How To Pack Lighter

Packing light is the key to backpacking. The less you have, the easier you can jump from one destination to another and the less weight on your back. It’s just all around better to have less. But you still need to carry the things that are important.

Rubber Bands

This isn’t going to make your bag lighter but it’ll definitely save space in your backpack and make things easier to find. I roll up my clothes and wrap it around a rubber band. It keeps things tidy and neat. I don’t bother with those packing cubes. I keep hundreds of those rubber bands stuffed in my backpack so if one breaks, I have a whole lot more.

rubber band ball | the both and | shorts and longs | julie rybarczyk
rubber band ball by shorts and longs on Flickr

Don’t Carry Soap

I hate traveling with a bar of soap. Having a┬áseparate┬ácontainer for soap is annoying to me and so is traveling with shower gels. Instead, I use shampoo to wash myself. It’s more expensive than soap but you’ll definitely save space. The only real disadvantage to using shampoo as soap is that there some brands might dry out your skin more than others. A few cheaper shampoo that don’t add too many chemicals might be better than expensive shampoo’s. I usually use lotion after I shower anyway.

No Towels

I haven’t traveled with a towel in long time. Most hostels have been providing towels. And if they didn’t (which has been rare), I covered myself in body powder which dried me up. An added bonus to using body powder was it always keeps my skin soft and moisturized. It’s especially amazing on hot days. Cools you off real fast.

One Wire Charge

For awhile, I traveled with a Samsung point-and-shoot camera. Not the greatest camera but I bought it because it charged via USB. Kodaks also do the same. I never had to worry about getting any sort of converter and threw away the actual plug. The camera charged from a camera’s mini-usb port to the computer. That same cable also charges Kindles and tons of other electronics. My external hard-drive had the same thing.

USB-mini-cable by ramelectronicsdotnet, on Flickr

Convertible Clothing

Buy clothes that can convert to different styles according to the weather. Pants that can convert to shorts or dresses that shape-shift into a completely different dress. You’ll have more styles to choose from and less to have to carry.

Buy a Smaller Backpack

I carry a 55L backpack and a camera bag. I can only carry what I can fit. I’ve been forced a number of times to donate or throw things away because I couldn’t fit it in my backpack. Its helped me carry less and make sure I pack only what’s important.

What do you do to pack lighter?

Or — you can get a girlfriend or boyfriend and bum off of them for everything.

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