The art of packing a backpack cannot be underestimated. Follow our top five tips to help get your crap sorted.
- Start out with the right backpack.Yes, this does mean buying a smaller backpack if you are vertically challenged. Walking around like a caveman because of the weight on your back will not make for a memorable trip. Waterproof or at least semi waterproof fabric is a must, as are internal frames – external frames are bulky and could see you getting caught on everything from train doors to tuk tuks.
If you have the choice – go for a backpack that has a zipper along the side (often called panel loading backpacks), which are much easier to get stuff in and out of.
- Keep the heavy stuff you are using the least, (i.e. an emergency jumper at the bottom of your backpack), and more essential items at the top. If possible, keep your sleeping bag in a separate spot (ideally you will have a separate bottom zip section) that you can easily access each night.
- Roll, roll and roll.No folding here peeps, rolling saves space and keeps your clothes as crease free as possible when they are crammed into a backpack for months on end.Think like a shop assistant and remember to fold the arms in on your shirts as well.
- Carry a couple of plastic bags. They take up no space and you can use them to separate dirty clothes and store things like underwear and swimwear separately so they are easy to find in your backpack.
- Do not leave home with a bursting at the seams backpack unless you plan on buying nothing on your trip or are willing to throw belongings out as you go.
Lay out everything you want to take with you before you begin to pack and aim to cull about one quarter of it. Ideally, this should mean losing your third pair of pants and collection of grey t-shirts, not your sleeping bag.