I love living simple and minimalistic. I always try to pack as light and little as possible. When I went on my first backpacking trip longer than a month, I got a 38 L hiking backpack and thought I was packing light. And I was compared to most people, but during the trip I realized I had brought too much and too big of a bag.
You can see what I brought on that trip here.
Traveling as a solo female, I don’t want to stick out too much or look like a backpacker, so since then I’ve used a small, all black and simple cheap day backpack that fits somewhere between 20-25 L.
I have used this on everything from day hiking in the alps and weekend trips to a 2 week backpacking trip through the Balkans :
Easy when you just travel in a warm place, right? Well, I also used this bag for when I first went to a very warm Toronto and then had a few days stopover in cold, rainy and windy Iceland.
This is how I managed minimalistic packing with a small day pack through Central America
How I keep the packing so small
So first of all, I care more about comfort and usability than looking fashionable and being able to change outfits every day. Especially when backpacking through central america, it is sweaty and I like to be able to do spontaneous exploration in the jungle without worrying about my clothes. One pair of shorts is enough for me. Even though I pack light, I always get my favorites and don’t use all that I bring.
Whenever I get a new piece of clothing on the road, I give something away to charity or to a friend. That gives me room in my bag. Also, if I get tired of some clothes, switching either with a friend or with a new piece, I do get to change my looks during the trip.
I rarely use makeup at all, and have no problem going out to a bar without any makeup. And when I travel to a warm place – hells no I’m not gonna wear makeup! It’s uncomfortable and unpractical. I might bring mascara and powder to use for special occasions. I do have the privilege to have very good skin and get hundreds of pretty freckles when I get tanned. (and I wouldn’t want to cover them of course).
A pair of runners and airy sandals and I’m good.
I have a compact system camera. But when it comes down to it, I mostly use my phone because I think the camera is too big. I’m planning to get a go pro instead. Other than that, I only bring my phone and portable chargers.
I use a solid schampoo that is great for my hair, so I don’t even need to use conditioner every time I wash my hair, and it doubles as soap. And then it’s just toothbrush and paste, medicines and lunette(mentrual cup).
I love things that you can use for different things. Like the solid schampoo that doubles as soap, scarf or saron that can be used at eye mask, pillow, blanket, scarf, dress, towel or something to sit on.