So, you have finally planned that trek with your friends that you have been waiting for! You’ve run into as many camping stores as you possibly could, scoured the internet to buy trekking backpack online, checked their reviews, run your fingers over sleeping bags, rucksacks, boots, tents and gear. You listened with utmost intent to salespeople while they explained the “technology” behind those products with your mouth dropping as you turned over the price tags. Now, after all the hassle, weighing in and ruling out options, it’s time to get all this cool gear inside your trekking backpacks. But how exactly do you do that?
Make sure you’ve got the right trekking backpack for your journey. Choose the best fit, go by the length of your torso and not by your height which is a common mistake that people make. Also, with a traditional top-loading pack, you may have to unload most of your items to reach what you need. Instead, a panel-loading backpack which zips open at the top, sides and the bottom allows easy access to your things. It also becomes easier to balance, and you carry more than 75% percent of the backpack’s weight on your hips.
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect trekking backpack for you, lets start to load it with all your awesome gear!
Step 1: Light Items in the Bottom of the trekking backpack
Sleeping bag and lightweight clothing should go into your bag first at the bottom and you can also use the complete outermost portion of the backpack for clothes as they provide cushioning. Typically, it should be items you won’t need immediately. Shoes are also considered as a good option for the bottom of your bag.
Step 2: Heaviest Items in the middle of the trekking backpack
If you’re camping, put your camp stove or other heavy items in the middle and the back section of your backpack so that they are closest to your body. Electronics should also be placed carefully here. Provide as much cushioning with soft clothes such as T-shirts, towels, etc. as possible to prevent damages in transit.
Step 3: Medium Weight Items at the top of the trekking backpack
Put what you’ll need immediately on the top like a rain jacket, binoculars, toiletries or a quick change of clothes on arrival.
Step 4: Filling the quick access Pockets
Smaller and essential items like sunglasses, tissues, sunscreen, snacks, chocolate bars, etc. should be placed in the outer pockets of your backpack for easy access. Secure all these items as it may easily fall out or break.
Step 5: Properly adjusting Straps and Belts
First, loosen the shoulder strap, belt and the load adjuster straps and then put on your backpac. If your backpack has a capacity of 50 Litres or more, place the hip-belt correctly over the pelvis and tighten it. For smaller capacity backpacks, place the hip-belt over the waist. Then, make sure that all the shoulder and waist straps are pulled in tightly and lastly adjust the load straps. The closer your backpack is to your body, the more comfortable it will be. Follow these steps, readjust until you are comfortable and satisfied and you’re good to go!
The Golden Rules:
1) Never wait until the night before travel to start packing.
2) Avoid adding last-minute items, those are usually the things that you never need!
3) Do not pack more than 75% of the capacity of your backpack as you will need room for the stuff you buy on your journey!
Packing your backpack properly can make your hike comfortable, efficient and can even save your life! The lighter your load, the better on the road!