At The Little Details, we believe that organizing helps you make better use of your time so that you have more time to do the things that you enjoy, and ultimately, improving your life. Traveling is no exception. Even a low-key, low-budget, minimalist backpacking trek requires some organizing beforehand. We can help you avoid overpacking like Reese Witherspoon in Wild so you can make the most of your travels instead of spending more time searching your bags for misplaced items.

Here is a list of ways in which anyone, from novice backpackers to veteran mountaineers, can get better organized when preparing for a trip. Whether you are planning a nearby weekend hike or a month-long overseas adventure, the same organized approach can help you make the most of your experience.

  1. Plan ahead — Organizing requires adequate planning, and this includes travel preparation. Consider the trip you’re taking and make a list of the things you absolutely need, keeping in mind where and how you will be moving your pack. How long are you traveling, and how many destinations are there? Be realistic about what you need and can actually take with you.
  2. Collect everything you plan to pack —Put all of your items in one place, whether it’s on a bed or a clean floor, to see what you’re working with. Keep an eye on the volume of your items, adjust it as necessary, and remove any excess. This may mean cutting your pile in half by the end of the process.
  3. Choose items carefully — Lighter garments made of cotton, wool, and knit fabrics (underwear, T-shirts, leggings) can be rolled without wrinkling, which saves space in your pack. With this in mind, choose multi-purpose items to maximize their use (yoga pants + long-sleeved cotton shirt = PJs).
  4. Pack in layers —Once you’ve made your plan, collected your items and carefully chosen the ones to bring, you can start packing them. Line the bottom of your pack with gear and bulkier items that won’t be damaged under the weight of other items. The middle is for items that don’t require immediate access. The top layer is for lighter items or essentials you will need while trekking. If you’re looking to keep your items together consider using Eagle Creek’s packing cubes that we sell at the studio. They help keep your items categorized so you can easily find what you’re looking for and easily pull out only what you’re looking for.
  5. Use every bit of space — Don’t forget about those handy extra pockets and external loops! Use these for small tools and accessories that you may need to use while traveling. Make sure they are easy to access. If your pack has a lid, fill it with snacks and small essential items like a map or compass.

With these steps, you can plan your backpacking trip more efficiently, which means spending more time enjoying your adventure and less time digging through your pack! If you’re headed on a non-backpacking adventure, check out our other blog on how to pack your suitcase!

Written by Mia Salmo

Mia Salmo

Professional Organizer