They say that it is better to keep memories than things so a lot of people make memories by traveling. And when you are on a budget, you don’t have to spend a lot when you go backpacking. But if you are a pack rat and find it difficult to leave your stuff and your kitchen sink behind, don’t despair! Here are some practical tips for you to know what to bring with you when you go backpacking.

When packing your bag, you have to bear in mind how the bag will weigh after you put all your stuff in. Remember you have to carry it around with you so you have to be wise in choosing what to bring. The rule of thumb is to keep it under 40% of your body weight. Anything heavier than that may cause injuries to yourself.

Also, you have to consider where you are going, the activities you plan to do, the climate, and the landscape.

If you plan on backpacking to the middle of nowhere, then make sure you have a sleeping bag, a tent or tarp to provide some shelter, and a light source (a lamp, for instance). You also need to bring a water container and a microfilter (in case there is no available potable water in the area). Think of hygiene as well. You will need tissue and, for ladies, pads or tampons. Be ready to go to nature when nature calls so a trowel (when you need to take a dump) and a “pee-rag” would be essential.

If you plan to cross bodies of water, pack a pair of sturdy footwear. If it is going to be cold, make sure you bring wool socks (2 pairs are good enough) or wool undergarments.

Of course, when backpacking there are items that you don’t need to bring with you like valuables, your gadgets, things you can buy at your destination, and extra everything. You don’t want to bring bulky stuff that will take too much space in your bag, things that are too heavy, and stuff that do not dry quickly. Always remember that you should be able to pack everything inside your back and nothing is hanging on it as it may be caught while you walk somewhere or ride something.

When packing your back, practice doing it a few times to get the balance, the order and organization right. Think of when you will use what, then arrange them in your bag that makes things accessible to you. You should also balance the weight so it does not put too much stress on one side as you will most likely be carrying your pack all day.

Keep in mind that the best items to pack are the lightest, the ones that dry quickly, and are compact. Happy backpacking!