Whether going for the long-haul or a long weekend I think everyone can appreciate a bag that’s easy to carry, packed with stuff that you’ll need. Unfortunately, a heavy bag can really get in the way of enjoying a good hike, so we have compiled a list of some space saving ways to make your bag lighter and packed smarter (and the pros and cons of doing so):
Travel towels come in all shapes and sizes. On our last 6-month trip Jackson brought a Kathmandu travel towel. It’s about 10 years old and packed down relatively small. We were impressed at the longevity of the product (10 years!) but after some research decided to switch to Sofia’s Linen towel.
See the difference?
The linen towel packs down very small.
It doesn’t develop a mildew smell (which, unfortunately the Kathmandu and other towel we brought eventually did!).
It dries really quickly.
It’s just a much weight as the other towels.
It’s not as comfortable to rub yourself dry with; a bit abrasive to be honest.
2. Water Bottle
On our last trip we bought the 1L Kathmandu water bottle. It served us well as we hiked through New Zealand, Thailand and Europe. The only problem is how large it can be in our bag. We decided to switch to a Zoadle bottle instead and boy is it a lot smaller!
Rolls up small when you go through airport security.
Great top for squeezing water into your thirsty mouth.
The water smells and tastes like silicone when you first start using it.
The outside has a lot of friction which can make slipping the bottle into a holster more difficult while on a hike.
We made the mistake of taking a whole tube of toothpaste with us while we traveled. We’re not doing that anymore. Check-on luggage will be a thing of the past! Instead, we’ve opted for a powdered toothpaste. The taste is the same and the tin is nice and small and a bit lighter than your standard tube of goo.
Small and compact
Tastes the same and you feel nice and fresh.
The container is hard to open.
Powder can get messy if you are not careful.
Bottled shampoo is nice and all, but generally bringing a bottle of it means space in your bag used up and a check-on fee. Instead, Jackson’s parents recommended we use solid shampoo and conditioner from Lush which was a game-changer. Solid shampoo is much lighter (1.9oz!) and super compact.
When it gets wet it’s gooey for a while, so you’ll need a wrap for it.
5. Materials of your Clothing
This is such an easy thing to fix if you look at what you are carrying. Certain materials don’t lend themselves to lighter travel bags and can take AGES to hang dry. On the last trip I brought a long-sleeved shirt from Old Navy made of rayon. I really liked the fit of the long-sleeve shirt, but the material was heavy and not very warm. Instead, I’ve splurged and got myself a long-sleeved icebreaker merino shirt as well as short-sleeved shirts. Merino is a little lighter than rayon and the material is far more suited to what I need while traveling.
Wool dries quickly and absorbs body sweat much better than rayon.
Rolls up really tight.
Can be a little itchy on the skin.
**Tip: When packing your bag, roll your clothing so that it takes up as little space as possible.
Any tips you have that you think we should add? Leave it in the comments below! We’d love to hear what you think.
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