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The Key to successfully packing your pack so that you are comfortable and maximizing your load hinges on 2 major factors Organization and Weight Distribution
I like to lay out all my gear weeks before my trip so that I can get an account of what I need and what I want to bring with me….But also to get everything organized and weight out so that I know what I’m getting myself into. By organizing my gear and getting a full account of what I have it makes it easier on me when I need access the gear later.. nothing worst than having to tear your pack apart to find what you need. Which bring me to my first tip on organization.. its an art form… you want to pack the gear you will need the most in places that are most accessible but still trying to adhere to the weight distribution so when I organize my gear I lay it out by “most used” and “weight” category this will help you find the proper home for you gear..
I like to separate all my “occasional use” gear into color coded stuff bags by type. That way it is much easier to access later, IE: cooking gear, personal hygiene, food, etc. and it allows me to put it where I need the weight… Items like GPS, game calls, binos, snacks I like to utilize the accessory pockets on my pack
Another consideration when packing is packing in a manor that minimizes internal movement within the pack one because less noise but 2 and more importantly the more item shift and move the more energy and effort required by you to navigate with the pack.
Backpack Weight Distribution
By distributing weight as depicted bellow , you can achieve better comfort, convenience and stability.
External backpacks When using an external frame pack the heaviest items should be packed on top and closes to the back to center the pack’s weight over the hips and to place you in a more upright position. However, if your doing a lot of rock type climbing or steep maneuvering I would lower the weight to somewhere between your shoulder to get a lower center of gravity.
Internal backpacks When using an internal frame pack the weight wants to be centered just bellow the shoulder blades, close to your back and as centered as possible. By doing this, the weight is centered on your hips. I did not make this diagram if I did I would probably have color coded it with extra heavy items on the bottom end of where heavy is depicted
Play with your set up and get it dialed in take it out for a hike by the house walk up and down your stairs for a few hours if you need too, taking the time and putting in the effort before you hit the mountain may mean you tagging the trophy of a lifetime or leaving early because you couldn’t cut it .