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A Guide to Light Packing For A Walking Holiday

Guide to Light Packing Walking Holiday
Guide to Light Packing Walking Holiday: From doubling up, layering, shoes and socks
Guide to Light Packing Walking Holiday
Guide to Light Packing Walking Holiday: A primer on how to make your travels more efficient. File photo.

Guide to Light Packing Walking Holiday: Traveling efficiently requires planning, foresight, from clothes, bags, shoes and even socks as saving space is the name of the game. 

There are many people who get to the end of a holiday only to find that half of the clothing they brought has not been worn. If you are one of these people, you might be interested in the art of light packing particularly for a walking holiday. There are a number of benefits that come from reduced packing such as lower luggage costs on flights and a lighter travel bag to carry. If you are going to be backpacking, you need to know how to pack all of the clothing and kit into a light pack.

Keep It Small

If you are going to be flying, you need to limit the size of your rucksack or suitcase. Ideally, you will be looking to have a suitcase or rucksack that you can take as hand luggage on your light.  If you have a small case, you are more likely to only pack what you need and what can actually fit into the bag.

Make A List

Before you start packing, you should make a list of all the essential items that you need for your walking holiday. The list should be reasonable and final. When it comes to packing, you should have your list ready and pack only the items that you have written down. This will cut the temptation to add extra items to your bag that you do not actually need.

Guide to Light Packing Walking Holiday
Guide to Light Packing Walking Holiday: Don’t forget to use the pack and a half rule.

Use The Pack And a Half Rule

If you have deviated from your packing list, you need to take a long hard look at what you have packed. Many people find that once they have packed, they are able to take half the items out when they pack a second time. You need to think about what you actually need for your trip and not what you might need.

Wash While Away

The amount of clothing that you pack can be drastically reduced by taking several packets of travel wash. While it might take a bit of time while on holiday to wash your clothes, it will reduce the amount that you are packing. Many of the areas that you are going to be traveling to, will have laundry facilities that you can use to make the washing of clothes much easier.

Double Up On Uses

Dual purpose and versatile clothing need to be the first items that you pack. You should look at including the zip off walking trousers which turn into shorts for the day and back into trousers for the evening. Waterproof jackets which can be worn as an outer layer and jackets that can be modified for the temperature should also be included. Having dual purpose clothing will reduce the amount you need to take with you.

Guide to Light Packing Walking Holiday
Guide to Light Packing Walking Holiday: Make a checklist and think strategically…

Layer Up

If you are unsure about what the weather will be when you go walking, you should think about layering up. You can take several base layers which will keep the heavier and bulkier outer layers to a minimum. Layering up is also a more efficient method of staying warms as each layer will trap the warm air. If you find that you are getting too warm, you can simply take one of the layers off.

Merino Magic

When packing layers, you should consider packing one or two merino wool layers instead of dozens of polyester base layers. Yak wool is a good alternative if you do not have merino wool. Merino wool can be worn for many days without issues and will take up little space when you choose a wool-lycra mix. This is a great way to reduce the number of layers you wear and have to pack.

Something Smarter

Everyone considers that there are times when you need something smarter to wear. Many walking layers will be good enough for an evening meal. However, you should consider packing a smart base layer which can be worn in the evening. These layers will also work for walking if you need them to.

Even Smarter For Women

To make your smart layers look even better, all you need to do is add an accessory. Packing a small necklace or a pretty scarf will be enough to dress up your evening clothing.

Lightweight And Insulated

An ultra-light jacket is an essential item for lighter packing. There are many outdoors brands which have these jackets available in their ranges. These jackets will offer you the same level of warmth as larger ones, but are small and light enough to pack in your rucksack.  

Guide to Comfort Walking Holiday
Guide to Comfort Walking Holiday: From doubling up, layering, shoes and socks

Waterproof Jackets And Trousers

If you are going on a summer walking holiday, you need to pack the lightest jack and trousers you have. These also need to be ideal for keeping light rain and wind at bay. These are weather conditions that you are likely to run into at higher altitudes.

No Jeans

Jeans are made with denim which is a heavy weight fabric.  You should avoid packing them in your small suitcase or rucksack. You should opt for lightweight fabric walking trousers instead.  

Think Feet First

You should limit yourself to 2 pairs of shoes only. One pair you will use for walking and the other will be for when you go out in the evening. If you are going somewhere warm, you need to have lightweight sandals as your second pair. If you have sore feet then bring sandals for heel pain that also double up as footwear you can use for socialising too.

This author has from time to time used these shoes – athletic sandals for plantar fasciitis (aka inflammation at the bottom of one’s feet). And don’t forget – If you want a shoe then choose walking shoes or boots which can double up as evening shoes.  

Sock Sense

To prevent sore feet and smells, you should wear merino wool socks. Merino wool socks are great at taking the sweat away and can be worn for a few days before they start to have any issues.

Space Bag

Compression bags or stuff bags should be considered. When you use these items you can pack your clothing and then vacuum seal it. The clothing will be much smaller, but you need to be careful with the weight.

Space Savers

Space savers are items that become much smaller when you travel such as telescopic walking poles and jackets that fit into a small packet. If you have a rucksack with a lot of pockets, you should be able to find space for everything.

Guide to Comfort Walking Holiday
Guide to Comfort Walking Holiday: Remember to keep it simple and to only pack what you jotted down on your must take list