Just like everything else, there are lots of options, there is no “one way” to pack, and much is driven by your pack, the contents, and preferences. The general rules I’ve learned are:
- Heaviest items should be against your back and from mid spine to hips. This prevents weight pulling against your shoulders.
- Distribute weight evenly between sides.
- Organize your pack as you would if you were in your tent and it was raining outside. For example, my tent goes in last and is in an outside pocket so if wet it doesn’t get anything else wet. Also when I arrive at camp, I can set it up prior to getting anything else out of pack, and if it’s raining, I can unload pack directly into tent.
- Organize your pack to have easy access to things you may want access to while hiking. It zaps a lot of energy and wastes time to constantly be digging through your pack and repacking.
- Wear your loaded pack around the house and adjust, wear it around the neighborhood fully loaded.
- Adjust, adjust, adjust until you don’t really feel this monster on your back.
- Slide Show – How Jan Packs (includes links to video and gear list)
- Video – How Jan Packs
- Jan’s Gear List (2nd edition coming soon)
- Hippie Longstockings’ Video – “How to Pack Your Pack”
- The Hiking Life – “How to Fill a Backpack in 5 Easy Steps”
- REI – How to Load Your Pack