Trekking the Great Wall With Carry-On Only? Find out how!

I don’t know about you guys, but the bane of my life is lugging around a big heavy bag when I am travelling. Travelling should be filled with sensations of freedom and liberation, and aching under the weight of a badly packed rucksack every time you want to move is pretty lethal for those vibes. Therefore, over the years I have gradually honed down my essentials to the stage I can do almost any trip with carry-on only.

Not only does having carry-on luggage ensure that your bags don’t get lost en-route, it speeds up your transition through the airport when you arrive and simplifies your life for the rest of your trip. With one very important point to this – everything you bring must fit comfortably in your carry-on bag – there is nothing simple of liberating about having your things stuffed into carrier bags because they don’t fit in your main bag. Trust me, I’ve done that too!


So what did I pack for my recent trip hiking the Great Wall of China?

A 35 litre backpack

A pair of trail running shoes

A nice pair of flip flops

2 x nice summer dresses for in the city or evenings

2 x running shorts

4 x running tops

2 x sports bras

1 x normal bra

5 x underpants

1 x hooded top for chilly sunrises

1 x baggy ‘traveller pants’ for mosquitoes

1 x scarf

1 x short pyjamas

Travel-sized toiletries

Mobile phone, charger and battery pack

DSLR, charger and camera bag – doubles up as good day-bag

1 x book

1 x notebook and pen


And that’s it…

China is warm in June and so, with the exception of very early morning you don’t need a lot of layers. In addition, it is easy to either wash your clothes as you go along or find a laundry service. Personally I try and wash my clothes each day as a I take them off as it keeps things in my bag clean and prevents laundry piles becoming smelly or daunting. China had a dry heat and clothes dry quickly.

My other travel hack is that I split all my clothes into dry bags to keep my main bag neat and organised. For example I would have one bag with dresses and cover up clothes, another with hiking clothes, a bag for my shoes I’m not wearing and a bag for electronics. This keeps everything tidy and means you can find specific items in a hurry – or in the dark!


Have I missed out anything you can’t travel without? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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