Sixteen Tips To Pack Super Light

Welcome back. Last time I talked about how and why to pack light. Today I present to you a list of my best packing tips that I’ve developed while living out of a 28 liter bag for the past seven months going around the globe.

  1. Keep the things you’ll need first or most often near the tops of the bag. If you use the Deuter 28 you have two openings for this.
  2. Leave spare batteries in their chargers.
  3. Use the side water bottle holders to hold more than water bottles. I keep my computer charger bag (which also has a tiny Nokia USB phone charger and tiny universal plug adapter) in one side and my TSA approved bag full of liquids in the other. That way in the airport I can go through the scan quickly and plug in my computer without digging through the bag.
  4. If your bag has two compartments like the Deuter, stuff one of them as full as possible with stuff you don’t use often and leave the other one partially empty to make it easy to find stuff and to fit stuff you get along the way.
  5. Get a Kiva collapsible backpack and clip it to the front of your bag. It’s perfect for carrying around a camera or jacket.
  6. Use every last bit of space. Put everything you want to pack on your bed, and pack big things first. Then look for an appropriately sized little thing to jam into every nook and cranny created by the big thing.
  7. Take a look at your 3-4 biggest space eaters and see if there’s a significantly smaller version that will get the job done. Jackets and sleeping bags are easy candidates (modern good sleeping bags can fit in your water bottle holder if a silk liner isn’t going to be thorough enough for you).
  8. Don’t bring a pillow. Inflate an Aloksak partially and put it inside your fleece instead.
  9. Wear your bulkiest stuff on travel days.
  10. If you have a lot of room left over in your bag, get a smaller bag! Don’t fill yours up just to use it.
  11. Don’t bring a sleeping pad. A Luxury Lite cot is smaller, much more comfortable, and more versatile.
  12. Fold jackets to the width of your bag and then roll them as tightly as possible.
  13. Never bring cotton clothes. They aren’t warm, they dry slowly, they get dirty quickly, and they absorb odor. Wool is the exact opposite, but is still cool enough to run or workout in.
  14. Bring as few clothes as possible. No one will notice or care that you wear the same shirts every few days. That’s not what traveling is about.
  15. If you’re going to poor countries, bring balloons as souveniers to give away to kids. They’re tiny and kids love them.
  16. Don’t lose stuff like I do. Double check for all your stuff before you go.

As a bonus, here’s a video of me packing my bag: