Packing Your Pack
by Don Schafer
When backpacking, how you pack your pack is almost as
important as what you pack. An off balance pack can become very uncomfortable down the trail. During our pre-trip training classes, we teach the ABC’s of packing your pack: Accessibility, Balance, Compaction. You need items accessible. If a sudden rainstorm comes up, you do not want to be digging through the bottom of your pack for your rain gear and pack cover. If you have a medical need, you need to be able to get to your first aid kit quickly.
Balance is important for comfort and carrying a large load. You want your heavy stuff in the center of your pack and close to your back. The lighter items are placed around the heavier items. This keeps your pack balanced and the weight closer to your body.
C is compaction. You want to be able to stuff and compact your gear to take up as little space as possible. We also teach to put the big items in first. Your tent and sleeping bag are the primary big items in a pack. It is easier to pack around these larger items than try to fit them in after you have filled your pack with smaller, lighter items. These are also two of the most important items in your pack. They keep you dry and warm and can be lifesaving during certain times of the year. ….Read More
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