Day 27

August 4, 2013

The one with the best tips ever.

It’s our last night in Malaga. Time to sort out our stuff again and hopefully make our packs a little bit lighter. Somehow your backpack always weights more at the end of the month, that’s the moment you have to figure out what you didn’t use for a month and make a homeless guy happy with it.

After ten months of traveling with backpacks, mostly wild camping, hiking and hitchhiking, we learned a lot. This list contains our 15 ultimate backpacking tips, that could make your traveling life a lot more pleasurable.

  1. As a couple you only need one thing of everything, the more you have the easier you lose stuff and it’s more weight. One headlamp, one toilet bag, one towel, one phone, etc.

  2. Straps always come in handy for everything; attaching stuff, pulling a longboard behind you, as a leach for your dog, etc.

  3. You don’t need a clothing line just use the trees around you.

  4. Get merino wool socks, they don’t stink, and keep your feet warm or cold as needed. We have worn our socks sometimes three days in a row on the Camino de Santiago and they still barely stunk.

  5. Don’t get a heavy jacket. Just combine a technical lightweight jacket with a good woollen sweater.

  6. Get a Platypus for your water; the wide, BigZip™ opening makes everything easier. We made the mistake of getting a 3l one, 1.5l is more than enough.

  7. Bring some plastic Ziploc bags, they are very useful for storage of food, papers, accessorises, etc.

  8. For cutlery bring a good knife each (Leatherman, Opinel…) and a titanium spork each (the plastic ones break very easily).

  9. Get a microfiber towel. They don’t feel like the horrible plastic-feeling other quick-drying towels.

  10. Bring a notebook; it’s always nice to be able to write down your thoughts or addresses.

  11. Three is the magic number. Don’t bring more than three of anything; socks, t-shirts, pants, etc. You’ll never use it.

  12. If your packs are heavy, don’t worry about a camp stove, making a fire is something we have never got enough of, it makes the food delicious and gives you heat. You only need a good camping cooking set. Double bonus.

  13. If your rain cover is not attached to your backpack you can wrap it around tents or sleeping bags that are attached to your backpack to protect them from getting damaged.

  14. Bring a repair kit with; duck tape wrapped around a pencil, scissors, thread & needle and glue & patches.

  15. Instead of carrying around your whole medicine cupboard, you can just buy a lightweight, waterproof medical kit.