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How to Pack a Backpack

When it comes to experiencing the outdoors, nothing beats backpacking. But carrying around all that gear on a trail isn’t easy. Here are some ways you can make it easier by packing the right way:

  • Stuff you won’t need until reaching camp should go deeper in your pack.
  • Put rain gear, first-aid kit, a sweater, dry socks and other essential items near the top or in a side pocket where they are easily accessible.
  • Keep cooking fuel in a side pocket so it’s isolated from the rest of your supplies.
  • Keep your tent where you can quickly reach it if you need to get a shelter up fast.
  • At the end of your trip, review your gear list to see if there is anything you can do without next time.

Once you have your pack loaded, adjust the waist belt and shoulder straps so that most of the weight rides on your hips. Don’t try to carry the pack with your muscles. Throughout the day, you can adjust the straps to shift the weight to ease any discomfort.

And leave the frozen chicken at home πŸ™‚



The contents of your pack will depend on the type of outing, but our packing checklists can help keep you from forgetting any of the essentials.

28 Comments on How to Pack a Backpack

  1. Cool. I will definitely use it!

  2. Reepicheep // May 15, 2021 at 4:18 pm // Reply

    I also think you should bring extra boots. You never know when or if you have to go through a muddy or wet pond.

  3. Thanks for the advice!

  4. Your always thinking about food… that’s totally me

  5. What pack is used in the picture

  6. good pack list

    • looks like Aether AG 70 Expedition Backpack – 70 L, or maybe
      Roll over image to zoom in
      Hiker’s way 70 Ltrs Internal Frame Rucksack Backpacks Travel Bag Hiking Bag Camping Bag Trekking Bags with Waterproof Compartment & Rain Cover (HW-7001) (Navy Blue)
      by hiker’s way


  8. An extra tip that I would do is to not stress over which side of the backpack the small stuff is in.

  9. I nead this cuz im going campingq

  10. Did you mention Duct tape?

  11. Scoutleader824 // March 19, 2019 at 11:40 am // Reply

    You don’t need to put a canister of propane stove fuel in an outside pocket, only liquid fuel. Canisters of propane fit inside your cook kit with your stove.

  12. thankful Boy Scout // July 10, 2017 at 10:51 pm // Reply

    Good to know.πŸ˜β›ΊπŸ’–πŸ˜

  13. yougotnicked // March 28, 2017 at 12:07 pm // Reply

    very funny but good advice.

  14. BumbleTron // March 13, 2017 at 1:14 pm // Reply

    do you need a liner for a sleeping bag !!

  15. I learned some useful advice from this and there were some interesting tips to help me on my next camping and hiking trips in the near future.

  16. Very good advice I will definitely try that πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

  17. Very good advice I will definitely try that πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

  18. Very good article

  19. Great advice, I will so use this for my upcoming whitewater campout.

  20. sam the eagle // September 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm // Reply

    I like to focus on weight distribution rather than accessability. Pack light and you wont have much to sort through anyways. I like the densest items against my back so that the bulk of the weight is close to me instead of bouncing around and using up more of my energy

  21. I like to roll shirts rather than fold, less wrinkles. keep things in plastic bags the supermarket kind are fine no need to buy special bags, when you change into clean clothes tie an overhand knot in the dirty ones, that way you know “KNOT” to wear them again.


    • You can purchase it through Harbor Freight Tools, either online or at the store. They usually have the best price, but you can look around online for the best deal.

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