How to Pack a Backpack for a Hiking Trip

Backpacks have come a long way since the 70’s, when hikers swore by (and at) bulky external frames and nifty side pockets were few and far between. Nowadays, there’s any number of high-tech packs that help you lug more gear longer, and farther, than ever before. But it’s still critical that you know how to pack a backpack right.

If you’re headed out for a beach vacation or a family reunion, there’s nothing wrong with throwing your belongings in a bag and calling it good. But hitting the trail is different: You’ll be carrying your pack for hours, days, or even weeks at a time, so balance and comfort are tantamount. Carefully loading up your backpack can even keep you safer: On tricky scrambles or exposed trails, a well-loaded backpack will help you keep your balance and prevent nasty falls.

Chronic overpackers beware: Your backpack, and all the things inside it, become an extension of you once you’re on the trail. Remember that less is more, even if you’re not an ultralighter.

Don’t let a badly-loaded backpack put a damper on your next adventure in the backcountry. Learn how to pack it the right way—with efficiency, convenience and comfort in mind.

Learn how here…


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