The Right Way to Pack Your Backpack for Camping

If you’re planning a hiking trip which will span a few days, you may find yourself wondering how you’re going to fit everything you’ll need into your backpack. Besides your tent and sleeping bag, you’ll need food, emergency supplies, and clothing, but all of it needs to go on your back.

The prospect of this task may seem impossible, but we assure you it is not! Here’s how to pack your camping backpack.

Items for the Bottom of the Pack

The bottom of your backpack should be reserved for bulky items which you won’t need to retrieve before setting up camp. These items should include the following:

  • A sleeping bag
  • A rolled up sleeping pad
  • Any layers which you plan on sleeping in
  • Camp shoes or down booties for cold nights

Items for the Middle of the Pack

The middle or core of your backpack must be reserved for the heavy, dense gear you won’t need to access while hiking. These items should include the following:

  • Food supplies, except snacks
  • Cooking kit
  • Portable stove
  • A water supply
  • Tent body and tent footprint
  • Tent rainfly
  • Spare clothing

The idea behind packing heavy items in the middle of your bag is to create a stable centre of gravity which will direct the load downward, as opposed to backward.

Items for the Top of the Pack

The top of your backpack must be filled with the items you’ll need to reach for more frequently. These items should include the following:

  • Power bank to keep your mobile charged so you can still play at
  • Insulated jacket
  • Fleece jacket and pants
  • Raingear
  • Emergency kit
  • Water purifier or filter
  • Toilet supplies

Filling the Accessory Pockets

A good quality hiking backpack should have plenty of accessory pockets which will help you organise your essentials and should include the following:

  • Map, compass, and GPS
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip balm
  • Headlamp
  • Bug spray
  • Snacks and water bottles
  • Rain cover
  • Car keys clipped inside one of the pockets
  • ID and cash

Using the Tool Loops Effectively

The gear most commonly strapped on the outside of the backpack includes the following:

  • Trekking poles
  • Tent poles
  • A larger sleeping pad
  • Camping stool
  • Crampons
  • Climbing rope

Putting Your Backpack On

Follow these steps to hoist the backpack from the ground onto your back:

  1. Loosen all straps
  2. Hold the backpack upright on the ground
  3. Stand next to the back panel with your legs at hip width and knees bent
  4. Grab the haul loop, lift and slide the backpack up to your thigh, holding onto the haul loop for control
  5. Slip your other arm and shoulder through the strap
  6. Lean forward and swing the pack onto your back
  7. Let the hand which was holding the haul loop slip through the other strap
  8. Buckle in and adjust the straps to your liking

Now that you’re all packed you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

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