September 16, 2021
How to pack your backpack 2021 edition
Heading off for a weekend away is a very exciting time and planning the trip is part of the pleasure of it! The last couple of years have taught us that staycations are the new abroad and that England is bursting with beautiful travel destinations. No matter where you are heading, this handy guide will have you covered, whether it’s a hiking trip, family day trips, a weekend away staying with a friend, or a work conference, we’ll tell you what’s essential and how to pack it efficiently.
There’s no one right way to pack, you have to adopt a style that suits you. Our lists below are just a guide – you may have medical or dietary needs that will always be on your lists, and if you have children then there’s a whole extra set of essentials to consider!
Our canvas backpack is perfect for every occasion. Made from 100% cotton canvas, stand out in the city or whilst you're on an adventure with our elegant and stylish backpack. It can hold a surprising amount of gear.
Disclaimer - We in no way encourage travelling far during lockdown. If you are travelling, please ensure it is safe and legal to do so.
Essentials for any backpack
Covid has changed our list of essentials! As well as the classics – wallet, keys, phone, there’s a few new items to consider. Face masks and hand sanitiser would not have been top of the list pre-2020 and now leaving the house without them is unheard of!
How to pack a backpack: Top Tips
- First things first! Write a list. Lists are vital because you can think logically through the day ahead and work out exactly what you will need. This way you will ensure you don’t miss anything.
- Always pack the night before. This avoids any last-minute rushing around and will make for a swift departure.
- Lay everything out before you pack. Seeing the sizes and weights of all the items will make it easy to pack them in the right order. Also, you’ll identify which things need to be close at hand.
- Keep it neat and organised and try to remember where everything is so that it’s easy to find.
- Group items you will be using together.
- Make sure your packing is balanced in weight, then you won’t be pulled to one side.
- Always avoid excess weight by being strict about what your essentials are.
- Ensure that liquids, food and sunscreen etc, are spill-proof and leak-proof – if necessary, double wrap in a plastic bag.
Featured: Cedar Canvas Backpack - Navy
First items to pack
It’s important to pack the large, bulky items first so that you can fit the smaller items around them. It will also help you balance the weight on your hips so that it won’t shift around as you walk.
Last items to pack
Keep items that you may need to access often, and preferably without taking off your pack, within easy reach and either at the top of your backpack or in one of the pockets. These items might be your camera, your phone, water bottle, snacks, etc.
Essential Item Checklist
These are items which you’ll need whatever the activity you’re packing for – once you’ve got these together then (apart from the food and water) they could remain in your pack in between trips making planning and preparation that bit more efficient.
- Hand sanitiser.
- Face masks.
- Tissues/wet wipes.
- Some water.
- Food –this depends on your plans for the day – you may need a packed lunch or just some simple easy to carry snacks, just in case!
- Some cash – we’re all used to using our debit cards or smartphone to pay for things, but some change and a couple of £5 notes tucked away in your pack, you’re ready for those occasions when cash is the only way to pay!
- A small First Aid kit, with essential items such as plasters, painkillers, antiseptic wipes, etc.
Family day trip
If you are heading out for the day, it’s most likely that you will be carrying this bag with you. So pack as lightly as possible. You won’t need much, just an extra jumper, water bottles and maybe some snacks. Don’t forget your purse or wallet and, of course, your phone and camera to record those special family moments that will one day become treasured memories.
Weekend away with friends
Depending on what you are going to be up to, you will need a few outfit choices for a weekend away. Planning ahead will help you to minimise extra clothing by choosing items that double up – for example, if it’s a walking weekend, a change of top from your hiking tee-shirt to something a bit smarter and swapping your boots for a pair of light trainers, may be all you need for “après-hike”!
Heading away for work? Thankfully, our canvas backpacks are diverse enough for this sort of trip too! As laptops are essential for work trips, you need a way to store them with confidence that they will be secure. In our Cedar Canvas Backpack, there’s a handy padded laptop compartment, where you can keep your gadgets and important documents safe and ready to lift out at your convenience.
An added benefit of having your laptop in the back is that it provides a smooth surface to sit on your bag, this way you avoid anything bulky poking you in the back – nightmare!
When you’re out hiking, it’s even more important to be prepared for all eventualities, like a change in the weather, or getting a bit off track with your planned route. Here are some of the things you should include in your day pack:
- Lightweight waterproof jacket depending on the forecast you could include some trousers too.
- Packed lunch and some extra snacks – easy to carry, high-calorie foods such as protein or granola bars, a bag of nuts and raisins.
- Flask of something hot to drink.
- A good amount of drinking water. Consider how long you are going to be away from a fresh water supply.
- A spare pair of socks, just in case!
- SPF to protect your skin if you are outside all day.
- A small First Aid kit, as in the essentials list, but add blister plasters, a disposable lighter, a bandage that will double as a sling, some antihistamine tablets.
- Spare change of clothes in a sealed waterproof bag.
- Rucksack rain cover.
- A torch.
- A map – in case your phone has no signal.
Not to be forgotten!
You know those things that you use every single day but never think to pack. Here’s a handy little checklist for you – some of these are also in the lists above and bear repeating!
- Face masks and hand sanitiser.
- Spare plastic bags. They come in handy more often than you think!
- A spare pen and a little notebook.
- Plasters, including blister plasters, just in case you or anyone you know gets a small injury.
- Tissues. Perfect for mopping up spills or blowing your nose. Public toilets frequently run out of toilet paper – tissues to the rescue!
- Wipes. Essential for any journey with children - say goodbye to sticky hands.
- Sunglasses. They aren’t just for summer! Winter sun can be very low in the sky and create a lot of glare.
And finally! If you are hiking/travelling alone, always remember to tell people where you are going. Send out a text to friends and make your location known. We can’t travel as far as we might like at the moment, but it’s possible to get into difficulties even when close to home, so making sure someone knows where you are is a sensible precaution.
Planning and packing well is such a great habit to get into and, when we do get to the other side of this pandemic, you’ll be ready for anything!