How to Pack a Backpack for Travel: The Basic Tips

How to Pack a Backpack for Travel: The Basic Tips

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Backpacks are probably one of the most useful tools for traveling. However, packing a backpack is not always as easy as using one. Fitting all your travel essentials can be challenging, but with proper knowledge of efficient packing, this struggle can instantly turn into comfort and fun.

Read on as we discuss the basics on how to pack a backpack for travel!

How to Choose the Right Backpack?

With the numerous backpacks available on the market today, choosing the most suitable backpack for your travels may be difficult. Try to consider the following factors before deciding on getting one:

  • Choose the Correct Size

The correct size of your backpack will greatly depend on the length of your trip—the longer the trip, the more things you’ll be packing. Shorter trips require around 30- to 50-liter capacity while a week or longer trips usually need at least a 70-liter capacity backpack.

  • Get the Right Fit

Before buying, measure your hip size and torso length. Match these measurements with the backpack’s fit specifications, which are usually printed on the tag or on product details.

  • Know the Perfect Type

For more stability and easy carrying, an internal-frame backpack is highly recommended. This has a built-in frame that helps keep your balance and distribute the backpack’s weight to your hips.

On the other hand, if you want a lighter backpack, the frameless type is perfect for you. The frameless backpack is usually cheaper, making it a good option for budget-savvy.

  • Look into the Features

Backpacks offer several features depending on your needs. Some have a mesh back panel to prevent your back from overheating especially during hot seasons. The extra padding on the straps and hip belts help prevent the occurrence of sores.

Lastly, rain covers keep the contents of your backpack dry in case of unexpected rains during your trip.

  • Check the Durability

Choose backpacks that are made from durable and water-resistant materials. This may include nylon, polyester, or a combination of two.

  • Consider Multi-functionality

Some backpacks also come in wheels, allowing you to carry them less on your shoulders. Others allow transition into duffel bags to give easier access to the main compartment.

How to Pack a Backpack for Travel?

Now that you already have a backpack, it’s time to get all your essential stuff ready for more efficient and convenient packing.

  • Organize All Your Stuff

Before packing, lay everything on the floor to make sure that you don’t forget anything. Group and pack similar items together. Small and loose items should be put together in a sealable plastic bag or colored cloth to avoid getting lost in the backpack.

The number of clothes you need will depend on the length of your trip. Lay your clothes out flat and start to roll them up. Rolling your clothes gives a well-compressed pack for more efficient use of space. Separate the clothes accordingly depending on what you need during a certain time of the day.

Packing cubes can be of great use to keep your clothes organized. They also add shape and structure to your backpack. As an alternative to these cubes, a plastic bag can also be used.

  • Leave Unnecessary Items

Be disciplined and responsible enough in packing your things to avoid bringing more than what you need. Try to be as strict as possible. Avoid bringing too much hair and vanity products, large camera, multiple pairs of shoes, and bulky blankets.

  • Distribute the Weight of the Gear

The order in which the things are placed in the bag is very important. Doing so will make it feel lighter and easier to carry. Packing can be broken down into several zones and peripheral storage.

  1. Bottom Zone – This is a good space for bulky gears and stuff that are not frequently needed. Clothes, sleeping pads, and sleeping bag should be placed at the bottom.
  2. Middle Zone – This is where the heavier and denser items should be kept. Fragile items should be wrapped in clothing before placing at the middle and surrounded by smaller and softer items.
  3. Top Zone – This area is good for bulkier essentials that are frequently needed. Items that are commonly placed here include foods, flashlights, wallets, and jackets.
  4. Accessory Pockets – This is the area for essential items that are not frequently or urgently needed.
  5. Tool Loops and Lash-On Points – This is the perfect space allotted for oversized and overly long items such as tents.
  • Don’t Overstuff

Always try to keep the weight of your backpack to about 25% of your body weight. Weigh your backpack after all the items have been packed. Be sure to cut down some gear when the weight of your backpack is half your body weight.

  • Pack Essentials and Emergency Items in Very Accessible Spaces

Pack food, water, rain gear, and GPS in the external pockets or on the right top of your backpack. These items should be easily accessible when the need arises.

  • Fill All the Empty Spaces

Maximize the total space of your backpack. Fit everything you need in the empty spaces as well as in the pockets to avoid placing them in the central compartment. Layer the things you need in order to avoid having large gaps and shifting between the items.

What Are the Other Important Stuff to Pack?

Other than the essentials, it is best to keep these things in your backpack for safety and emergency situations:

  • Navigation Tools

Make sure you have a back-up in case your GPS fails to work. You can bring along a compass or a map as this will not take too much space or add weight to your backpack.

  • Extra Batteries

Bring extra batteries on a waterproof bag or container to keep them safe from rain.

  • First-Aid Kit

Don’t forget to bring your medications. Pack them in a waterproof container to keep them protected during the entire trip. You can also use a pre-made kit or create your own.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to pack a backpack for travel is necessary to avoid carrying around a heavy and uncomfortable backpack during your entire trip. Choose the appropriate backpack depending on your needs.

Aside from that, pack all the necessary items that you’ll need with considerations on your body’s capacity to carry your stuff. Don’t stress yourself and be strict enough to follow these tips to efficiently pack your stuff and have a good time traveling. And remember, less is more!