“Joan, what to pack inside you bag?“ Often times, I get this question a lot from strangers and friends. And most of the time, I’d question myself the same thing too. What do I usually put inside my bags? Honestly, I never thought I could turn into a light packer from a heavy packer! I’d usually bring my house with me whenever I travel. Lol. But I guess, I learned from my mistakes.
The rule of the thumb when packing your things, avoid bringing unnecessary stuff and bring only what you need. Take note that the more stuff you bring, the heavier you carry. So to minimize the hassle, prioritize only the significant stuff. In this article, I’ll give you some tips in what to pack inside your bag.
You may also want to read: Avoid Common Travel Mistakes & Pre-Travel Reminders here.
Tips For Light Packing & First-Time Backpackers
- If you will be traveling for more than 1 week, best to wash your clothes in hostels. This is why dri-fit clothes are very important. The fabric of this clothing can dry up easily and overnight.
- Bring enough clothes per day. Re-use shorts, skirts and pants as much as possible.
- Use Ziplock Vacuum Compressed Bag to help maximize the space inside your backpack. (Refer to photo below)
- Bring a foldable bag or dry bag for extra space when you buy souvenirs and other stuff during your trip.
- If you are planning to go camping on a beach/mountain, I highly suggest purchasing your hammock with Off The Grid Outdoor Co.! They have the best quality of hammocks!
What to pack inside your bag
So here are the stuff that can be found inside my backpack whenever I travel. Feel free to comment below if you have any suggestion that can add up to this list!
Whether its a beach or a mountain destination, dri-fit clothes are very essential for light packing. For instance, the weight and space of 1 t-shirt can fill up 2-3 dri-fit shirts inside your bag. As a result, investing on dri-fit t-shirts and shorts are worth every penny.
“Joan, what to do if my clothes are for OOTD?” Good question! I have the same dilemma before. So I did a painful decision of letting go some OOTDs and filled my bag with more dri-fit clothes. But, the fun part is I buy OOTD clothes during my trip. This way, I was able to minimize bringing a lot of clothes while buying souvenir for myself. However, it’s not always the smartest decision for budget travelers. But if you know how to negotiate and where to buy, then it’s fine.
Advantage of Dri-Fit Clothes:
- Light weight
- Easy to dry; can dry up overnight
- Saves a lot of space
- Can absorb sweat and easily dry up
Quick Dry Microfiber Towel
A quick dry microfiber towel is another hack for light packers! Definitely one of the must-haves when traveling. I highly recommend this kid of towel and it should be one of your priority things to buy for backpacking. It has a lot of advantages that can fit every need of a backpacker for a towel, plus it’s affordable.
Where to buy: Naturehike Quick Drying Towel Microfiber
Advantage of a Quick Dry Microfiber Towel:
- Saves a lot of space in your bag; thin and light weight
- Very affordable
- Dries up easily
- Can absorb water in your body easily
First-Aid Kit & Lady Necessities
I cannot stress enough the importance of bringing first-aid kit and medicine supply. In other words, expect worst whenever you travel. Best to pack band-aids, salonpas, gauze pad and medicines for head ache, tummy ache and pain reliever. These things might come in handy especially when you are staying in an isolated island or rural areas where access to medical supplies are very limited.
For ladies, this include monthly lady equipment like sanitary napkins to avoid painting the town red. Lol.
Advantage of First-Aid Kit:
- Saves lives and reduces infections
- It gives you confidence and assurance for medical problems in the future
Power Bank is Essential
Another essential item not to be missed inside our backpack is a power bank. Traveling the whole day can drain our phone’s batteries especially when we use lotsa apps like Google Maps, data and taking pictures. Trust me, power banks will save the day. Always try to invest on a good power bank. It’s a must-have travel necessity especially for backpacking.
Power banks are also good for long bus travels or in areas with no electricity like in the mountains or isolated beaches. It can give us freedom to use our mobile phones without worrying about its batteries.
Advantage of a Power Bank:
- Keeps communication possible by powering up our phone batteries
- Gives us assurance about our gadget’s batteries
Bring A Scarf
Scarves are very essential to backpackers. It has a lot of uses. I have mentioned in my previous article: Essential Pre-Travel Reminders, the uses of scarves.
Scarves has lotsa use as a matter of fact! For instance, you can use it as a (1) cover-up at the beach, (2) picnic blanket to save up from renting a cottage, (3) use it as a cover or blanket when you sleep inside the bus/van, (4) alternative for umbrellas and (5) for photo-shoots!
Use An Infinity Neck Scarf
Also known as motorcycle bandana. Similarly, an infinity neck scarf has a lot of uses like that of a scarf as mentioned above. For instance, a neck scarf can be used in a number of situations like on a hiking trip, beach trip, backpacking and camping.
It was only a year ago when I started using an infinity neck scarf for my backpacking trips. Actually, I keep seeing this to almost every backpacker I came across with. And it was then when I realized its significance and use.
Advantage of an Infinity Neck Scarf:
- Head bandana to block the sweat
- Eyes and face cover while sleeping inside a bus or a long trip to somewhere
- Ponytail for women
- Face towel
- Mouth cover while riding a motorcycle
Ziplock Vacuum Compressed Bag
This item is a powerful item for light packing! It truly maximizes the space with all your clothes! The main function of this ziplock bag is to compress the clothes by using a manual pump to remove the air inside the bag. Hence, creating a smaller size to place inside your backpack.
It’s cheap and available on both Lazada and Shoppee! Buy here.
Collapsible Water Bottle
Another valuable necessity to add on what to pack inside your bag. A normal water bottle will do just fine as long as it will provide us water. But if you want to bring light packing to the next level, might as well purchase a collapsible water bottle.
Tip: Buy a foldable or collapsible sports bottle to maximize the space in your backpack! Make sure it has a hook-like feature so you can hang it on your backpack too. Buy here.
Bring A Foldable Waterproof Backpack OR Dry Bag
And now for my final secret to add on the list, a foldable waterproof backpack! The reasons why you need to have this are (1) for extra space in the future, (2) for water-related activities and (3) for emergency purposes.
Trust me when I say that “it’s worth it” because it really is! Aside from it’s cheap, it will help you a lot in the future. Buy here.
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