If you are a newbie camper, packing can be frustrating. It can be a headache trying to pack all your gears in an average-sized backpack!
Sure, you can always choose to bring a larger backpack or have multiple bags. However, this can compromise your comfort. Especially if you hike to the campsite, the added weight can make things more difficult for you.
Want to learn how to fit all your camping stuff in an average-sized backpack? Read on and learn from the tips we’ll share for you to pack like a pro.
1. Find the Right Bag
Start with the right bag. The key here is to choose an average-sized bag. It should not be too small to a point that you will not have sufficient space for your things. In the same way, it should not be too big.
Find a backpack that suits your body type. It is a good practice to fit the backpack before making a purchase. This way, you can be assured that you will be comfortable with the backpack once you are carrying the bag.
Pick a backpack with lots of storage spaces, including pockets. The design should maximize every available space so that you can pack more for your trip.
2. Pack Only the Must-Haves
You are not going on a luxury vacation. Be smart about the things that you will bring with you. As a general rule, pack the must-haves and not the nice-to-haves. Leave all the unnecessary luxuries. Give it careful thought before you bring anything with you to be sure that they are necessary.
It is good to have a checklist of the most important things that you will need for your trip. Look for multi-functional things. For instance, you can pack a jacket that is thick enough to double as a pillow.
3. Know How to Arrange Your Things
This is one of the most important principles that you need to know. This means that you should know what goes at the bottom, middle, and top of the bag. This is important for equal weight distribution and will make it easier to carry your bags.
All the bulky items should go at the bottom of the bag. These should also include the things that you won’t need before settling at the campsite. This way, you won’t have to remove anything at the top. Some of the things that should go at the bottom include sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and layers.
The middle part of the backpack, on the other hand, should be the heavy and dense items that you also won’t need before getting to the campsite. It can include your cooking kit, bear canister, and water reservoir.
For the top of the bag, you should keep the things that you need to access easily. Keep the load as lightweight as possible so that it won’t exert downward pressure on the bag that might make it more difficult to carry.
4. Use a Dry Sack
Dry sacks can be your savior when it comes to packing your backpack. They are also great alternatives to packing cubes, making it easier to pack your things. A sleeping bag is one of the best things that can get in a dry sack. It can be compressed, which will make it consume minimal space in your bag. Make sure that the dry sack has an enclosure so that you can decompress it to save space.
5. Plan Your Clothes
To be a smart packer, you also need to plan your clothes properly. You don’t need to bring a lot just so you can look good in photos. It is important to be more practical when dressing up. So, bring clothes that are not made of bulky materials while being functional. Merino wool is one of the best materials. They can keep you warm and comfortable while also being lightweight.
Research about the weather before you go. This way, you will know what to pack. You won’t end-up bringing clothes that you won’t be using.
Speaking of planning your clothes, bring those that are waterproof. They are not only comfortable because they can keep you dry, but they can also help you save space once you are about to go home. When your clothes are wet, they will take more space in your bag and they can also be significantly heavier.
6. Ditch the Tent
While tents have gone a long way in terms of their design, size, and weight, they can still consume a big space in your backpack. If you want to travel light, forget about bringing a tent. A good alternative is a hammock. This way, it will be lightweight and compact. You can also enjoy a breeze of fresh air while you are sleeping. Bring a net to cover the hammock or an insect repellent to protect yourself from bugs.
7. Bring Inflatables
This is another great way to maximize space in your backpack without compromising comfort. When they are deflated, they are very space-efficient. For instance, rather than bringing a traditional sleeping bag or pillow, you can bring those that are filled with air to save space. Make sure to bring a small pump with you. It is a struggle to inflate them by mouth!
8. Roll Your Clothes
This is one of the tried-and-tested tips when it comes to packing. There are still some who might argue, but it is best if you give it a try! You’ll see that we are right claiming that rolling saves a lot of space compared to folding. Even better, this can also prevent creases on your clothes.
9. Use the Space Outside Your Bag
One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is to pack everything inside their bags. This should not be the case. Depending on the design of your bag, there are pockets and straps that you can utilize at the bag’s exterior. Use the loops and hooks to pack your tent or your shoes, among other things that don’t necessarily have to be inside your bag.
10. Do a Trial Run
Before you leave your house, do a trial run. Start by having a checklist and pack your bags accordingly depending on the things you assume you will need. Once packed, try carrying your bag. If it is too heavy and bulky, think of the things that you can remove. If you have more space, don’t be tempted to bring more. Always pack only the essentials.