We’ve all heard it a thousand times: pack light, small, easy, you don’t want to carry a heavy load…but now matter how practical the advice may be, it is much more difficult to actually put it into practice. Most travel guides don’t help – the list of “basic necessities” may go on for pages, listing three different types of sunscreen, umbrella, rain coat, snow boots, jumper cables…and so on.
But the question remains: what do you really need? What can you pack that will better your trip and what, if packed, will only drag you down? The following tips will help you as you prepare to cut back on your backpack you can buy at https://thepnw.co/

1. The best way to assure a light, tight, and compact pack is to pack in advance – way in advance. Two weeks before your departure, lay out everything you intend to bring; stare at it for a few minutes, and then get rid of half of it.

2. With your remaining pile, eliminate anything that is remotely like anything else in the pile. Don’t pack two things when one will do; if you already have a good long-sleeved shirt, than don’t pack a second one just because it is a slightly different shade of taupe.

3. Once you are down to your absolute minimum, pack everything into your backpack or suitcase, and head outside. Walk for at least a mile; chances are you’ll be walking that long every time you take a train.

4. Make sure you go up some long flights of stairs (some subways have flights up four or five stories, and escalators are often broken) and practice lugging your weight in the rain, excessive heat, or freezing cold. Put on a thick sweater before you leave; you will soon get hot and be forced to take it off and carry it, adding another element of bulk – and inconvenience.

5. After this exercise, return to the house, unpack, and reconsider.

6. By now, you should be down to the bare minimum. Organize everything in your pack with obsessive scrutiny, making sure there is a place for everything and everything has it’s place; then review the following tips to check on your necessities.

7. Clothing: Mix and match. Everything – absolutely everything – in your backpack should go with everything else; this allows for more flexibility in dressing without requiring extra bulk.

8. Gadgets: Again, the rule here is simple: condense. Even if you only have a few basic techie tools, they can add up fast: Cellphone, Camera, Mp3 player – and along with them Cell phone charge cord, camera charge cord, batteries (rechargeable) and cord, Mp3 player cord, charger, and adapter, oh and these extra headphones. You may even want to consider investing in a blackberry or similar multi-tasking device; the space and effort it may save you by combining three or even four gadgets in one may be well worth the cost.

9. Entertainment: Rather than packing three short novels, a book of crosswords, extra CD’s, and your coloring books (sorry) entertainment should be condensed to the minimum activity that is most enjoyable for you. If you are a literary type (and if you’re reading this, I assume you are) one nice thick Tolstoy novel will serve you better for longer than lugging around three quickies off of the best seller list.

10. The last, and most important, factor of packing light: take advantage of your resources. There are a number of brilliant – and generally unexpected – ways to profit from your situation, and paring down on the level of stuff in your life will bring you to a new and freeing level of enginuity. Want to go out for a night in the city, but didn’t pack the pile of makeup on your kitchen sink? Casually wander through a department or cosmetic store and do yourself up with the samples. Worried that you’ll run out of things to read (I always am)? Take a brand-new book and when finished reading, attempt to return or exchange it at another bookstore – or with anyone you meet along the way. Don’t need a computer? Don’t bring one; cyber-cafes are proficient almost everywhere outside the US, and may even be cheaper and easier than dealing with trying to find a wi-fi connection. Consider the things that will make your trip most enjoyable; pack only favorites, and only carefully, and your journey will make your heart as light as your pared-down backpack!

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