3 People Walking With Backpacks


A backpack is an integral part of the camping experience. After all, it’s what you use to carry all your camping gear and equipment, after. Campers have to pack light if they want to fit everything into their backpack. However, even if you pack only the essentials, the weight still adds up. To make the weight more manageable, it’s important to have a well-packed and properly fitted backpack. Here are the essential guidelines on how to pack a backpack for camping.


The bottommost part of your backpack must contain your bulkiest camping gear. This layer should also contain items you won’t need to use until you’ve reached your campsite. This pertains to your sleeping bag, sleeping pad, fuel can, extra camp shoes and socks. By placing these items on the bottom of your backpack, you’re also creating a shock-absorbent layer.


The middle part of your backpack must contain your heaviest camping items such as canned food items, cooking gear and camping stove. This kind of placement will provide you with a stable centre of gravity. The weight will also sag downward instead of putting a strain on your shoulders and back.


The topmost part of your backpack must contain camping items you might need while hiking to your destination. This includes your rain gear, a weatherproof jacket, your insulating layers, a first aid kit, water purifier, a towel as well as some toiletries such as toilet paper or wet wipes.


The outside pockets of your backpack must contain items you’ll need to access quickly or in case of an emergency. This includes navigation tools such as maps, a compass and GPS as well as a headlamp, sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm and insect repellant. This is also where you want to keep valuables, such as your cell phone, wallet, IDs and keys.


Some backpacks have loops or fasteners for extra storage. You can hang oversized or long items that won’t fit inside your backpack. This includes tent poles, trekking poles, climbing role and your camping chair. However, keep these items to a minimum so that you won’t have a hard time maneuvering through the bushy terrain.


It’s important to consider weight distribution when packing your backpack for camping. Always keep in mind your centre of gravity. You want to keep the heaviest items in the middle part of the backpack and closer to your back. If heavier items are placed on the bottom, the backpack will sag. If placed too high, it will easily topple over. By keeping them in the middle layer, you maintain a balanced centre of gravity, and it’ll be easier to move around.

You should also adjust the centre of gravity depending on the terrain you’ll be hiking. If it’s mostly flat surfaces, you can have a normal centre of gravity. On the other hand, if you’ll be hiking in rough terrain, you want to make the centre of gravity a bit lower to help keep you stable.
Before your camping trip, try out different combinations to see which backpack arrangement fits your body the best.


Having an efficiently packed backpack also means that everything is compressed. There shouldn’t be empty spaces in between. Since larger, bulkier items will be hard to compress, you can squeeze in clothes, toiletries and other small items in between. You can start by placing your sleeping bag at the bottom of your backpack and fill in the gaps — sort of like the game Tetris. Push everything down so that your backpack is tightly packed.

Before setting up camp in the great outdoors, you first need to transport all your camping gear to your campsite. This can be a challenging task if your backpack isn’t properly packed. All the weight you’re carrying will feel like a struggle. As long as you follow these guidelines on how to pack your backpack for camping, you’ll be able to pack everything efficiently and in a way that won’t create too much strain on your body.



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Jake Taylor

Jake is a global traveller who has recently called Australia his home again. If he's not travelling, he is writing about it and his experience.