Packing for any kind of trip can be a bit stressful. You’re considering a number of things, like what to bring, what the weather might be like, how many pairs of underwear you need, and much more. Any traveler who is set to go on a backpacking adventure knows these concerns and questions all too well.
Sometimes packing can give you a sense of excitement, as well as a frightening feeling of the unknown. Each trip, even a long car trip, can become an opportunity to improve yourself, think about the future, but you’ll need to pack first.
Whether you are packing a large duffel bag or a backpack, the basics are simple. The following are a few packing essentials you can use to pack like a champ for your next backpacking trip. Let’s dive in!
1. Make Gear Easy To Get To
Think about all your gear when you pack. Ask yourself what you would need today, and what you don’t you need. Make your life easier by putting the items that you need in locations that are easy to unzip and get to.
Things like your water bottle, ballcap, sunscreen, raincoat, toiletries, little snacks, and even drawstring bags for day trips should be higher up or in a separate pocket that’s easily accessible. Sleeping bag, pajamas, and dirty clothes would be best placed at the bottom.
You won’t need them until you are well down the road. A little future planning and you won’t need to rummage around your dirty clothes if you need your raincoat when it suddenly rains.
2. Make Sure You Can Walk Straight
Balancing your pack is vital. If you have 30 pounds of gear stuffed in your pack, where do you want the weight in order to be comfortable and walk straight? Top, bottom, or evenly distributed? The correct answer is actually all of the above.
Your pack’s weight needs to be distributed to make it seem like your pack is an add-on to your physical body. More importantly, keep your physical frame in mind. Try to place the heavy items centered in the pack, which is closest to your back, and the part on top your hips and beneath your shoulder blades.
That’s where the heaviest items should be. If there’s too much weight at the top, you might have a hard time walking, since your pack will seem much heavier.
3. Compress For More Room
Make sure that your gear is compressed in your bag. If straps are hanging out, then tighten them. If you have compression sacks, use them for your sleeping bag or clothes. You will find more room for more stuff, and it will be easier to fit the bag into tight squeezes, like overhead luggage compartments when flying around the world. This is excellent, because checking luggage is always a toss up.
4. Fill The Holes In Your Pack
Each space in your backpack should be occupied. If there’s a small space that needs to be filled, fill it. Place socks in that spot, or maybe a shirt or two. You don’t even have to fold these clothes nicely, just stuff it all in the open space to make sure all of the pack area is used. Since space is limited you want to be as efficient as possible.
Filling in the holes is also a great way to distribute more weight evenly. This will help you stay up straight and keep your back from hurting if you are going on a long hiking adventure.
5. Secure All Your Gear Inside Your Backpack
Be sure to pack every and all items inside your bag. Your favorite water bottle strapped outside might fall off, and that expensive quick drying towel tied outside might not make it through the luggage check.
If packing smart is what you want to do, all of your gear needs to have a specific purpose, so losing one would result in big time problems. This is also good if you are moving a lot outdoors, like traveling in a jungle perhaps, ensuring you keep your gear safe from the elements you can’t control.
“Packing” Up . . .
There are plenty of ways on how you can pack and everyone would be able to develop their own packing systems. Simple tips on how to organize your gear include playing around. Try to practice packing. Take as many trips as you can and travel with your packing gear. Each trip will show you which you should do again and which you should change. Once you’ve learned enough you’ll see that packing is really not that difficult. What are your top packing tips?