Backpacking Trip Advice
About to take your very first backpacking trip? Doing one of the European circuits that every college graduate seems to take as a right of passage into the working world? Proper packing technique can save you quite a lot of pain and suffering on your trip, believe me. The first thing you should be considering is your pack, and the fit of it.
Brand is not as important as comfort. Your pack should be comfortable on your back, and you should make sure the store allows you to place some items in the pack to simulate what walking with a full one will be like. This process is essential, because you will be kicking yourself come travel time if your pack proves to rub your shoulders raw and hold weight unevenly.
When it comes to the actual packing, lay out all the things you think you will need, then take away half. Of the things that are left, you can probably take away another half. The key here is to pack basics and layers that go together easily and can be combined for multiple outfits and functions. Simple clothing is much better than fancy shoes or slacks that might see use 1 night out of 90.
Packing recently for my return to South America (trip time of 4 months) I packed my backpack with: 6 t-shirts, 4 long-sleeves, 1 fleece, 1 rain jacket, 4 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of shorts, 6 pairs of underwear, 6 pairs of socks, tennis shoes, sandals, and hiking boots, and my toiletries kit. I have all my bases covered clothing-wise, and still had space to spare for extras like my camera equipment and various camping supplies. Always bring less than you think you will need, because chances are you can find a really unique item while traveling anyways!