Packing Your Backpack

Here are a few tips from REI, for packing your backpack.  Remember, this is for an internal frame backpack with a hip belt and not for a daypack or external frame backpack.  Some of the concepts are the same for those, but they are loaded differently.

Concepts for loading your internal frame backpack:

  • Heavy stuff close to your back
  • Light stuff away from your back
  • Least used stuff on the bottom
  • Most used stuff on top

I like to add to those:

  • Put EVERYTHING in a waterproof container (like a ziplock bag or trash bag).
  • Pack from a list
  • Share weight with a buddy (one gets the tent, the other gets the poles)
  • Don’t wear anything on your pants belt – put it in your backpack, instead.
  • When you unpack, review your packing list and cross out the non-required things you didn’t really need to bring.  They’ll just weight you down again, next time.

Check out this video for some additional information that is REALLY helpful:

More great tips are available at

Do you have other backpack loading tips?  Share them with me in the comments.

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1 Response to Packing Your Backpack

  1. Dan Durachko says:

    Don’t store your sleeping bag in a stuff sack. It’ll lose warmth due to not un-compressing enough when you use it.

    Don’t pack the night before. Plan ahead and prepare early.

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