On a trip around the world you can’t take enough clothes for the whole journey with you. I aimed for washing my clothes about once a week. Less will make you stuck for too many days, more clothes will get heavy and take too much space. Of course, that’s not the only solution that works and you may have different ideas.
Tips for choosing your clothes:
- Buy your backpack first, so you don’t get tempted to buy too many things. It’s better to wash 5 more times than carrying 1 kg of clothes you never used.
- Rule of thumb is to pack atleast 3 pieces of frequently used clothes (e.g. trousers). Otherwise you will be stuck for too many days. Keep in mind that you are only able to wash two pieces at a time, unless you want to run around naked for a day.
- Adjust your clothes to your way of life. If you stay in cities and party a lot pack more fashionable clothes. If you want to be in nature a lot pack more multifunctional clothes.
- Buy clothes with matching colors. Even if you don’t care about fashion too much, no need to run around like a dork.
- Avoid to buy white and other bright colours, since they will look dirty faster.
- If possible, buy clothes which dry fast and are easy to wash.
What to avoid:
- Don’t buy anything you don’t feel 100% comfortable with. Especially when it comes to outdoor clothing. What maybe looks good and has a ton of functions while you are still in the shop might make you feel like an idiot once you head outside.
- Try to avoid falling into a buying frenzy. The sales staff usually won’t stop you. If you have everything the guy in the catalog has you will draw a lot of unwanted attention in poor regions.
- Try to withstand the urge to buy and pack things that give you comfort, but have no real use besides that. Usually you’ll start to hate them quite fast, since you realize that you don’t need them at all and they are just extra weight.
Tips for saving weight:
- Use the onion skin principle. It’s better to wear a few thin layers than one thick. This is especially important if you plan to travel warm and cold regions.
- Use light materials. Synthetic materials are usually not just lighter, they dry faster aswell.
- Don’t pack anything you just need for a short duration. E.g. if you plan to climb kilimanjaro at the beginning of your trip and stay in cities after it’s not worth to pack hiking shoes just for that.
You can buy super usefull things like trekking pants/shirts nowadays, they dry within 20 minuts after a heavy rain and are way lighter than a jeans would be. Some shirts even come with integrated mosquito repellent. Fleece jackets are very light and carefree. Do some research, it’s really worth it. The most important thing is to find a fitting compromise for your way of life though. It’s not really worth to spend hours to do reserch on what’s the best solution, if you don’t want to wear anything else than a jeans in the end.
One last thing to mention are shoes, since the biggest mistakes are usually done while choosing your shoes. I stayed my whole trip in South East Asia. Most locals there would sneer at any other shoes than flip flops. They drive with them, walk all day with them, shower with them, climb with them, some might even sleep with them. I never really liked them, but after I finally bought myself a pair for the beach I realized why and did the same. “Life is better in flip flops”. Basically what I want to say: if you are not planning to do any extraordinary things you don’t need more than one pair of shoes. I took 2 pairs, saw others who had 3, after buying my flip flops they were just heavy ballast for the rest of my trip. My recommendation is to take hiking shoes if you want to be a lot in nature, they are completly fine for the cities aswell. If you want to be in the cities a lot take a pair of sneakers, they are completly fine for smaller hikes in nature aswell. Another important thing is to take shoes you already used for some time. If you want to visit temples you often have to leave your shoes unattended at the entrance. New and expensive shoes might dissapear, while dirty and old shoes might be ignored. Also, if you realize that your shoes don’t really fit while you are already on your trip it might be way harder to get a good new pair.
As always you are very welcome to leave additions/suggestions/opinions in the comments!
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