You’ve been thinking about it, planning it and finally, you pulled the trigger. Congratulations on your decision to go backpacking, how exciting! Before going on my first backpacking adventure, I searched high and low for all the best ways to pack my backpack. After traveling around for 6 weeks, I wrote down everything that worked and rounded up all my best tips for packing your backpack for your adventure!
Choose the right gear
I can’t stress enough how important this is! This thing will be on your back for a couple of hours sometimes, so getting a good quality backpack is essential. Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your backpack. I got mine around 3 months prior at a sports store and was advised by a friend. I ended up getting the Deuter Aircontact Pro 65L + 15L and it came with its price but looking back, it was worth every penny! With three sections where I could open the backpack (top, middle and bottom), it helped me avoid having to unpack everything if I wanted something from the very bottom. The hip support on this backpack was amazing as well and takes a lot of the weight off your back and onto your hips. Adios backaches!
Take your time when you pack, lay it all out on your bed. From shorts to sunglasses to charging cables, literally every single thing. Now when you first lay everything out, not all of it will fit (except you’re a complete packing extraordinaire and just never bring too much). So it’s time to remove certain things, because chances of you wearing those heels or using that hair dryer are slim. While backpacking it’s essential that you bring only necessities, since you don’t want to be lugging around things on your back you only use once (if even).
Also keep in mind that you don’t need to bring a months worth of clothes, most hostels will be equipped with washing machines, so use them. Choose your attire carefully and make sure that no ironing needs to happen, because who would want to spend their time ironing instead of exploring? Exactly my point! All jokes aside, bring clothes that are easy to mix and match and low-maintenance. I am planning a “what to pack” for the very near future, so keep your eyes peeled!
Packs in the pack
If you’re a bit like me and usually just throw everything into a suitcase, Ziploc bags and these bag packers will be your life savers in time of frantic search for clean underwear. This will definitely help you to keep your backpack organized and even if you have to check out of the hostel within the next 1o minutes, you can still throw your clothes in and reorganize at your next stop.
When packing make sure to put similar things together, for easy access. Of course you don’t have bag every single thing, but clothes and electronics definitely make sense. Ziploc bags are especially convenient for electronic devices and toiletries in case anything spills!
Fill it up
Finally the time has come to load up your new best friend and constant companion. Start with shoes, toiletries and bathing attire at the bottom, that way the stinky and damp bits are together. Don’t worry, everything will be in Ziplocs, so there won’t be any harm to the backpack! Try to keep the bottom not too heavy as it will pull you down. Continuing in the main compartment of the backpack get your bag packers ready and stuff them in, which shouldn’t be a problem at the beginning. In case you bring books, pack them close to your back in the middle, for optimal relief on your back. At the top it’s best if you have your things that need to be easily accessible (bookings, travel documents etc.).
Make sure you don’t do this the night before you leave. Naturally, there might be one or two things missing, but it’s important to put your backpack on before embarking on your journey and get a feeling for the weight on your back and how to handle putting it on. It will definitely make you feel more prepared.
You might have meticulously prepared your backpack, but it can always happen that you forgot something, or it’s simply cheaper to get at your destination. Additionally you might find a cute dress and small souvenirs along the way for your loved ones left behind, so leave space for potential other items. But of course don’t go overboard with buying things and keep in mind everything that you buy you will have to carry around.
Now you’re all set and ready to go on your big adventure! Wherever it will take you, your backpack will be a great companion and easy to travel with. Have fun!