Packing Tips 101

The Canadian climate can be very harsh to those unaccustomed to it. Packing for your backpacking trip across Canada isn’t exactly the easiest trip to pack for. The weather can go from a sweltering 35 degrees Celsius in summer, to a frigid -45 degrees Celsius in winter. The way you pack will really depend on when you’ll be in the country. Check out the Ultimate Packing List for Backpacking Canada if you need some suggestions. Once you have all the items you need, fitting them into a 60+L backpack can be like Tetris level 30, it’s just plain tough. But like in any game, there are cheats, tips, and pointers to help get you through. Class shall begin, now!

Address Labels – Perfect for tagging those expensive valuables you’re still unsure whether you should bring. Laptop, iPod, that $1200 Nikon Camera. Should you have the misfortune of losing it, my good friend Karma may help you out and allow that item to find it’s way back to you. Zing!

Book Covers – The ultimate in James Bond-esque disguisery, allowing you, the lost tourist, to mask the fact that you are a lost tourist. Keep your cool, gradually flip to your hidden map page, and walk on like nothing ever happened.  Pah!

Plastic Wrap – Keep a couple sheets with you at all times. Works wonders in placing over shampoo bottles before closing the lid. Adds that extra security that is sometimes needed if you’re afraid to put on that fancy shirt only to find out it has a dirty goo stain. Goo!

Water Bottles – If you hoard your flight tickets, maps, postcards, but always find you rip and tear them to shreds. Try rolling them up inside a waterbottle. They’re kept airtight, and can be cut open when you get home, allowing you to cherish torn free photos, maps, and what-nots. Kablahm!

Roll them clothes – If you’re new to travel, this may come as a shock. But rolling your clothes is the best way to squeeze more clothes in, while keeping them relatively wrinkle free. Not only do you save room, it’s a lot more easy to organize as well. Keeping structure in your backpack is essential, unless you like digging 10 minutes to find a clean pair of socks. Smack!

Plastic Bags – Keep a few spare bags to put your worn and stinky clothes in, keeping the rest of your wardrobe fresh and stink-free. Toss in some dryer sheets for some added smell security. Wiff!

Split up your money – You wouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, so why keep all your hard earned cash in one pouch? Hide some cash in random places, don’t worry about forgetting where you put it. If you really need it, you’ll find it. Even if you don’t, what’s better than finding money you forgot about? Bling!

Plan the weight of your items – When packing items into your backpack, place all lighter items at the bottom of your bag, work your way up to medium weight items, followed by the heaviest items.This technique works as it causes your back to take more weight than just your shoulder. If you’re going to be wearing that pack for a while you might as well be comfy. Oof!

Flip the batteries – If you have a flashlight or headlamp, flip the batteries around so the proper contacts are NOT touching, this way, if during transportation that button gets hit, you’re not going to grab your flashlight only to discover it has since turned into a pale dead glowstick. Click!

Don’t carry gifts and souvenirs – If you find something that you know your friend MUST have, don’t bother carrying it around wasting your space. Ship it away ASAP. No sense having to throw away your third favourite t-shirt in lieu of that stupid wooden ornament. Stupid!

Photocopy security details – Keep some photocopies hidden of your passport, flights, or any other important documents in the off chance you lose something. Having those photocopies can speed up this unfortunate kick in the butt. Thud!

Congratulations grasshopper. You just passed Packing Tips 101!

Students, should you find anything worthy of adding to your Sensai’s list, please comment. Type!

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