I am often asked how I pack my backpack for a trip. People want to know what I take, how much clothing is necessary and how I fit it all into my backpack.
First off, I have an Osprey Ariel. I choose this specifically because it has three sections. The bottom has a zippered section with a removable barrier inside. I put shoes and sandals in there. The entire core section of the pack can be entered through the drawstring top or through a zipper which runs through the center. It’s a nice feature, and I can pull something from the middle quite easily. The third section is an attachment pouch to the top; this is where I put my wet items. This includes; shampoo, sunscreen and insect repellent. I like having it separate from the rest of the pack in case something leaks. When I walk the Camino de Santiago in the fall of 2016, I will need to downsize my pack to a 30-40l.
I try to pack enough to last for a week. Most of the areas I travel to are hot, which means sweating a ton and not necessarily re-wearing clothing. Over the years, I have learned to pack mostly skirts. When mixing with different cultures and using public transportation, most women are dressed very conservatively and I don’t want to be that lady in the short denim shorts.
As I am packing I try to put together outfits and then roll them together. It keeps me from searching everywhere for a specific shirt I need for a skirt. I’ve found rolling is easy and takes up less space.
People ask me if I bring a hair dryer and make-up. I never travel with a hair dryer. I have naturally curly hair so I just let it air dry. A dryer would be too heavy and bulky and I really just try to keep things simple. The same goes for make-up. I may bring a compact of powder as just another barrier with the sunscreen. I’m not one of those backpackers you see with the deep bronze skin. After working in Dermatology for years, I know the consequences of skin cancer and always use my sunscreen.
I made this video as I was packing for a 17 day trip to El Salvador and Nicaragua. I want to show you the way I pack for a trip. I know there are many ways to do this, but this is what works for me right now.
Please click the link below for my video:
If you have more packing tips or specific questions please leave a comment below.