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View Full Version : At my wits' end regarding an EDC for London



ladyinblack1964
05-20-2016, 12:04 PM
I've come to the conclusion that I can't carry anything on my back for anything longer than 15 minutes. Thankfully, the back pain I mentioned a couple of weeks ago has subsided. That was mostly in my left scapular area. However, with as little a load as 5 lbs., I continue to develop discomfort when carrying either a crossbody bag like the CP or a sling-pack (bought one at Dick's Sporting Goods. It was meant for fly-fishing, I think, but makes a handy backpack).

I've tried the Healthy Back Bag by Ameribag. I've tried a lightweight purse from Le Sportsac. My trip is in 8 days and I'm just disgusted with the whole business. I'm wondering if I should just throw everything I want to carry around London in a small shop bag and be done with it. I know there are some things in my EDC that I won't have in London (i.e. phone, house keys, extra cards I need at home). I just feel like such a weakling or something.

This is not helping with my pre-trip anxiety. :(

Rocks
05-20-2016, 12:16 PM
I think a shop bag is a good option. Maybe a Side Effect worn around your waist for your wallet and camera.
Have you ruled out the Daylight backpack? I mention that because after too many years of right shoulder cross-body carry, I can only use two strap bags now.

tebnewyork
05-20-2016, 12:17 PM
Side effect as a waist pack and small shop bag a are both good. If you have both I would take both. This way if one isn't working you have the other and they are both easy to pack.

ladyinblack1964
05-20-2016, 12:20 PM
I bought the DLBP last year for a graduate school residency and sent it back as I couldn't see it working out. Ditto for the SE. Had it for a week and didn't really like it. I ended up putting most stuff in the pockets of the SB and using the key straps to attach everything else. I do have a nice camera bag for my Panasonic Lumix.

Juanito
05-20-2016, 12:50 PM
How about using a lumbar pack (aka "fanny pack") to take the load off your shoulders/back and put it on your hips? They may not be very stylish, but they work well in certain situations.

I used a Mountainsmith Tour lumbar pack (Mountainsmith.com - Tour Lumbar Pack (http://mountainsmith.com/tour.html)) to carry a camera, water bottle and other daily use items during a bicycle tour. The waist straps stow away so the bag can be used cross-body over the shoulder.

There is are optional padded shoulder straps (actually a harness), called Strapettes (Mountainsmith Strapettes (http://mountainsmith.com/strapettes.html)) that hook to the bag and help distribute a heavier load.


PS Will someone more skilled than I with the forum send a PM explaining how to conceal a URL behind a product name, i.e., have the product name rather than URL appear as the clickable link?

Bijouxandbeads
05-20-2016, 01:12 PM
@ladyinblack, I have a wish for you! Please try to not worry so much about the process, and just enjoy your trip. What you have or don't have with you is not nearly as important as enjoying the experiences and memories you will carry with you for the rest of your life. There is the natural emphasis in a bag forum that being well prepared is very important, but worrying about not having the exact right combination of items seems to be spoiling the fun and anticipation that you should be having right now. It will all work out. Take what you hope will work, merrily leave the rest behind, and be sure to take lots of pictures to share...it's Europe after all! Have a blast!

ladyinblack1964
05-20-2016, 01:13 PM
Thank you, Juanito. I've never heard of this. Most of the fanny packs I've seen are kind of unsubstantial and wouldn't fit my camera. This one looks like it would.

How easily can you get items (such as sunglasses, bus passes, camera) in and out of it? Ease of use will be very important for this trip.


How about using a lumbar pack (aka "fanny pack") to take the load off your shoulders/back and put it on your hips? They may not be very stylish, but they work well in certain situations.

I used a Mountainsmith Tour lumbar pack (Mountainsmith.com - Tour Lumbar Pack (http://mountainsmith.com/tour.html)) to carry a camera, water bottle and other daily use items during a bicycle tour. The waist straps stow away so the bag can be used cross-body over the shoulder.

There is are optional padded shoulder straps (actually a harness), called Strapettes (Mountainsmith Strapettes (http://mountainsmith.com/strapettes.html)) that hook to the bag and help distribute a heavier load.


PS Will someone more skilled than I with the forum send a PM explaining how to conceal a URL behind a product name, i.e., have the product name rather than URL appear as the clickable link?

moriond
05-20-2016, 02:09 PM
PS Will someone more skilled than I with the forum send a PM explaining how to conceal a URL behind a product name, i.e., have the product name rather than URL appear as the clickable link?

@Juanito, When I want to create a link associated with my own description, I first type out my text, then I select the section of text I want to associate with a link. For example, I could type "here's a link to the lumbar pack that I use (http://mountainsmith.com/tour.html)", select the words, "lumbar pack that I use" so that they are highlighted, either using a mouse or touchpad, or by just using my fiber on an iPhone or iPad touch screen, then, once those words are selected/highlighted, tap or click with a mouse on the small globe icon that has a small section of chain link just below it to in the options above your text reply box. a pop-up dialog window will appear, into which you can paste the URL address of the web page you wish to link to. There's an initial "http://" filled in at the start of that text box, so make sure that you don't duplicate that string -- i.e., either delete this initial prompt that is meant to indicate the format to use, before you paste, or else select this text before you paste so that your web address replaces that string.

I've taken the steps I outlined above, using my iPad screen, in composing this post. If you want to see what the coded result looks like, so you can compare with your own experiments composing replies, try selecting the "Reply with Quote" option. I use this when I want to see how somebody manages to do a posting trick that I don't know how to do at the time. You don't actually have to reply to posts this way -- it's just a convenient way to see the "underpinning" of a post while you learn about posting features, or try to Preview actions.

HTH

moriond

Amy
05-20-2016, 03:22 PM
@ladyinblack, I am pretty sure that your anxiety will disappear once you get there and start having fun. Just carry the minimum in whatever bag you already have. If your shoulder aches, switch shoulders, carry your bag in your arms, or stop somewhere for a rest and a drink. If your back hurts, go back to your hotel for a wee lie-down. You will have a great time even if you carried everything in a plastic sack!

GaleKnits2
05-20-2016, 04:07 PM
That Tour Lumbar Pack looks like a great product! I wish we'd had something like that when I was hiking with the family thru the Indonesian jungle. Would have made things a lot easier!

RDR3
05-20-2016, 06:26 PM
Thank you, Juanito. I've never heard of this. Most of the fanny packs I've seen are kind of unsubstantial and wouldn't fit my camera. This one looks like it would.

How easily can you get items (such as sunglasses, bus passes, camera) in and out of it? Ease of use will be very important for this trip.
My husband used this last summer while they were visiting NY and he could easily access his camera (a Canon 6D) and passes. He didn't use the straps linked above but added the cross-body strap to stabilize the bag. It worked well and did not strain his back.
HTH

Juanito
05-20-2016, 07:58 PM
@Juanito, When I want to create a link associated with my own description, I first type out my text, then I select the section of text I want to associate with a link. For example, I could type "here's a link to the lumbar pack that I use (http://mountainsmith.com/tour.html)", select the words, "lumbar pack that I use" so that they are highlighted, either using a mouse or touchpad, or by just using my fiber on an iPhone or iPad touch screen, then, once those words are selected/highlighted, tap or click with a mouse on the small globe icon that has a small section of chain link just below it to in the options above your text reply box. a pop-up dialog window will appear, into which you can paste the URL address of the web page you wish to link to. There's an initial "http://" filled in at the start of that text box, so make sure that you don't duplicate that string -- i.e., either delete this initial prompt that is meant to indicate the format to use, before you paste, or else select this text before you paste so that your web address replaces that string.

I've taken the steps I outlined above, using my iPad screen, in composing this post. If you want to see what the coded result looks like, so you can compare with your own experiments composing replies, try selecting the "Reply with Quote" option. I use this when I want to see how somebody manages to do a posting trick that I don't know how to do at the time. You don't actually have to reply to posts this way -- it's just a convenient way to see the "underpinning" of a post while you learn about posting features, or try to Preview actions.

HTH

moriond

Much oblige. You are the Forum Jedi Master.

Juanito
05-20-2016, 08:05 PM
Thank you, Juanito. I've never heard of this. Most of the fanny packs I've seen are kind of unsubstantial and wouldn't fit my camera. This one looks like it would.

How easily can you get items (such as sunglasses, bus passes, camera) in and out of it? Ease of use will be very important for this trip.

It is very easy to get items in and out of the bag. The main compartment has a wide opening with 2 zippers (the zippers have large pull tabs). The adequately sized front pocket has a single zipper with pull tab. There is a small zippered pocket inside the main compartment for smaller items, e.g., a wallet, passport.

catherder
05-20-2016, 08:29 PM
How about something like a Scottevest jacket? Then you could just keep stuff in your pockets.

K9TB
05-21-2016, 08:02 AM
Also, think about what is the absolute minimum you need to carry for the day. Even consider not carrying your camera. It's better to enjoy your experience, and have the memories, than have photographs of a painful slog around London.

NWhikergal
05-21-2016, 08:47 AM
Great tip, @Juanito, about the Mountainsmith packs! I used an Osprey Talon waist pack for hiking when I had a shoulder injury, but it was definitely a sporty hiking pack and less versatile looking than the Mountainsmith.

ladyinblack1964
05-21-2016, 04:43 PM
Thank you, all. I definitely have a bad case of nerves! I'll figure something out!!

ladyinblack1964
05-21-2016, 04:55 PM
Just a quick question: When you are wearing the Mountainsmith pack around your waist, do you remove the shoulder strap, or does it tuck away?

Juanito
05-21-2016, 05:05 PM
Just a quick question: When you are wearing the Mountainsmith pack around your waist, do you remove the shoulder strap, or does it tuck away?

You can do either. The shoulder strap attaches to the bag at the base of the handle loops via 2 side release buckles ... very easy to completely remove the shoulder strap. I use both if it's a heavier load or I want a little more security in a crowd.

adam33
05-21-2016, 05:54 PM
Lady in Black, I live in London and I find it is better a to use a shoulder bag than a backpack for EDC. Especially if you are going to touristy areas, you need to be careful of pickpockets. With a backpack you cannot see what is behind you. Have fun in London! Download the tube map on your phone. Tourists usually stick out like a sore thumb standing on one spot next to a tube station looking at big leaflets of maps. Get an oyster card and top it up as soon as you arrive. Be conscious of who is around you and always pay attention to your stuff if you leave it under a table at a restaurant/coffee shop. Be careful of flower sellers at night around Leicester square/Piccadilly circus. Buses and the tube (underground) uses Oyster card. See London like a local by going on a bus and sitting on the upper deck at the front. A lot of tourists travel only be tube and can't see the smaller side alleys and beautiful streets.

John
05-22-2016, 05:51 AM
See London like a local by going on a bus and sitting on the upper deck at the front. A lot of tourists travel only be tube and can't see the smaller side alleys and beautiful streets.

Or - if the weather is good and you're not too tired - consider walking. Central London is fairly compact and flat. If it's only a short journey on the tube (a few stops and particularly if you need to change), it might take about the same time (and will certainly be much nicer) to just stroll there.

ladyinblack1964
05-22-2016, 02:09 PM
I've ordered the Mountainsmith tour pack and I think I will use it as a combo shoulder/waist pack. I can't imagine having it behind me while walking (like a bustle on a Victorian lady's skirt!) and have always worn that sort of thing in front. Thanks for the advice re: pickpockets. I'll be getting my Oyster card at Heathrow as soon as I get there. I've been to London 3x before and I never had a map. It's funny--I never knew where anything was and have only learned from studying a map now. I always relied on the big maps in the tube stations. Never had a clue what was east, south, north or west. LOL

I will definitely try the bus!


Lady in Black, I live in London and I find it is better a to use a shoulder bag than a backpack for EDC. Especially if you are going to touristy areas, you need to be careful of pickpockets. With a backpack you cannot see what is behind you. Have fun in London! Download the tube map on your phone. Tourists usually stick out like a sore thumb standing on one spot next to a tube station looking at big leaflets of maps. Get an oyster card and top it up as soon as you arrive. Be conscious of who is around you and always pay attention to your stuff if you leave it under a table at a restaurant/coffee shop. Be careful of flower sellers at night around Leicester square/Piccadilly circus. Buses and the tube (underground) uses Oyster card. See London like a local by going on a bus and sitting on the upper deck at the front. A lot of tourists travel only be tube and can't see the smaller side alleys and beautiful streets.

sose
05-25-2016, 04:00 AM
I have to second @juanito's recommendation.

In my line of work, I go overseas often enough and not looking military (I'm not) is a desirable thing. One of my teammates used a mountainsmith lumbar pack and I thought it was silly and uncomfortable as could be. Well, color me surprised. I tried it and it was superbly comfortable. Not my cup of tea, but it was pretty danged good!

I think it'll work for you!

Enjoy your trip!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ladyinblack1964
05-25-2016, 08:55 AM
The Mountainsmith tour pack came in the mail yesterday. I tried it on and I'm still not 100% sold on it. While loaded, the plastic buckle and waist strap part that is not padded seemed to poke into my tummy (which is a bit round, tee hee). I will be wearing a money belt and so I wonder if it will interfere. I do feel insecure about having it around my back, but wearing it on my front seems uncomfortable. The shoulder strap...well, I haven't tried it, since I was trying to avoid a shoulder bag due to some recent back issues.

I'm not trying to shoot down every suggestion that everyone has made, believe me. You're all incredibly kind. I guess I'm just nervous about getting to London and 1) developing back pain again; or 2) finding my EDC isn't working and having to find something there. I've thrown a few hundred dollars at this situation already and am faced with at least one item return, plus selling another two via ebay.

There's also the possibility that I'm focusing on this too much. I wish I could trust that I will have a fine time no matter which bag I carry, but I find I can get pretty miserable just walking around the neighborhood on my lunch break with a heavy bag. Switching shoulders does not help at all. I'm really a shoulder bag gal, and no one is sorrier than I am that bags like my Swift aren't working for me at the moment.

I guess I'll survive, no matter what. Thank you all again for your help and kindness.

Muni_Jedi
05-25-2016, 11:22 AM
You could try wearing the lumbar pack on your hip (secured with the belt) with the shoulder strap cross body as a stabilizer. This would mimic a shoulder/cross body bag with the added weight distribution of the lumbar pack. It may also alleviate some of the pinching as the unpadded part will be shifted to the side. Just a thought

ladyinblack1964
05-25-2016, 12:04 PM
I'll probably do that, Muni_Jedi. Thanks for the help!

K9TB
05-25-2016, 04:05 PM
... I find I can get pretty miserable just walking around the neighborhood on my lunch break with a heavy bag. .

Please try to have a lightweight bag! You can do this! For every single item you are thinking of carrying, ask yourself "What's the worst that will happen if I don't have this?" Be ruthless. Not just "will I use this?" But instead "what happens if I don't". Maybe you would use a hairbrush 3x a day. But what happens if you don't? Messy hair? I would choose messy hair over pain. Every little thing adds up.

Also, if you are paying with cash, be sure to use up change. Coins are heavy. If you accumulate any change, top up your Oyster card with it the next time you enter the Tube.

ladyinblack1964
05-26-2016, 08:35 AM
Believe me, I do. It must have been creeping up on me, because when I bought my COW and MOP along with my CP, I really did a clean-out of my EDC. Probably needs doing again, certainly before the trip!



Please try to have a lightweight bag! You can do this! For every single item you are thinking of carrying, ask yourself "What's the worst that will happen if I don't have this?" Be ruthless. Not just "will I use this?" But instead "what happens if I don't". Maybe you would use a hairbrush 3x a day. But what happens if you don't? Messy hair? I would choose messy hair over pain. Every little thing adds up.

Also, if you are paying with cash, be sure to use up change. Coins are heavy. If you accumulate any change, top up your Oyster card with it the next time you enter the Tube.

wlumber
05-26-2016, 05:02 PM
It may be a little late to weigh in but have you considered a travel vest like the Scotty Vest or something? It might be a little warm at this time of year, but if you can find a style you like, it has the advantage of not pulling on your shoulders and being pretty impervious to pick pockets.

Grandcache
05-27-2016, 02:07 PM
An added thought--At times I have worn a PCSB as a front waist pack. I remove the shoulder strap and use the waist strap from my MCB or Imago. I either use a double hook or a triangle clip to attach the waist strap to the bag. This gives me a bit more space than a SE and I can also convert it to a shoulder or cross body bag by trading straps. Depending what I'm carrying, I use various organizers. When I'm traveling, I can easily use it as a packing cube and then convert it to a day bag at my destination.

Amy
06-20-2016, 02:40 PM
@ladyinblack1964, did you take your trip, and how did it go?