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How to pack your backpack


If you are backpacking on your own, you need to carry everything you need. Choosing necessary items and leaving out other ones is very important. You don’t want to carry a backpack that is too heavy.

I am small (1,58 m), so that leaves me little space in my backpack. My backpack is the Gregory Deva 60 l small.  This backpack was designed especially for women.

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In this blog I will show you what I took with me on my solo trip through Ireland and Scotland. I traveled for 2,5 months and camped most of the time. So I had to take my tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag with me. And I traveled through countries where it rains a lot. So all of these items had to be inside my backpack. These items filled up 2/3 of my pack. So that left me 1/3 to fill with cooking gear, clothing and toiletries. I had to carry my food outside my backpack.

Camping in Mainistir, Innishmore, Ireland

Camping in Mainistir, Innishmore, Ireland

Clothing

  •  1 two-layer jacket (raincoat with attached fleece, by Lafuma).
    This was my coat, so I would wear it all the time when the weather was bad. When the weather was good I had to strap it on the outside, on the bottom of my backpack.
  • 1 Exped Daypack poncho.
    A lot of people tell you not to take one. I couldn’t have done without this one. It keeps wind and rain out and you can attach it everywhere so the wind doesn’t blow it up. It made a huge difference in comfort being dry and warm.
  • 2 pairs of trousers: 1 pair of Fjallraven G1000 pants and 1 lightweight pair.
    The lightweight one could be made into shorts.
    I would wear 1 pair and have the other pair in my backpack.
  • 1 extra lightweight fleece. This was 1 fleece too much. So I sent it back home while travelling.
  • Thermal underwear: Icebreaker merino wool leggings and a long sleeve merino top for the cold stormy nights.
  • 1 Icebreaker merino wool top to wear under my other stuff.
  • 2 Icebreaker merino wool t-shirts.
  • 1 lightweight dress & t-shirt by Ayacucho.
    Ayacucho claimed that these were ‘no smell’ and dried easily, just like merino wool. Well, they weren’t, so I sent them back home. I bought a new merino wool t-shirt instead. I should have known this. But the Ayacucho items were less expensive, that’s why I gave them a go. They were definitely not made for a long backpack trip.
  • 4 lightweight underpants and 2 bras
  • 2 pairs of merino wool socks by smartwool.
    These were a really good buy. You just have to hang them outside during the night and they are totally fresh to wear the next morning. This works for all merino wool products. I washed them every 4 days.
  • A hat against the sun
  • A woolen hat for the cold at night
  • Renegade hiking boots by Lowa
  • Teva hiking sandals

All the clothes I wasn’t wearing were stuffed in a stuffsack.

West Highland Way, Scotland

West Highland Way, Scotland

Other necessities

  • 1 Vaude Campo Arco tent
  • Heavy duty tent pegs for rocky ground
  • 1 XS Prolite plus ThermaRest sleeping pad
  • 1 down sleeping bag Cheyenne by Vaude
  • 1 multifuel cooking stove Gravity MF II
  • 1 fuel bottle
  • 1 cooking pot Halulite Minimalist
  • 1 spork
  • 1 foldable Sea to Summit bowl
  • 1 Petzl head lamp
  • rainproof matches
  • a whistle/fire steel by Light my Fire
  • 1 Sea to Summit clothesline
  • a survival kit
  • an EHBO kit
  • Dehydrated food
  • A drinking bottle 1l by Sigg
  • A camelback.
    I should have left it at home. Just used it once. Never again.
  • A Katadyn mini waterfilter
  • 1 lightweight foldable daypack. I used this to carry my food supplies.
  • Walking poles

Toiletries

  • Tooth brush
  • Tooth paste
  • Coconut oil (I used this to cook, on my skin, as deodorant and on my hair as a conditioner)
  • Resin-beeswax cream to use on small cuts and blisters
  • wilderness soap
  • a small lightweight brush for my long hair
  • a mooncup for those monthly moments
  • a Sea to Summit lightweight towel

Other stuff

  • Guide book
  • maps
  • notebook & pen
  • cell phone
  • wallet
  • iPod
  • chargers for my cell phone and iPod
  • 1 small camera + extra batteries

So, that is a lot of stuff. Really. And it weighed quite a lot. What I should have left home was the ayacucho clothing, the camelback and used gas as fuel in stead of petrol. That would have saved me some space and kilos. But all of the other things in my backpack, I couldn’t have done without I think.

With my Gregory Deva 60 l in the Cairngorm mountains in Scotland

With my Gregory Deva 60 l in the Cairngorm mountains in Scotland

 

Extra clothing is a luxury when you’re away for such a long time. A lot of people told me I should not take extra pants or an extra t-shirt. I’m really happy I did. If you go on a hike for a week, things like this don’t matter. They do matter when you travel longer.

Cairngorms, Scotland

Cairngorms, Scotland

So, what would you leave at home when you see my list?

 

 

 

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