I’ve just returned from a trip backpacking western Europe – it was awesome.
As the weeks progressed I realized something very important. Over packing will be the death of me and I really need to get a handle on it! I always seem to bring one to many things, even on this last trip. So, here’s a little list of things you NEED and things you DON’T, also known as creature comforts. 🙂
Pack a water-resistant,wind-resistant, hooded jacket. This puppy was a life saver! I picked mine up from Ross the night before and wore it almost every day. The freezing and windy evenings of Germany nor the downpours of Scotland could stop me under my hooded shell jacket. Also, bring a lighter jacket for the warmer days. TWO JACKETS TOTAL!
Bring Jeans and tights. I love tights because you can dress them up and down, but I ended up wearing my jeans more often because they kept me cool and/or warm. The tights didn’t fare well on the warmer days and I ended up shoving the extra 2 pairs towards the bottom of my back. Pack 3 good pairs of jeans, including your comfy ones!
If you can, invest in breathable, warm, long sleeves. Hiking around from trains to metros with a big ass backpack is only made worse by that cute cozy sweater that I just “had” to have. Shirts that are designed to take in sweat, while keeping you dry and warm, will make you much happier. I ended up buying one anyways, so save yourself the exchange rate! If you want to work with what you’ve got, then you better layer up, baby! Tank tops, t-shirt, sweater, jacket=toasty warm florida girl. If you’re cool with 40 degrees and under, then layer less; wear what suits you. Just remember you have to carry it. 🙂
Cover your head with something warm! Sometimes you may not needed the heavy jacket, but it’s still nippy out, this is when a beanie will be your BFF. They’re small and packed away easily. A pair of gloves are handy too if you suffer from eternal cold hands like me.
SOCKS AND UNDERWEAR!!! Unless you want to pay for dry cleaning, which you don’t because you’re backpacking; bring plenty of socks, a pair for each day you’ll be gone, up to 14 days. Your money is for food and beer! We stayed at hostels, Air Bnb’s, and hotels, so I hand washed my socks when I couldn’t get to a machine. Not all hostels have them, and some charge quite a penny to use them. Towards the end of our trip I just started washing shirts, socks, and undies by hand. Don’t be lazy! It takes 10 minutes and then you’re worry (and stink) free for days. 🙂
Shoes! I LOVE SHOES! But I learned my lesson on this trip that bringing one too many pairs of shoes sucks – a lot. They are heavy, plain and simple. Do yourself a favor and bring one pair of hiking boots (water-resistant if you can); I found mine on sale at Sports Authority for $30. My other pair of shoes were walking ones, I brought sneakers. Others may prefer ballet flats or boat shoes, but my sneakers doubled as a work-out motivator. I also brought a cute pair of boots, that I ended up wearing down until the heels ripped in half. So ya…bring shoes that haven’t been worn in from your last trip. Lesson learned.
A microfiber, fast drying body towel for those stays where towels cost or they’re just plain shitty. It doesn’t have to be beach size, just enough to dry you off.
I wanted to keep this short! So, hopefully this will give you a better idea of what you would really need for a longer trip. This list is male/female as well. If you have questions, please comment below or send me a message!