Preparing for the trip and thinking which items to take might be a big deal and this needs to be done in a right way. And it doesn’t really matter if you are going on a monthly trip around your own or neighboring countries, or you are preparing to do some long term travelling far away from home. The items that you are going to take and carry with you will count up to a big part of your journeys (dis)comfort. It is a real art to pack your backpack the way you can easily carry it with you all around the different places as well as it perfectly fits your needs here and there. This is why I want to share my own ideas and experience of preparing the most important attribute for your trip.
The is no absolute or universal items list
You, myself, your mom or dad, brother, sister or friend we are all very different with our own needs for comfort. There is no absolute and universal items list that would fit for everyone for every trip. You will need to adjust everything based on your personal needs as no one knows you better than yourself?
Weight of the backpack
In most of the cases I have read about packing the backpack in the right way, it says that travelling person should carry not more than 10-12 percent of his own weight. When calculated based on this recommendation, we see that for a girl which weights around 60 kilos a backpack of 7 kilos is being recommended, and this should include 1 litre of water! To make this a bit more clear, I could really say that the backpack could really weight more. For men who weight around 70 kilos, it is ideal to have 11-12 kilos in their backpack, with 1 litre of water included. With such a weight I walked around 900 kilometres in one trip, thus, using various trypes of transportation and going not just on foot all the time there shouldn‘t be a problem with more as well. As for the ladies, recommended weight is somewhat around 9-11 kilos with water included. It is important to remember, that weight and size of the backpack should correlate correctly with physical preparation and your own weight.
How to check whether the weight of my backpack is right for me?
There is a simple answer to this – you should be able to freely walk with it for couple of hours around the city without any issues as well as you should be able to raise the backpack above your head without any help (this is very useful when you have to put everything in a head locker on planes or busses).
The size of the backpack
When travelling for longer you may want to save some money so the size is an important aspect to take into account. Most of the airlines let a certain size luggage to be carried on board. Usually they let you to have one small backpack (like a daypack) and one bigger piece of carry on luggage which measurements varies something around 56x45x25, thus it is important to take these numbers into account when choosing the backpack. Optimal and most universal size of the backpack for longer trips is 50 litres (or 50l +10l), as almost all of these have a back construction no larger than 56cm which lets you to carry it on with you into the plane and save some extra money. In this size of backpack you can put up to 14 kilos of good stuff so this will be more than enough. On the other hand if something does not fit that means you might not need it at all.
Important: when choosing the backpack it should be measured on you and most of its weight should lay on your hips and not on your shoulders. This will help to walk longer distances with less effort. The newest backpacks that you can find in stores are usually universal and the back mechanizm is flexible, but you still should pay a lot of attention to how it fits you personally.
Maximise the comfort
The more pockets there are outside of the backpack the easier your life will be. Separate pockets where you can put most used items is a great thing. To search for a single forkspoon or sunglasses somewhere in the middle of your backpack and messing everything inside it is not the most practical way to pack.
Rain cover for your items and whole backpack
There will come the day when the rain will be pouring so heavily that you want to make sure you have all the protection for your items. It is great to think about it in advance – with the new backpacks there is usually a rain cover included, but if you don‘t have it, buy a new one online or in any sports or tourism store.
The second backpack – a.k.a. daypack
In order not to carry all the good stuff you have everywhere you go, the best decision is to take second backpack which would be easy to pack and could hold 20-25 litres of things. When you stay in the hostel or hotel the main backpack will be resting in its temporary home while you can carry the second one with some snacks and water to visit some local landmarks.
Test. Is my backpack fully ready?
At first make a list of all items you may want to take. When doing this list, don‘t forget that you cannot take everything you have and in case of emergency you can always find a local store to buy these things or maybe in the end you can go even without them. Following the list fill up your backpack with all the items putting them nicely and trying to save the space. Put it on, walk with it around the house, try to put it somewhere above your head and weight it. Congratulations! However, if you think your backpack is still too heavy you have two choices. First one – leave the least needed items at home, or second – you can change some things into much smaller and lighter ones. For example very light and thin fast-drying towel, second backpack which can be packed into small bag etc. For those looking for some travel equipment in Lithuania, I do recommend Regata outlet in PC Mega (Kaunas), there I found a lot of good stuff for a very good price.
Important: backpack should be packed the way that nothing would break when you drop in on the ground or you sit onto it.
In order to be easier to do your list of items, I will share my own:
WEIGHT OF THE BACKPACK WITH 1 LITRE OF WATER – AROUND 11 KILOS.
Have a great trip! #roadofadventures