Many people who operate at a high level take steps to reduce the number of redundant decisions they make in their daily personal and professional lives. This includes setting a strict weekly schedule which doesn't vary ie. Gym work outs on set days at set times, having the same food for specific meals (breakfast), outsourcing tasks to assistants, and even how they dress -- by having a small set of outfits which are rotated (think Steve Jobs and his black turtle neck with jeans).
When aiming to travel abroad to backpack, it's important to not overpack on clothes (or anything else), since it's largely dead weight. Every extra pound you pack is compounded when on the trail. For people who live in North America it will come as a surprise to hear this, in many parts of the world, people wear the same clothes multiple days in a row. In NA you'd be asked "didn't you wear that yesterday?" if you wore the same shirt, more than one day. Here, I've seen my colleagues, and even my top boss, wear the same outfit multiple days in a row. It's nbd. The most people do this in NA is wearing something black all the time, any other colour and apparently it's too noticeable.
I anticipated this (wearing the same clothes), though not for the reason of saving laundry or reducing the quantity of clothes I brought. Before leaving, I knew I'd be in a climate which varied, would largely be hot, have me sweating, and I'd be doing a lot of activities such as yoga and hiking. I purchased a new wardrobe, all from the same store with a focus on soft colours, were made of sweat absorbing material and stylish enough I could wear in many environments. This included, pants, shorts, t-shirts and long sleeve shirts. Most importantly, I bought clothes that all matched each other. This is what I am referring to above, and the reason for buying all the clothes at the same time from the same store. This removes the obstacles of having to match clothing pieces. With everything coordinated, I can swap them all with each other and not worry about it! Furthermore, I bought the same number of of each item, so everything is interchangeable!
If you're a guy and want to go even further, and save yourself a bit more space and money, buy all your shorts as bathing suits, particularly quick dry ones. The quick dry will help with the sweating, and you'll always be ready to go for a swim! Clothes made of this material is light, the quick dry comes in handy in many situations. And if you're leaving the water and going to your next spot - you don't stay wet long. If fact, the bathing suit will air dry much faster than you will!
When it comes to packing your bag, I packed my clothes in plastic bags by item ie. Shirts together, boxers and socks together etc. This has multiple benefits. The first is being able to easily remove items and repack them without clutter. Having them in bags can also help against them getting wet if you haven't purchased a rain cover for your pack (which I highly advise).
For more information on how to distribute the weight in your pack, check out these links:
1. How remote you plan on being
Typically, people online suggest being under 30lbs, with some people even going as light at 15lbs! A rule others go by is under 25% of your body weight, and preferably at 20%. Check out these links on reducing the weight of your pack:
When I moved to China, my two bags combined, were about 40lbs. Not bad for my first time moving abroad to live. However, even just going around downtown Toronto, the bags became heavy quickly! I'm really going to have to reduce some weight before my backpacking trip next summer! Some big books I brought along, from TESOL as a cautionary note, will be the first to go. This alone should save me at least 10lbs. You also need to watch how much water you carry. It's the heaviest item you'll be carrying on a density/volume basis.
I look forward to seeing you on the trails!