While I’m still on the road, I want to recommend three totally-tested-out pieces of travel gear.
1. L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack. I have probably gone through 7-8 of these (same model) over a 20 year period. I carry a lot of stuff on my back, usually including books, and this one has pockets, and compartments, places for pens. I’ve even put a tent and light sleeping bag in it. It seems to hold limitless stuff.( Ignore the red color of the one shown on Bean’s website, I like the black.)
2. The StashSafe 100 Hip Pack. The best fanny pack I’ve had (been wearing fanny packs for many years). This one is especially geared to prevent theft, like someone cutting the strap with a knife and running off with it (the strap has stainless wire embedded), or a thief unbuckling the strap (the catch is hidden). You can also lock the zippers shut, It’s also got lots of compartments and pockets inside for wallet, camera(s), pens, penlight, pocket knife, etc. Click here
3. Sanuk “Summit” Flip-flops. I bought these the night I left and have worn them every day for over 5 weeks. (I gave away a pair of running shoes as I just didn’t need them (or the weight). I’m amazed at how comfortable these things are. I went for a 6 mile hike in the jungle, hiked up a canyon to a waterfall, have worn them in San Jose, Costa Rica and Panama City. https://www.sanuk.com/ (Click on “Men’s Sandals,” then “Summit.” Sanuk also makes the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever had. Look for them in surf shops or outdoor stores like REI.