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Travelling Light


One of the questions that this site regularly gets is recommendations on how to travel as lightly as possible. Depending on your trip it might not be possible to travel light. The ultimate is just to take what you are wearing and a credit card. Unfortunately this approach is expensive so here are a few other ideas.

Trip Type

The main things affecting how little you can get away with fall under the following categories:

Essentials

Whatever you throw out there are some basic things that you should not cut back on

Things to Throw Out

So what are the common things that you can cut back on?

Make it Small

The key to travelling light is keeping everything you take to a minimum. A classic example is with toiletries people usually take the bottles that they come in which would probably keep them clean for a month or so at home. Decanting these into smaller containers which hold just enough for your trip saving space and weight. Suitable containers can be found in camping stores and 'Body Shop' containers are also ideal. The other problem with a lot of the containers that shampoos, sun cream etc are sold in is that they have flip lids these are a nightmare when they come open in a rucksack another good reason to put them into another container.

If your sleeping bag doesn't have a compression sack then get one it will reduce the size. Camping gear especially clothing has come along way in recent years and for a price you can get lighter gear the decision is upto you.

When it comes to a back pack for travelling light then really minimum is 35 litre. You can easily travel using accommodation with one for extended periods. It is also possible to do basic summer walking / camping with a 35 litre back pack. For a bit more comfort a 40 / 45 litre backpack would be better. Really anything above that and you will not be travelling light. One thing to be aware of with this size back pack is that the waist belts tend not to be padded and can become uncomfortable if you are doing a lot of walking.

If you are travelling in a group then avoiding duplication will reduce weight so one guide book, share a bottle of shampoo etc. Just make sure if you split up you have what you need.

The other benefit of getting everything into a 35 litre rucksack is that in most cases you can take it on planes as hand luggage. The main advantages are saving time when you arrive, preventing thefts and it'll end up at the right destination.

Example

Just come back from China so thought to prove it can be done the contents of my rucksack would be laid bare. The trip was for several weeks to China in the summer staying in accomadation. Everything including the day sack fitted in the main 35 litre back pack when travelling from town to town, as you can see I took slightly more than the absolute basics.

Clothes
  • 1 * Lightweight Water Proof (Monsoon Season)
  • 1 * Fleece (Only used as pillow over night on train)
  • 2 * Long Trousers
  • 4 * T-Shirt
  • 1 * Shorts
  • 1 * Swimming Shorts
  • 4 * Socks
  • 4 * Underware
  • 1 * Sandles
  • 1 * Boots
  • 1 * Baseball Cap

    Misc.

    Hygeine

    First Aid Kit




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