The basic process of packing a hiking backpack is quite straightforward, but using a preferred system to pack the essential supplies can achieve better results.
A well-packed backpack will make sure the weight is even and balanced and supplies are packed to avoid issues with swaying or shifting.
Whether walking on the easy or difficult terrain, the hiking pack should feel comfortable, predictable, and stable when moving.
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Start by packing the backpack in the home. Use a hiking checklist or similar to confirm everything is in place.
Lay the gear and equipment on the flood and carefully check the right equipment is in place. Avoid leaving things behind which might be essential to you when out in the backcountry.
Most hiking backpacks come with a top-loading access panel to load the essential supplies.
Other options include a front or side panel with zipper opening. The style of backpack chosen is usually down to personal preference.
Also, a backpack can include a bottom stash spot and compartments for a sleeping bag – but if only going on a day-hike, this area is great for accepting other items of equipment.
The items packed first in the backpack should be those items of gear used the least. A common item stashed first is the sleeping bag or similar gear (sleeping pad, pillowcase, sleepwear, etc.) that is only used when stopping at camp.
Most of the nighttime items can be kept at the bottom of the pack, although items like a flashlight or headlamp should be kept within easy reach at all times.
Extra caution is needed in bear country. Make sure to carefully pack and separate hiking supplies to avoid issues with transmitting a fragrance.
Pack the core
A preferred area to place heavier items (stove, cook kit, water supply, food stash, etc.) is near the center, which is the most effective option to help achieve an acceptable center of gravity.
Packing heavy items near the top often results in a pack feeling tippy, while packing too low has the unwanted effect of leaving the backpack feeling saggy.
Plus, be more careful with items that can spill such as water bottles or liquid fuel. Pack these items below food and in an upright position to avoid more difficulties in the event of a spillage.
Also, heavier items can be packed or wrapped with a rain jacket or similar item to help fill space and prevent the packed load from shifting.
Most of the latest hiking backpacks on the market include a hydration sleeve or reservoir to provide a simple solution to hold enough water for the planned hike.
In most cases it is easier to have the reservoir installed in the pack when the backpack is virtually empty.
Pack the top
The top of the hiking backpack is often equipped with a variety of zippered pockets and pouches.
With the addition of special straps it is possible to attach extra kit such as a sleeping bag or pad.
A variety of kit can be attached to the outside of the backpack to easily up the volume of the portable load.
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