This is not comfortable. Don't wear your daypack on the front.

This is not comfortable. Don’t wear your daypack on the front.

I travel with a backpack and a daypack more than 300 days a year. And I will never exchange my backpack for a suitcase. But I see so many people carrying their bags in a way where I think that they might just start dragging around a massive suitcase, the size of a fridge instead.

Why should you use a backpack?

This is enough luggage for several months of traveling.

This is enough luggage for several months of traveling.

The main reason for traveling with a backpack is that you can walk long distances with your luggage without feeling that it’s all a giant pain in the butt.

If you start off by stuffing 20 kilos into a backpack that you carry on your back. And then top it up with putting 10 kilos into a large daypack and carry that on your front. Then walking further than 1 kilometer is no fun at all.

I have more than once ended up carrying the backpack of a female friend, because it was so heavy that she could not carry it longer than a 100 meters. But since I travel fairly light, then I could also carry hers. Now that is good girl logic 🙂

Honestly, you might as well stick it into a duffle bag or a large suitcase then. Because the reasons for putting it into a backpack are gone. I don’t see why people would want to travel with a large backpack unless they are planning to do some fairly serious walking while wearing their backpacks.


I carry it on my front to avoid pickpockets.

Sorry guys, but carrying a daypack on your front tells everyone that you are a tourist. Do you carry your daypack on your front to avoid pickpockets at home? You might as well carry a sticker saying “tourist” on your daypack if you do that.

You will be the number one target for pickpockets if you enter public transportation wearing a huge backpack on your bag and a small daypack on the front.

If you need 4 pairs of shoes, a first aid kit the size of a shoebox and enough tools to repair an airplane. Then don’t go backpacking.

travel light and you will be happy.

travel light and you will be happy.

One of the reasons why people drag all this stuff around is that they simply carry too much stuff when they travel.

Fair enough that some people want to wear a new pair of shoes every day when they travel. But in that case you should not go backpacking but choose another way of travel.

And preparing for every possible emergency you could ever encounter, does not make you a well prepared traveler. It just shows that you are either very new to traveling or that you suffer from OCD.

When you pack for a trip, you should focus on what you can live without. Not what you might need on your trip. You can buy pretty much everything around the world these days. The world is global. It’s not like you will have to go without your favourite snack from home. Just because you don’t have half a year’s supply packed into your backpack.

My small pack fits in to my large pack when I am walking.

My small pack fits in to my large pack when I am walking.

In the end I would like to say that I did not write this to insult everyone. I am just hoping to help a few people pack a little more wisely. If you disagree then feel free to leave a comment or send me a mail. And hope to see you all on the road one day, whether you travel heavy or light 🙂

If you want to read some more about my opinions about the world of traveling, then you can click on this link to do so. I always have something to say about most travel related stuff 🙂


  1. I love this article Claus. It is as though people get scared of being labelled a “tourist” if they use a suitcase, so they prefer to carry several backpacks to make them look more of a “traveler”. Whenever I see them I wonder how they think it is a fun and practical way to see the world.

  2. Hi Claus, I dropped by your site to bookmark a couple of your articles on tour leading. I’m sure our readers will find them interesting and I will be happy to share them on our blog. Your opinions here, though, I don’t much care for. While I’m sure you are only trying to offer good advice – and largely it is – you come here a bit like one of those ‘you’re not a real traveller if…’ types. (I’m sure you are not). I despise selfie sticks but I can also see why they are a useful tool for travel bloggers so each to their own. I’m sure they don’t make you look like a tourist.

    I agree wearing a daypack on the front without a bag on the back screams trust issues, but here’s one reason to carry two packs: you can stash your main bag on top of a 4×4 vehicle and not unduly worry that the two Dutch cyclists treading on your bag with their great heavy boots to fix their bikes to the roof rack are not also standing on your laptop, your expensive camera or that delicate piece of china you thought would make a nice present for your mum. They are safely in the daypack now slung across your shoulder.

  3. This guy is clueless and doesn’t know what he is talking about. He think his way is the only way to travel.

    Here is one scenario where someone would have two bags – one in the front and one in the back:

    There are some of us that travel extremely light. We don’t have a fixed address so all my possessions are in these two bags. Once we arrive at the destination which will become our next home base while we explore the surrounding areas/country. While the big bag stay behind, we travel with the small bags – either as a day pack or as a carry-on. When it times to move again, we only have to carry two bags.

    • I have been a nomad with no fixed address for 32 years non stop, Victor. So it’s not like I do not know what I am on about. But I have managed to do that without looking like a hoarder.

  4. I mean if you don’t have another bag, happily carry your bag on the front of you in tourist hotspots. Sure you could quite clearly be seen as a tourist, but you won’t get pickpocketed. On top of that there’s even locals who will do this in hotspots for pickpockets. It’s not that deep.

  5. I doubt the author is a true nomad.

    A true nomad has no permanent home so he/she has to carry everything including but not limited to:
    1) survival gears
    2) summer and winter apparels [eg. clothes, a coat, pair of sandals, pair of winter boots, and etc]
    3) Electronics – eg. computer and etc
    4) Medicines and medical devices

    The above among other things are necessities.

    A guy who takes a few trips with his backpack now thinks his “one size fit all” solution is the only way to travel.
    This is the thinking of a fool. The assertion that a traveler would look like a tourist for wearing backpack in the front is dumb. You look like a tourist because you ARE a tourist. For example, A traveler with blonde hair in Asia, who can’t speak the language, and who is taller than everyone else are dead giveaway. It’s not because you wear a backpack in front of you.

    • I live totally nomadic and have done so for 33 years Charles. Sitting on a small island on the Azores right now. And I mange to live this life without looking like a hoarder. Even if I travel with everything that I need.

  6. Why not distribute weight between front & back say with a 10L bag in front & 30L bag on the back rather than carry a 40-50L bag on the back?

    You can put water, food or other dense stuff in the front for easy access.

    I do this while hiking/trekking for weight distribution as well as for ease of use (eg: batteries & torches stored in front bag during night hikes/treks) and for added protection if you fall frontwards.

    • Modern backpacks come with belts that you can strap around your waist, in order to distribute the weight better. If you use the waist belt properly, then putting any weight on your front will just make you bend over in an unnatural way. Modern backpacks so comfortable wearing that you should not have anything dangling from them, or any additional packs disturbing the weight distribution. That is just my 5 cents.

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