When it comes to packing a suitcase for a vacation, most of us have mastered the sitting-on-an-over-stuffed-suitcase-until-it-closes routine. If you pack that much stuff for a week, how do you pack for a six month backpacking trip?! Simply, packing a backpack requires cut throat and practical decisions.
Half, Half, then Half Again
Sometimes the easiest thing to do in the initial stage is to grab everything you would like to take, including clothes, toiletries, technology, pyjamas, straighteners and your X Box.Now that you have every possibility in front of you, it’s time to think practically.
Remove anything that’s not essential. That pretty top you’ve only worn once? It’s out. Those 12 pairs of jeans? Nope. When you’re backpacking, you have limited space. Keep removing non essential items with the goal of continuously halving your pile. Place your backpack on the bed and if your pile doesn’t look like it’ll fit, keep going.
- A first aid kid: pain relief, plasters, antiseptic wipes/cream, ant diarrhoea medication, antihistamines, oral rehydration sachets, alcohol gel, baby wipes and any prescribed medication.
- Travel documents including: passport and photocopies, spare passport photos for visas, flight documents/tickets, health/travel insurance and an international driving license/permit.
- Toiletries such as: feminine hygiene products, razors and blades, soap, sun cream and after sun, 2in1 shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, make up and remover, hair brush, bobbles/hair bands, nail clippers/file, tweezers, insect repellent.
- Travel towel, sleeping bag, travel sheet and pillowcase for those hellish hostel beds.
- Any cameras or technology you want to take, as well as chargers, plug adapters spare SD cards.
- Clothes. Think practical items that can be worn all the time, such as t-shirts, vests, jeans, shorts, leggings, skirts, dresses and a hoodie. A waterproof jacket may also be a good idea.
- Footwear. Think trainers, hiking shoes and flip flops/sandals.
- A torch, alarm clock, ear plugs, sewing kit, duct tape, journal, sleep mask, and hat. It’s also a good idea to take a rape alarm whether you’re male or female, to help you stay safe.
A Practical Order
There’s a certain knack to packing your backpack. Store things you will need regular/quick access to in separate compartments, such as your sleeping bag, toiletries, first aid kits and medications.
To ensure you get more in your backpack, roll clothing and use underwear to fill gaps.Make sure you pack things smoothly against the back of the bag for comfort when wearing.