7 Tips on How to Pack a Backpack for an Exciting Trip

Paria Canyon

Don’t get overloaded with your camping equipment when you are packing a backpack. A poorly sealed bag can throw you off balance while hiking. If you have most of the weight on top you can become top-heavy causing you to stumble more often. Packing a backpack accurately can make hiking and care more manageable.

What is the hardest part about packing a backpack?

The most difficult part of packing a backpack is knowing exactly where to put the weight in a backpack. We are here to help you understand where and why you want to put the weight in your backpack.

Why you need to know how to accurately pack your backpack.

I have done multiple backpacking trips since I was little, I have been to Lost Creek Wilderness, Paria Canyon, in Butchskin Gultch, and have done a bit of the Colorado trail. I have also gone to college for Outdoor Recreational Leadership where I have learned how to properly pack a backpack, how to research for a trip, and how to properly read a map.

Learning how to accurately pack your bag will help with caring the weight, keeping you balanced when you are trying to pick things up with your pack on, easy to access things that you need, and keeps everything dry when it starts raining.

When your pack is correct hiking with it will also become easier, these are some of the main reasons why l choose to show how to make a backpack correctly weighted.


Step-by-step instructions on how to accurately pack your backpack

I learned how to pack a backpack from years of experience and going to college. That is the way I am going to show you the way I know how to pack, which is comfortable to carry, easy on the hips and legs, and keeps everything safe in your bag.

Time to take a more in-depth detailed look at these steps that will help you get ready for your trip.

The Research

The very first step when you are going to pack your backpack is to research the area you are going to, check how the weather is going to be, and what you will need for the weather conditions it is calling for. Check what type of environment you are going into, if there are going to be any hazards on the trail, and what gear you need for that. Make sure you research if you are going into an LNT (Leave No Trace) area and if they allow you to have campfires. Plan out your meals accordingly, and make sure you have your mess kit all set as well as your MREs. Make a checklist of what you are going to need.

The Layout

When you have done all your research and have your checklist. Go through and grab all your gear and lay it out where you can organize it to how you like, I like organizing by priority and classification. I will have all my mess kit in one spot and my sleeping bag in another. Don’t forget your hiking boots and socks! Whatever you choose to do just make sure you can see it all and have it organized, this step is mainly to make sure you will have all the gear you will need and aren’t forgetting anything. Remember to double-check your checklist, once you have done this it’s time to start packing!

Camp Gear

Bottom of the Bag

Now you are packing your bag, starting at the bottom of your bag you will want to keep the stuff you need and your utility gear. For example, when I pack my bag I’ll keep my tent pack down there for easy access when I make it to my campsite, and I will also keep my mess kit and MREs at the bottom for quick access when it’s time for meals. It’s up to you on what you think will be best to go at the bottom, just remember to keep the things that you will need and your utility gear for quick access.

The Heavy Stuff

It’s time for some heavy stuff, where you want to pack your heavier equipment right against your back just above the stuff on the bottom of your pack. This will help with balance, keeping that weight right against you near your core, it won’t put extra weight on top so your top is heavy or where it feels like you are going to fall straight backward because you have the weight farthest from you. For example, you could have your sleep bag there if it’s reasonably heavy or your tent as well, maybe some pots and pans. It’s up to you what Heavy equipment you put there. Keeping it against your back at your core will cause you to have no issues with balance or wasted energy while you hike.

Extra Layers

Now once you have the heavier equipment next to your back, in the same space farthest from you is where you can put your clothes and extra layers. Anything extra you have like your sleeping pad or sleeping bag liner. This is where almost everything else of your gear goes. Remember when you are packing you want everything in your bag so take your time here and organize how it can all fit in your bag.

The Top

With the top of the bag, that is where you are going to want to put things where you have easy access. Examples of equipment at the top of your are rain gear for yourself and a backpack if you have it. Flashlight, maybe some snacks, what your water cleaner is, a jacket, or your firestarter. The top here is whatever you need quick access to, where you can quickly open your bag and grab what you need.


The Snacks

Now the best part is the snacks! In the very top of your bag place all the goodies in here which you can grab while hiking. It’s also a good idea to store your compass and map up here as well so you may find exactly where you are and some of your lighter emergency equipment. But you don’t want to forget your snacks for on the move, they help you keep your energy up to get to your campsite.


Some things to Consider when you are packing your bag

Some of the key things to consider when you are packing is ABCDE, it is a good way of just remembering how you can pack your bag.

  • Accessibility

When you are packing remember to keep the stuff you need most in easy to places in your bag.

  • Balance

While you pack your bag keep everything in equal weight. It will help when you are doing activities with your backpack, keeping you from going everywhere.

  • Compression

Keeping everything tight will greatly help when packing your bag, rolling clothes up, sleeping bag rolled up tight, and tenting as tight as you can make it. It will also help with E.

  • Decontamination/Disinfection/Dry

When you are packing your bag and you know how to accurately pack your bag, you know everything that goes in and out of your bag. You are then able to keep it all organized and keep everything clean. Once you pull something out of your bag and use it, make sure to clean it and keep your stuff dry.

  • Everything inside the Bag

When it comes to backpacking keeping everything inside your bag is essential you want nothing really out of your bag besides your water bottle and/or a few snacks. Your bag is there to protect everything from the elements while you hike, you don’t want your sleeping pad getting caught on a branch or twig and completely ripping it. I have had it happen it is terrible.


How to take it to the next level

When you are packing your bag try and think about how to make what we went through better. For example, maybe you can put your tent in a way that saves space, or you can have your water cleaner set where you don’t even need to pull it out. Start coming up with different ideas and let me know what you come up with.

Wrapping things up

I have gone backpacking for multiple years and these are just some of the different strategies that I have learned over the years and want to help others out on how to improve their backpacking. I hope this helps you with your trip and you can find a different way to improve from here please let me know what you improve on.

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