Backpacking Female Packing Guide

Oh packing. You get so excited to go on some travels and then the prospect of what you’re going to pack comes up. And that can be quite overwhelming, especially when you want to fit it all into a backpack. But I’m here to help you through some of it.

In less than 12 hours I’ll be on a plane headed for a month long backpacking adventure in Europe. And to be honest I left packing until last night. By now I’m pretty experienced so I wasn’t worried because I had all the lists in my head but still I normally say pack 48hours before you leave. That gives you time to buy anything that you may need that you didn’t realize you didn’t have or something.

Like for me I went out shopping yesterday when I realized that my trusty 30L Osprey Tempest pack just wasn’t going to cut it for a month trip. Though it did me good across 10 plus countries, but those trips were shorter in length, being 2 weeks or less.

I just upgraded my pack to the 40L and it’s plenty for my needs. For Females I really wouldn’t recommend going above a 50L pack if you’re backpacking anywhere. Anything more than that gets really heavy, normally with things you really didn’t need, and if you have to carry that on your back all day it starts to hurt.

One way to fit everything you need into your 30-50L pack is to use packing cubes! They are seriously life savers. They help to organize all your clothes and things so that you don’t have to go digging through a mess of stuff to find something when you need it. Plus rolling all your clothes tightly within the packing cubes saves a bunch of space as well.

Then you can organize everything. I put my packing cubes with clothes on the bottom and stuff them in so that it leaves extra room on top for things you need more often, like shoes, food and toiletries. Anything lighter should go on top, heavy things to the bottom.

Normally when I travel I wear mostly activewear, as I do in my everyday life, but this time because I’ll be spending 3 weeks in university in fashionable Brussels, I’ve packed more ‘normal’ clothing.

Clothing really depends on the climate, so check out the averages beforehand, but for the places I’ll be going its going to be somewhere in the mid to high 20’s C.

Soooo this is what I’ve got in my pack for clothes:

  • 1 dress
  • 2 leggings (for yoga and sleeping in airports/planes)
  • 1 shorts to go under my dress/skirts (I’m not very lady like sometimes)
  • 1 running shorts
  • 1 comfy thin pants (Sleeping or yoga)
  • 2 pj tops/yoga tops
  • 2 tee shirts
  • 1 cardigan
  • 2 layering tanks
  • 3 regular/fancy tanks
  • belt for my dress
  • 2 skirts
  • 4 shorts
  • 5 socks
  • 14 pair of underwear (so I only have to wash them once)
  • 4 sports bras (I like them better than regular bras because they’re better when you’re sweaty in the heat, plus multipurpose for doing yoga)
  • Nike Airs
  • Bob’s
  • Flip flops (for showers)
  • rain jacket

Toiletries, everything in travel size because of the liquid limits on planes (I don’t check any luggage):

  • Deodorant
  • tooth paste/brush
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • body wash
  • face cream
  • baby wipes
  • hand sanitizer
  • sunscreen
  • razor
  • lip chap
  • small comb
  • mini mirror
  • nail clippers
  • Neosporn for cuts
  • band aids
  • dental floss
  • Retainer/case/cleaner
  • Dive Cup (reusable and convenient menstrual cup, just need to clean it out twice a day and it doesn’t take up as much space as pads or tampons)
  •  Kleenex

Other useful things to pack:

  • Microfiber Travel towel
  • portable phone charger
  • all other chargers
  • Tide travel detergent packs for sink washing
  • sunglasses
  • selfie stick (If you don’t want to ask strangers to get pictures for you if solo travelling)
  • Plastic bag (if you want to buy groceries or to put your clothes in the shower)
  • Reusable Water bottle
  • lock for lockers
  • umbrella
  • Pens
  • Headphones
  • Zip lock bags
  • Plastic fork/spoon for picnics
  • thin blanket for airport sleeping
  • Small purse for outings
  • wallet
  • ALL NEEDED TRAVEL DOCUMENTS (Plane tickets, Bus tickets, Passport, Itineraries, Money)
  • Any medicine you need (I travel with my birth control pills, Aleve for my arthritis, Imodium for my IBS, GasX, Advil, Tylenol Cold Day/Night, Melatonin to help fall asleep)



Lille, France with my trusty backpack



Barcelona, Spain

Happy Travels!





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