Greatest Photos

May 12, 2011

Tips: packing your backpack

No matter how well you've packed your backpack for the first time, in a couple of days it will be all messed up and will not resemble to the original arrangement at all. But this is good. You will learn on the way how to organize your backpack that fits best your needs. You might find some items important enough to move to a side pocket that you buried deep inside in the beginning. You might even have different configurations in different countries: a mosquito net for example is completely unimportant in North America, but might be an everyday need in Cambodia.

Some things that worked well for us:

  • Organize your shirts in horizontal layers and compress them top to bottom. If your pack has a front/middle access, you can just open it up and browse your shirts like you would browse CDs in a store.
  • Group similar color shirts together.
  • Group things that you will most likely use at the same time. Examples: beach towel and swimsuit, gloves and scarf, pullovers and coats, etc.
  • Place your heaviest item in the center of your backpack, nearest to your spine. This is what most tutorials will tell you and for a good reason. In my case the heaviest item is my hiking boots.
  • Create a system to separate clean and worn clothes. My trick is to store clean clothes turned inside out. Since you wash your clothes inside out anyway, you simply leave them that way when packing. This helps to protect their actual outside from soiling and also offers clear differentiation. Once worn, put them back in a normal way.
  • Use some kind of bag or pouch to store all your chargers and cables. Nothing is worse than digging up all your backpack looking for that damn USB cable.
  • When taking a flight, be prepared that your check-in luggage might never arrive. Don't put anything valuable in it, and keep warm clothes with you in your carry-on luggage. Even if you are going to a warm location, you might end up waiting for a delayed flight in an overly air-conditioned waiting lounge.

Any tips from you? Don't hesitate to share!


  1. how important the last tip is! :P

  2. it is! but its also true for long distance buses! I was freezing on the bus in Mexico:)