My experiences in my travellers lifestyle has shown that each year I need to buy following things: boots, back-bag and sleeping bag. So I had made a little budget around 100 EUR which I have to earn to get those essential things. Everything over that is my personal profit which I use to buy wine, beer or coffee and tobacco.
Before a pair of god boots like Camel Boots lasted with me several years and the last ones I had during my stay in UK several years where a gift from a friend in Estonian Military which boots lasted all that period. However, nowadays I had bad experiences buying boots as they usually last only few months?
I remember from Estonian literature that previously boots where something father donated sons.
The usual problem has been a bad quality leather. It just broke’s after some rain. And there isn’t any difference will I buy them in Spain or UK sources. Same crap.
Meanwhile I once tried German Military used boots which where made on quality leather. However, they had cut the leather from a area where it has clued to sole too thin so it broke’d there after few months.
French military ones could be better but they ask there over 100 EURos for those so out from my budget.
Visiting Estonia last time I decided to try their “Samelin” boots made in Tartu. However, after fe months I already have to clue the sole of the boot. But the leather seems to be better quality than usually sold here.
With sleeping bag it has been easier. You just can’t wash them in domestic washer and have to go Laundromat. They last at least two-three washes so enough for a year. I recommend to buy a branded mommy type with the markings which temperature they are comfortable. To use it in winter 3C-13C has been very comfortable for a winters in Barcelona even sometimes temperature goes below zero (it takes some efforts to get out from it on mornings) and 9C-13C is good for a summer period as otherwise it could be too hot to sleep. If there are no markings, the weight for a winter one is usually 1.6 kilos and summer one around 1 kilo.
I have purchased sleeping bags either from eBay or “Intersport” in France and never had a problem with those.
I left UK having something 70 litre back-bag full of staff with me and even once carried 12 bottles of vine with it as well. However, when those lesbian girls took half of my underwear I had only need to half of the size. However, carrying a useless broken Dell Laptop with it was too much weight and after some period I decided to buy new one.
Getting it from Chinese shop lasted only a week or so.
OK, some period I was able to get decent ones from France sport shop or using eBay (StockTotal) here in Spain.
I had so little staff left which I needed so something 30-40 litres was enough and more comfortable to carry than those big ones. I just have my basic staff like some pants, socks, t-shirts and a pullover.
I have always admired those small girls travelling around carrying something 100 litres in their back and extra 25 litres in front as well.
However, a new problem emerges when people started to rob my back bags in Barcelona. It usually contains only my dirty underwear, toothpaste, toothbrush, scissors, socks and some other useful staff for me but nothing for you so why fight and took it using force from me?
Anyway, so I have had to get a new one quickly and from nearest shop. A fashion shop sold something for 12.95 so why spent more buying it from sport shop I gave it a try. And it wasn’t even chinese shop but when I got to France after few weeks it was a total crap. The material just was’t good enough and it had broken from odd places.
So I just got a small school bag from a friend in Paris and those kind of things are sold there for 5 EUR. This one lasted all my trip Paris-Hamburg-Malmo-Stochkolm-Turku-Toijola-Tampere-Helsinki-Tallinn-Tartu-Berlin-Hanover-Dortmund-Koln-Saarlous-Metz-Nancy-Toul-Dijon-Lyon-Nimes-Perpignan-Barcelona caring even my MacBook and all the clothes, plus sneakers in it.
Then it broke in Barcelona with one too rapid movement getting it to my back.
So I went a nearest shop and got one again spending 12.95 EUR even I had a previous negative experince. But as I see people carrying those all the time, I just though that this shop was selling a crap and maybe another shops have quality staff.
But this one lasted only two days even I didn’t had more weight than sometimes my MacBook and bottle of wine or beer in it.
So I went to sport shop and expected to get a decent one for 22.50 EUR. It was even branded one. But my luck had turned because God thinks I have currently more money in my pocket which I have to spend. The straps broke after few days even again I didn’t had much weight to it. Just the stitches was’t made properly. Chinese people think that when they stitch everything ten times and leave threads open it should be a strong stitch?
OK. Finally I had found “Intersport” shop here in Barcelona and purchased McKinley for 22.50. At least straps have lasted now but a cover inside torn apart. Let’s see how long I can use it now.