Among the lead-ups to a summer backpacking trip with your friends is fervent excitement, excessive planning, unavoidable dropouts, and budget crunches. A more last-minute, anxiety-generating member of this intense crew is the humble packing paranoia — always around, but not manifesting itself till absolutely unavoidable.
It can prove to be quite an unwelcome guest, but don’t beat yourself up over it just yet! Here are a couple of suggestions to help cushion the blow of this ordeal.
Be wary of your wardrobe
Think hectic holiday, think sweat. What you choose to wear in the middle of a sweltering summer is your business, but you’re sure to thank us for suggesting athleisure. Odor-free, sweat-absorbent, and most importantly comfortable, it is the way to go for a satisfying, liberating backpacking trip. Athleisure is surprisingly versatile as well, if you don’t want to wear a similar outfit two days in a row — tank tops can go with a skirt or even a plaid shirt and ripped jeans, and tights go with almost anything! This is also the solution to excessive packing; a couple of athleisure pieces and a few things to go with them, and you’re good to go.
Rolling all your clothes is an effective way to not only create more space, but to also keep them crease-free and organized. If you’re big on organizing, reusing clear plastic bags can be your go-to hack. They let you separate categories of clothing, so you can access them without (gasp!) messing up your careful packing. Plastics always come in handy, be it for wet or dirty clothes, towels, muddy shoes, stinky socks, and leak-prone toiletries. As a bonus, they keep your stuff effortlessly waterproof!
Packing light on a backpacking trip can’t be stressed upon enough. You can’t be carrying fresh footwear for each day of the trip, or five jackets to compliment all your outfits. A pair of flip-flops and light sneakers, we dare say, are footwear enough for your trip. ‘But what about my heels’, you say? Try hitting the club in a dress and shoes — it’s fashionable and liberating. If party plans are also making you carry separate jackets for the occasions, think again. A light, dressy hoodie can serve most purposes, or just one extra shrug if you’re hell-bent on staying frivolous.
Pool your packing
If you’re travelling in a group, packing the same stuff is redundant. While some things can’t be shared (Toothbrushes. Definitely toothbrushes), a lot of it actually can. One of you can carry shampoo, and the other a body wash. Same goes for a hair dryer, toothpaste, or even a camera, for that matter. Everyone has a smartphone anyway, so why do more than one of you need a DSLR?
So co-plan with your buddies, decide who gets what, and revel in all the weight you’ve taken off each other’s shoulders.
Get smart, get light, and more importantly, get ahead of yourself and what you thought your packing prowess could achieve!
The girl whose turtle ran away. She’s any other photography enthusiast, an admirer of puns, wearer of hoodies, veteran of platform games, and a sleepyhead with perpetual eye-bags.
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