How do you walk with a backpack?

The correct way is to use the small loop on the top of the backpack (it's called a carrying loop) to carry it up to the thigh and then use the shoulder straps to put it on. The carrying strap is much stronger and can withstand much more abuse than a shoulder strap, even if it looks small and thin. Get access to over 30 brands, premium videos, exclusive content, events, maps and more. Maintain your center of gravity, and therefore your comfort, by packing your heaviest and densest gear as close to your back as possible.

Food, water and cooking equipment should end up near or between your shoulder blades, where they don't swing and lose your way. Keep them in place with less dense garments, such as clothing. Always pack the bottom first, balance the load by keeping heavy things in the center, and keep trail essentials at the top. This way, the things you need are always at your fingertips and there is no need to take off your backpack and rummage through the whole thing.

Choose a backpack with the right capacity. Most hikers departing between late spring and early fall can store everything they need in a backpack between 18 liters (1098 cubic inches) and 24 liters (1465 cubic inches). If you carry things for others, such as jackets and snacks for two children, choose a 24-liter backpack. A well-loaded backpack can be the difference between being comfortable and uncomfortable on the go.

It's one of the easiest backpacking skills to learn, but it seems to be a process that many hikers overlook. It contains detailed information on more than 200 of the best hikes in the world and was created with the mission of inspiring and allowing people to go backpacking. I would also suggest taking a shakedown walk before an important trip to make sure the equipment is working and that your packaging system is comfortable. Regardless of how fit you are, wrongly packing a backpack can quickly lead to overexertion even on the simplest walks.

Backpacks have come a long way since the 70s, when hikers swore by (and with) bulky external frames and ingenious side pockets were few and far between. The straps of your backpack help compress equipment inward, maintaining a tight center of gravity and improving your ability to walk smoothly. Don't underestimate the importance of developing a packing system, as a poorly packed backpack can damage your back and add unnecessary difficulties to your walk. Many hikers prefer a backpack with at least one or two separate top or front pockets for smaller items, such as car keys, sunglasses and a small camera, and mesh side pockets for items such as a water bottle, insect repellent, or sunscreen.

This prevents things from changing while walking and helps you feel stable while walking on uneven terrain. That's why it's essential to learn how to pack a backpack and distribute the weight evenly, so you can walk longer and pain-free. With practice and experience, you will find the packaging method that best suits the equipment you prefer to take with you on your walks. These straps can be adjusted to secure your load, so you can minimize sagging and prevent weight from shifting while walking and climbing.

Most packages these days come with external attachment points and I've seen hikers with everything but the kitchen sink hanging and ringing from the various clips. This comes at no additional cost to the reader and helps support the website in its ongoing goal of creating quality content for backpackers and hikers. I like to keep my Kula fabric snug on the outside of my backpack for both day hikes and backpacking trips. However, you need to develop a consistent system that meets your needs and that you use again and again to ensure that you focus on the walk and not on an uncomfortable package.


Clara Bagwill
Clara Bagwill

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