Pack Like a Pro

Pilot Elin Larsson shares her 6 best packing tips


Elin Larsson travels 180 days a year for work and when she’s got time off, she spends most of it outside walking on some mountain ridge, trail running or surfing cold waves. A nomadic life that makes her a true packing pro. Here are Elin’s best packing tips for the summer.

Hey Elin! How do I pack like a pilot?
– I travel about 180 days a year one week at the time and before I leave I never know where I will go. Honestly speaking, it’s quite difficult to pack when you don’t know if you’re going to Svalbard or Morocco! I plan my packing carefully and pack classic garments of high quality that work for as many situations as possible. Since traveling is such a great part of my life, I have found packable alternatives to the most important stuff, such as a fully charged e-reader instead of books. When I travel for work, I always bring a pair of trainers. The requirement is that they work both for running, trekking, and to wear as sneakers together with a pair of jeans in the city. I also always bring a resistance band so that I can turn any beach or hotel room into a gym. It weighs nothing and take absolutely no space. And a small bottle of SFP 50 of course!

What mistakes should we avoid when packing?
– Bringing too much! Especially if you are packing a backpack that you will be carrying yourself. It is never worth carrying around too much stuff, take away everything unnecessary. Your packing will never be perfect no matter how much you bring. If you are going on an expedition or something you have never done before where it is essential to get the packing right, there are many great packing lists online. Better learn from someone else’s mistakes.

How do you pack for your adventures?
– I try to think that either I will be warm and want a thin t-shirt, preferably in merino wool, or I’ll be cold and want an insulation jacket, or if it is windy or raining I will want protection from a shell jacket. Then I skip pretty much everything in between. Insulation jacket, shell jacket and t-shirt can be combined in many ways and cover almost all weather conditions and temperatures that you might experience. Again, don’t pack anything unnecessary.

Elin's 6 Best Packing Tips

1. Make a clear plan
Try to picture yourself what different situations that might occur during your trip and pack on that basis. For example, check the weather forecast carefully.

2. One garment for several occasions
Plan an outfit for each situation and then try to pack garments or gear that will work in as many outfits as possible. You can find clothes that work as well on the mountain as in the city.

3. Light packing is great packing
Don’t bring too much and do absolutely not overpack your bag. To constantly fight the zippers or drag around too many or too heavy bags can ruin any trip.

4. Dedicated places for important items
I always put my passport, mobile phone and credit card in the EXACT same place within my luggage. Even if there’s a long sighing queue behind you at the check-in, my advice is to take those extra ten seconds to put each item back in the right place. It’s so worth it!

5. Coordinate with fellow travelers
If you are traveling together, coordinate your packing. It’s not necessary that everyone bring three different ski waxes, red lipstick or a big toothpaste tube.

6. Borrow or rent equipment
Borrow or rent gear at the location rather than buying new, it saves both space and the planet.