Skip to Content

How to pack for a float-plane

Tash McGill set off for Canada with the challenge of packing for an outdoorsy-themed holiday into a bag light enough for a float-plane. Is that even possible?


No your wheelie bag won’t fit on this baby

Every so often you get thrown a challenge in this game! In Fiji once, it was carrying enough water for 3 days into the highlands after we’d run out of sterilisation tablets. This time, how to pack for a week in Canada with an 11kg limit thanks to the 20min floatplane leg of the journey, but still have enough supplies for canoeing, kayaking, boating, snow and the odd bit of city walking!

So, here are my 5 tips to packing light for 7 days:

  1. Always carry a small pack of travel laundry powder and minimise your toiletries by measuring what you need into teeny-tiny plastic bottles from The Warehouse or Farmers. You can sometimes find handy dissolvable laundry soap sheets in travel stores too! They are super-cute as well as functional.
  2. Leggings, leggings, leggings but definitely no jeggings! For seven days, a couple of pairs of leggings will provide useful warmth under a light pair of cargo shorts for kayaking and outdoor activity as well as being suitable for under a tunic dress in case you need to be tidy for dinner. You can wash them (see above) and dry overnight on the towel rail. Done!
  3. One black cardy/light jacket. It will go with everything.
  4. One light outer rainjacket. This is your over-everything piece. Make sure it’s just the outer Goretex layer though. Layer without bulk to stay warm.
  5. Long sleeved t-shirts and a merino layer – you’re done!

Wash overnight a couple of times and you’ll be sweet, take one electrical adaptor – and always ask the concierge desk if you need extra chargers etc. Champion!

Shoes: Remember that when traveling through the US, you’ll undoubtedly have to remove them, so wear something light and easy to slip on and off. Wear those (they’ll also double as your evening shoes) and pack your hiking boots. They’re heavy but you do not want to wear them on the plane. Plus one pair of light, flexible sneakers and then you’re covered.

On the plane: Remember what your mum always told you – one pair of undies and a change of t-shirt at least in your carry-on. Make sure your toiletries fit into that clear plastic bag (handy hint: plastic sandwich bag!) and carry those onboard. Take a notebook and pen for anything you need to note down on the plane. Apart from that – your noise-cancelling earphones are all you’ll need. Get the earbuds, they are far more comfortable and compact to travel with. Remember a lip balm too, to avoid those crackly dry lips from the airconditioning.

How to wash clothes in a hotel room: Run the bath or fill the basin – it’s all about elbow grease with this one! Use a little of your laundry powder and either stomp stomp stomp or scrub scrub scrub. For the rinse cycle: run the the cold tap, squeeze to rinse then wrap in one of the millions of towels hotels always supply! Keep twisting and twisting until there’s naught a drop of liquid left, shake out and hang over the towel rail. Leave it on, along with the fan, shut the door and hey, presto! By morning you’ll be dry and clean!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!