73 days Backpacking: How did we pack.
What if I tell you that my luggage for 73 days traveling around the world was smaller than most of luggage for a 10 days trip? During those 73 days we faced weather as cold as 9ºC and as warm as almost 50ºC. We showered pretty much every day and we even had some place to small souvenirs. Do you want to know how? Keep reading!
Never pack more than you can carry
Think about this fact: you are going to spend more than 2 months traveling. You are going to go through smooth floor conditions and also heavy-bumpy ones. So, the best you can do is to have backpacks instead of trolley bags. The backpack condition lies on the fact of: how many kilos can you carry. Of course that we try hard to not carry the bag too much, but you might have to walk few kilometres under a heavy sun with your backpack hanging on your shoulders. So you must pack smart and never pack more than you can carry. Never.
Choose the right bag for you
In this other post we already told how to pack efficiently. Those tips will serve you a lot if, like us, you need to pack for an extra long travel. Besides those tips, it is pretty important that you choose the correct backpack for you. The great feature about the backpacker luggage is that it will fit well in your body and you will distribute the weight over your upper body and almost don’t feel it heavy on the shoulders. So, when you go shopping for a bag, take the advice of the worker at the store. Be sure that also can fit a lot inside, but not more than the recommended for your height and weight. Last but not least, try the bag and adjust all the lines on you. It must be very tight in your waist and chest, so will distribute the heavy weight better.
How did we pack?
First of all we had to understand all the conditions of our travel. We were going mainly to sunny and very hot places. But for around two destinations we might need some jacket. So, we packed 8 days of summer clothes. Just shorts and light shirts. We packed one bath suite each, 8 underwear pieces and also 8 socks. I packed 2 bras. Then we made sure to pack enough shampoo, soap and deodorant to last the entire travel, because we have our favorite brands and were afraid to not find it abroad. To make sure we took 2 tubes of each. We also packed one very good medical kit with several kinds of medicine and also a first aid basics in case of small accidents. We packed one travel towel each, those of microfiber that you can roll and make a very small piece of it. We also packed two adventure cameras, two empty small backpacks that would be used as support during the travel. About the shoes, we packed 1 pair of flip-flops each and we had our sport shoes on our feet every time we needed to carry everything.
Resuming: we basically packed for 8 days. The winter clothes we wore to go to our first destination and to come back. During our travel we made sure we packed it tight in the bottom of the backpack, so it wouldn’t annoy us every time we needed to reach something.
Well, my backpack was around 12 kg and Simons was around 14 kg. During the travel we gained few kilo on each, but nothing hard we couldn’t carry.
Was it enough?
Many people that we met on the way got surprised on how we were low packed. A frequent question was if it was enough. To tell you the absolute truth: it was more than enough. After we got back home we realised that few things on the backpack were extra packed and we didn’t even touch it. For example, we packed a mosquito net for bed, but not even a single time we used it. We also packed a portable (and very small packed) hammock, but most of the chances we had to use it, we forgot at the hotel. Those were two big things that took some place in the bag, that could have been used for some more memories for example. So, in the end we didn’t pack less, but we ended up packing a bit more than needed.
The secret was to wash the clothes once per week. Specially in Asia you can find this service very cheap. Too bad that we also learned that can be cheap and most of time a very bad service, but worked as well.
Always take small backpack with you. They can serve you as a support back for sightseeing or even as a hand luggage for the airplane. For us, helped a lot for when we bought a small laptop in Cambodia, so we could carry the computer with us as hand luggage on airplane. Also, carrying one small backpack while walking around is enough to carry a big bottle of water or to put some small shop (food or not) that you do along the day.
So, if you are also getting ready for travel like that, first find the perfect backpack for you and respect your own limits. Pack light and never more than you can carry. Pack for less days than your travel and do the laundry in the between. Try to have travel items with you, like the towels. They are very efficient for the travel and they occupy very little place. Organize everything smartly inside your backpack and enjoy this beautiful world!