How To Pack A Backpack Like A Pro in 2023: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide!

How To Pack A Backpack Like A Pro (Step-by-Step Guide)

Planning a trip is all fun and games until you face the real question: How to pack a backpack? Newbie adventurer? Or seasoned globetrotter? It doesn’t matter as the daunting task of packing unites us all!

Whether it’s minimalist, tech or your favorite travel backpack, learning how to pack a backpack can be an absolute game-changer for your trips.

I’ll introduce you to some clever backpack packing techniques and demystify the magic of traveling light.

So, grab your trusty backpack, and let’s embark on this adventure to become packing champions—minus the hassle!

Essential Packing Supplies

Tech compartment of Aer City Pack

First things first, we recommend equipping yourself with these packing supplies. These not-so-common yet essential packing supplies will help make your trip a breeze.

Say goodbye to endless rummaging; packing cubes keep things tidy and separated.They are the superheroes of backpack packing. They come in all sizes and are here to rescue your clothes from chaos.

Need to pack a ton of stuff but still want to pack light for travel? Say hello to compression bags. As collapsible bags of the backpacking world, they squeeze your clothes to save space.

Pouches like the Aer Cable Kit 2 or Minaal Tech Tool Case are all about zorganization. Use tiny pouches for your toiletries, chargers, and knick-knacks. They help keep everything in its place.

Don’t underestimate the power of Ziplock bags. They’re perfect for storing snacks, wet items and preventing shampoo explosions.

Make your own backpack packing checklist to avoid the “Did I forget something?” panic. It’s like having a personal assistant for your travels.

Every adventure comes with its fair share of bumps and scrapes. Be prepared with a compact first aid kit.

No need to leave your favorite shampoo or skincare products back at home. Pour it into travel-sized containers so you can breeze through airport security.

This compact tool can be a lifesaver. From cutting food to fixing gear, it’s your versatile buddy. Just don’t try to carry it on your flight.

A reusable water bottle keeps you refreshed on the go, reducing single-use plastic waste.

Compressible backpacks and slings are very light and foldable, making the perfect travel companions. Simply roll them up in your larger bag, and use it as a daybag once you get to your destination.

Quick Travel Packing Checklist

In case you don’t feel like making one, here are two travel packing lists I’ve put together for you (can vary depending on your travel and personal needs). One you can find below and for the other one, check out my packing list blog.

Tortuga Setout Backpack

Travel Documents

  • Passport and visas (if required)
  • ID, driver's license
  • Travel insurance
  • Itinerary and reservations
  • Vaccination certificates (if needed)


  • Backpack or luggage
  • Clothing (appropriate for destination)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)
  • Medications and prescriptions
  • Travel adapters and chargers
  • Money, credit cards, and cash (in local currency)
  • Travel pillow and eye mask
  • Snacks and reusable water bottle

Optional Extras

  • Camera, laptop and accessories
  • Travel guidebook or maps
  • Travel-sized laundry detergent
  • Earplugs and headphones
  • Travel journal and pen

Mastering the Art of Efficient Backpack Packing: Step-By-Step

When it comes to backpack packing, mastering the art is the key to hassle-free travel. With these packing hacks up your sleeve, your backpack will become a perfectly organized haven.

Errant Pack

Begin by laying out all the essentials you’ll need for your trip. This includes clothing, toiletries, and any specialized gear for your adventure.

The age-old debate – should you roll or fold your clothes? Here’s the scoop: rolling saves space and reduces wrinkles, while folding allows for neater stacking. Find the balance that works for you.

Backpacks like Aer Travel Pack 3 feature multiple compartments. Keep frequently accessed items, like snacks or a rain jacket, in easily reachable pockets. Put cards and cash in a compact wallet like the Minaal Travel Wallet.

Imagine your backpack as a layer cake.

Start with the heaviest and bulkiest items at the bottom, like shoes or a sleeping bag. Layer up with clothing and accessories, and finish with lighter items (or gear you want quicker access to) on top.

Those little nooks and crannies in your backpack that often go unused? Put them to work! Slide socks into shoes, tuck rolled-up garments into gaps and make use of every inch.

Instead of stacking items horizontally, pack vertically. Roll your clothes tightly and stand them upright, like books on a shelf.

This not only maximizes space but also makes it easier to see what’s inside.

Organize your belongings with color-coded bags or labels. For instance, use a red bag for toiletries, a blue one for electronics, and a green one for snacks. This allows for quick identification and easy access.

Finding Your Perfect Match Aka Backpack

Let’s continue this backpack packing adventure by finding your trusty sidekick – the perfect backpack!

Imagine you’re on a quest to find the ideal backpack size, just like an explorer seeking the right map. Going on an extended escapade? Think bigger like a 20-litre backpack. Quick day-trip? Grab a smaller pack. It’s all about that “just right” feel.

You don’t want your backpack to be a pain in the neck, quite literally. Look for adjustable straps, cushioned shoulder harnesses, and a cozy back panel. It’s like giving your back a warm, comforting hug.

Remember that superhero backpack you had as a kid? Now’s the time for its grown-up counterpart. Look for reinforced stitching, trusty zippers and durable materials like:

You’re not playing hide-and-seek with your stuff. Choose a backpack with multiple compartments and easy access points. So, you can grab what you need without unpacking the entire universe.

Distribute weight evenly to maintain balance and reduce strain on your back. Heavier items like laptops should go at the backpack’s back, with lighter items on the outer layers.

Final Check and Expert Backpack Packing Tips

Almost there!

With your backpack packing skills now honed to perfection, here’s a final checklist to ensure a smooth journey:

  • Weight Check: Lift your backpack and make sure it feels comfortable. The rule of thumb is to carry at most 20-25 % of your body weight.
  • Balance Test: Walk around a bit with your loaded backpack. It should feel balanced and not pull you backward or forward.
  • Accessibility: Can you quickly access your essentials? Ensure items like your passport, wallet, and phone are within easy reach.
  • Secure Straps: Double-check that all straps and buckles are secure. Loose straps can lead to discomfort and even accidents.
  • Weather Readiness: Depending on your destination, pick a weather-resistant backpack and pack accordingly for the weather. Don’t forget a rain cover if needed.
  • Emergency Essentials: Carry essential items like a basic first aid kit, a multi-tool, and a flashlight for unexpected situations.
  • Lock and Tag: Secure your backpack with a lock to deter potential thieves. Attach a luggage tag with your contact details for easy identification.

Ready, Set, Go!

Now, hit the road, forge new paths, and treasure the moments that unfold. Your backpack isn’t just luggage; it’s a companion on your extraordinary journey. So, pack it up, step out, and let your adventures commence. Safe travels, intrepid explorer!

Join the Nomad Nation: Subscribe, Explore, and Pack Like a Pro!

Ready for more adventure inspiration? Head over to our website, Nomads Nation, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for in-depth backpack reviews and travel tips. Your next epic journey awaits – don’t miss out!

Written by Aaron Radcliffe

City dweller. Dumpling crusher. Aaron is a serial entrepreneur, and the founder of Nomads Nation. Connect with Aaron Radcliffe -