- “What should I pack for a camping trip in a climate which is unpredictable?”
- “I don’t know how to fit all my warm clothes and sleeping bag in my backpack!”
- “My bag is too heavy – what should I leave behind?”
First of all: Think about your recent trips and what clothes and gear you have been wearing or using the most. What clothes or shoes did you only wear once or twice? Did you really use the umbrella you brought along? You will be surprised, but I am sure you will find at least three to four things you can immediately eliminate from your packing list.
2. Think about the type of trip and local facilities
What type of trip are you going on? Will it be a hiking trip? Will you be mainly spending your time on campgrounds or hostels with laundry facilities? What kind of gear will you need to bring and what might be already provided by the tour operator? If it is a trip where you will go hiking almost every day, bring your hiking boots. But if it is a trip with occasional hikes, then you might consider only bringing light trainers as your “one-and-only-every-day-shoes”. You can wear all the fancy shoes you own the other 340 days of the year.
Especially if you have laundry facility during the trip, only bring clothes for a maximum of seven days. You can even wash some smaller things while taking a shower every day! If you go on an organized trip, make sure you know what kind of gear is provided and what you might need to bring with you. Most of the time at least tents and the entire kitchen equipment are taken care of.
How many times did I do the same mistake:
- “I take this extra pair of trousers just in case I get wet.“
- “I will take this nice dress, just in case there will be an opportunity to go out one night”
4. Dress in layers
When travelling to a destination where it can be sunny and warm but also chilly at night, think about dressing in layers. You might not need your down-jacket if you simply wear a thermal shirt, a long sleeve and a warm fleece-jacket. This will be also the cleverest way to dress anyways as the temperature will vary between day and night time and sunny and cloudy times.
5. Buy or rent at your holiday destination
Have you ever thought about renting or buying bulky or heavy gear at your holiday destination? Especially for bulky mattresses or special type of gear you might only need once, this can be a good alternative. I always recommend people to either buy a cheap additional sleeping mattress, if they are afraid theirs could be not thick enough. There are a few occasions where you might need rubber boots on our trips: They will either be provided for you when going kayaking or you also can consider buying a cheap pair and leave them behind afterwards: it is not worth filling ¼ of your bag with rubber boots you might need once or twice during the trip!
6. Compression bags/light gear
Compression bags are cheap to buy (you even could just buy the biggest zip bags you can find in the super market) and handy when it comes to reduce space. If you regularly go on camping trips you might consider investing a little bit more money into a warm but also light sleeping bag for example.
7. Electronic Gear/Books
What kind of electronic gear you want to bring along will depend on your personal preferences. In general I recommend leaving your computer at home and just bringing along a smartphone or tablet if you really think you need to connect with the rest of the world. Books you could either think about investing into an eBook- reader or simply come on one of our trips in Alaska or Canada: We do have a library on board of our great overland vehicle;)