Packing tips

Use these ideas to make packing your gear easier and keep your bag lighter:

  • When in doubt, leave it out. You can buy almost anything anywhere these days.
  • The lighter the better. Your pack might not feel heavy as you stand there in your living room trying it out. But consider hours of walking with even more accumulated stuff in your pack. Do a test walk before you leave.
  • Roll your clothes when you are packing. This will maximize the use of space in your backpack and reduce wrinkles.
  • Look for sample-size containers of shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste to take with you.
  • Pack any valuables, and anything that you would need for your first day or two, in your carry-on daypack in case your main backpack gets misplaced on the flight.
  • Remove all old airline tags, no matter what their sentimental value may be.
  • Your pack shouldn’t be full when you leave since you will inevitably acquire things as you travel, and you may need room for extra water and food in remote areas.
  • Bottles that contains liquids should be packed inside plastic bags (such as Ziploc bags). Include a few larger, lightweight bags to hold dirty shoes, soggy clothes and dirty laundry.
  • If you will be traveling with a companion, pack some of your belongings in each other’s packs. That way, if one of your bags goes missing, you’ll still have at least some items until you can recover your lost belongings.
  • Lock, tie-up, or conceal all zippers on your pack so dishonest airport employees (and others) have more difficulty stealing anything. I say ‘more’ difficulty because if someone really wants something out of your bag, they’ll just cut your locks or cut through your bag anyway.
  • Use small mesh bags inside your backpack to keep your gear organized.
  • Try to keep the weight in your backpack higher (but below the shoulders) for comfort. When walking on difficult terrain, lower the weight for stability and improve you balance.