Tips on Packing for First Time Travellers
In life it is very hard to have your cake and eat it. Backpacks are an excellent example of this. They are a great way to carry your belongings around the world if you are backpacking yet they are a real pain to pack and unpack. In this article we will give you some top tips on how to pack your backpack like a pro to save time and stress.
The Right Bag
If you are going backpacking it is wise to invest in the right bag and not buy the cheapest one you can find. You will be spending a lot of time carrying the bag around and you need to find one that is perfect for you. Outdoor Gear Lab make the good recommendation of not buying your pack before your gear. If you are going on a long trip that will cover several months you don’t want to buy a bag only to discover too late that it is too small. Buy all the gear you need first then when you have it set out you will be able to judge much better what size you will need. It is also recommended to buy a bag slightly bigger than one you initially need because you will be sure to pick souvenirs up along the way.
From our school days we have all had that moment of emptying the entire contents of our bag to find the thing we wanted right at the bottom. Packing in a sensible order is vital for backpacking as most bags are top loading. REI suggest packing items that you will only need at night at the bottom of your bag such as your sleeping bag and sleepwear. Make a list of night only items and put them at the bottom. One exception is your flashlight. It is always wise to have a light in an easily accessible place.
On top of your sleeping gear, should be your heaviest items such as spare water, food, and perhaps a stove. You should place the heavy items in the middle to create balance otherwise your bag will feel either top heavy and you it will tip over or saggy and heavy if the weight is too far down. On the top layer, there should be items you need to access quickly such as compass, map and sunscreen.
Before you leave for your travels practice packing and unpacking and getting used to the right order. With a bit of preparation using a backpack will be as easy as unpacking a suitcase saving you time and energy.
Don’t forget to include carry on luggage in your packing. It is best to buy a small pack that can be attached to your larger backpack. Flying without carry on luggage can be very frustrating if you have to get things out of your large bag. You don’t need something big, just a small bag with enough space for the essentials such as passport and papers.
Parking4Less, a company that works out of all major UK airports wrote in their blog post entitled ‘Beware of the Cheap Flights Hidden Costs’ that budget airlines such as Easy Jet are reducing their carry on allowance. As part of your preparation it advisable to check that you are within regulations. A backpacker needs to travel as light as possible so if your carry on is near or above the required size and weight you are going to have a tough time carrying it around the world.