I have had several bags and suitcases before I bought the backpack I have now: Queshua 50l for ladies. It’s light weight and has a frame which is perfect for your back and hips. The straps are suitable for ladies and it has all sorts of clever pockets, lines and secret places. Well lets not turn this blog into a sales page for this backpack. Let’s talk about a clever way of packing your backpack.
Way of traveling
Of course it depends on how you travel and where to (climate). Let’s start with traveling short periods and using a plane for transportation. This is in general my way of traveling. My backpack has a frame which is 55 cm high. For most airlines this can be used as hand luggage. That will safe you some money and time.
In this example I am not packing any camping stuff. Only what’s necessary for a one of two week staying in a hostel or hotel or any other kind of accommodation that includes a bed and bed sheets. In this case you only need some clothes and further things that will come in handy.
Choosing your backpack
There are a lot of YouTube videos about the best and most efficient way of packing your backpack. Watch as many as you like. I will tell what works best for me. I do like the roll-your-clothes way but it works better in a suitcase with a hard cover. Not for packing your backpack.
When choosing your backpack, be sure you can load it at the top (with a cord) as well as a zipper at the front. So you have two ways of accessing your stuff. Having a rain cover can also be very handy.
If you want to carry your laptop with you, be sure there is a pocket made into the frame so you wear it close to your back. I have a 11″ Chromebook which fits perfectly in my backpack. If you need a big laptop for whatever reason, consider bringing a tablet with you when traveling.
What to pack
Of course it depends on the climate and how you deal with that. Me, I am always warm. I like loose clothing and almost all my clothes are made of either cotton, wool or linen. Polyester is really terrible with warm weather unless it is something you don’t wear that often. Like that little black dress. Of course every woman needs to have one and have it with you at all time. I wear it at a beach party with flip-flops or at the Christmas dinner with some great pumps.
A light weighted all weather coat is a must! Please invest some money into that and buy a Gore Tex or some Scandinavian brand. They know how to make clothes! If it is wind and water resistant but thin, you can even wear it in tropical places during rainy days. If it is big enough, you can wear a sweater underneath. I tend to buy jackets or coats at the men’s department because they are not so tightly fit.
Here’s my list of clothing depending on the temperature and your constitution of course. Clothing for temperatures below 0 degrees are very specific. They are not stated below.
Below 20-25 degrees
- 2-3 tight tank tops
- 2-3 tight t-shirts
- 2 long sleeves (thin)
- 2 sweaters/vests (thin and thick)
- 2 jogging trousers (thin and thick)
- 2 pair of woolen socks
- 1 pair of high hiking shoes and/or 1 pair of sneakers
- 2 shawls (wool and cotton)
- 1 cap
- 1 pair of woolen gloves without fingers
- 1 (warm) coat
- 1 pair of jeans
- 3-4 pieces of underwear
- 2 bra’s
- flip-flops or slippers
- 1-2 loose tank tops
- 3-4 loose t-shirts
- 1 blouse or thin vest with long sleeves
- 2 long cotton or linen trousers
- 2 shorts
- 1-2 pair of small socks
- 1 pair of cotton shoes
- 1 big codon shawl (for wearing over your bikini or your shoulders when they are burned)
- 1 bikini
- 1-2 beach dresses
- 1 thin all-weather coat
- 3-4 pieces of underwear
- 2 bra’s
- 2 pair of flip-flops
Always take with you
- super fast drying towel
- drinking bottle
- name tag for your bag
- passport (plus printed copy)
- credit card
- local money in cash
- charging cord
- (bluetooth) earphones
- max 10x 100 ml bottles with shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, body lotion, washing-hands-without-water gel, deodorant, sun cream, etc.
- plastic bag(s)
- transparent bag with zipper for liquids
- extra (hand)bag
- pen and notebook
What I don’t pack
I never pack any first aid stuff. I just count on the places that I go to. This would be totally different when you go camping outside of course. Never take any (Swiss) knife with you or even a multi tool. Chances are that customs will take it immediately. I also never take a flashlight with me. That’s on my phone.
If you are going to parts in the world where there are longer periods of darkness, a headlamp can be very useful because you have both hands free. No hairbrush, hairdryer, gel or other stuff because I simply don’t use it. Travel is low maintenance hair. Neither any make-up (only some lip gloss which also works when your lips are very dry).
Packing your backpack
I have tried many ways of packing but I have found out that the more loose the clothes are packed, the easier the backpack feels. So don’t try to fold or roll them too tight. In fact, you can just drop your clothes and they will find their own way. When carrying it on your back, let gravity do the job.
Try packing your backpack the way I do it. Always start with your second pair of shoes at the bottom. On top of that you put your plastic bag(s). Then your second pair of trousers / jeans, second pair of long sleeves / blouse / shirt and build up to what you need for the first night and morning. So you don’t have to look for some clean underwear in the bottom of your backpack. Always end with your coat so you can grab it easily along the way.
I put my liquids on the inside pocket of my backpack lit, my drinking bottle in one of the side pockets together with my name tag and some other small stuff. My handbag contains my purse, passport, phone and some small stuff like handkerchief, spare glasses, earphones and some food.