From gap years, to a change of pace, backpacking around the world is a rite of passage for many. The hostels, uncomfortable bus rides and budget friendly feeds all contribute to the raw experience of the journey. However, when it comes to packing, mastering the perfect lightweight, cram-free pack is an art. With the help of Katmandu product and training expert Daan Dijkstra, we’ve pulled together some of the best backpacking hacks for your next adventure.
Packing hack #1: Be ruthless
The classic ‘need vs. want’ debate. There are a lot of items you may want to take along with you, but in reality aren’t really entirely necessary. Be strong, be ruthless and when in doubt, throw it out (or keep it at home)! When packing for your next backpacking adventure, remember to stick to the ‘wash one, wear one’ rule. Items like socks, underwear, t-shirts and shorts can be washed quickly, repeatedly, and in the bathroom sink if necessary, so save yourself the space and only pack a few of each. When packing clothing items, try to stick to neutral colours so you can easily mix and match.
Packing hack #2: Channel your inner OCD
When packing your backpack one hot tip is to categorise your belongings. Bundle up all your electronics and seal them away in a sealable packing cell to protect them against the elements. Do the same for your toiletries, any necessary travel documents, glasses, medicines etc. Dividing up your pack will not only de-clutter your load, but will also give you quick, easy access to all your travel essentials. Try Kathmandu’s compression cells.
Packing hack #3: Ordered Packing
It may seem counter-intuitive, but try to pack the heaviest things toward the middle of the pack, close to your back so that these items will sit near the centre of your body when you are carrying. This will see the weight carried mainly by your hips and remove strain when you cart your backpack around. Also ensure that you have a pack with a harness that’s fitted to your body. Surprise! Men and women are built differently, so ensure your backpack is too. Kathmandu’s Terrane Adapt Backpack comes with a harnesses that’s specifically designed for both men and women.
Daan Dijkstra is a product and training specialist at Kathmandu. Follow Kathmandu for more expert travel advice @kathmandu.