It's now less than 48hrs until take-off on the WinGaz European Adventure.... tick tock...
Moving on from the previous post (Part 1 - Packing List), I would like to show how to pack a backpack for long haul, multi-season travelling. If you've yet to read the post regarding the generation of a packing list, please take the time to read it. It can be found by clicking on the following here
SO, this image represents MY packing list in it's full completeness.... (Before Organising):
Fold & Keep Flat Items (5 Pieces)
RM Williams Smart Shirt, Blue Checked Shirt, Sydney Roosters Jersey, Gazman Pants, Rodd & Gunn Jacket.
Fold, Roll & Pack Items (17 Pieces)
Fold, Roll & Pack Items (17 Pieces)
Lululemon Hoodie, Dive Rite Hoodie, 3 x Boardies, Lululemon Cadence Shorts, Fisherman's Pants, 2 x Bear Grylls Hiking Pants, Lululemon Seawall Pants, 7 x t-shirts (Let's Rumble, Coolidge Wrecked, Bateman, Superman, Tusker, S'Algar Polo, Aquamarine Polo)
Stuff Pack Items (19 Pieces)
Lululemon "Stink" Singlet, Thermal Top, 4 x Undies, 4 x Hiking Socks, 1 x Trainer Socks, Microfiber Towel (XL), 3 x Normal Socks, Lululemon Yoga Shorts, Speedo Swimmers, 2 x Goretex Rain Jackets (Mine & Winnie's)
Miscellaneous Items (4 Pieces)
Casual Footwear (Tigers), 2 x Sleeping Bags (Mine & Winnie's), Medical Supplies (basic).
Wear for Travel
Hiking Boots & Socks, Kathmandu Zip-Off Pants, Dive Centre Manly Polo, O'Neill Winter Jacket, Undies, Beanie.
AND, this represents the pile of items (clothes only) prior to packing....I did organise them into their respective piles as listed above! =)
Organised Packing Pile
ONCE you've organised your packing list, and you've organised your stuff into their respective piles for packing, you next need to take a look at your backpack. There's a few important tips I want to share with you. When packing a backpack, understand how to balance it so that when fully packed and ready to put on, the bag can stand upright without falling or tilting in any direction. This means your bag is neutrally balanced, and the load will evenly distribute around the backpack's harness. On mine, the weight is shared across the shoulders, and over the hips. It is supported on the padded hip cumberbunds and with a chest strap (I hate chest straps!)..
Neutrally Balanced Backpacks Stand on their own!
(My Bag wears an alpine beanie too!!)
We achieve a neutrally balanced well packed bag by understanding the internal space-shape. If you have a main section and a lower section, like me, you'll want the majority of the weight to be evenly packed in the main section, with lower weight items in the bottom section. This avoids having too much weight below your hips, leading to a back that makes your hips hurt. So the, best bet is to pack the main body first. The main body on my pack opens as either a top loader or like a holdall opening to reveal the guts of the bag. I work assuming the holdall type opening...
I would like to point out at this stage that my prefered method of packing is the Fold, Roll, Stuff & Pad Packing technique. It really does maximise the use of the available space within my backpack - it takes a little longer but it's worth it.
I apply a simple fold, roll, stuff packing method and strategically place items so the pack is even.
- Start by placing the "keep flat" items in first. Let them take up the main "real estate" of the bottom of the pack.
- Next we pack the "Fold & Roll" Items; Partially fold the t-shirts and roll them tightly lengthways. Fold pants, shorts & boardies long ways (making 1 leg) then tightly roll from the waist to the hem.
- Place the Pants in at the sides of the bag, then the Shorts & Boardies, so make a big square around the outside of the bag.
- Place any fragile items or medical supplies in my case, in the square and next place the footwear at the bottom edge of the bag. Place the rain jackets on top pf the square.
- Next stuff pack the remaining items to fill the gaps.
- Ensure the towel covers the items, plus pads the interior of the bag before zipping.
- Pack the sleeping bags and any light weight miscellaneous items in the bottom section.
Keep Flat Items
Fold & Roll Items
To demonstrate this, I actually carefully unpacked my backpack and stacked the items in reverse on the bed. I then re-packed again. Please see the images below for more detail...
Remove Stuffed Items & Top Layer
Remove Fold & Roll Items (and some Keep Flat Items)
Remove Keep Flat Items
Unpacked Pile (left), Empty Backpack (right)... LOL =)
And this is how you pack your backpack. All of these items weigh a combined weight of 16Kg which is 4Kg UNDER the 20Kg Free Baggage Allowance for our airline carrier (Malaysian). So I'm pretty happy.
Watch out for my next post which discusses how to pack a standard dive travel bag in part 3 of this blog series....
Until next time...