Packing Your Backpack - Wild In Nature ','

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Backpacking,  Hiking & Walking

Packing Your Backpack

My first time backpacking was with a knowledgeable friend within the Bluff Wilderness System. I knew less than nothing. Her partner decided  to unceremoniously dump my backpack out and proceeded to repack it for me.

There is a system-who knew?

Empty -How to Pack Your Backpack
Packing  Your Backpack

Now, I’m going to tell you how I learned to fill  my pack for the best weight distribution, ease of grabbing contents and less pressure on my back and shoulders.

The #1 thing to remember is the load needs to be balanced and all the weight should not be on the bottom. Share on X

First grab a large garbage to line the inside of your backpack.  Then:

(1) My lightweight but warm sleeping bag squishes up really small in it’s compression sack-that goes in the bottom.


It cushions my lower back. If there is room beside the sleeping bag, stuff clothing such as what you plan to sleep in and  your camp pillow, and your inflatable sleep pad. Some backpacks have a special zippered  section on the bottom specifically for your sleeping bag -mine does not.

(2) Next I insert my hydration  bladder in the pocket at the back of the backpack.. Make sure the flow spout is ‘off”.  And make sure it’s inserted the right way-I have had a few wet backs because of that mistake. The opening for putting in water goes at the top for those of you like me.

(3) If you are in a area where you need to carry a bear can , that comes next. Place it horizontally or vertically however it fits best- in the middle, on top of your sleeping bag and  against your back

You can  use the space in the can to put your food in and whatever small sundries you are not going to need  on day one.

The mid section is also where the heaviest items are packed, tent, cooking kit, toiletry items and food. (except what you plan to eat on the first day) .  Any extra clothes that don’t fit in the bottom and that you don’t need to quickly access can go here.

Packing Your Backpack
Packing Your Backpack

(4) Use the top section for stuff you will need easy access to- water filter,  a fresh pair of hiking socks and rain jacket. Your warm puffy needs to go on top-you can cool of quickly once stopped for a break so it needs to be easy to get at and pull on. I use a big poncho but if you use a pack cover, it can go in this pocket as well.

If you can’t fit you tent in the middle (C) section,  close and tighten your bag and fasten the tent to the top. A folding sleep pad will also need to be fastened to the outside.

(5) The brain -the very top pocket/section of you bag. This sometimes has two compartments. In the inside one, put your keys, first aid kit, extra batteries, power bank, phone charger cord and  fire starter or lighter, headlamp , medications. Keep everything together with a small dry sack or zip lock bag.

The second , outside pocket is a great place to keep your day’s snack and lunch.

Outside pockets can hold a water bottle with electrolytes, map, GPS device,sunscreen, and chap stick. I keep a small knife in the pocket as well.

All those hanging things on the outside? Hang your kula cloth trowel on the outside . I have a Satellite Communication Device which I take backpacking ….I hang in on a harbinger on the front of my straps.

I bought a holster for my bear spray so it’s very accessible. I don’t always bring bear spray, BTW.

Packing a Backpack
Packing Your Backpack




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