The Ultimate Backpacker’s Packing Tips for Backpacking Light

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.

backpacking light

  • 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!

 backpacking light

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.

bzees sashay

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”

  1. I was sent Bzees also awhile back for review purposes, I was sent the wrong size and the rep wouldn’t change them so I can’t really speak on how they fit (or say much about their customer service quite frankly) – I am glad that yours worked for you it is super important to have comfortable shoes all the time, but especially while traveling as you do more walking!

  2. I am headed out on a trip to India and then Zurich in a few days! Totally backpacking it too. Love those open slip ons, need something like that for this trip.

  3. Thanks for the great backpacking and plain ole packing tips. It’s nice to find a gem like ‘avoid packing things that easily stain’.

  4. Those shoes look so comfortable! I would have a hard time deciding which pair to try first as I like them all! You also have some great suggestions for favorite is making sure all the clothing matches so you can just pull out a bottom and top and have it work.

  5. These are some great tips! I love to plan everything out when I go on a trip, so these tips should help!

  6. Those are great suggestions for making it easier to pack. I think you’ve got to be mindful of what you’re packing for all occasions, not just when backpacking.

  7. Those shoes are SO cute! Why have I not bought myself any yet?? Going to have to! I wish I were more active and went on backpacking trips with my family. I Need to!

  8. These are really great tips. My husband normally does all the packing. I would be lucky to fit one days worth of clothes in a backpack.

  9. These are great tips. I went backpacking once, and I had no idea how to pack. It was a little bit of a nightmare.

  10. Oh yes, gotta pack good shoes. I normally find myself packing at least 3 pair! I need to look at these shoes to see if they can help with comfort.


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