Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Unpacked: What I Wear While Backpacking

I'd written posts on how to dress for a vacation and how to pack for a trip, but after receiving a few emails asking me about backpacking I thought I'd offer up what I'd learned about packing when everything you're bringing with you needs to fit onto your back.

For my twelve day backpacking trip through central Europe I packed very similar items to what you see above. One pair of bermuda shorts, a jersey or cotton skirt, and a lightweight pair of pants. For tops I packed three loose tees which I could mix and match with the bottoms I'd packed. Packing light is essential. I utilized hostel laundry facilities a few times so that I could rewear pieces.  Choosing items that pack small and don't wrinkle will yield the best results.

Other essentials include a hat to keep the sun off of your face and a small over-the-shoulder bag to keep your valuables close, easily accessible and safe. I've never been to a country where I felt it necessary to use a money belt, although I always kept my passport and the majority of my money locked up somewhere safe just in case I were to meet a pickpocket. (Never happened) Sunglasses and a comfortable pair of walkable shoes are also so important! As far as shoes goes, I like Toms...or shoes in a similar style.

Non-outfit related backpacking essentials (at least for me) would include a Microfiber towel - seriously a lifesaver, travel sized shampoo bottles and foot powder...Believe me, after only wearing one pair of shoes for an extended amount of time, you'll appreciate it.

Relaxed tee, cotton skirt, shoulder bag and sunglasses in Budapest, Hungary. 

Note: I have only been backpacking twice, both trips were under two weeks. I have not been backpacking outside of Europe or done any long-term backpacking . This post simply highlights what worked for me in my situation. 

What are your backpacking essentials? 


Ginny said...

you did pack only one pair of shoes? wow!
when i was travelling across europe for a month i tried to pack as light as possible and yet, i still packed way too much. too many shirts, skirts and trousers. especially after i realized that i felt the most comfortable in dresses. i gave away a huuuge pile of clothes in the middle of my trip, which was quite cool, because then i had room again for the things i shopped! hehe!

Izy Berry said...

As someone who's backpacked for essentially "years" - I have a very refined list of things I take, but there's sort of a mix of "day to day living" things mixed in there, too. I carry way too many cosmetics and hair products hahah. You're right, microfibre towels are amazing and I think moneybelts are USELESS!

I usually take a few pairs of shoes and some flip flops - my biggest backpacking tips is to put everything into zip lock bags and to squeeze the air out, you can fit so much more into your bag that way ;)

Jenna said...

I love your ideas - especially working with three different comfortable tees! I'm usually either victim to over packing or under packing and there is usually at least one or two things I squeeze into my backpack and then never end up wearing. The tees provide a nice basic and your bottoms give a lot of scope for mixing it up. Definitely bookmarking this post for next time :)


Alex Butts said...

I agree 100% - I'm obsessed with plain cotton Ts. Although, I would take out the hat (left my fedora on a train, sad day) because they are hard to keep up with if you don't want to wear it the whole time and will get ruined in the backpack. I would also throw in a dress that could be worn during the day or out at night.

Steph said...

Loveee that skirt! Backpacking sounds like so much fun.


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