Packing your backpack can be quite challenging. Here is the first part of the list of things that I consider to be most important to bring on your long-term backpack adventure 🙂
1. Proper backpack
Go to an outdoor store and try different types of backpacks. Make sure you carry the weight on your hips. You shouldn’t feel any parts pressing on your back causing discomfort. Whilst trying, fill the backpack with weight (I used 12,5 kg) to get an idea of ‘the real deal’
There are special woman’s backpacks. For me, the Low Alpine Diran 55-56 liter is perfect! I have just enough space to carry everything I need and add something extra like souvenirs of any kind 🙂
2. Combi bag
I used to have a slightly too big, beautiful backpack. After five months traveling in Ghana, the beautiful blue color made space for a lot of red-brownish dirt. At first, this wasn’t a problem for me. I thought it only added to the charm of traveling. At least you could see this bag has been somewhere! Recently I found out there are flight- rain combi bags available. These bags come in handy for several things; it saves your bag from becoming dirty when traveling with (public) transport. Less dirty means less cleaning 🙂 You can lock the bag, making it harder for people to steal your stuff or add drugs of any kind into your backpack. Using a cable lock you can even attach your backpack to a bed or some kind, making it possible for you to walk around in a sleeper train without someone grabbing your backpack or stealing from it. And last but not least, it protects your backpack to be wet from rain.
I found a great combi bag from Travelsafe. Not too expensive and very lightweight and small. So it easily fits the backpack.
3. Packing cubes or other kind of organizers
This is such a great invention! Who doesn’t love to have a somewhat organized bag?! Packing cubes are available in different sizes and are designed for you to organize your stuff! I bought my packing bags at IKEA. They come in 4 different sizes and are not expensive. I use one for my warm clothes, shirts, summer shorts, sleeping stuff, socks, underwear and laundry. I’ve got two bags to put my shoes in. Great way to get organized :)!
4. Laundry supplies
While many hostels offer a laundry service, I think it’s really pleasant to be able to do my own laundry. Using a universal sink plug you can use any sink or bath to wash your laundry. Add some concentrated laundry detergent and a small clothesline and you’re good to go.
5. Fleece vest
Keeps you warm when temperatures drop. And is also quite comfortable. A must have on backpacking adventures in areas where it cools down at night.