Pack, Unpack, Repack: The Military Way To Pack Your Bags Better

Pack, Unpack, Repack: The Military Way To Pack Your Bags Better

Packing travel bags and luggage well is a skill. If you want to be good at it, you have to practise, just like anything else.

Photo by Paul Robertson.

When Bekah Defelice at Thrillist asked a bunch of soldiers, airmen, sailors and other US military personnel for packing tips, the most common suggestion was to practise your packing. Over and over. When you’re leaving for a trip, pack your bag, then unpack it completely, then repack it again a few times over. You’ll get better at packing your bag so you can do it faster — which is helpful when it’s time to head home — and it forces you to memorise where every item is in your bag. If you need to get to something quickly, you won’t have to waste time digging around. While you’re practising, lay everything out in a staging zone, like your bed or kitchen counter, then get to it. Pack, unpack, repack.

The Best Clever Packing Tricks For Travelling

When you're travelling, the way you pack can be essential. Whether you're a space-saver, or just like things as organised as possible, you've probably picked up a few tricks along the way. Here are some of the best ideas.

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Military Packing Secrets That Will Make You a Better Traveller [Thrillist]


  • As someone who has spent months living out of bags from extended travel.
    Biggest tip is to use bags/containers to separate items. So you know if you pull out this travel pack it is always t-shirts, electronics, medicine and so forth.

    Always leave some space so in a hurry you can crunch it in.

    Number one is to always pack the night before if you have a morning start. Even if you end up pulling shit out. As long as you can little shove your toiletries and sleep wear into the bag and go, you’re good.

    Last minute packing and shoving can lead to everything taking a lot more space. You have to avoid packing in a hurry. It can be done, but you can be in situations where nothing fits.

    I also recommend when you have the time travelling, remove most of the stuff from your bag and repack. It keeps you fresh on where things are but it keeps it organised and limits how often you pull it all apart to find something.

    I have done it all. Gone to bed at 3 am pissed. Woken up at 5 am with a bus leaving ASAP and my bag across my room. Flights to catch and everything not fitting in. I learnt that having space in the top of the bag, everything but you need outside means no matter the time situation, as long as you can be out of your room in minutes is all that matters.

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