With only 82 liters of space in our backpacks, each item had to be carefully selected. Some things were picked for their quick-drying properties (necessary when hand washing), for their ability to minimize odors, or for their versatility in multiple climates. We spent MANY hours (~100) researching, reading packing lists from other blogs, comparison shopping on the internet, and making repeated trips to REI to return any item that wasn’t perfectly suited to our needs.
- Pack as little as possible. Our 40 and 42 liter packs are smaller than about 95% of the other travelers’ we’ve encountered. When you’re switching cities every few days, having something that’s easier to carry, easier to pack, and easier to squeeze into bus overheads is comforting.
- Cotton is bad, synthetics are good. Cotton isn’t comfortable when wet, takes a long time to dry, and weighs more than synthetic materials. Most performance travel clothes are made of polyester. But the caveat is that synthetics smell bad faster.
- Don’t bring jeans. Jeans are most people’s pants of choice and are thus difficult to sacrifice. But they’re heavy and bulky, and once they get wet game over.
- Long sleeves are useful even in hot climates. Sometimes the sun is so scorching that sunscreen doesn’t cut it. Lightweight, moisture-wicking sleeves can actually be cooler than short sleeves.
Thanks to this site for much inspiration.