Many beginner backpackers think that when you pack a backpack for backpacking it simply means throwing all your things inside it. The truth is that it is more to that. Organization is key, especially if you are going on a hiking trip.
You wouldn’t want to place the essential things (such as your water bottle) at the bottom of your backpack because if you do, you will have to unload everything just to access it. There is actually a proven method that backpackers follow to improve their overall experience when it comes to backpacking.
Packing Right: How to Pack a Backpack For Backpacking
Aside from the common reasons as to why there is a need to organize the things in your backpack, by means of organizing, you can ensure that carrying it will be comfortable, convenient and stable. So how do you pack a backpack for backpacking?
The first thing to figure out is your backpack capacity and the pockets or other external capacities that your backpack provides. The duration of your backpacking trip is important in deciding what capacity of the backpack you should go for. Furthermore, you need to identify the zones of the bag. In a usual backpack, it includes: bottom, core, top, external pockets, and lash-on points or tool loops.
In this article, we will be talking about where the most common items should be placed or stored. Without further ado, let’s proceed.
The bottom part of a backpack normally includes the sleeping bag compartment so this would store the sleeping bag, sleeping mats, and shoes. You can also try and store anything soft of squishy at the bottom to serve as an internal shock absorber for both your back and your backpack.
The items to be stored in the core part of your backpack are the items that you don’t need during your hike. These items typically include food (main food items but not snacks that you will eat during your hike), cooking equipment, stove, water (although, it would be advisable that you have a separate water bottle for when you are hiking), and bear canister.
By situating these heavier things at the core of your backpack, you will have achieved a stable center of gravity. This will allow directing the weight of your backpack downward; however, do not place it too low or else it will sag and the weight will be off.
Furthermore, if you are carrying any liquid in your backpack, make sure that it is tightly sealed and stored upright to avoid any spills. Another good tip when backpacking is to surround your bulky gear with soft items such as blankets for the purpose of creating a buffer.
Hiking essentials that are very bulky are stored on the top part of your backpack. These would include jacket, fleece pants (and jacket), rain coat, your first aid kit, water purifier or water filter, and toiletries. There are also a great number of backpackers that store their tent on the top part of the backpack for easy access, especially in stormy weather.
It is advisable to consider a backpack with a great number of pockets; not only does this add to the capacity of the backpack, it also provides a more organized manner for stowing your gear. A backpack can feature a wide range of pockets such as front pockets, lid pockets, top pockets, side pockets, and hip belt pockets.
In these pockets, you can store a compass, map, GPS, lip balm, snacks, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, lamp or flashlight, water bottles, rain cover, ID, cash, and even car keys.
Lash-on points or tool loops
The most essential things for hiking such as trekking poles, tent poles, sleeping mats or pads, camp chair or stool, crampons, axe (ice axe), or even climbing rope are stored or situated at lash-on points or tool loops. Look for a backpack that has fasteners, daisy chains, compression straps, lash patches, and other storage solutions.
In preparing your backpack, it is important to take note of these zones. Furthermore, it is also important to loosen your straps first so that it’ll be easier to slip on. You should be able to practice hoisting and wearing a backpack at home before your big adventure to ensure that you will finish your hike without having drained too much energy. We hope that these tips were able to give you an overview of how to pack a backpack for backpacking.