When it comes to backpacking, heavy bags ruin the experience. The whole point of backpacking around the beautiful landscapes this world has to offer, is mobility and ease of movement. Nothing ruins a great trip across the continent like too much stuff. So how is one supposed to survive off minimal amounts of items? Well, that is the art of packing light. What does that mean? Packing light is more about choosing the right items that can maximize functionality as opposed to just having fewer stuff.
Here we will go into what items to pack and, more importantly, how to use them.
Underwear is the key
Underwear is the most underrated, and underappreciated piece of vital clothing there is. If you don’t think underwear is a “vital piece of clothing“ then you haven’t been in a situation where they have failed you. The perfect underwear for travel has to be made from light and breathable material, perfect for whisking away odor when it gets a bit too sweaty down there. If you’re backpacking, chances are it’s warm enough outside for you to break a little sweat. Nobody’s backpacking through Moscow in the winter. The ability to keep it together and stay dry while putting in the miles it’s not just a factor of comfort, but function. You can’t be thinking about the swamp down under and expect to enjoy your surroundings.
Solid, versatile clothes
When it comes to shoes and clothes, stick to solid colors and simple patterns. Your shoes, if too complicated, can only be used for one type of look. A comfortable plain white sneaker is perfect for walking, a night out, or anything else your trip calls for. Keep one simple button down shirt that can be casual or formal. A simple plaid always works. Same goes for pants. A light breathable chino is so easy to wear and so easy to pack, that it should be the only kind of pants you bring.
Electronics are overrated
Random electronics and gadgets should be kept to a total minimum. If you have a good camera on your phone, don’t bring the giant DSLR. If you have a good action cam, be realistic and pack a few batteries instead of the entire box. Keep chords and headphones to a minimum as well. Nothing ruins The flow of a good backpack, and complicates your life faster than a bunch of unnecessary electronics. Unless you’re working you don’t need to bring a laptop. You can make your travel video when you get back. Also, depending on where you are in the world, these expensive electronics can turn into a liability. So be careful.
Packing light may seem a little scary at first. We always have a predilection towards more. We want to bring more stuff. We want to bring that dress that makes us look great. We want to bring that blazer just in case. But be realistic. If you’re going on a backpacking trip, you’re not going anywhere fancy. In fact, you’re only going to use about 20% of all the items that you think you need. Why not cut out the fat stick to that 20%?