So you're sitting surrounded by piles of stuff ready for your trip but wonder how on earth to start packing it all into your rucksack? Well, look no further, we have some useful tips which you will thank us for later.
Getting into the habit of packing your rucksack in a certain way from the beginning will really save you time, help keep your valuables as secure as they can be and most of all, keep the load comfortable on your back.
If you have a rucksack that can be opened from the bottom as well as the top, then we would advise you keep things like your walking boots and sleeping bag at the bottom of the bag. That way they can easily be accessed through the bottom zipper.
You should try to pack the heaviest items you're taking with you in the middle of the backpack and as close to your back as you can because this will put less strain on you when you are carrying your rucksack.
People tend to think that packing valuables in side pockets is best because it means that they can get to them quickly and easily. However, if you can get to them quickly and easily, so can petty thieves. Keep valuables like your wallet and travel documents in the middle of your rucksack, wrapped in your clothes. The additional pockets are great for things like toilet roll and dirty underwear, petty thieves aren't going to want to get at them!
If your rucksack has an additional daypack, this is great because it means you can use that for day trips and as hand luggage. You should pack this with essentials you know you couldn't travel without so that they are close to you at all times when your rucksack may not be.
The average backpacker won't necessarily be worried about keeping their clothes in good shape, but we do suggest keeping them in small dry sacks in your rucksack. This helps to keep them waterproof and also makes packing them that much quicker as you will only have to stuff a few things into your bag as you're running late for your bus or train.
Getting a rucksack which has a built in waterproof cover will also help to keep everything dry should you be caught in a downpour. When travelling, you start to accumulate more and more stuff, like souvenirs to take home; that rucksack soon becomes full to the brim. You have two options, you can either send some stuff home or find a way of making everything fit! Although you will probably opt for the latter, and be quite successful, the day will come when you forget quite how you did it the day before and will start shouting at your hiking boots!
Finally, before you head off on your round the world trip, check the luggage restrictions for each country. It may be that some parts of the world allow you to fly with heavier luggage than another part. Obviously you don't want to be caught out and have to stand in the airport rummaging through your underwear to find something to leave behind. Contact your travel agent, they will be able to give you all the details you need.