How To Pack A Backpack

posted Jul 21, 2012, 11:52 AM by Troop814 Webmaster   [ updated Jul 21, 2012, 12:13 PM ]
When going on a backpacking trip, whether it is an overnight trip or a week-long trip, it is very important how you pack your backpack. There are many different ways and there is no one “right” way, but this is how I do it.
First you want to get all of your items and lay them on the floor and make a check list to be sure that you don’t forget anything. Then pack your heaviest items at the bottom or near waist of your pack so that you are not top heavy, making it easy to lose your balance. The items that you will be using a lot, you want to put at the top of the pack so that they are easy to get to, for example your raingear, first aid kit, water, etc. If you have side pockets on your backpack those are a better place to put some your gear that you might need to get to fast.
When packing your food you want to put it in a zip lock bag so it doesn’t get wet, or so that if something spills it won’t ruin your food. But most important you don’t want the scent of food on the thing that will be in your tent or backpack when you sleep, because it will attract little critters and they could tear up you gear. Your sleeping bag can be packed at the very bottom of your pack or you can strap it or tie it to the bottom or top of your pack. Your sleeping pad will be strapped at the top or bottom or top of your pack as well. Some backpack come with straps on the side so that you can fit your pad in them. If you are carrying your tent or part of it, put it in your pad when you roll it up and carry it like that.
Make sure that once you are packed and at the trailhead ready to go, make sure your waist straps are tight. Because when you are hiking your weight should be carried and sitting on your hips. Tighten your shoulder straps to keep the backpack close to your body and on your back.
Figure 1. Lay out your equipment
Figure 2. Roll tent or your share of tent in your sleeping pad to save space (optional)
Figure 3. Put sleeping bag at the bottom of the pack or tie it to the top or bottom
Figure 4. Put items that you might need quick access to in the side pockets
 Figure 5. Put gear and other items inside your pack
Figure 6. Fully packed
Figure 7. Pack should sit on your hips and shoulder straps should be tightned to keep the backpack close to your back