Small Backpack or Large Backpack?

As a seasoned backpacker and somebody who is continually looking to live his life in a more minimalistic manner, one of the questions that I continually ponder is whether I can reduce my baggage to just one simple, small backpack (say with a volume of 35 litres). This article is a brief summary of the type of choice that I and fellow backpackers have to consider when trying to make this change.As it is, my backpack is not particularly large in the great scheme of things. It is a MacPac model that carries around 55 litres. Hence it is not like I’m carrying everything but the kitchen sink on my back! In fact when I bought it several years ago, I was caught between the ideas that I don’t like to be weighed down by more luggage, but that I still prefer to carry a few semi-luxuries. It seemed to fit somewhere in between.As I tend to carry only the shoes that I’m wearing, my wash-bag, a camera, a book and my clothes, it seems that the main way that I could cut down my luggage would be to reduce the amount of clothing that I take. This is probably the only thing that I’m not ultra-frugal with when I travel. The reason being that I simply feel better about myself when I feel clean and hygienic! I certainly don’t take luxurious clothing, but I do take about 8 or 9 t-shirts and changes of underwear. Now to many people, that may still seem on the small side, but there is a section of people who prefer the idea of just a couple of changes of clothes. The idea is that you wear one pair, have one pair clean and probably one dirty. The problem to me is that, assuming that I want to stay clean, having such a small amount of clothing actually puts more stress onto the travel experience through constantly having to clean it and finding a facility to do so! For me, that inconvenience far outweighs the relative convenience of travelling exceedingly lightlyAnother way to reduce the load would be to not take my digital SLR camera and extra lens, but if I’m seeing the world, and I already have the camera in my possession, then it would be a shame to not take it! If I didn’t already own the camera, I might think differently.Returning to the clothing theme, the climate of the destination has a big bearing on how and what type of clothing is carried. For example, a location with a variable temperature and unpredictable rainfall pattern usually causes me to take a waterproof jacket and fleece. These can be quite bulky items that I can avoid taking when going to a consistently warm country. In such a location, even daytime rainfall is fairly irrelevant as the sun soon dries any wet items of clothing!In summary, it seems that the main way for me to reduce my travel luggage would simply to be to travel more to hotter countries that require less bulky and specialist clothing! Otherwise, considering that I don’t intend to ditch the camera just yet, it appears that I’m not going to be converting to a 35 litre small backpack anytime soon!