How To Pack A Hiking Backpack

how to pack a hiking backpack

hiking trip

How to pack a hiking backpack- Packing hiking backpacks properly for both short term and long term excursions. Allow you to minimize weight, and get the most efficient use of your limited space.

Backpacks today are predominantly internal frames. Which limits the amount of gear that can be strapped onto the exterior of the pack, but give a huge plus in terms of comfort.

In order to maximize the space in the pack, it is important to minimize the amount of unnecessary air. Squeezing ziploc bags before sealing them, as well as rolling clothes tightly and securing with rubber bands. Are handy tips that can save space within your pack.

When learning how to pack a hiking backpack,  Ziploc bags are useful for keeping items dry. And are virtually weightless Pack extras. Need a pot to cook at night? Pack your clothes or other items inside it to utilize the dead space.

how to pack a hiking backpack

tetron hiking backpacks

A common mistake all backpackers make is overpacking. Especially in regards to clothes. A popular tip is to get out all the clothes you will need for your trip, then remove half of it. 

For shorter treks (a few nights) it is ok to bring a couple shirts and shorts. However for longer trips (at least a week) you do not need to pack daily outfits.

Many times I will bring home unused clothes, that I never even took out of the pack. This is how i learned how to pack a hiking backpack by trial and error.

Organized backpacks allow you to access items quickly, use ziploc bags or another lightweight and airtight container. Do not use tupperware containers. Since they do not conform to the shape of the item your packing, resulting in unnecessary space.

How to pack a hiking backpack.

Having a properly weighted hiking backpack, will disperse the weight throughout the hikers body. Making backpacks feel lighter than they are. To do this, make sure heavier, and bulkier items (sleeping bags, clothes, that portable TV you can’t live without, etc.) Are placed at the bottom of the pack.

how to pack a hiking backpack

kelty hiking backpack

This also serves the purpose of keeping these items out of your way. As you dig through the top of the pack for your camera or lunch. Some backpacks will even have a zipper at the bottom, if you need to access these items on the trail.

Although your backpack, may have hundreds of loops on the outside for hanging bottles. Shoes, and pans, try to minimize the use of these.

Having heavy equipment shifting your weight as you walk, can wear down a hiker and slows down the overall group. If you have an extra bottle of water, place it in the top of the backpack.

Check out this video on how to pack a backpack

Here is a brief list of important items, in order of their placement in the pack. Items at the top of the list should be packed towards the top of the pack, or at least in the outside pockets for ease of access.

First Aid Kit: (should be kept up to date and refilled prior to trip):

Water: (2 quarts to a gallon in total. Make sure you know where the water access points along the trail are before starting):

Map:

Compass:

Camera:

Hygiene Items: (keep together in ziploc bag):

Flashlight:

Fire Source: (matches, backpack stove):

Food:

Raincoat:

Pocketknife:

Recreation Gear: (Frisbee, football, etc):

Clothes:

Sleeping Bag:

Tent: (I usually strap this to the exterior sides of the hiking backpack)

Sleeping Pad: (Strapped along the opposite side from the tent)

CLICK HERE to find  our selection of hiking backpacks.

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