Pack light – a Guide to Ensuring you Don’t Take Too Many Clothes Pack light – a Guide to Ensuring you Don’t Take Too Many Clothes Travel Tips SHARE Ricky Carbis , June 30, 2014 / 0 Those heading from the heart of the Sahara desert to the wind swept Scottish isles may have trouble packing light. Of course you need jumpers for those chilly nights, shorts for those peachy beach days, wellies for the mountain hikes and dress shoes for those special events, so how can you ever hope to pack light and still have the best traveling style? Going light is so easy feat but it can be done with a little pizzazz and a lot of scrutiny. Take a look at these tips to ensure that you won’t be stood knee deep in snow wearing a bikini and that you won’t have to suffer the same t-shirt for six weeks in the Amazonian rainforest. Remember when it comes to packing you reap what you sow and you will hate your life if you have to cart a 40 kilo bag across Paris. Know your destination A little bit of brain power goes a long way and knowing where in the world you are heading can help you to pack accordingly. This way you don’t turn up to the pressing heat of Africa with only thermal underwear in your case. Doing your research and checking out the climate before you go can ensure that you are covered when it comes to weather conditions and what is suitable to throw in your suitcase. Don’t think that just because you are jet setting to a tropical destination that it will never rain, always take at least one light weight warm thing in case the heavens should turn. Choose versatile items An easy going beach dress can easily become a sassy midnight party gown with the right accessories as can a pair of causal shorts become dinner shorts by swapping flip flops for loafers. Versatile clothes are your saving grace and you should never put anything in that cannot be worn with at least three other items also going into your bag. And no you can’t wear crocs with everything you own, chuck them out! Even though jeans are super versatile they are also mega heavy, bring two pairs max and make up the rest with leggings and lightweight trousers. Be shoe savvy Shoes can be one of the most difficult categories when it comes to backpacking. Shoes are bulky, difficult to squeeze into a space and always add weight. You need to be a shoe fascist when it comes to your trip aboard and this means being smart and fabulous in your choice of footwear. Remember hiking boots are really not needed unless tackling tough terrain and this does not include the city streets of Rome, let’s not over romanticise your trip, sitting down to a plate of pasta is not the same as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Your best shoe choices are really some kind of athletic shoe, think vans, converse, etc. and a pair of sandals or flip flops. The latter you can pretty much pick up in any country for a handful of change. Layers upon layers Layers are actually amazing and perfect for any kind of climate you can come across. It really is as simple as too hot? Take a layer off, too cold? Put a layer on. Who came up with this ingenious method! Make sure you stuff plenty of vests, t-shirts, long sleeved light weight tops and a couple of cardies into your backpack or suitcase ready for a slow warm weather strip tease or a cold weather chuck it all on method. Be ruthless The best thing to do is to make a pile of the items you want to take, next you need to claw your way out of the pile that has amassed on the bed and taken over the world. Then you need to scratch your head for an hour and then be really ruthless. It helps to have a friend at this point or a very stern mother who will hold up items and declare you don’t really need a cocktail dress for traveling across India. You need to get that pile down to under half and it will take blood, sweat and tears to do it right. Remember to ask yourself whether you really need it, whether you can wear it with three other things and whether it weighs more than a bag of crisps. Things that weigh less than a bag of crisps can go in without worry. Do a dummy pack, then be ruthless again, then another dummy pack. Practise walking to the shops with your suitcase and figure out whether you are crawling back home with exhaustion because you have packed too much stuff. Packed and ready to leave Avoid the fashion show Traveling is not a fashion show, despite what your mental image of being sun kissed and cute in small shorts and sunglasses grinning your way across southern Spain. These images are made up of models that travel first class and have portable wardrobe people. The truth is that you are more likely to be sunburnt, peeling and sweaty in shorts with broken sunglasses 9cause you sat on them on the train) and you are grimacing your way across southern Spain because you are lugging your own suitcase piled high with ultra-fashionable clothes. So do yourself a favour, avoid the fashion show and get practical and by this I mean think warm, think dry and think lightweight. What to avoid Avoid packing anything woollen, anything denim and anything that will wrinkle and make you look like you have been dragged through a hedge backwards (AKA Silks). These materials are heavy, take centuries to dry and are not a lot of fun. Think cottons; think easy breezy materials and synthetics that will dry in an instant. Finally remember the last golden rule, whatever you forget, leave behind, lose or can’t be bothered with there is always the chance you can pick garments up when you are away on your adventure so don’t worry about it.