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Backpacking Packing Tips

Stuff Sacks
Stuff Sacks

What packing and organizational tips would you give beginner backpackers or day hikers, that will help them fit all their gear into a backpack?

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  1. Pack your sleeping bag at the bottom of the pack, medium weight items on top of the sleeping bag, heavy items close to your spine, lighter items on the top and at the perimeters.

  2. Take things out of their original packing! Do the same for prepackaged food.

  3. Share the load if travelling with a partner, take a water purifier to reduce the amount of water needed to be carried in you pack.

  4. Bring a smaller pack. This will force you to choose only the things you really need.

  5. 1. Pack from a list, don’t just grab stuff because it “might” be handy.
    (Form your intentions about items prior to seeing the available space in your pack.)
    2. Others have covered organization (weight distribution, access) well.
    3. I would add extra pockets as necessary for the “office” (map/compass/GPS) and camera/snacks.
    4. Also, make sure water is accessible without having to take off your pack. I have been on trips where others have not been able to reach their own water, and it really slows the trip down.

  6. A “luxery” item or two, such as a book, journal, ipod/headphones, small binoculars, or flask filled w/espresso might very well increase your enjoyment of your trip during downtime, and help you better enjoy the nature around you. If prepared correctly, espresso can last several days in a flask, and all it takes is a bit of hot water added and you have an excellent Americano in the backcountry. You just have to make sure to prevent any grounds from passing through into the espresso during the brewing process over time (I use an Aeropress with two filters to make my backcountry espresso).

  7. I have packed through many terrains, Use you head don’t take toys like video games, books unless being used for survival and anything not needed on the trails. You are here for nature. Use zip lock bags, you can get them in most sizes that will fit your needs. They are fast and dry all you have to do is put your clothes in lay it flat and roll tight to get air out and zip. Second don’t put your sleeping bag and tent in your sack, get them in waterproof bags and strap them on the outside. Remember shelter and fire first if you are on a long trip.

  8. When I first started I simply dumped everything in a large rucksack. Could never find anything when I needed it. Then I went super organized and had stuff sacks and ditty bags for everything. Now I am somewhere in the middle. I try to plan ahead and have the stuff I need during the day in exterior pockets and the rest placed in the pack so that what I’ll need first at the end of the day is on top.

  9. 1. Try to fit all of your food it a gallon size Ziploc bag. Use a few of them to organize snacks. Then they can be used as trash bags to pack things out.
    2. Get a few caribiners to clip to your bag. Use them to clip hold your hat when you’re not using it or other items.

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