Posted on May 22 2018
Packing a Backpack
When packing your backpack, the two main considerations you need to sort your gear by is how much it weighs and how regularly you will be using it. The aim is to put together a pack that is balanced effectively. A packed backpack should sit comfortably on the back without affecting your centre of gravity.
Separate items out alongside your pack; this facilitates packing and also makes it easier to check you have everything. Start out by packing the items you’ll use least, which will most likely be your sleeping clothing, a pillow and your sleeping bag. These won’t be needed until you set up camp so they can easily sit at the bottom of your pack.
Next up, you want to add your heaviest items to the centre, closest to your back. These will be water, food, cookware and solid items that are heavier in weight. Keeping them close to your back in the centre of the bag gives you a good balance, whereby you won’t be pulled in any one direction. Finish the centre section by adding your lightest items farthest from your back to keep the weight close to you.
Finish by adding all the essential items you use most often at the top. This will include a torch, first aid kit, map, snacks and other practical items you’ll use while hiking. Too much weight at the top will throw you off your balance and you can risk toppling over.
It’s advisable not to overdo it with added items hanging from the pack’s exterior. These can snag on something and their movement can put off your equilibrium. With everything inside the pack, you can easily tighten compression straps so everything is secure and won’t throw off your balance.
PRO TIP: Check that you’ve packed your bag properly by putting it down on the floor. If the bag falls to the left or right, then the weight isn’t evenly distributed on each side and the load will need adjusting. If the bag falls onto its front, with the straps up in the air, you have too much weight towards the front of your bag, which will mean that the load pulls you back as you walk.