About Packsmith

If you love travel but hate packing, you’re in the right place.

We created this blog to answer questions from our fellow travelers and to provide advice on packing, gear, and clothes.

Packsmith is all about what to bring and how to pack it. On the blog, you can learn how to:

Sound good? Sign up below to get biweekly packing help sent straight to your inbox. You’ll also get a free carry on packing list just for joining.

About Fred and Jeremy

Fred Perrotta and Jeremy Michael Cohen of Tortuga Backpacks

Fred (left) and Jeremy (right) of Tortuga Backpacks

We are Fred Perrotta and Jeremy Michael Cohen, the founders of Tortuga Backpacks.

In 2009, we went backpacking through Eastern Europe. Despite our extensive pre-trip research, we ended up with lousy backpacks. Jeremy’s second-hand bag broke on the first day, and Fred’s was meant for hiking, not traveling.

After returning to the States, we learned that other frequent travelers had the same problem. The perfect bag for city travel didn’t exist. So we made the Tortuga Travel Backpack. In 2011, Tortuga Backpacks opened for business.

As travel veterans and industry professionals, we get asked a lot of questions about travel. Packsmith exists to answer them and to share those answers.

Meet the Packsmith Team

Jennifer Miller, Editor

Jennifer Miller, Packsmith

In her seventh year of an open ended world tour that has taken her through about thirty countries so far, Jenn has journeyed across Europe and N. Africa on bicycles, the length and breadth of North and Central America, deep instead of wide for six months in Guatemala, seven months across mountains and rivers across Southeast Asia, backpacked her way through Borneo and Indonesia as well as thoroughly road tripped Australia and New Zealand.

The moment she saw a Tortuga Backpack, she knew she’d found the perfect shell to call home!

When she’s not hiking in rain forests or SCUBA diving remote islands in Belize, she can be found riding off in to the sunset with Arab horsemen or swing dancing under the stars in the shadow of her favorite volcanoes.

Jessie Beck

Jessie Beck, Packsmith

Originally from the Washington DC area, Jessie Beck is currently kicking back in the Bay Area as Go Overseas’ Editor-in-Chief after a stint as an education volunteer in the Peace Corps, Madagascar (2011-2013). While not writing or traveling, she can be found rock climbing, biking, or eating her way around the bay.

Shawn Forno

Shawn Forno, Packsmith

Shawn is a long haul travel specialist (trips +3 months), digital nomad, and surfer who’s lived, worked, and traveled to 30+ countries in the past decade. Big on surfing, climbing, scuba diving, and all things outdoors. Brooklyn misses him when he’s on the road. Follow Shawn on Twitter. He’d like that.

Laura Lopuch

Laura Lopuch, Packsmith

Laura Lopuch is a freelance writer. She is a bookworm, has gypsy blood running through her veins, and has flown on 35+ flights with just a carry-on. When not traveling, she can be found hiking Colorado’s mountains with her dogs.

Shannon Whitney

Shannon Whitney, Packsmith

Shannon lives in Dallas and works in customer relations for an airline. She spends a lot of weekends on the standby list living out of her carry on (a Tortuga Backpack, of course). Shannon loves tacos, reading and ghost tours. Follow her on Twitter to ask all your TSA questions and share your favorite restaurants.

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