As excess baggage fees mount, it pays to pack strategically. Photo credit:

As excess baggage fees mount, it pays to pack strategically. Photo credit:

Any seasoned traveler knows the essentials of packing light: mix-and-match garments in a couple of neutral colors, synthetic fabrics that weigh little, packing cubes or vacuum bags to roll and compress your clothing, etc. But when you’re packing for an extended stretch of traveling, or you’ve got a lot of gear for an outdoor-intensive trip and it’s essential to lose every excess ounce, there’s more you can do.

I recently came across a blog post with some helpful ideas that aren’t on the standard list of tips for packing light. They’re geared more for the long-distance budget backpacker, but you’ll find most of them relevant to the kinds of trips Natural Habitat Expeditions offers, where you aren’t going to be hauling along a wheeled suitcase carrying every conceivable outfit and accessory.

In this case, the travelers at “Follow Our Breadcrumbs” have packed up everything they need into backpacks to live for an undetermined length of time, as they set out to serendipitously explore the world with the pursuit of food as their itinerary-driver. What fun! While such freedom may not be readily available to most of us, it’s still worth the effort to pack as lightly and carefully as possible, given ever-higher charges for checked bags and excess weight.

I wish I’d had a small scale, as recommended when I was checking in for a domestic flight in Mongolia. I stood there in line pulling one thing after another out of my bag to shove into the pockets of the two jackets I was wearing, in order to get my checked bag under the very low weight limit.

Take a look at the tips in the link above; you may find some ideas you’ve never considered before. As for me, I can’t affirm Tip #1 strongly enough: pack way early before a major trip. Give yourself a couple of weeks not only to ponder and purge –more than once! — and purchase, if need be, any missing essentials.

I’d like to share your tips with fellow Natural Habitat Expeditions readers, too. What is key for you, when it comes to reducing your load?

Go lightly,