Embarking on a long backpacking trip can be a little overwhelming when it comes to packing. Fitting my life into one bag seems a little unrealistic at times but I make it work.
When packing for a long trip, I take the following into consideration:
- What’s functional
- What's lightweight
- What will benefit my lifestyle
- What's good quality
- What's cost effective
- What will be comfortable but also looks good
I learned a lot about how to pack from our last trip filming with Global Degree where we travelled throughout 24 countries in Asia within 8 months. The trip itself was beyond incredible but I was sick for a long duration of it. Whether it was a stomach infection, bacteria infection, or a basic cold, I rarely felt 100%. My immune system was really weak and because of that it affected my exercise regime, which affected a great deal of how I felt and what I was wanting to taking part in. I was pretty stressed at some points that my hair started to fall out an abnormal amount, my nails were breaking really easily and because I wasn’t healthy, my body was struggling with all of the excess weight I was carrying in both my backpacks (One of them weighed WAY too much) Surprisingly my clothing bag weighed less than my camera bag.
I learned A LOT from last year so this year I set new goals which were mostly health based. I wanted to share my experience with you and provide you with a list of the things I’m really excited about having in my backpack this year:
Starting with the most important item...having a good quality backpack is key. I bought my 85L MEC backpack because of it's adjustable straps that make it really easy to walk for longer periods of time and the pockets are perfectly placed. I like to keep very organized and the versatility of this bag allows me do that. I also picked up a waterproof shell to keep the rain out and to protect the bag while it's on airplanes, trains and busses.
Clothing can be tricky when backpacking because I don’t have the option of steaming or ironing them and because of that I love fabrics that don’t need any additional care. I stumbled into the RYU store last fall and fell in love with their brand and culture.
Before I took off for Europe I went to town on their gear. Their brand is extremely practical for my lifestyle and I LOVE the look. When I travel, I’m always outdoors so having comfortable, good quality clothes is very important to me. I stocked up on sports bras, shirts, pants, hoodies, a hat and a warm jacket. I try to run at least 4 days a week so having easily accessible, almost hidden pockets is really important for me while travelling and their clothes offer that. You can tell that every article was very well thought out when designed.
Dish & Duer Denim
I love the look of jeans but I can't stand the uncomfortableness of most of them. I discovered this amazing brand, Dish & Duer that has maximum performance denim that's sweat proof, fade proof, and is ridiculously comfy. They also apply silver ions to prevent bacteria growth. I picked up a couple pairs of jeans and joggers so if you see photos of me hiking with jeans on, now you will understand why. The first day I wore my joggers I managed to spill coffee all over them and it immediately wiped right off which made me love the brand even more.
I do everything in my Nike's and I wear them with everything!…seriously. I take them to the mountains or even wear them with my leather pants or a skirt. I just love them! They're comfortable and extremely light.
(Odd but great travel tip) - A friend taught me to travel with dryer sheets. He puts one in each shoe to keep them smelling amazing - and it works.
Roo Rain Gear
I said it last year and I'll say it again, my rain gear was a life saver! We backpacked through Asia during monsoon season and the Roo Rain Gear was big enough to covered myself, my camera equipment bag and my 85L backpack. To top off an amazing product, the whole poncho is made from recycled plastic bottles. I don't know what I would do without it, this poncho never leaves my camera bag.
Ray Ban Transitional Lenses
I'm too scared to get laser eye surgery so I usually fumble between contact lenses, sunglasses, prescription glasses, and prescription sunglasses on a daily basis. (What a nightmare and waste of space). I may have been the last person to hear about this but I recently discovered the world of transitional lenses. I picked up a pair of Ray Bans that I can use as prescription glasses and as soon as I get into the sun they turn into sunglasses. (So magical)
WithinUs TruMarine Collagen:
I told a friend about my health experience from last year so she had recommended WithinUs TruMarine Collagen - 100% Hydrolyzed (fish scale) Collagen. It replenishes your skin, hair, nails, bones and joints. I really support this product and brand because it's organic, non GMO and perfect for traveling. I picked up 200 sticks to take with me which each include 3g of collagen. I add one stick to my morning water or coffee and let it dissolve. It tastes and smells like nothing. I'm really excited to share the results I've had.
I was sick so often last year that my main priority is to keep as healthy as possible so I stocked up on Hyperbiotics, probiotics. I travel so often and usually don't have access to a fridge so these are great because they use a specific manufacturing process that increases stability without refrigeration.
I love reading books but they're inconvenient to pack while travelling. I was always nervous to use ereaders because I have sensitive eyes and I thought it would hurt them but my Kobo is perfect for me. It's easy to change pages, it remembers where I left off, allows me to take notes, I can store a lot of books on it, the battery life lasts a really long time and I can adjust the brightness. English was my third language so I have a really bad vocabulary. I love that I can highlight a word and it defines it immediately opposed to pretending like I understand it.
There’s nothing like opening your bag to a liquid explosion... This is why I love the Lush liquid-less products. My personal favourite is their body butter that keeps your skin feeling incredible and also leaves you smelling delicious.
I bring a very minimal amount of makeup while traveling and when I do, I store most of it in contact cases. They’re so small so it’s nice to get rid of all the excess packaging.
I've had an amazing time in Europe so far. Eating, exploring and learning lots!
If you have any travel packing tips and tricks feel free to comment below. I'd love to hear them. :)
Please note I am not paid by any of the brands listed above. I only recommend and suggest products I love and believe in.
Loads of love, Natalia xx
f o r e i g n . g r a m m a r