So you bought your perfect backpack

Packing and using your backpack the right way is crucial if you are up for several days of travelling, backpacking or camping.

The most important step when packing your backpack is to leave the unnecessary at home. Ideally, a fit person should not carry more than 20-25% of his/her body weight over a long period of time.

The pack’s center of gravity should sit close to the body and ideally around shoulder height.

Figure E: Wrong! The pack’s center of gravity sits far from the body’s center of gravity resulted the pack strongly pull backward. The body will constantly works against the pack’s weight and the shoulder are heavily burden.
Figure F: Ideal! The pack’s center of gravity should sit close to the body and ideally at around shoulder height. This way it is positioned over the body’s center of gravity and the backpack will not pull backward

So to save you from several days of suffer, check out below steps on how to properly pack your backpack:

1.) Arrange everything you are going to carry with backpack before putting it in. This can allow you to prioritize the order of gear goes into the backpack. The two main element that you sort your gear is how much it weight and how regularly you will be using it. Use Figure G below to categorize generally what gear goes where (A,B,C,D)

Figure G

A.) Medium weight gear – Sleeping bag, down jacket/equipment, air mat, sleeping clothes, or anything that is not required until you reach your day of destination.

B.) Heavy weight gear – tent, hydration bladder, food, cooking equipment, or other heavy camping gear

C.) Light Gear – Towels, pillow, hat, gloves, or light weight clothing

D.) Light Gear – Sunblock, snacks, headlamp, light weight layer, first aid kit, bandana, or anything light and you would need it frequently or emergency.

2.) Sleeping bag, jacket, down jacket, other light weight clothing, or light weight bulky shoes should go into the bottom of your bag first (A). Try to push and squeeze these item at to the bottom to make a solid base for your remaining packing. You can also utilize your separate bottom compartment (if your backpack come with this function) by squeezing and pushing all these gear into the zipped separate bottom compartment to make a solid base. You can also keep your underwear, socks for later to fill up these spaces that not used by your sleeping bag and air mat after you done packing (B) and (C) to make the base of backpack even more solid.

3.) Keep your heavy equipment along and closest to your back (B). Use the hydration system with bladder if possible. Since water is normally heaviest item that you will carry. The Placement of hydration system could be a placement guide for your item heavy too.

4.) Packing follow by tent, cooking gear and other heavy item (B). You could pack your tent with tent pole separately as you can pack your tent into one package and separate your pole evenly to place at the inner both side of backpack (along hydration bladder).

5.) Pack, squeeze, and push other remaining medium weight items (normally: clothing) in the backpack that toward outside (C). Your goal is to make the backpack as compact as possible and place these item that you will need to access first on top of (C) and (D) such as jacket, umbrella, or quick change of clothes upon arrival of destination.

6.) Finish your packing by packing other light weight items that you will need during your activity to these exterior and top pockets for easy access such as: first aid kit, sunblock, snacks and others.

7.) Be sure that all these buckles/straps are clipped property and pulled tight so that all your items are compressed and secure.

Secure your walking pole properly with these walking pole attachment given. Minimise the number of item you strap to the outside of the pack and keep them as compact and small as possible to avoid swinging.

An ideally packed backpack should be keep an even weight distribution throughout the whole backpack while easily accessible when needed. The backpack should look tight and compact.

You may also use stuff sacks, packing cubes, waterproof sacks for your item for easier packing and organisation.

Final revision, have a look on below summary infographic about how to pack your backpack:

**all information/materials are refer and taken from Deuter Workbook, internet, and writer’s experience.