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  • Writer's pictureJon Kittell

5 Tips to Keep from Overpacking on your Adventure

Set yourself up for success on your next adventure by following these tips to keep your pack light.

Packing for an international adventure can feel overwhelming. You want to make sure you have everything you need to feel prepared and comfortable during your trip. Because this is often difficult when packing for the unknown people have a tendency to pack way too much. Overpacking can lead to frustration when you are burdened with an overly-heavy pack throughout your trip. It also adds unnecessary stress when you cannot find what you are looking for because it has been lost at the bottom of your bag that is exploding at the seams with everything else you packed.

As someone who has packed for countless international adventures as well as lives seasonally out of a dry bag I want to share a few tips with you to ease your packing stresses and help set-up your adventure for success.

1) Start with an appropriate sized bag

I have found over and over again that humans will fill whatever size bag you are packing. If you want to pack less, start with a smaller container. For most of you a 40-50 Liter bag or backpack will be ideal. This will keep your luggage size and weight small enough that you will be able to move it when necessary (as well as avoid airline fees for excess baggage) but will still give you enough room to pack all that you need.

2) Look for multipurpose items…and be wary of duplicates

One of the easiest ways to lighten your load is to look for items that can be used in a variety of ways. That comfy pair of long-john bottoms can double as your sleeping pants. Also try to avoid items that have similar purposes. It can often be difficult to leave your favorite fleece behind but if you already have one packed for the trail do you really need a second? Leaving these items at home will make you appreciate them that much more when you return home.

A light and tight pack goes a long way in setting yourself up for success

3) Don’t be afraid to wear items more than once

Often on trips you will not wear the same clothing articles all day. You may start with yoga clothes in the morning, then after breakfast change into traveling/trekking clothes. Not wearing the same clothes all day means they stay cleaner longer so you can wear them multiple times throughout the trip, thus eliminating the need for multiple pieces of the same gear.

4) Pack with a friend

If you are having trouble making decisions about what to bring invite a friend over to give you a hand. Ask them to critically analyze each item you are packing to see if you really need it. Go through each day of the trip itinerary (activities, etc) step by step and plan out what you will wear throughout the day.

5) Start early

By beginning your packing process earlier than the night before you leave you will have a chance to go through your bag multiple times. On your first go around lay out everything you want to bring and see how it fits into your bag. Let that pack sit around for a few days then unpack your bag and go through everything again thinking about each item, its use and necessity.

Elizabeth enjoying the benefits of a well-packed backpack.

Above all else remember that less is more. Try to remove your attachment to certain clothing items and be willing and open to embrace the unknown with a positive attitude. Remember almost anything you may need (if you forget something or decide to leave to an item behind) will be available to purchase in the country you are going to. Perhaps by leaving behind your favorite mid-layer (fleece, etc) you will create an opportunity for a new favorite to come into your life.

Smile, relax, take a deep breath and remember that this supposed to be fun. Have a great time packing and enjoy the beginning of your adventure.

In need of a lifetime adventure to pack for. Check out Inbody Expeditions' upcoming trips in Nepal.



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