I remember my first long trip when my backpack weighed a little over twenty kilos and I felt as if I was going to triple over under its weight. Now, many years later I call my backpack heavy when it’s over 13 kilos. It is usually under 10 when I’m going to a hot tropical country, and I around 12 when I need to pack my trekking boots and a sleeping bag.
1. Take a smaller backpack. The bigger your backpack the more likely you are to take more. If you don’t have to carry your tent and food you probably don’t need a bigger backpack than 50-55 litres.
2. Take a lightweight towel – it’s much smaller and dries faster.
Toothpaste concentrate- 25ml (the amount you use for brushing your teeth is the size of a mach head)
4. Buy dry-fit T-shirts instead of cotton ones. They are lighter, dry faster and you don’t smell if you wear them longer than one day. The same is true about socks and trousers.
5. Don’t carry a book (books), take a kindle instead (or any other e-reader).
6. Do you REALLY need a laptop? Isn’t a tablet or a good smartphone enough?
7. Weigh your clothes and take those lighter ones. My black T-shirt from North Face that I always take on holiday weighs 95g, the black T-shirt l am wearing right now weighs 150g. It might not seem a lot of weight but when you try to save 30-50g on every item you take it makes a difference.
8. Don’t take a bottle of shampoo AND a bottle od body wash, take 2in1 cosmetics. Pour your cosmetics into smaller containers if you go away for a shorter time.
9. Don’t buy a heavy guidebook, buy a pdf version, print what you need and throw away the chapters as you move on.
10. Don’t take too many sweaters or jackets, layers will do. It’s good to have a light backpack, then when you go back there still place for souvenirs, such as a big colourful Guatemalan blanket or three kilograms of wonderful Ethiopian coffee that you can no longer imagine your life without.