Backpacking 101: Why Traveling Light is Right?

I was on the road to my home province last week doing a little backpacking and I wanted to watch some television so I pulled my 52-inch plasma television out of my bag, then I took the satellite dish from the top of my backpack. Once I had that set up with the 400-watt generator, I pulled my lazy boy out and got the crockpot ready to make some beef stew while I sat down to watch the big game. You know that I’m joking right?

Gail Hilotin of
Gail Hilotin of

What? Unless your name is Felix and you have a magic bag of tricks, the above is obviously impossible. While it would be nice to be able to drag all the comforts of home along with you on your trip around the world, the truth is that you neither have to nor can. I already learned my lessons, I used to bring huge wheeled luggage even for just a weekend trip and let me tell you… I’ll never do that again for obvious reasons.

James Betia of
James Betia of

Far too often, I see young backpackers checking into hostels and setting their bags down as if they have just trekked across the Sierra Nevada. The truth is that they’ve usually only carried their bag about a mile or less but because they have so much stuff in the bag, it weighs about 16 tons. Carry sixteen tons and what do you get? A sore back, less of a desire to travel, and a bunch of wrinkled, wet, and smelly gear.

Carla Cobar Diayon of
Carla Cobar Diayon of

Traveling light is right! Just do it. Unless you are planning on working in an office, there probably isn’t a need to bring four shirts, three ties, three pairs of slacks, and two jackets. In fact, you probably don’t want to bring that towel with you either even though it is big and fluffy…more specifically because it is big and fluffy.

Gaye Emami of
Gaye Emami of

What do you really need to have with you? Ideally, you can carry a maximum of three days worth of clothing, toiletries, necessary documents, and not a lot more. You may want to buy shampoos and other toiletries in sachets so you can pack it easily or you can buy a small refillable container that you can re-use on your future trips. If you are going to be camping, you will need to have your gear but you want it to be the lightest and easiest to pack gear possible.

Lilliane Cobiao of
Lilliane Cobiao of

The truth is that by traveling light, you don’t have to worry about your gear, you can cover more ground, and you can always have the necessities with you. The more stuff you have, the harder it is to get up those stairs, the harder it is to find a seat on the bus, and the harder it is to walk sixteen miles in the pouring rain- just in case you have to. The best part? You can also avail of special airline discounts for light travelers with baggage that is less than 10 kilograms.

Mark Go of
Mark Go of

It might seem like a good idea to have so much stuff that you have a 100-kilo pack on your back and the smaller 40-kilo pack on the front, plus two bags in each of your hands, but you know what? It’s not a good idea. Plus, you look like a tool desperately in search for a relocation.

What do you need? That’s really a personal decision. What don’t you need? About 95% of the stuff you actually think you need. If you want to travel light and right, you need to focus on the 95% and get rid of it as soon as possible. Trust me, you will be able to find another coffee cup wherever you go.

Want more updates about new tourist attractions in Manila? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.
  1. Lilliane/wanderlass says

    I need my DSLR and I got a great 18-200mm lens that should be all around, but what if I’m faced w/ awesome 360 scene like Batanes Hills, darn I would need my 11-16mm. And what if my DSLR broke, I need a backup P&S camera, wait i have a underwater casing for it so might as well bring it as I constantly looking to scuba dive. And gosh, should I bring my light setup, the water could be murky! Hmmm, I would need my wide angle for the 40ft whale shark, and close up lens for the pygmy seahorse! With gabajillion of photos, I need to download it to my laptop or my SD card will be full in no time! It’s a constant struggle for me! I don’t know what to pack for an RTW! I need a porter. haha

  2. thepinaysolobackpacker says

    good point Melo,really helpful tips! will keep this is mind, thnx for sharing! 🙂

  3. journeyingjames says

    once, we had a trip sa coron w/c is for 10 days. yung leader namin nagsabi sa mga kasama, kapag lumampas sa 15kilos yung bag nyo, iiwan namin kayo. hahaha
    yun, lahat travel light!
    planning to make it less than 7K next time.

  4. pinaytraveljunkie says

    oh wow, i love this article melo (and not just because i am here too, haha!). great read. keep ’em coming.

  5. Rizalenio says

    This is very timely. I will be visiting Batad soon and strategizing now on how to include all the things I need to bring in one bag for that trip.

    Focus is the key. Thanks for sharing this info.

  6. rob says

    .. i’ll be having my first solo backpacking outside the country before the first quarter of this year ends and planning to travel light is one of my major priority. thanks for the post, bloghopping from chyng’s !

  7. PinayTraveller says

    Hi There! Great tips! Loved the intro.:) Ingat sa biyahe!

    1. melo says

      @PinayTraveller – thanks much ikaw din ingat lagi sa byahe:)

  8. […] Also Read: Backpacking 101 : Why Traveling Light is Right? […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: