Last Updated: 02 Jan 2021
An efficiently packed backpack can handle lots of tools and gear easily which is one of the main requirements during hiking. You would need to pack your backpack in a way that is comfortable and convenient to access everything that you would need. In this article, I have listed 11 tips to help you in your hiking backpack.
11 Tips on How to Pack a Hiking Backpack
You would need to pack your bag for maximum comfort by maintaining the center of gravity of your load and keeping the backpack near your spine to prevent being uncomfortable during the journey.
One way for comfort is to tighten your straps to prevent the weight from moving around and you would need to pack the heaviest gear close to your back.
Keep your cooking gear and food between the shoulder blades to prevent them from moving around and creating trouble.
Your things should be packed conveniently so that you can get your gear out quickly and that too without emptying everything out whenever you need something.
It is advisable to pack things that you would only need while camping in the bottom of the bag and high use stuff in the pockets near the top as per your need that may arise during the trek.
#3. Maintain Your Center of Gravity
Gravity is a simple thing that pulls things downwards but sometimes it can make things turn and topple over especially when they are unbalanced.
You need to understand the concept of maintaining the center of gravity for efficient backpacking.
Centre of gravity for your body is slightly above your waist and by efficiently using the space of the bag and evenly distributing the weight you can maintain your center of gravity and prevent yourself from falling down or being uncomfortable while walking.
#4. Efficiently Using Backpack Pockets
Using the space of the backpack and especially the pockets properly make your journey easy.
You can pack bulky items that you would need before camping in the bottom of the bag that includes but not limited to following
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping Pad
- Any layers, that you plan to sleep in
- Camp shoes
There are different pockets on different backpacks but the following are most common on every kind of backpack
- The uppermost zippered pocket
The pocket on top of the backpack is perfect for storage of frequently used items that could include snacks, Navigation tools, headlamps among others.
- The Front Pouch
This pocket is for instantly access the things that you put in and it is ideal for a rain jacket that you could need in case of unpredictable rains in the mountains.
- The Hip Belt Pocket
This pocket is ideal for high use items like trail snacks or energy bar that you could access without removing the backpack.
- Water Bottle Pockets
As the name suggests this Pocket is for storage of the water bottle and for east and instant access to life-saving water.
#5. The Backpack Straps
You will be more comfortable in walking if the weight is closer to your spine so, in that case, straps are of great help.
Compression straps help you tighten the pack to make sure the weight is not moving around and making you uncomfortable.
The shoulder straps help you to adjust the backpack to balance it properly.
The waist belt straps are one of the most important straps that helps adjust weight evenly through the hip
and Chest strap helps to keep the bag from drifting.
#6. Tame Excess Backpack Straps
While hiking you may begin to notice tiny annoyances about your extra long straps and that may also get stuck in things and create unwanted trouble for you or they might keep swinging into your arm as you move.
You need to tame them and there are few ways to tame the tangling backpack straps by using
- Velcro Tape
- Web Dominator
#7. Avoid Overpacking
You need to avoid any sort of unnecessary thing that you might carry and that can create unnecessary problems for you on your trek.
You need to remember that less is more even if you are ultralight.
You need to take only the essentials with you and don’t take anything with you that may be unnecessary and could add extra weight to your backpack.
The golden rule for packing light is simple, pack your backpack and then remove 50% of it and That will be all that you would need
#8. Backpack Rain Cover
You would need to have a rain cover for your backpack as rains are almost unpredictable in the mountains and it could rain at any time.
The rain covers could be of great help in your defense against the rain and help you protect the outside layer of your bag from getting wet and preventing your gear and clothes from getting damaged because of water.
You can keep this in the front pocket to be able to access it quickly and easily in case the need arises.
#9. Compression Sacks
Well-Compressed stuff will help you save lots of space and help you be comfortable with your travel.
The compression sacks help remove the excess air in between your gears and clothes and helps you get the maximum of your bag space.
Most of the compression sacks available in the market are water-resistant so, they do more than just compression by protecting your backpack against the rains
#10. Use soft items to fill in spaces
It is highly recommended that you use soft items like clothes to fill up the space between the hard stuff to reduce the knocking and shifting of the stuff while hiking and prevent you from getting unbalanced.
Moreover, Nobody wants to hike with the sounds of clanking pots or getting inbalance because of the moving gear and utensils.
You can stuff extra clothes, the tent body or a puffy jacket around the camp cookware or other bulky gear to prevent them from moving around.
#11. Store your liquid fuel carefully
You need to be extra careful when you are packaging the fuel as you need to keep them away from your food items and other inflammable objects.
You should make sure that fuel bottles are sealed properly and are leak-proof before you move ahead on your trail.
Leaking fuel will not only make your food taste bad but it can also be dangerous for you if catches fire by the incident. So, dedicate some extra time when it comes to packing the liquid fuel.
#12. Dry everything before you stuff it
You need to pay extra attention to drying your clothes before packaging as damp or wet clothes can develop a really bad odor and have the potential to completely ruin your trip.
The same thing goes for your tent and other stuff that can get wet and create unbearable order later.
Wet clothes and tents will also add unnecessary extra weight to your bag and creating more trouble for you on your trail.
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