So, you’ve planned the epic hike, gathered your crew, mapped out the trail and now you have to pack the dreaded backpack. Use these helpful tips and tricks to make sure your backpack is balanced, contains nothing unnecessary and will be practical to use.
Lay it all out
You don’t want to schlepp any unnecessary weight on your back, so lay out everything (even your food) and go through the items. Be strict about what is essential and what is a luxury. Leave the luxuries at home.
Start at the top
At the top of most backpacks is a zipper pocket. This is your on-the-go pocket and is the perfect place for those go-to items such as snacks, a Swiss knife or other compact tools, small torch or headlamp and suncream.
The foul-weather pouch
Generally you will have a stretchy pouch on the front of your backpack. This is where your rain jacket lives. When it suddenly starts to pour, you can easily access the jacket. After the rain, simply put the wet jacket back in the pouch and it won’t get anything else wet.
Now pack the rest…
Ideally, your backpack should be balanced perfectly, once packed, to help with your centre of gravity. You don’t want a top heavy backpack that is going to push your back/neck forward. Pack the heavy stuff as close to your lower back as possible, followed by food and cooking gear which should sit more or less between your shoulder blades. Pack your clothes between these items to make sure nothing moves around or pokes into your back.