4 Things to Pack for Backpacking—and What to Leave at Home

Just before graduating from college, I had the opportunity to take a quarter off of school and decided to backpack in a part of the world that was completely foreign to me: Southeast Asia. Looking back, I’m still unsure how I fit two and a half months’ worth of clothes, shoes, cameras, souvenirs, and more into a camping backpack. (Scroll down to see the evidence—it was half the size of my body.) So after carrying all my personal belongings in said backpack through three countries, 17 cities, and countless trains, buses, tuk-tuks, motorbikes, etc., I could tell you exactly which items I could have never left home without—and which were simply deadweight.