Yesterday mom & I ventured into REI with a whole new set of eyes. Anytime I've been before, it's been to get a new North Face or Patagonia jacket. With backpacking Asia in the horizon, I discovered SO MANY COOL gadgets that are going to make my travels so much more comfortable, safe & helpful! The staff at REI is beyond knowledgeable. I was super impressed!!
I didn't purchase much yesterday but notated what things would be the wise to invest in before my trip:
-Water Purifier to attach to a Camelbak
-Silk sleeping bag liner to use under hostel bedding
-Scan proof wallet
-Down sleeping bag
I didn't know you had to get "sized" for a backpack & certain ones work for different people. I narrowed my choices down to 2. One having the luxury on outside pockets which would help keep my OCD self fairly organized or one that felt like it was massaging my back with its lumbar addition. An employee at REI was super helpful & patient. He spent a quality hour with me going through the features & benefits of each backpack. He even added weight to the "chosen" bag & had me walk around the store for a bit to see how it felt.
I'll definitely be spending more time the next couple off months exploring all the neat things that REI has!!