Clothes are one of the most important things you have to bring while backpacking. Of course, you can travel without clothes and buy them on the destination or travel naked haha, but I can recommend you to bring some. Last week, I wrote an article with 20 useful tips for packing your backpack regarding useful accessories and backpack must-haves. This week, I will write about clothes! So what should you definitely bring and what not?  Do you know some other good tips? Please share them with me!

Stinky clothes
Clothing that can only be worn once before a wash, is definitely a waste of space.

Use all the space
When it comes to packing, you need to make sure you use all the space of your backpack. Roll tops, underwear, socks and other small items and stuff them into your shoes to make sure every possible space is filled.

Roll your clothes
Yes, you did read it right. Roll your clothes instead of folding them. You will be surprised how much room you will save if you roll your clothing instead of laying it out flat.


Dark coloured clothes
Most of the time, I bring dark coloured clothes with me. Dark colours hide dirt and stains better than light colours. So less washing and more wearing!

Bring layers
Do not pack bulky items for cold weather trips. Pack clothes that you can layer. Instead of a heavy sweater, pack a t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, a thin cardigan or sweater.

Convertible pants
Pants or shorts? Convertible pants are popular. Pack the classic zip-off pants. Some of these pants will convert to capris and then to shorts and are often made of a special fabric that is quick drying material. I always bring two zip-off pants with me. Perfect if you cannot decide in the morning if you want to wear pants or shorts.

Avoid cotton. Wearing cotton is often asking for blisters, especially when you are hiking. Choose wool or synthetic hiking socks in a weight or thickness compatible with your footwear. Most of the time, when I pack, I bring hiking socks and just one pair of black cotton socks.


Clothes with quality
Choose items that will not fall apart after a few times washing. It is worth to spend those extra Euros on an item, rather than buying new items all the time on your trip.

Leave the fancy dress at home and bring something casual what you can wear during the day and at night. Basically, pick something that will look fine in a museum, café, restaurant and bar.

Clothing from merino wool
Clothing made from merino wool is, in general, lightweight. It will keep you warm during cold weather and cool during hot weather. You can wear it for days on end and it still will not smell. I always bring one merino wool shirt with me.

Clothes for seven days
Only pack enough clothes for seven days, no matter how long you are travelling. It is easier to find a laundry shop once a week, than it is to carry all of the extra weight around with you the entire trip.


Matching clothes
Only pack matching outfits. Pick a colour and stick with it. Make sure that every pair of pants, shoes and shirt matches several other items in your suitcase

Non-wrinkle clothes
It is hard to keep clothes unwrinkled while travelling, so non-wrinkle fabrics are the best option.

Bring a sarong
Pack a sarong. It can serve for many approaches, like a beach towel, table cloth, bed cover, pillow or curtain for a dunk bed.

Very important! Do not forget your swimwear. Even though when you are travelling in winter, swimwear can be handy for instance in the Jacuzzi or sauna. This tip reminds me of the Jacuzzi nights I experienced in Sweden.


Hat and Gloves
Can be useful to bring in summer and winter! In winter of course to protect you from the cold outside, but in summer a hat and gloves can be useful when climbing this high volcano or mountain where the temperatures at the top can be quite low.

Pack no more than two (or three) pairs of shoes. I always bring hiking shoes, black sneakers and sandal.

Do bring a rain jacket! They can protect you from rain (duhhh), but can also be handy to keep bugs off your arms while camping or as a warm jacket during a cold moment.

Head cover
Do bring a cap or hat with you. It is handy to shield your scalp from all-day sun exposure. Especially when hiking, kayaking or any amazing activities.

Quick drying towels
Buy quick drying towels. They are lighter than normal towels and will usually absorb between 6-12 times more water than normal towels. Very handy!!

I hope these tips are useful for you! Below you can find a short movie with more useful information, how you should pack your backpack! (Click on the image or here to open).

Author: Daphne

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12 Replies to “20 Useful tips for packing your backpack: clothes”

  1. Awesome tips! I’m definitely in the quality over quantity camp. Good stuff last longer and probably feels better too (if they are clothing)!

        1. That sounds amazing! I haven’t been to South-America yet. It’s definitely part of my bucketlist! I will have a look at your blog and social media during your trip! Enjoy it! =)

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