WON Landing Page OCT 2022

How to Pack a Backpack — Are You Doing it Right?

For hikers, a backpack is everything. It carries your gear; it doubles as a pillow, and it is a reflection of all the places you’ve been and dirt you’ve sat in. Just as your backpack represents everything you love about the outdoors, it can also be your biggest burden.

Choosing the wrong backpack, packing it the wrong way, and even loading it wrong can all make your hike hard but the life of your favorite hobby that much shorter. It’s the difference between taking in a glorious view and enjoying that view with a twinge in your neck and a sore spot on your lower back.

Packing a backpack is both art and science. We’re going to share precisely how to do it with you here by showing you the importance of:

  • Do choose the right capacity of backpack for your trip/purpose
  • Do adhere to the ABCs of backpacking to save you time and your back
  • Do learn to hoist your pack correctly to avoid back injuries (and wear and tear to your pack)
  • Don’t over pack and carry too much gear
  • Don’t forget to balance your back correctly

If you are in a rush we have put together a quick infographic for you that summarises the key take-away points. Otherwise we recommend you read the full article below for a more comprehensive overview on how to pack a backpack correctly.

Source: My Open Country

Backpack Capacity

The ability to pack your backpack correctly largely depends on whether you’ve selected a pack with the right capacity.

Your goal is to find a way to ensure you have enough space to bring the essential equipment and enjoy the comfort of larger backpacks while also avoiding being weighed down with unnecessary weight.

Remember, capacity isn’t measured only by the size of the main compartment. It also includes all the small areas and pockets to measure the total volume of the load.


If you’re an avid hiker or enjoy hiking and camping, it may even be worthwhile to own multiple backpacks: a lightweight rucksack for shorter, day hikes and larger, comfort-oriented backpack for longer trips.

Continue reading, “How to Pack a Backpack — Are You Doing it Right?” from our friends at My Open Country here.

Check out another article, “How to Pack for Your First Backpacking Trip” here.

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.