How to Pack a Backpack for CampingLast Updated: 26 Apr 2019
All new backpackers dream to pack like a pro. Rucksacks have come a long way over the last few years, but it is still important to know the main points so that packing and unpacking can be a breeze. The more you are organized on the trip, the more you can enjoy. It becomes easy to find everything you need even when carrying two bags. In the case of multiple bags, it is important to distribute the load. In such a way, a lot goes into the world of how to pack a backpack for camping.
The backpack is for convenience. It will hold items like rain gear, water, flashlight, waterproof materials, first-aid kit, GPS devices, and much more. It becomes easy to access these products without having to fumble around the entire backpack. The process of keeping hydrated on a camping trip is essential, and water should be accessible easily. The backpack also needs to be comfortable on the hips, and this can be accomplished by proper weight distribution. This will also improve comfort when carrying a lot of stuff.
Picking the Ideal Backpack
The type of backpack is one of the first criteria that should come to the mind of a camper. This is not just about what size backpack for camping, as there is more to the backpack than just size. Of course, size plays a very important role, but technology has given rise to different types of backpacks that allow for hiking in a difficult environment or even take a high-end camera on a hiking trip.
Spreading Everything Out
The first step that any newcomer looking to learn “how to pack a backpack for a trip” should follow is the art of spreading everything out in the open. Spreading everything out in the open will provide a good view of the approach to take. So you will visualize the contents that are essential and contents that are not so essential. This helps in coming up with a packing strategy, which is very important.
The common mistake made by newbies is to overpack when there is little requirement for too many clothes. It is important to base the layers so that it is easier to access things that are often used. The elements like wet weather gear are much more important than you might realize.
Sequence of Packing
Here’s what you need to know exactly.
The bottom is the first section to pack. After learning how to pick a size for camping backpack, it is now time to place all the things that are not frequently required at the base. The general rule is to start with the items that are expected to come out last, which is more likely to be the sleeping bag. It is important to store this bag with a dry bag so that it does not get wet even when the backpack has been placed on a wet surface. Everything regarding the sleeping bag should also go along in the base of the backpack.
This can be followed by most of the camping gear, but essential items like a flashlight or the headlamp should not be kept here. After having loaded the bottom, check the weight distribution. A crucial element while learning how to pack for backpacking is the art of better weight distribution which can be achieved by putting light things at the bottom and heavy things near the back/middle.
After having filled up the bottom, it’s now time to pack the middle. This is the section that holds all the heavyweights like food, extra water, pans, and cooking stoves. A basic tip is to place all the packing fuel just below the food so that even in the case of a spill, it does not spoil the food. A backpack that has side pockets is a better choice for packing fuel. Even though the middle section can carry a lot of weight, make sure that the weight is well balanced and well distributed. This creates a stable center of gravity, which makes it easy to carry even heavier loads.
The top section of the backpack should come with clothing, cooking gear, and other essentials that may be required during the outdoor trip. The small necessities like a rain jacket, sunglasses, snacks, compass, and even a first-aid kit should go into this section so that it does not take a lot of time to access these products. Most of the backpacks today come with zippered pouches on the sides that enable such essential items to be stored even more effectively. This can be great places to hold trail food or small gear.
Avoid Carrying Excessive Items
The problem with many inexperienced campers is the number of unessential products that they end up carrying. One should always remember that the backpack becomes an extension of you on a trail. Even though it is not recommended to be ultralight, there should also not be unnecessary items either. The ‘luxury’ products can be easily weeded out by laying everything out in the open before packing. This will help eliminate products that are not essential like that additional sweater. It is also necessary to learn how much water to bring backpacking to save on weight.
We recommend going with appropriate layers or guarding if the weather is expected to be inclement or poor. A rain cover for the backpack is a great defense against water from getting into the back and ending up spoiling most of the gear. Ideally, this should be available in the front for easy access. The use of trash bags can help pack a lot of litter, and this can be a useful addition. The use of compression sacks, which are water-resistant, should help if the rains become incessant.
All these factors help make for a great camping trip even with a backpack on your shoulders.
Do you know more tips that could benefit others too? Share them in the comments section!