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What Are the Most Efficient Ways to Pack a Backpack for a Multi-Day Hike?

Backpacking is a great way to get outdoors and experience nature with all the supplies you need right on your back. Everything you need to survive, from tents to sleeping bags and even small stoves and food supplies, is in your backpack. So, how do you pack a backpack for a hiking trip? Here’s a look at the steps needed to get you out the door. 

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Whether your pack weighs 10 or 50 pounds, it’s essential to pack your gear correctly to keep unwanted pressure off your shoulders and back. Backpacking is a great way to feel truly immersed in nature, but if your pack slows you down, it can spoil your entire trip.

Packing Your Backpack

Step one to packing your backpack starts with evaluating all your gear and sorting it by how heavy the items are and what equipment you need easy access to. You don’t want to bury something important in your pack, like an energy bar or a water bottle, as these items will be needed while hiking before you get to camp.

When you’re ready to load your gear, start with midweight items that you can pull out last, such as a sleeping bag or pillow. 

After that, you want to split your lightest and heaviest items for the next layer. Place the lightest gear in the side of the pack that rests against your back, followed by the heavier items on the side against the back of the backpack. This technique allows an even weight distribution that won’t slow you down on trail. 

Finally, the lid and side pockets are where you want items like a water bottle and snack bar. You’ll be happy if you can access these items easily while hiking. 

Putting Your Backpack on

One last quick tip for when you’re ready to start hiking. 

Put your backpack on with all the straps loose. Connect and tighten your waist belt first before putting together the shoulder straps. This will help put more weight on your hips and relieve pressure on your shoulders.

Happy hiking!

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