This guest post is contributed by Nicola Reynor.
Wrinkled and crumpled clothes are a backpacker’s nightmare.
While it is okay to have a few wrinkles on the outfits when they go for activities like trekking, hiking or camping, the same thing can be their worst enemy when they travel for business meets, to attend a wedding or to attend other event, where they have to get dressed to the nines and look picture perfect. The problem worsens when laundry service isn’t available at hotels or hostels.
Surely, you don’t want to be in their shoes. Do you? How about packing your backpack for wrinkle-free clothing to put an end to the woes? Yes, such a thing exists and here are some points that will give you a better perspective. Take a look.
If there is one rule that applies to all travelers, it has to be this one.
Light packing makes your backpack easy to manage and carry, irrespective of the place where you are traveling. And let’s not forget the fact that overstuffing your backpack can invariably end up wrinkling your clothes.
Make it a rule of the thumb to pack light and let your clothes (and other belongings) breathe. Some tips to pack light include but are not limited to the following:
- Go minimalist on your outfits and pack clothes that you can wear more than once. Follow the mix-and-match concept for this purpose.
- Don’t take along more than two pairs of shoes; wear the bulkier of the two (boots, sports shoes, trainers).
- Cut down on cosmetics and toiletries.
- Pack a hand towel or a lightweight microfiber towel instead of taking a full-size towel.
- Consider laundry service or pack detergent in small zip lock bags.
- Undergarments can take up more space that you can imagine. Buy special bags where they fit in perfectly.
Pack your clothes, shoes, accessories, toiletries etc. in a way that they take up less room in the backpack.
To begin with, roll up your t-shirts and trousers before packing them in the bag. This will not only make them hog less space, but also make them less prone to wrinkling. All you need to do is ensure that you roll the clothes tightly enough to be packed so that they don’t collapse midway and crumple up.
Alternately, you can buy packing containers and packing folders, which will make packing a breeze. These are immensely handy to pack clothes that can’t be rolled such as – shirts and formal trousers. This way, your clothes will remain wrinkle-free right from the beginning till you reach your destination.
You can also use bags to connect to a vacuum and ‘compress’ your clothes so that they take up minimum space in your backpack. As for the shoes, you can always pack them at the bottom using a shower cap. This way, they will not mess up your clothes, when you are on the go!
Overstuffing your backpack is a strict NO. However, this rule comes with an exception. You can always pack the backpack tight enough, so that all your belongings stay at their place. The idea is to restrict movement and friction inside the backpack and prevent clothes from getting crumpled.
Start with fitting your shoes and cosmetics/toiletries bag at the bottom of the backpack. Appliances like hair dryers should go next, followed by your clothes. Objects like powerbanks, tablets, hard disks, smartphone chargers and books need to be packed last so that you can easily take them out as and when needed.
Pack in Layers
Clothes with delicate fabrics get wrinkled more easily. To avoid this, pack these garments in such a way that they overlap. This can be done for as many clothes as you want to fit in the backpack and be assured that they won’t get creased. Begin with placing alternate layers of clothes that easily get wrinkles and the ones that don’t. Alternatively, you can also place tissues or laundry sheets to keep the creases at bay.
A lot pf fabrics are wrinkle-resistant by default. Additionally, some of them are quick-drying and anti-microbial (you know what to take to the beach now!). Clothes made out of such materials let you ‘live out of your backpack’ as you needn’t worry about them getting all wrinkled-up before and after wearing them. These outfits also save you a trip to the laundry and are a must-have for every backpacker!
Quick Hacks to Fix Wrinkles
What happens when you do take all the precautions and still end up with a few wrinkles on your clothes anyway? Here are a few quick hacks that will fix wrinkles on your clothes when you are on the move.
- Pack some clothes hangers. As soon as you reach your destination, make it a point to unpack and hang the clothes in the wardrobe without delay. This will help you avoid more wrinkles.
- Buy wrinkle releasing spray. Apply it on the clothes, smoothen out the wrinkles and hang it out to dry completely.
- Almost all hotels provide irons or laundry service. In case you are going to stay in one that doesn’t provide the service, carry a travel iron with you. Or, carry a flat iron to smoothen out wrinkles.
- Moisture works wonders on wrinkled clothes. When you take a steam shower, hang the clothes nearby. This will help ease the wrinkles. Similarly, you can just dampen the wrinkled section and leave the outfit to dry. Or use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process. Another way is to put the clothes in a dryer (in case you have access to a washer and dryer) with a damp towel. Take it out after 15 minutes or so.
These are some smart travel hacks when you want your clothes devoid of the crease. Do put them to practice the next time you go backpacking. If you have more tips that we can add to the list, bring them on! We are all ears.