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How to Pack a Backpack for Camping or Hiking

Updated on November 13, 2017

There is no specific way in which one can pack his/her backpack but there are tips on how one can pack his/her backpack
such that the backpack feels more comfortable and more stable when on one's back. Packing your backpack properly will banish the possibility of forgetting essential gear and also provide more convenience. In this article, we are going to outline the different tips on how you can achieve this while packing your backpack.

Before you start packing you should check the backpacks weight capacity and also remove the unnecessary stuff ( things that are
considered luxuries and are mainly used for comfort) so as to reduce the pack's weight to a weight you can comfortably carry.

Backpacks can effectively be divided into 5 different zones:

1.) The top zone:

In this zone, it is highly advisable to pack heavy items that one may need while still on the road to camp or hiking. Such items include First aid kits, rain jackets, water filter, Insulated jackets, toilet supplies, water filters and much more. Towels and sarongs should be placed at the topmost so as to provide ease in pulling the drawstrings without stuff shoving out and getting caught.

2.) The bottom zone:

This zone is for less heavy materials that will be used at camp. This kind of items includes sleeping bags, camp shoes, camp shoe e.t.c. By placing this kind of gear at the bottom provides internal shock absorption system for one's pack and also back. Apart from shock absorption, this gear forms a base for the backpack.

3.) The core zone:

In this zone, one places medium weight and dense items. By doing this you are stabilizing the center of gravity and also aiming the load towards the ground and not backward. These type of items include cooking kit, stove, water reservoirs, food stash e.t.c. Soft items should be wrapped around bulky ones so as to prevent their movement. Soft items such as Tent body, tent footprint, Extra clothing and rainfly can be used for cushion and in filling in the gaps. Reservoirs that are already filled up should be put in the backpack even if they have their own separate compartments as inserting them into an already full pack ain't easy. If you are to carry liquid fuel make sure it is placed upright with its bottle cap tightly closed and put separate from food in case of a spill.

4.) Tool loops and lash on points:

This is a zone for bigger than usual gear (long or oversize) such as Trekking poles or tent poles. Most gears have fasteners or dedicated tool hoops for this kind of gears. Compression straps, daisy chains, and lash patches can also be used to carry some of the items that can't be placed in any other places.The number of gear that can be carried on the outside should be minimized so as to prevent gear snags on branches or raking rocks.

5.) Accessory pockets:

This is a place for necessities that can or will be needed frequently and urgently. Such kind of stuff include Snacks, sunglasses, maps, compasses, water bottles, headlamps among much more.

Stuff like camera films should be put inside freezer bags so as to keep them dry and protected.

After packing all these stuff in these order, there are steps on how to raise your loaded backpack from the ground to your back so as not to fray your shoulder and also to be in control of the heavy loaded backpack.

Steps on how to raise your backpack:
1.) Make all the pack straps lose so that it can be easier to slide the pack in.
2.) Angle your pack on an upright position on the ground.
3.) Stand next to the back side of the pack and make sure your legs are apart and your knees a little bent.
4.) Grip the webbing loop that is at the top of the back panel of your pack.
5.) Raise the pack to your thigh and then let it rest on your thigh while you are still keeping your hand on the webbing loop for control.
6.) Slide the other arm and shoulder past the straps till your shoulders are supported by the padding.
7.) Lean forward and sway the pack onto your back then slip the other hand past the straps. Buckle up and adjust the pack straps to your usual fit adjustments.

© 2017 Ronnie Griffins


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