Packing your backpack – How difficult can it be? We’re sure you’re asking yourselves right now whether you really need to know the RIGHT way to pack your backpack!
It IS pretty simple, but there is a technique to it. And once you get it right, you’ll notice the difference immediately!
A properly packed backpack, however heavy, will feel balanced and centered on your back. Nothing should be moving around inside and the weight needs to be evenly distributed.
Ideally, get acquainted with your backpack before leaving from home. Spread out everything you’ll be taking with you, use the right process to pack it and make a check list to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything.
When packing, we recommend using the following process. It is the most logical way to pack your backpack. The process focuses on optimizing the center of gravity of the backpack and ensures access to the most used items from your gear.
START PACKING FROM THE BOTTOM
Least Used Gear
Just like a building, a backpack packed with a solid sturdy foundation is a stable one.
Use the bottom of the backpack for gear that you won’t need throughout the day, till the time you camp at night.
Stash your sleeping bag, night clothes right at the bottom. If you’re going to be taking along items like an inflatable pillow, a sleeping bag liner etc., throw in those too at the bottom. If you use a carry mat that rolls up into a tiny shape that can fit into the bottom of your backpack, stuff that inside too.
Any other gear that you will need only after you’ve halted for the night, should go at the bottom, except for your torch or flashlight. Always keep your source of light handy and in a readily accessible place.
PACKING THE CORE
- Heavy Items
So spend some time on this step and get it just right.
Usually, the items you place here will be things like rope, cookware, your food stash.
- Lighter Items
Next up, pack lighter and softer items around your heavy gear. This will make sure that the heavy gear is packed tightly and wont tumble around when you’re on the move. Use things like your clothes, jackets, tent body etc. for this purpose.
PACKING THE TOP AND PERIPHERY
Frequently Used Items
Ideally liquids should be packed in external / side pockets to avoid any spills due to pressure of other items around it. If you’re carrying liquid fuel, to avoid a snafu in case of a spill, make sure the lid of the container is tightly secured.
Make use of daisy chains or loops on the exterior of your pack to attach gear that wont fit inside. There might be things like tent poles or carry mats, the dimensions of which are larger than those of your backpack. Take care to secure things tightly so they don’t snag on branches when you’re walking.
- Try using pack dividers or smaller stuff sacks when packing things inside your backpack. This helps in dividing and better organizing your things and makes it easier to load and unload the backpack.
- When stuffing gear at the bottom, make sure that it doesn’t catch on any aroma from your edibles. Also ensure against oil/liquid seeping into your sleeping bag, clothes etc. Not only will that spoil your gear, but it will also attract animals, insects at night; who’re very sensitive to smells. You don’t want them thinking you’re food!J
- Always carry a rain cover for your backpack, even when you know it is not going to rain. A rain cover helps to protect the exterior of the backpack from the elements.
- Know your weight carrying limit before you leave from home and make sure the weight of your backpack is a little lesser than that. If you have to buy some gear, food or other things during your trip, you don’t want your backpack to become heavier than what you can carry.
So that’s it then, the right way to pack your backpack! If you have some tips of your own that you picked up during your travels, then share them with us in the comments below.
Have an awesome adventure out there!
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