How to Pack a Backpack – 10 Tips For Minimalist Travel
Traveling overseas to experience different countries and cultures is one of life’s precious endeavors. Don’t ruin your foreign backpacking vacation by taking most of your possessions with you. Leave the heavy load at home and learn how to pack a backpack for months of road travel in a carry-on size bag.
These handy packing tips will keep your load light, your pack tight and your attitude on the right track for a great trip without weighing you down. In fact, you’ll be amazed at how little a load you can manage with and how you’ll be flying through airports, evading crowds in urban streets and strolling in comfort along tourist attractions.
10 Tips For A Minimal Travel Pack:
Clothes Bag – All your clothes, except what you wear, need to be stuffed into a medium-sized stuff bag with compression straps to tug it into a super-tight package. Keep your clothing fabrics lightweight, durable and quick drying. Place the compact bag on the bottom of your main compartment.
Bottom Base – Fill the remaining bottom space with a fleece jacket or sweater for a tight fit base that doesn’t allow any sliding or shifting movements.
Electronic Gear – Pack a small laptop with a protective case into the separate sleeve (either a zippered pocket or an open hydration bladder pocket) for a flat surface against your back. Atop the base, place your SLR camera and lens, wrapped in a tight fitting case, in a central and safe position.
Protective Padding – A sleep sheet or lightweight sleeping bag is perfect for stuffing the space around your electronic gear for a secure and stable fit.
Fill Up Space – By now your backpack should be at least halfway full. Take your remaining odds and ends and fill up any holes or spaces left. Dirty clothes, a first aid kit, assorted cable and battery bags, and a toiletry kit with medicines all work well.
Top End Items – With your pack only half to three-quarters full use the top portion for items you want to access during the day. A foldable daypack for sightseeing tours is a good extra bit of gear to take along. And your shoes and compressed rain jacket need to be handy too. Cinch up the main compartment and keep some room to spare for souvenir items.
Outside Pockets – Keep the number of outside pockets to a minimum. A stretchable front bucket pocket is good for a damp towel and a deflated neck pillow for bus and air travel. Just remember that outside access also includes pickpockets, so if you don’t want to lose it, store it inside.
Top Lid Pocket – The catchall for small items, use the top pocket for maps, a book, a cell phone, snack food and lip balm and lotions. Use small stuff bags to keep items from sliding around and hiding in a deep nook.
Pack Cover – A compact waterproof pack cover is light and serves to protect your pack from rain, wear and tear and unseen hands intent on making your day a lousy one.
Water Bottle – An empty or full Nalgene bottle clips easy to your harness and reminds you to stay hydrated while traveling, without taking up valuable pack space inside.