Outdoors Information

Packing a Backpack - A Guide

With so many different designs, packing a backpack will vary considerably. Generally though, the key to packing your backpack is to achieve even weight distribution. Packing your heavy items at the top will pull you backwards - packing your heavy items near the base will drag you downwards. Therefore ensure that your heavy items are packed relatively in the middle to balance the weight.

You can achieve this by dividing the pack into three areas

Area 1

Area one, at the base of your pack should contain your lighter items. Pack your sleeping bag here (many packs have a separate compartment for sleeping bags).

Area 2

Area two should contain the heavy items such as food and cooking equipment. You can pack any small clothes you don't mind getting wrinkled in any spare space.

Area 3

The rest of your clothing should be packed in area three. You can still take advantage of the space saver bags, but remember while they save on space, the weight remains constant. Pack all your other items anywhere there is space.

Other pointers:

? Pack spare of the moment items or items you will require often in easy-to-access side pockets. If it starts raining, you don't want to have to unpack everything to get to your raincoat.

? Store any fuel upright and away from food incase there is a spillage.

? Roll up your mattress and carry it outside of your pack. You can also use your mattress as a buffer between sharp cornered items and your back.

? Use your pots to protect delicate items such as cameras etc.

Once you've packed everything, take it with you for a long walk. If you're unable to cope with the weight you should reconsider what you have packed.

Article Copyright 2005 Travel J - Traveler's Resources & Information - http://www.travelj.com

Sarah Moore has been in the travel and tourism industry for over 20 years and is currently working with one of the worlds largest coach networks. Sarah is also the webmaster of TravelJ - A Traveler's Resources & Information Network - http://www.travelj.com

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