Instructors often see unexperienced tourists. They hear many tips to pack their backpacks in this or that way. There are some key moments worth accounting while packing a hike bag. The rest should be done in the way you like and feel comfortable.
What to Take for a Hike ?
Okay, let’s see what an average tourist generally wears in a backpack.
They take for the hike:
- Equipment (tent, sleeping bag, carpet);
- Food (canned supplies, cereals, cheese, sausage, cookies);
- Cloths (boots, jacket, and other cloths);
- MBSK (mug, bowl, spoon, knife);
- First aid kit and pleasant things (shampoo, comb, etc.)
Jacket was consciously separated from the other cloths in this list. You’ll understand why some time later.
How to Start Packing a Tourist Bag?
Instructors say, it is worth to start packing one’s backpack from the carpet. It can often be seen: tourists put carpets on side belts outside of their bags. There is one undisputed advantage in this decision: on a halt, one can quickly place a carpet on the ground in order to have some rest. Except of this, there are backpacks with no place for the carpet. But if you go hiking with friends, it is better to ask someone with a big bag to pack your carpet. Why so?
Because a carpet which is outside, will wave in the wind, and this can be dangerous when you are on the edge of the fall. Additionally, your carpet will stick to branches constantly, and you will sleep on a carper with holes as a result.
If to put your carpet inside the backpack, then it will additionally protect the contents form strikes and heavy rains.
That is why carpets should be packed vertically. Roll the carpet, put it inside your bag, and spread it along the inner “walls”.
How to Carry a Sleeping Bag ?
Sleeping bags can be different. People buying expensive ultralight bags don’t need any advice. If your sleeping bag is bulky enough, use its size as the advantage. It is recommended to put a sleeping bag to the bottom of the backpack. Why? Because you’ll use it once in a day, on the evening camp. You won’t even think of it during the hike itself.
And if the sleeping bag will lie on the bottom of your backpack, it will amortize strikes of throwing the bag to the ground. Plus, the size of a sleeping bag will get smaller under the weight of the full backpack.
A tent is to be packed horizontally or vertically right after the backpack, depending on its size.
How to Distribute the Weight of the Tourist Bag?
Why does the question of the bag packing methodology appear at all?
Because the backpack which was packed properly lowers the load onto your shoulders, and transports it to your hips, lessening the weight you feel, and getting you off the hike tiredness. Additionally, you can prepare things you’ll need during the day walk to be quickly unpacked.
There is a great delusion: people think that heavy stuff has to be put to the bottom of a backpack. Heavy things can draw onto the bottom, but their weight is to be distributed vertically and as close to your back as possible.
If to place stuff on the bottom, in front of your back, this weight will pull the backpack backwards, your shoulders will get tired and your back is going to hurt. All the weight of your backpack should be headed towards your back instead. This will make carrying the weight much easier.
The second important moment is comfort. As it was mentioned, the sleeping bag won’t be needed during the day. And the jacket is something you can put on and off during every halt. So, the most rarely used things, like a tent, can be hidden deeper, and a jacket, a bowl, a mud, a small bottle of water and a cloak are better to be put on the top.
Of course, your personal feelings are what matters the most when choosing how to pack your bag. Additionally, pay attention that these ways will differ when moving through cities, planes, and mountains.
But never forget that you won’t have time to unpack the sleeping bag first, then throw away all the supplies and only then to get your cloak from the bag’s bottom. And if you need long to get your mug out on a halt, then everything is probably to be eaten till you do that.
And yes, take care of your health. People risk when they go to a hike itself, but don’t create additional load for your back and spine. You better save energy for walks with a camera on a halt :)