If you love to travel, you are either a great packer or you have back problems from hauling your luggage around the world. Here are some backpacking light packing tips that I have learned over my many travels.
- Roll your clothes – never fold. Rolling up your items and neatly lining them in your luggage will take up less room and make it easier to organize.
- Wear your bulkiest pair of shoes and pack the light pairs. Pack socks or other small items in the shoes you aren’t wearing. Tie a pair of shoes to the outside of your bag to make more room inside. Ideally, you should bring one pair that goes with everything…maybe two.
- Make sure all of the clothing items you bring match one another. You should be able to pull out any bottom and any top and wear them together.
- Bring items that have more than one purpose. I always bring my cargo pants (which have plenty of pockets to carry stuff), and they can be rolled to become capris. I also bring one of my favorite dresses that is a great beach cover up, but it can still be worn to dinner. It is also lightweight and made of quick drying fabric.
- Pack clothes that are durable and can be worn multiple times before needing a wash. Clothes made from material like smart wool and merino wool are lightweight and breathable, but still insulating and warm.
- Don’t pack clothes that stain easily.
- Bring clothes that dry quickly.
- Toss those frilly undergarments (unless it is your honeymoon). Bring comfortable, breathable bras with a sporty design. You’ll be able to get more mileage out of them.
- Don’t pack for hypothetical situations. Only bring what you know you will use. Know your surroundings and the weather. Try making a list and sticking to it.
- Ditch the accessories. Bring one or two neutral pieces of jewelry that you can wear at any time – no need to pack. I have wasted a lot of precious space by trying to bring jewelry for every outfit.
- Stick to a easy breezy makeup routine if any at all. Don’t haul an entire make up bag.
- If you are going to be gone for more than a few days, find a place to wash your clothes. It will be much easier than trying to lug around an over-packed suitcase.
- Do not pack anything that can be cheaply purchased at your destination. Buy travel size toiletries once you arrive, just enough to use during your trip.
- Remove any items that will only be used once. Everything you pack should be able to be used multiple times through your trip.
- Toss a couple of dryer sheets in the bottom of your bag to keep everything smelling clean. Also, some people swear that the smell of dryer sheets helps repel mosquitoes.
- Always bring a map, a real paper one.
- Download travel apps on your phone to access information about the location. If you have a guide book you love make a cliff notes version with handwritten reminders or copies of the pages.
- Bring a couple sheets of paper and a pen to capture those first thoughts that come into your mind as you explore.
If you are struggling with the thought of only packing one or two pair of shoes, check out the great styles from Bzees. They specialize in shoes that are durable, lightweight, versatile and WASHABLE!
These shoes are made with air infused soles that make them light, bouncy and more flexible. Inner specialized foam footbeds shape to your foot while softening the impact as you walk. The best part is the stretchable fabric made in bright, fun colors and patterns. These shoes are even machine washable! They won’t lose their shape or their look after washing.
I recently wore their Sashay Slip On style on a trip and not only ditched bringing any other pair of shoes, but received sooooo many compliments on them!
Thank you to Bzees for providing my new favorite travel shoes. All opinions remain my own.
24 thoughts on “The Ultimate Backpacker’s Packing Tips for Backpacking Light”
Love these tips, I suck at packing anything so I will have to try this and see if it works for me. Thanks
“Don’t pack for hypothetical situations” – I love it; one of those things I definitely do without realizing!
I love that you even went down to the underwear. Comfort while backpacking is so important!
I like your list. That’s a smart tip not to take clothes that stain easily.