Backpacking – the good,the bad and the ugly of living out of a pack.

Although being out and seeing the world is an amazing, intriguing and eye-opening experience some days just aren’t glamorous. Today as I was repacking my pack I was thinking about how living out of a large backpack is a bit of a double edged sword. In some ways it’s great and in other ways it can be annoying or even gross. So here goes my good, bad and ugly about long term living from one packs worth of items.

The Good

  • Never having the problem of too many clothes to choose from or what goes with what. No more spending hours trying on outfits in front of a mirror, if it’s clean (and bonus if it’s unworn) it’s good.

The bad

  • Handwashing. What a pain; soaping and rinsing clothes in a tiny budget hotel sink while your fingers get all wrinkled and your arms get sore from wringing them out. Then depending on the climate you hope they dry in time to repack without making the rest of your bag damp.

The ugly

  • Wearing clothes for multiple days in a row. The sniff test is all you need to check if you are presentable. Unfortunately the warmer the climate the less days you can rewear an item as it gets smelly pretty quick. Rewearing also means less washing so win-win right?! One thing I have never reworn is underwear, I haven’t stooped that low yet.

This post may be a bit of an over share but from what I’ve seen and heard while talking with other backpackers it’s the norm. So if you are planning on backpacking make sure a majority of the clothes you pack ‘match’. This way you won’t create too many odd outfits when your favourites are in the to-be-washed pile. So far I haven’t tried out the ever so attractive dress/skirt with walking shoes combo, shudder.

Some days I do some self indulgent wistful thinking about all my lovely clothes which are packed away in various locations around New Zealand. But for now it’s the same leggings and top I wore yesterday (and the day before that).

Our packs taking over the extra bed in the hotel.

Our packs taking over the extra bed in the hotel.


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