How To - Pack A Pack
When embarking on a hike or travel, never underestimate the importance of pack organisation. It can affect your comfort, centre of balance, back health if wearing for extended periods, and accessibility to items. Use this guide to ensure you're packing smart.
Packing Your Gear
- Make a checklist of all the items that you want to take with you. Our Gear Lists are a great starting point for you.
- Collect the various items of gear and spread them on the floor in front of you.
- Identify items that will require quick access while in transit (such as a map, flashlight, water bottle, etc.) as they belong in easy to reach areas like external pockets.
- Then start packing by the following rule of thumb:
- Light items at the bottom
- Heavy items at the back and
- Medium items (or bulky equipment) at the top and front.
Packing that way will put the heaviest items close to your centre of gravity (your back) and make it easy to keep your balance afterwards.
General Tips During Packing
- Use smooth items to cushion cornered objects that might otherwise pinch against your spine.
- Partly-filled stuff sacks can be squeezed into gaps. Also, when differently coloured, they can help you find things and stay organised.
- Protect delicate items by packing them inside hard objects (such as pots and shoes).
- Don't pack food underneath containers that might spill.
- Pay attention to even weight distribution between the right and left sides.
- If your pack has a flat base, a simple way to test if your load is well balanced is to stand the bag on the ground. If the bag sits up on its own or falls forward - towards the harness - it's a pretty good sign that you have packed and balanced your pack efficiently.