backpack hero blog

How to travel smoothly with a backpack

Travelling with a backpack can be fun, cheaper and time-saving. Not to mention it can develop your body, mind & soul. Let’s prepare ourselves to carry the correct weight and enjoy the path!

Viviane Vaz

Depending on our adventure, travelling with a backpack is the best option. Whether you chose a travel for several months, 15-day or a week trip, keep in mind you are the one to carry this backpack (unless you hired a special service for that). But if your goal is to develop yourself mentally and physically, deciding what you should carry can be crucial for a pleasant trip.

1. Know your strength

Especially if you aim at a long trip, don’t fall into the temptation of adding extra kilos to your bag. The heavy weight will make you tired, stuck you in one place and you will lose temper and agility to continue your track. So, let’s use maths on our favour! Let’s calculate the ideal weight for your backpack: it should be 10% of your weight and maximum 15%. Therefore, if you weigh 60 kilos, your backpack should not pass 9 kilos. If you weigh 80 kilos, it should be at most 12 kilos. In fact, some experts advise we should carry no more than 10% of our body weight with an upper limit of 10 kilos. This weight limit will protect our knees and feet, parts of the body that absorb most of the impact when we hike. 

2. Keep it simple and light

Think about the place where you are going to, what the climate will be like and what kind of cultural codes applies there. Choose your clothing and objects accordingly, but remember your backpack should be the same more or less the same whether you travel for a week or a year. Remember: most destinations have places to do your laundry and you can always buy something needed in the local market. You are not going to die if you don’t take an extra shirt, pants or sunscreen lotion! 🙂

3. Get rid of “what if” & “just in case”

Stop coming up with “conditional” sentences bringing you to hypothetical situations. Make assertive sentences and avoid “if”, “what if”, “just in case”. “I’m going to do a lot of hiking in Tenerife, should I take a pair of high heels just in case I come across a party?” No, leave them at home. “If” you find a fancy party, you will enjoy the same way with your trainers, flipflops or baillarines. Keep it simple and light, remember?

4. Bigger is not better

Have you heard that the best perfumes are in the small bottles? Well, I guess we can also apply it for backpacks. If you need to buy a backback for your travel, be wise. Keep in mind bigger is not necessarily better. Remember the optimum weight for your backpack should not exceed 15% of your own weight and 10% is the ideal choice. Try to leave some empty room in your backpack. It can be useful if you need to carry extra water, food or something you received or bought locally. If you travel by plane, decide if you want to pass it as carry-on luggage or hand luggage. If you decide to take as hand luggage, it will save you time, money (depending on the air company!) and you are sure to keep your  ideal weight at a nice average of 6 to 10 kilos.

5. Prepare in advance

Don’t leave your backpack preparation to the last minute. Usually, when we are in a hurry, we tend to add superfluous objects and increase the extra weight. If you take some time in advance, you will come up with an organized backback, know the order where you put all your belongings and avoid all those extra kilos.