First stab at packing

So. I am now officially living out of a suitcase. Today, all my stuff went into storage. Well, I say all my stuff, but it’s actually a much reduced volume of stuff, as I decided to use the trip as an opportunity to clear out loads of the crap I’ve collected over the years. I reckon I’ve actually managed to get rid of over half of everything I owned. Some has been binned, some has gone via Freecycle, and some to charity shops. All that remains is a small bag of clothes to last me my final two weeks, and of course the bag for my trip.

Yesterday I made my first stab at packing, and remarkably I got everything in first go, and all under 15kg (quite important after I got stung by Air Asia on my last trip to Thailand, for having a 16kg bag). I still think I have too much stuff though, so despite it fitting and being a good weight, I’m planning to do a couple of repacks and see what I can try and take out – I really want to get it as light as possible, which at the moment is probably being stopped by my T-shirt addiction (I have far too many).

So – to help me with my attempts to get the weight down: anyone reading this who’s been on an extended trip – any tips? What are the things you took (based on pre-trip research or whatever) that you never used or could have done without? What did you leave behind that you could have really done with? Any other packing tips?


8 responses to “First stab at packing

  1. I hear cargo pants with zip off legs are all the rage with backpackers?
    That should save you some weight.

  2. I was out yesterday afternoon trying to find some lightweight hiking trousers and they were virtually all zip-off ones and I refuse to go down that route!

  3. You need less long trousers than you think. Ditch shirts and shorts in favour of extra socks and underwear. I think three shirts for the day, a couple nicer shirts to change into the night, one pair of nice trousers for night, one pair of dirty trousers to hike, a couple pairs of shorts, 1 bathing suit, 1 towel, and 6 socks and 6 underwear. You can now wash every week – week and a half.

    Two pairs of shoes – one for walking / hiking, one of the beach (i.e. sandals). More shoes are not needed.

  4. itsasmallworldafterallfamily

    Definitely take less t-shirts, otherwise you won’t have enough room to buy more as souvenirs! I also take less underwear than 6 sets and get in the habit of washing it every time I have a shower. Personally I think 3 or 4 bottoms (ie 2 trousers, one shorts and one swimming trunks to double as shorts) and 4 or five tops is enough.

  5. I must start taking this seriously – just deleted the crap I’d written before.

    layers, it’s all about layers. you can live in dirty trousers for a while, but as Greg says above, it’s all about the underwear. for you, preferably not the ones with holes in you that you used to insist on wearing!

  6. just finished our year+ through latin america, and good for you on the packing and repacking because less is definitely more. you’d be surprised how easily you can get by on small amounts of clothing and how little you really need to wash. the trouble can be packing for various climates.

    my tip is bring a few of your favorite things (sounds like your t-shirts) + a few utilitarian super breathable, moisture-wicking things. Oh, and wool socks like smartwool are amazing – don’t hold odors like other fabrics & fairly quick drying.

    and thanks for the blogroll add :)

  7. My tip is to buy as you go! Cheap t-shirts from around the world that you don’t mind getting too grubby are miles better then taking all your favs from home that will only get shrunk by some Thai laundry service in. (This actually happen to my missus – half her clothes got shrunk whilst in China!! Luckly we only had a week left to go of our trip!)

    A thin but good fleece is also a must – strangely very useful when you get on planes! Having been in the searing heat for weeks on end you forget that the tin tubes are actually quite cold!

  8. We brought so little with us! We each have 2 pairs of pants (I hate the zipoff kind — check yoga stores like Lululemon for nice lightweight pants), 2 shorts, 3 T’s (bring less and buy some on the way!), 5 socks (smartwool is AMAZING & absolutely worth it), 1 fleece, 1 longsleeve (Icebreaker makes some nice wool ones. Just like with the socks, wool breathes well and doesn’t stink), and a very thin raincoat (which I think will be very important). We each have a pair of trail runners and one pair of strap sandals.

    Don’t forget something for your head like a hat or a bandana :)

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