Important, yet somewhat overlooked, issue of heavy backpack, and not many things packed in, may come from the fact that too many items went in there with the packaging. Packages look good and can greatly influence our decision to buy something. That’s the main role of them, which is sometimes overlooked when packing for backpacking or any other trip. It’s a common belief and truth that the package is partly what we pay for when we purchase camera, soap or anything else. As a prove let’s consider the law in most countries (especially Western) where consumer can return an item and seek refund if the packaging is damaged. However, in most cases you simply don’t need it after few days. In this post I will give you few reasons to keep packages and few to throw them away. My goal is to draw your attention to the problem of ignoring little things of little significance, which can add up to something measurable when overlooked.
Rather than listing all specific items which come with useful boxes, tins, containers, etc. it’s better to think about the specific features of a package to look for when considering taking it along. Here’s a list of questions which you should ask yourself when faced with a decision whether to throw away the packaging or take it along with you on your trip:
- Will it help you protect and/ or organise the items in your backpack? Good quality boxes and tins are solid and waterproof, so you can use them to store your first aid kit, chargers and other things which don’t like to swim or being squashed.
- Is it something that can replace something you need to buy anyway? For example zip bags. You need them at the airport for your cosmetics. They can also be useful to protect your books and other things from getting wet and weight next to nothing.
What packages to leave at home or throw away?
Professional travellers think in grams, rather than kilograms, when packing. Especially when carrying bigger loads or going to scarcely populated areas, like jungles or deserts. With some saying that they tear away book covers, which are useless and weight few of those precious grams. Once again, here’s the list of questions you can ask yourself when packing:
- Do you need it to make a warranty claim? If so, leave it at home. You don’t want to damage or lose it. If you bought it abroad you most likely won’t be able to claim anyway, so you might as well throw it away.
- Can you replace it with something lighter/ less bulky? Consider zip bags I mentioned before.
- Can you place the content loosely or together with other items? Sometimes it’s really that simple. Think of the little boxes for medicines. Do you really need them?
Most likely you have plenty of various packages in your backpack. So now it’s time for you to have look in there to check if you have any packages which you simply don’t need and never thought about throwing away. You will see how much weight and space you will save (if there’s not much of it then it means you approach packing in a correct manner). If you are not traveling now, take a mental note of it and use when packing. Your back will thank you later.