How to pack for any adventure in under an hour and never forget anything

We are notorious last-minute packers. Fortunately, I made up a system for that, and it works brilliantly. (I’m not even humble bragging, I know.) I never worry about whether or not I have everything and always have some idea of what our standard load out will be for every trip. The key to doing this simply is having a bomber packing list (Get our master packing list on google docs here).

Meet my packing list:

The packing list has a variety of categories across the top: All Outdoor, Climbing, Backpacking, Travel, Photography, etc. And under that category heading, I’ve created a list of things we usually bring that are associated with that type of travel.

When I want to pack for a new trip, let’s say next month’s adventure to London, I make a new tab on the google doc and copy and paste the relevant columns into the tab I have created. For London, I chose All Outdoor, First Aid Kit, Toiletries, Travel, Photography, Documents, Navigation, and Clothing System.

I then delete out everything I don’t think we need and then condense all of the columns.

As we pack, we usually put everything on the bed first, (and take a photo or two for you lovely folks), and as things are loaded into the backpacks, I turn each item green. I highlight things in yellow that we need to remember the day of the trip, or that I’m unable to pack right away.

The morning of, I check the list. When everything on your list is green, It’s time to get in the car and go!

Using this system, we almost never forget the things we intend to bring and can usually pack for any adventure in under an hour, which is necessary when you travel as much as we do. You can see our packing list and save your own version here.