It may be tempting to pack suitcases to the brim for a trip abroad, but in the case of backpacking, traveling light is all part of the experience. In fact, it is a necessity. Imagine lugging heavy bags around when hopping around the globe. It will feel like something is holding you back, and in this case, it is not emotional baggage but literal baggage. Adopting a minimalist approach when backpacking ensures that the trip a comfortable and mobile one. Here are a few tips on how to pack light.
It’s all in the bag
Selecting a good bag is the ultimate trick to packing like a pro. It’s best to choose a bag that is not too big, the smaller it is, the less tempting it will be to overpack. This helps with prioritizing. A 40-liter carry-on backpack is perfect for those who will be visiting multiple resorts and hotels across a few locations. It’s comfortable to carry around and won’t be as awkward as trying to haul wheeled luggage over cobblestone streets, beaches, or worn roads, not to mention how difficult it is to get it into public transport. Many backpacks today have a few nifty features that make packing much easier.
Rule of three
Believe it or not but most places have laundry, sinks, and running water to wash your clothes in so there is no reason to bring along more clothes than needed. Three pairs of underwear, three shirts, three pairs of socks, and three pairs of bottom ware should suffice. This could be two pairs of pants or shorts and one culturally appropriate skirt depending on where you are traveling to. Opt for cotton-poly blends in matching colors that are light, do not wrinkle, and dry quickly. For colder climates, be sure to pack a jacket and the appropriate shoes in case of snow.
Opt for versatility
With a little imagination, a few everyday objects can be used for multiple functions. A simple sarong can double as a bag, a towel, a skirt, protection from the sun, and a changing room. A frisbee as silly as it sounds is not only a great way to break the ice but also doubles as a cutting board, plate, fan, and protection for fragile objects in a bag. A buff, which is a stretchy piece of material can double as a mask against dust, bandana, scarf, sun guard, or sleep mask. Another everyday item that can be used for many purposes is Vaseline. Use it to prevent chafing and blisters or to soothe uninfected wounds and cuts. Vaseline can also be used as a slow-burning fire lighter!
It’s better to be prepared than leaving the packing until the last minute. If it is left until the night before, the chances are that you will feel rushed, which may cause you to stuff your bag too full in a panic. If everything is organized in advance, it won’t be as stressful to try and remember what to take along for the trip. In most cases, we tend to forget an item or two even when we are organized, but it is not the end of the world. There is a good chance that you will come across a convenience store, even in the most remote places.
Now that the basics are covered, it’s time to start packing for the greatest backpacking adventure of your life!