A backpack can take a lot of gears and other items. There is no one right way to pack. You can lay out all of your stuff down and try different ways to upload until you’ve found works best for you. You can certainly use a backpacking checklist to make sure you have everything and keep track of what works (or doesn’t) well after each hiking.
After everything is packed and full and you are ready to go on an adventure, it’s time to haul up your backpack. A well-loaded pack will feel balanced when resting on your hips and won’t shift or sway as you hike with it.
We can divide packing into three categories:
Bottom zone: good for heavy or bulky items that are needed at the very last minute at the camp include a sleeping bag or pad, camp shoes.
Core zone: good for your denser or heavier items include food stash, cook kit, stove or water reservoir.
Top zone: good for bulkier essentials you may need on the trail include insulated jacket, rain jacket, first-aid kit, toilet supplies.
Tool loops and lash-on points: good for oversized or overly long items include trekking poles, tent poles, large sleeping pad, ice axe, crampons, climbing rope.
Let’s see ourselves stacking cordwood. You lay down rows, not columns. Fill nooks and crannies until you have a solid, stable load, and the weight is equally balanced on each side. Tighten compression straps to streamline your load and prevent it from shifting as you hike.
Now let ‘s see how to lift your loaded backpack. A common mistake made by the beginners is to lift a backpack by a shoulder strap. It can damage and wear out your shoulder harness and it can make it difficult to control your backpack as you try to put it on your back.
For a successful lifting, practice these steps:
- loosen all of your straps slightly to make the backpack easier to slip on.
- Tilt your pack to an upright position on the ground.
- Stand next to the back panel and your legs well apart and knees bent.
- Grab the webbing loop at the top of the back panel on your pack.
- Lift and slide the pack up to your thigh and let it rest. Keep your hand on the haul loop for control.
- slip your other arm and shoulder through one shoulder strap until your shoulder is cradled by the padding.
- Lean forward and swing the pack onto your back, slip the hand holding the haul loop through the other shoulder strap.
- Buckle up and make your usual fit adjustments.
You can practice the art of lifting a backpack at home until you master it.