How to successfully pack your backpackThe age-old question of how to best pack your pack has many solutions, all of which depend on many variables along with personal preference. There are however a few things that most can agree upon, namely:
• Place heavier gear closer to your back
- Food and water
• Place lighter gear farther away from your back
- Parts of your tent
• Frequently used items placed on top
- Map & compass
- Rain shell
• Less used items placed at the bottom
- Sleeping bag
- Other non-essentials
Try and keep the pack's centre of gravity low and centred for more comfort. This depends on how you travel and what type of terrain you're in. If you are ski touring or hiking in difficult terrain you'd want the centre of gravity lower for better balance. If you are on hiking on flat surface you'd want it higher and close to your back. If you are walking primarily downhill then again it would need to be slightly lower where if you are hiking uphill then it can be higher and close to your back.
Be sure to bring only the essentials to limit overall weight and considering sharing communal gear among everyone in your group. Once you have your pack loaded tighten down all the compression straps to ensure the load is snug and won't shift while you're walking.
Some other points to consider are:
• Lay out all your gear beforehand and organize it ahead of time
• Use Stuff sacks to organize your gear and maximize space
• Don't duplicate gear that other's may be bringing and can share
• Make note of what gear you don't use and don't bring it next time (other than first aid and safety gear)
Did we miss anything? Want to add to any of these ideas? We'd like to hear from you in the comments below.