Hiking gear reviews for hikers with short attention spans.

How to Pack Your Backpack

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(Note: This is an updated/revised piece that I originally did for the Two Gear Guys blog. Since making the video a while back, I stopped using the very heavy (4 pounds!) backpack seen in the video. It’s a Sierra Designs Revival 65 pack, which was a great pack, but just too heavy. Now, I carry an ‘ultralight’ Gossamer Gear G4 pack, which weighs only 21 ounces. I still pack my pack in much the same way, but with minor changes, since the G4 is a frameless pack.

This is a quick how to video on how to pack your backpack. 

First, check your pack. Make sure all your compression straps are loose.  0:18

If you’re going to carry a hydration bladder, pack it first before all your other gear.  0:23

Pack your sleeping bag first. Whatever you are not going to need until dead last, that should go in the bottom.

Next, pack your heavier stuff. I’m gonna pack my tent and keep it upright to save space. But, not the poles. Those are gonna go on the outside.

Now, I’m going to pack my food, extra clothes and cooking kit.   

Keeping all the heavier stuff in the middle helps to balance the load. You want to keep the weight centered over your hips.

You’ll appreciate this when you’re carrying everything on your back later.

On top, pack your lighter gear and things you might want to get to quickly.  

I like to keep my rain gear on top, in case I need to get to it in a real hurry.

I keep my tent poles on the outside in an empty water bottle pocket. Be sure to strap them in really tight.

Now the outermost pockets are where I store things like layers of clothing I’ve peeled off during the day.

This is a great place to store quick grab items like gloves or a map or a water filter.

In the lid is where I keep things like a headlamp or a first aid kit or a rain cover for my pack.

Now, personally, I like to keep a little pack towel hooked to my shoulder strap. That way, in case I need to wipe off my hands or my face or anything, I’ve got it handy.

As you go our more, you’ll develop your own system of doing things that works best for you. But hopefully, this will help you to pack your gear a little better for your next trip.

[As I mentioned at the beginning,  I now carry a frameless G4 pack. Because there is no built in internal support, I’m having to arrange my gear in it a little differently than I packed my Revival 65 pack. One thing I’m doing differently, is just stuffing my sleeping bag down into the bottom of the pack liner, rather than use a compression sack. This little trick will help give my pack some structure. As I continue to use it and find out what I like and don’t like, I’ll keep in mind that this is all a work in progress. ]



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