When I begin packing for a trip, these are some of the things I consider when choosing the contents of my backpack:
- Weather for the time I’m there (temperature and possible adverse conditions)
- Different activities I may want to partake in
- Will I need clothing to enjoy the nightlife
- Am I doing any business there?
- Transport methods I plan to use
There are a lot of factors, but one of the most important ones for me is weight. Sometimes when you pack a bag, you try to fill it to ensure you have everything you could possibly need to meet all of the above scenarios.
Before you know it, your bag is 20kg and you have to hike 5km to your hostel from the main transit hub. You’re going to be sore, tired, and possibly injured by the time you make it there. Do yourself a favour and weigh your bag before you leave. Look at all of the things you’re bringing, and see if there is any easy weight you can drop.
A 25 gram keychain, a 125 gram portable speaker, a 350 gram book may not seem like a lot but leaving them at home will save you from carrying around a half of a kilogram. Leave out a couple t-shirts, your 3rd pair of shoes, and bring a smaller camera and you’ve saved 3kg. Reducing weight will make you more agile, and leave you in better shape to go further on your travels.
Personally, I like to use a food scale to check the weight of all of my items to see a better breakdown of what the total weight of my bag is made up of. Most of the weight so from clothing, so ditching a heavy pair of jeans and a sweater for some layers and chinos is an easy way to have more outfits with less weight.
Protip: Bring one beat up shirt with you that you can leave behind if you need some extra room on the way home. This also comes in handy if you’re going on a hike/need to get dirty.