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You told me I’m a genius and I laughed, but you were RIGHT!

As soon as I decided to go to Thailand, I dove head first into research. Where should I go.... what do I wear.... What shots do I need.... Why the hell is the only thing I can find on forums about traveling to Thailand involve prostitutes.... You know, the normal!


One thing I decided, was I'm going to bring my cameras. That includes my small point-and-shoot "normal camera" and my Nikon DSLR my dad got me for my birthday this year. That raises this standard question... how do I prevent my stuff from being stolen?!


Allow me to introduce you to the Daysafe 100 form Pacsafe. Its a great little bag, in my opinion. It comes in at $149.99, and I think that is well worth the price. It has a slash proof base with basically a chicken wire mesh inbetween two pieces of material, as well as slashproof bag straps (basically have a metal cable running through them). AND some little zipper lock things that I dont want to explain.


I got to thinking though... that bag will be hot on my back in the heat and humidity of Thailand, and I dont really need such a big daypack bag to hold my cameras and small items. My fix?


The REI Flash 18 daypack. Its small, lightweight, wont take up a lot of back surface area to get all sweaty, and isnt BLACK to attract all that extra sun to my back. AND its only $29.50!! The negative, is that its ripstop nylon -- RIPSTOP, not RAZORSTOP. So, that sucks... I got to thinking "Hmmmm... how can I feel comfortable about my stuff not getting stolen by the bottom being slashed out like you read about online?"


Here is how!


I decided to buy some chicken coup wire -- $5.98 for a pretty big roll at Home Depot. Like my food reviews, I get so excited to start stuff I dont document things right -- as you can see form my half eaten food pictures, and the picture of my chicken wire with tape on it already. So, I basically laid out the  chicken wire, cut it to a general size, and then got even more precise and cut it down even smaller so it would fit like a U inside my bag. Then I curled the jagged edges flat, and started to use electrical tape to smooth everything out -- that didnt work well, so off to Kroger I went to buy some duct tape and baby pins to secure it (I stood there looking at sewing kits and baby pins trying to decide which... I bought the sewing kit, and then decided at home I wanted pins so I could undo this easily at the airport to throw away if they wont let it in...)



Heres a close up of the half duct tape, half electrical tape action. I dont have a picture of my final product, but I did two layers of duct tape on all 4 sides and now its completely smooth with no jagged edges (so when I shove my hand in I dont cut it up!)











I wanted to see how my bag looked fully loaded with what I COULD bring, but wont every day (camera in its case, 55-200 lens in its case, SB600 flash in its case, and my light rain jacket for the sudden showers. At this point, the mesh is sitting IN the bag but not secured to see how it will feel.






This picture is the back of the bag, you can see the mesh isnt protruding out anywhere, and lays flat and feels like its not even there.









This is everything that was in there -- I will need to pack the jacket tighter to get the most open space in the bag, so things arent sitting so high on my back.






Here is a shot inside the bag. The mesh is sitting more or less flat -- I've attached ~6 pins on the front/back/bottom of the bag so that if the bottom is slashed, the pins can hold the weight of everything sitting on mesh and things dont spill out. If the sides are slashed, then I'm screwed.. Oh well.







Lastly, here is the exterior of the bag with the pins installed. You can see its not very bad in terms of drawing attention. The only negative, is it gets rid of the nice water resistance of the bag at the two points of entry/exit of the pints. I dont really plan on standing in downpours, so I feel this shouldn't really impact the bag. I can always patch it with some sort of epoxy around the pins, or holes when I take them out after my trip.




So thats that! I have the bag I want, the security of my items I longed, and I saved $107 (figure $30 (bag) + $6 (mesh) + $6 (tape, pins, etc).


How bout that :)

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