Packing a bag is all about the planning. Knowing how to properly pack bags can save you time, energy, and strain on your back and limbs. The first thing you will need to decide is the type of bag your travels will require.
Whether you are taking a handbag on your shoulder shopping, or a suitcase for a flight, packing bags as light as possible is the key. The way you pack will also play a part in both the amount you can take, and the load you must carry.
The Right Bag for the Job
Consideration should always be given to the bag itself. Inclusive of the weight you must carry, choosing the wrong bag can result in any number of issues, especially when flying. Suitcases large and small, holdalls, pouches, totes and backpacks all suit specific adventures.
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Packing
How or what you pack will change dependent on circumstance. There are a few simple rules for all bag packing, and every itinerary. Planning what you need, what you need access to and how the weight distributes will help lighten the load.
As a rule, for a holiday, the 5,4,3,2,1 checklist always comes in handy. 5 socks and underwear, 4 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 pairs of shoes and 1 hat. This is not an exact science, but it is a great starting point. If you have these basics, you should survive.
Extras, such as swim wear, toiletries and bedtime attire can all be incorporated into the plan. When planning what you need, it is also worth considering what you do not need. Extra weight usually comes at a cost, be that relating to financials, energy, or health.
Packing for the Beach
For the beach, you may want to consider a pouch, holdall, backpack or tote bag. Never take your best bag to the beach, as it is likely to end up covered in sand. Something with a waterproof lining is preferable. Plenty of compartment can keep your sandwiches away from the sand and wet towels from dry clothes.
Rolling up towels and beach mats nice and tight, place them in the bottom of the bag as they hold the brunt of the weight. Keep water accessible, as well as sun cream. If you do not have a side compartment for your food, it is best kept it in a separate bag at the top of your belongings. This avoids it being crushed and sweating too much.
Packing a Bag for Hiking
When planning an adventure off the beaten track, a backpack and proper planning is essential. You will be carrying the load whenever you are moving, and dependent how adventurous your adventure is, that can be quite the burden.
If camping, pack your sleeping stuff at the bottom. Pillows, blankets, and pyjamas will all be used the least, so do not need to be as accessible.
Next, in the middle, food and cooking items. As these are likely to weigh the most. Keeping them central to your back will help you shoulder the weight.
In the top, cagoules, extra layers, and water. These need to be accessible, and aside from water, which is a necessity, are likely to weigh the least.
For sleeping bags, you might find it easier to attach the drawstring to a strap. If this is your go to, be sure to balance the bag as best you can to accommodate. Also, remember to use the waist straps, they prevent unnecessary swinging.
Packing a Suitcase
Holidays, particularly abroad, usually entail a flight and a level of anxiety about whether you packed everything you need. This is where proper planning can really save you from disaster. Always be sure to pack your travel bags well.
Write a list of everything you think you will need, then see if you can trim it back. Once you have the final list, think about what items you might need access to during the journey. Passports, toiletries, books, chargers. These items should be packed last.
When packing your suitcase, see it as a game of Tetris. Fitting everything in and amongst each other will reduce the room you need, and hopefully the size of the case. Keep toiletries in a separate bag that is easy to access and keep documents somewhere accessible, secure, and safe.
Rolling up clothing to pack it in tightly will save on room. If you have any valuables or breakables that you do not need access to whilst travelling, rolling them up in clothing or towels can prevent accidents.
However, you plan to spend your travels and adventures, remember that your load can always be lightened with a few simple steps.