I have a long and arduous debate going with some of my travelling buddies over one particular travel item, the backpack. Now, obviously if you are legitimately backpacking your way around an area then you will require one. In addition, if you will be unassisted in the transport of your gear/luggage in a place where you are unable to wheel it , then you must take a backpack. But, and that in my opinion is a very big but, otherwise the backpack is a mistake when travelling.
The very nature of this bag is for it to be out of your sight. Now this is where the arguing begins because there are claims that just because it is out of sight does not mean that you are not aware of anything untoward through feel. Or, the one about how you can protect your belongings back there with locks, and a system of what goes where. And this is where my head begins to spin, and I trip over the many reasons I find the backpack to be the bane of a travellers existence.
Sure, you MIGHT feel a greedy intruder attempting to take your stuff that is housed in that bag, or maybe you will not. I know during a rain storm, while crowded under an awning in San Jose, Costa Rica I did not feel, nor sense that I was getting ripped off. And as for the lock, well two things come to mind immediately. No matter how systematic you are about keeping your valuables under lock and key, you will slip up and put something you can’t bear to be without in the unlocked compartment. That will be the time when someone rifles through your stuff, and jacks that something important.
Oh, and one more thing about a lock, that just alerts thieves to where you are keeping the loot. Thus, that is the part of your pack that the meanies will just slice through with a knife. However, if you used a bag that you can strap over one shoulder and see on your hip, waist or front, then you increase your chances of avoiding this conflict.