What not to pack

  • Written by  BPP
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Illustration Illustration By Ben Hussman (Own work), via Flickr, Creative Commons Licence

With the term Backpacking, "packing lite" comes hand in hand. You have a limited capacity lump on your back, you probably plan on walking a lot, maybe even changing locations often; having to carry around extra weight is really a bad idea, unless it is absolutely necessary.

Below, we bring a list of things that look like necessities, but rarely truly are.

Mosquito nets
If you're traveling to an area populated by a bigger amount of mosquitoes, there is a great chance even the cheapest hotel/hostel has its beds equipped with nets already. Or at least they have window nets (you can always check that info while booking the room or checking into it). Carrying those on a trip is basically justified only if you are sleeping under the stars.

Shampoo and Conditioner
Let's face it, those two bottles are among the cheapest things your bathroom contains. And that is the fact in the country you are travelling to too. So instead of carrying them with you, just buy them at 7/11 when you arrive. Also, it would be wise to buy the smallest packages available (unless you are willing to carry them home).

Hair Dryers and Straighteners
Hair dryer we can even slur, if you are traveling by winter or have a really REALLY long hair, but straighteners/curlers are just inexcusable. We'll leave it to you to figure out why.

Every hotel has them, every hostel has them, every B&B has them. Enough said.

Expensive clothes
Ok, this really is a matter of personal preference, but given the fact you are travelling as a backpacker, there is a fair chance some of it might get ruined. As a tourist, you don't need expensive clothes. You need something not to be nude (and that matches, if you're a fashion junkie).

Backpacking is a way of traveling that mainly does not imply lying on the beach chair or in the room all day long. So, except for one book for your flight (in case it is a long one), don't tug your home library with you. 1-2 magazines will do. Focus on the country you are traveling to.

Medical KitLarge amounts of medical supplies
There are a few basics you should carry with you, depending on the time of the year, the country you are traveling to or your health condition (prescription medicines, insect repellent, pain killers, band-aids, etc), but other than that, forget it. Carrying a medicine for EVERY condition/injury that can happen is madness. It is safer and more practical to purchase a travel insurance policy that will cover any medicines you might need. Be sure to check out our list of medical supplies that are good to have around.

Guitars or other musical instruments that don’t fit into your pocket
Unless your destination is like 50km away and you travel by your own car, this is self-explanatory.

A Huge Backpack to rival the Navy Seals

PACKING LITE - words of the day. Bring what you need, not what you think you will need. And if you follow that thought, you don’t need a backpack as tall as yourself. And twice as wide.

This depends on your preferences also. If you're a professional blogger/journalist/etc, laptop is something you will have to find a place for in a backpack. Here we would advise to acquire something small, netbook or even a tablet. But if you're not one of those guys, you should rely on your Smartphone or worldwide available web-caffe's. Prices are cheap enough to check your emails every few days or contact your family and friend. Aside from that, enjoy the travel and put the technology aside for the time being.

DSLR Camera KitSLR Cameras
Unless you are a professional photographer or photography enthusiast, compact, sub-compact or even phone camera should be enough to capture the fun and surroundings. The average D-SLR camera with its necessary equipment counts for approx. 2kg. Seems light now, but wait until it drags your back downwards for more than a few hours.

All in all, think hard before you pack. Don't let a painful back and worrying about valuables bust your experience.

Last modified on Sunday, 18 August 2013 20:53


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