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The Right Way to Pack a Backpack

July 29, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

Camping requires purchasing equipment and essential gear, as well as packing all of the gear. For most of us, packing is a cringing experience, especially when there is an abundance to remember. From finding the right backpack to even coming up with a “must have” list, it can be quite a daunting task. Luckily, there is the right way to pack a backpack. These techniques are sure to lower your stress and improve your excursion.

First and foremost, you need to load your backpack in accordance to the type of bag you have. If you are planning on hiking in rough areas, you should look into internal frame backpacks. This will undoubtedly make it easier for you to stay comfortable. Nevertheless, an internal or external frame backpack will work.  

Once you pick out your bag, you will need to pack the heaviest items closest to your back. By putting the lighter positions towards your shoulder blades, you will create a balance and center the overall weight. Whether you are on steep or flat terrain – you need to take your body into consideration. If you are looking for stability, you may want to place them as far down as you can.

Sleeping bags should immediately go into your bag first, along with any clothing items that you will not need until you go to sleep. This way you will not have to continuously take everything out. On the other hand, if you are using an external frame sleeping bag, try attaching your sleeping bag to the outside. Afraid of water damage? You also may want to cover your backpack with a tarp or garbage bag. The last thing you want to do is carry around a wet load. Moreover, it can ruin the items that are actually inside.

It is crucial to have the more vital items on the top of your backpack. From flashlights to food, water, maps, insect spray, and even GPS devices – these will be your main accessories, thus you will want to make sure that they are easily accessible. No matter what you do, you absolutely shouldn’t waste any space. Keeping that in mind, do not overload the bag. It will only damage your back and ruin the equipment in the long run. If you are carrying equipment on the outside of your bag, you will also want to make sure that everything is tightly secured.

These great tips should be a basic guideline for when you begin to pack your belongings. If you feel that you have a better strategy, we encourage that you experiment with your ideas. Regardless of what you do decide on, you need to consider your back and the strain it will put on your body.  Remember – comfort and durability should be at the top of your list.

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