Choosing the right backpack seems to be one of the more daunting tasks for new travelers – while there are tons of options, you really can’t go wrong as long as you keep a few key parts in mind. When choosing your luggage, it’s important to make sure you have enough space for everything that you need to bring with you (but make sure your bag meets the restrictions set by airlines, so you can carry-on your bag), that it’s comfortable and secure. Be sure that you choose a pack with strong material, so your things are slash and grab proof, yet durable to last through the duration of your trip. I chose a high quality, yet pricier bag from Duluth Pack – they specialize in canvas and leather products, which are long lasting and durable. Each one of their bags comes with a lifetime guarantee – if something rips, breaks, whatever, they will replace.
A few packing tips and techniques:
- Roll your clothes as tight as possible, and if necessary, bound a rubber band around them to keep them together.
- Bring less clothes. I typically only travel with 4-5 shirts, one or two pairs of pants and four to five socks. Backpacking isn’t about being cleanly 100% of the time. It’s easy to wash your clothes in a sink with Woolite or like-detergents, and in most places, you will find a laundry mat to take care of your clothes. And even better, a lot of hostels/hotels and couchsurfing hosts will be able to offer a remedy for your dirty clothing.
- Speaking of clothing, choose dark colors, so you can hide stains easier.
- Layer clothing if you’re traveling in cooler climates. No need to bring that massive winter coat if you’re flitting in-between warmer and cooler climates.
- To cut down on weight and space, download your guidebook and documents to your smart phone. Even taking photos of the most important pages can work wonders.
- Throwing a couple of dryer sheets in with your bag can keep your bag smelling fresh, longer – as it can absorb the odor from dirty clothes.
- Keep in mind that you only need your BARE ESSENTIALS!
Please refer to these links for a packing list and packing tips for women.
I must warn you... This video is pretty boring and wordy, BUT I don’t really do video posts often. I think this is only my second one. SO try not to hate too much, but I talk about the items more in-depth and why to pack them. But this video isn’t really necessary. =P
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