How to Pack a Backpack for Travel

Going for a few days on a vacation is not worth taking a backpack full of unnecessary junk. After all, most of the things that are supposedly vital and that should be taken, most likely, never even be pulled out. In addition, a large backpack will restrict the possibility of movement and pull shoulders, and instead of a full rest will have to carry on their shoulders a lot of unnecessary scarfs. At the same time, there is a list of items to take with you, which is vital. It is much nicer to travel lighter, and I have a few tips for you, and at the end of the article a list of what I usually take with me on the road.

baсkpack at airport

Important point: if you are not travelling by your own transport, but, for example, by plane, backpack can be taken with you in your hand luggage – you do not have to stand in a queue for drop-off and baggage claim, and if you, in advance, check-in for the flight online, you can immediately go for boarding. In this case, the weight of the backpack should not exceed 20 kg, and in some cases 10 kg – check out this information on your airline's website.

What do you need to pack a backpack: basic tips

Of course, there is a huge amount of material, videos and stories, about how to pack a backpack for travel. The authors provide a huge number of rules and advice. But in the meantime, we'll offer you basic ones. These are the tips that will help you to solve easily the issue of packing. And without taking into account the country and place you are going to. Moreover, not even considering the timing of your trip.

Choose a backpack. Dozens of backpacks are on sale these days, so it can be difficult to choose the best one for life and travel. The size of the backpacks is measured in terms of the number of liters they can hold and varies from 20 to 80+ liters. Keep in mind the length of your journey. When possible, choose a backpack that is smaller and therefore easier to travel more comfortably.

Distribute the weight in a backpack. A properly packed backpack transfers weight from the shoulders to the thighs, making long hikes more comfortable. Conventionally, the inner space of the backpack can be divided into three main zones – heavy, light (heavy-light) and medium.

There is a kind of scheme:

backpack scheme

  • 1+2 – heavy and heavy-light things;
  • 3 – medium weight stuff;
  • 4 – heavy things for a side compartment;
  • 5 – important things.

The heaviest things are placed on the bottom and sides of the backpack. Hide your delicate things there too. It is advisable to put there something that is not needed for at least a day or even a few. Usually, backpacks have a side compartment (detachable side compartment), so you can safely put them there (sleeping bag, mat, shoes, like laptop technique, food, water etc.)

The second zone is for the things of medium weight (like clothes).

Placement of the most important things in the backpack (food, water, documents and such stuff). They are usually not so heavy. If there are side pockets, you can place the first necessity items there to make it easier to get them out.

  • Use the money belt for items of real value, such as money, airline tickets, passports, and so on. There may be cases where you may have to leave your backpack.
  • Belts on your backpack are a great safety measure. They will protect you from thieves, and it will be harder to get into your bag.
  • Do something to make your bag look different. Make it easier to recognize if you decorate it, make it unique. It will help you distinguish your backpack from others in cases such as the luggage carousel.
  • Know how to carry your backpack comfortably. The higher the backpack, the further away the weight is from your center of gravity, making it look lighter.

These are the basic, organizing positions for a tourist. Now it's high time to look into the details.

So that everything fits and does not wrinkle: 10 steps to follow

transparent backpack

Packing a backpack is not as obvious as using it. If you want to increase the efficiency of packing things in a trip or school, try some of these steps. Packing a backpack in the right way will increase your comfort, give you more space and make your bag safer.

Step 1. Preparation. Decide what things to take.

traveler personal stuff

An overloaded vacation bag is cruel. It is better to take everything you need on the trip and do so with nothing extra. Follow our advice to get the best possible set of things for your trip:

  • Make a list. Ideally, you will get a complete list from passport to underwear.
  • Sand your list. Take your mind off it, have a cup of tea, and then go back to the list and cross out things you can do without. Two pairs of shoes will probably be enough for you instead of four, and you can buy an extra T-shirt on the spot. It will be cool if at this stage you get rid of a third of the original list of things.
  • Collect all the things on the bed or on the floor. Look at this mountain: maybe you should leave something else at home.
  • Put aside the things you're really going to wear. Separate your luggage from your hand luggage.
  • Lay things down as if you were building a wall: to keep the bricks so close together!

Step 2. Get your clothes ready.

rolled colorful clothes

The duration of the trip and the predicted weather will determine the number of clothes you need. Of course, the goal is to keep your bag as light as possible, so rule out anything that is not absolutely necessary. For example, when going to Muslim countries, you don't need to take open clothes with you, you won't need them anyway. And instead of a sun cap, it is better to take an umbrella or a light disposable raincoat when you are going to London.

Decompose your belongings and then roll them up to make more efficient use of the space. Put down any clothes you may need during the day (e.g. a light jacket) that are separate from the rest of the clothes.

Step 3. Arrange large items.

Putting your backpack on yourself every day, whether you're in the city or in the woods, can be painful and uncomfortable. Sort out large items and decide what you absolutely need to take with you, keeping in mind that the total weight of your backpack should not exceed 15% of your own weight. Put all your large items in different departments.

Step 4. Arrange small items

One of the most unpleasant things about backpacking is the loss of small pieces of wardrobe at the bottom of the bag or under layers of other things. Separate small items and put them in different categories in different colors of plastic or polyethene packages. For example, put all your laundry in a red bag, all your socks in blue, all your hygiene products in green, and all your different uses in yellow.

Step 5. Put items in the outer pockets

Store what you need to keep at hand in your external pockets, such as pencils or mobile phones. Store objects that may be wet, such as a water bottle or wet umbrella, also in external pockets. Throw a sweatshirt or jacket on top and you're done!

Step 6. Clean your backpack often.

Since you are going to use your backpack every day, useless things can accumulate quickly in it. Once a week, take out and throw all kinds of unnecessary paper out of your bag. This will keep your backpack light and organized.

Step 7. Get travel first aid kit

first aid kit

You should take care of the first aid kit to provide first aid if necessary. Your first aid kit must contain basic medicines, but you can also take more serious medicines with you to be ready for anything. For example, you can put them in your first aid kit:

  • Bandages
  • Antiseptics (ointment or spray)
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Painkillers
  • Medicines for malaria or medicines to prevent the disease, antihistamine drugs

Step 8. Put food separately

If you are travelling around the cities (e.g. Europe), you may not need to pack a lot of food. However, if you are going on a hike and are going to camp in the woods, your foods should be packed. Keep them away from everything else and put them in a bag. Keep snacks separate as you want them to be within easy reach. It is very convenient to use separate bags or familiar lunch boxes for this purpose.

Step 9. Fill all the empty space

To maximize total space and put everything you need in your backpack, fill in all possible empty spaces. Use all existing pockets instead of stuffing everything in the center compartment. Anything with a hollow shape (such as a cup or bowl) can be filled with other small objects. Lay things out so that there are no large gaps between them that will allow your bag to change shape.

Step 10. Your backpack for travel: carry-on baggage or luggage

So, if you travel, for instance, by plane. Firstly, separate your luggage from your hand luggage. Do two piles of things. Take everything you need in your hand luggage: money, documents, charging gadgets, a pack of wet wipes, and a jacket to keep you warm. Everything else can be packed in a backpack to check-in. Make sure you don't take any items that are prohibited in your hand luggage and luggage. You should definitely read the hand luggage rules (you can find this information on the airport's website).

These are the steps you are to follow, packing your travel bag.

But still, we have something else to add. We have a bonus for you!!!

If you need to put a lot of stuff in the little backpack, push it down with your knee. Of course, less radical methods are also available. We distinguish three useful things for luggage packing: vacuum bags, organizer bags and compression bags.

  • Compression (vacuum) bags. Many people use vacuum bags at home to save space in their wardrobes. For travel, take the same thing, but without a valve under the vacuum cleaner.
  • Lightweight organizer bags. Rectangular organizers of different sizes can be used to pack at least the entire contents of a suitcase. If you have a large family, divide the cases between everyone and sign to avoid confusion.
  • Compression travel bags. If you are planning an active holiday, take a closer look at the compression bags that are tightened with slings. They can be used not only for sleeping bags but also for clothing.

And finally there are some warnings, you have to mention going on a trip.

Keep your backpack safe! Small zipper locks are useful, although they will have to be removed before you can pass through checkpoints.

Therefore, in conclusion, we would like to say that the picking and packing of a backpack directly depend on its "carrier". We have given you the basic knowledge, but the best option is always learned empirically, that is, through personal experience. So, experiment, our dear with friends, and share your knowledge with others. And we' re looking forward to your questions and comments!