may insist that it goes on the roof or under the bus, or you may even have to check it in. In each of these circumstances its fate swiftly leaps from beyond your control and creates more angst and paranoia than a well packed chillum. But with a trusty bus bag filled with some of your more valuable possessions, the idea of loss from or theft of your backpack becomes much less of a cause for concern. Three cheers for the bus bag!
Travel lighter with an overnighter. Having a second, smaller bag provides you with the opportunity to use a hostel or guesthouse as a base for your backpack and then flit off on a whim for a few days elsewhere without having to hump everything with you. Just pack a bit of wash kit, a sarong, a good book (or a few, depending on the company), a change of underwear (in case you’re gone for more than 2 weeks) and you’re sorted.
Crap pillow? Not any more. It’s astounding just how comfortable a soft bag packed with some choice clothes in can be. Now I’m not saying for a moment that pillows in cheapo flophouses can be like sacks of doorknobs – I mean, I wouldn’t know since I only stay in places beginning with ‘Sher’ and ending in ‘ton’ – but if you want a better kip then you don’t have to look much further than your multi purpose bag.
The Harvest Festival: all safely gathered within. When you’re out and about exploring a new city, or hiking, or hitting the beach, or diving, or whatever, it’s sometimes necessary to have a few bits and pieces with you. And its sod’s law that you’ll have too few items to justify using your main backpack but too many bits for your pockets alone. And the small bag? Well, it’s perfection with a strap.
Using it when it’s not in use. If you pick the right kind of bag, it’ll hardly take up any extra space or weight when not in use. On the rare occasion that you are not actually using it you can either compress it into a small pocket in your backpack or actually use it – still in your backpack – to separate gear like dirty laundry etc. So, if you’re completely insane and don’t use Tupperware , you can still have a bit of organisation in your pack at no extra cost! So, to be able to use something when you’re not even using it, one word spring to mind: Useful!
So there you go – my 5 reasons why a second bag is a must. So what about you? Are you a sensible one-bagger or are you on the same, deluded wavelength as me?