Every time you are about to go on a trip often comes a struggle of what to pack or rather what should you sacrifice! Packing for colder regions is a whole new challenge as you envision yourself not to be bickering in damp and cold situations as you pack away numerous warm articles of clothing.
So, how do you pack light altogether?
Less is more, well at least in your mind.
Packing is a logical skill.
A smart traveler will through due course of making numerous trips have in-built themselves a sense of packing. Here are a few tips and hacks you can apply to go light on your bags:
a) Choosing Your Base Gear
While you think packing less is the key to packing light, another important aspect is to lighten your overall base gear i.e. bag itself. Here are a few tips for starters:
Weighing your gear:
Though it varies airline-to-airline, most regular or low-cost airlines have a baggage restriction of up to 7-10 kg as a carry-on and most international flights will have less baggage allowance than domestic ones. So it is worthwhile to make sure before you begin packing know how much your bag weighs, this will help you establish a base weight and add items without overdoing it.
Opt for a bag or suitcase that does not exceed the standard dimensions of a carry-on baggage and should be a hard case so it does not fluff especially when bulky winter items are added. The advantages of doing so will help you breeze through the terminal without having to wait to check in – ideal for multiple transits.
Typically, the standard dimensions for a carry-on bag are 9” x 14” x 22” including handles and wheels. However, do refer to your airline’s website for its baggage policy. Be aware of the PROHIBITED Items on a carry-on and never include explosive or flammable products, spare lithium batteries, blades or razors, or sharp objects like knives to keep your journey smooth.
Travelers back in the 70s were known to sew their own bags to travel light! While you may get the best lightweight duffel bags or backpacks, in the long run, they may not be used as conventional gear. Invest in a good bag paved with technology suitable for the nature of the trip or trail that can handle a variety of terrains.
b) Winter Checklist
A winter checklist is not your usual packing checklist. Consider writing down the number of clothing items such as pants, shirts, or jackets you will mix and match but also depending on the number of days you are away while keeping in account the changing climate of your destination.
If you feel making a checklist will leave you with OCD, then simply grab your required items and lay them out on your bed or floor. Before all of these items make it into your bag, it is worthwhile to sift through even further to filter and then pack.
While you do compile the necessary items, one must think of the multi-functionality of them. Ideally, your day will involve a series of activities from being dressed formally to trekking or a casual day out in the town.
Versatile Clothing is Key to Packing Light!
Easily fold-able and washable material clothing
While you may pack 5 different pairs of socks and 3 t-shirts, you can simply work with fabrics like merino wool. The fibers of this wool are known to naturally absorb sweat and odour so they can be worn multiple times. Plus they are super lightweight that keep you warm in cold weather and cool in warmer conditions.
Woolen sweaters are easily foldable and lightweight yet trendy to team up with formal or sported on casual days. Carry neutral colours tops and bottoms or shoes (whites, browns, and blacks). If you are traveling for work, bring along a crisp, white-collared shirt. It will be easy to mix and match pieces on the road also you will have more room for casual clothing or heavy shoes.
You can wear the same set of t-shirts underneath your sweater which can be worn to dinner or also hiking!
Made from 100% merino wool, this classic sweater complements well with formal shirts and casual t-shirts. When layered it can keep you warm up to -5° C and weighs only 259 grams! Keeping your bag light and not bloated.
Ladies trendy Merino Wool Pullover:
Ladies, you can always choose a trendy sweater and can accessorize yourself with cute caps, gloves or a Dual Reversible Scarf.
Lightweight Woolen Shawl
Weighing at barely 292 grams, this Kosha’s woolen shawl combats freezing temperatures from 15° C up to subzero temperatures!
Simply reverse this to sport a bright purple-coffee striped design that doubles up for a casual outing as well.
Match up with the very essential Merino wool socks that barely weigh 53 grams, ideal not only for packing but also easy for your feet.
If you are going away on a longer trip, you can carry detergent in a sealable bag to wash clothing, and voila! Fresh pair of clothes back to use again.
Compact Yet Weather Appropriate Gear
Do you know the famous cheat by travelers who would wear all the possible heavy clothing before boarding a flight? While it is important to pack base layers like thermal wear and fleece jackets, technology now has certainly made it easier to carry a warm jacket in a pouch!
Good Things Come in Small Packages
This is a very travel-friendly jacket in a packet! It can be packed into a nine-inch multi-functional pouch. At 420 grams, this jacket protects you in temperatures as low as -5° C when layered and keep you dry in light showers too. Also, comes with a cinch cord in the bottom and at the hood to seal the warmth. Made from 20D Nylon, Polyester, and Polyfill. Click here to get one.
Yes, this can also be hung with a carabiner on your backpack.
P.S.: will also make you look like a pro backpacker.
Multi-functional Travel Item Hacks
This is an ideal piece of clothing that can serve you on so many occasions as a scarf, skirt, head tie, beach blanket, towel, cover-up, or even double up as a hand-shift bag if you are being a hobo traveler!
Shopping bag –
A multipurpose foldable shopping bag can be used after your security check-in for carrying any extra items like food or water. You do not need an additional handbag if you choose to go local shopping or on walks while on your trip.
As odd as it may sound, a frisbee can be used to not only enjoy picnics but provide a hard shield for your bag by placing it strategically outside the bag. Some other uses could include it doubling as a tray, pan, cutting board, or even a snow shovel for your snowman.
A stretchable cord –
This will help you in strapping together extra items to your backup or double up as a clothes drying line!
c) Packing Techniques
Make a roll of your clothing rather than folding it or laying it flat. This technique actually works better to keep your clothes wrinkle-free and for fair weight distribution. Make sure you first place bulky items like sweaters or shoes in the corners of the bag unto the center of the bag with smaller rolls. All the items should be tightly placed beside each other. Hack: Keep tissue paper in between each of your clothing to prevent creasing.
Compress to conserve using cube packs
If you want more compartmentalized packing, consider packing into cube bags or compression bags which work very well if you are traveling with a backpack.
No cubes? Then use rubber bands. While rubber bands won’t make your bag lighter, you can tie up each piece of clothing with a band to not fall out of its fold which helps it keep organized while saving up some space. Serves a dual purpose!
Roll up gloves, and caps, make balls of socks by turning them inside out halfway, and store them within shoes, making most of the space within the bulky shoes.
Lower-body base layer
If you are going to be spending a lot of time outdoors in the cold, consider packing yourself long underwear to keep your legs warm. This will not take much space considering its functionality, perfect for sub-zero temperatures or winter sports activities.
d) Save the Lightest Items for the Last
Unlikely travel accessories for the winter
- Polarized sunglasses: A must-have, especially if you are traveling to a snowy terrain. Even the slightest sun can leave you with clinching eyes due to the reflecting sunlight off the snow.
- Sunscreen: Sunscreen in winter? Reflecting sunrays from the snow or ice can leave a sunburn or even windburn on you.
- Swimwear: While you do not know when you might get an opportunity to dive in, carry a swimsuit to experience some freezing water thrills or if you are lucky end up at thermal pools.
Ditch too many electronics, carry virtual objects
Do you love to read while on a flight, train or on a mountain? Your phone is much smarter than you think. Certain objects can be simply replaced by apps on your phone. Needless to say, now virtual maps and guidebooks have replaced the hard-copies of the same or even maintain travel journals on apps.
Unless you are an avid photographer, your phone camera should be good enough to capture your journey without having the worries of carrying too many electronic accessories. Switching to apps will drastically reduce the weight of your overall luggage and limit you from carrying multiple cables, simply carry a three-pin world adapter with the concerned USB cord.
Almost everywhere you travel, you can easily purchase travel-pack toiletries unless it is in remote areas or if you require exceptional products. This will also help in easier security check-outs at the airport without having to carry through liquids separately in clear plastics. Also, bear in mind that one can carry a maximum of 100ml of liquids on a piece of carry-on baggage.
Do not forget to carry moisturizing lotion and chapstick 🙂
Packing Requires Practicality:
As you carefully pick your items to pack for the trip, make sure to use these tips to strategically organize your carry-on. Winter wear tends to be bulky and often experienced globetrotters suggest stripping down to the absolute essentials to take advantage of smart, minimalist packing. Ensure you carry the utmost basics you require be it only one pair of pants and a toothbrush keeping the journey hassle-free.