How to Pack a Hiking Backpack

Article published at: Jun 23, 2024 Article author: Durbl-Megan
How to Pack a Hiking Backpack
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scaping into nature is a thrilling experience, and a well-packed backpack can make multi-day hikes enjoyable. Here's how to pack a hiking backpack effectively, while reducing single-use plastics:

Bottom of the Pack: Sleeping Bag & Mid-Weight Gear

Place your sleeping pad, thick clothes, and compressed sleeping bag at the bottom. This area is also ideal for bulk food stored in Durbl Gallon bags, like oatmeal and dried fruit.

Middle Back: Tent, Cookware & Heavy Items

For optimal balance, place heavy items like a water reservoir, cookware, camping stove, fuel canister, and tent near your mid-back. Use cooking pots to store bagged food and pad them with clothes to avoid wear on your pack.

Middle Front: Clothes, Toiletries & Light Items

Store lightweight items you don’t need frequently, such as extra clothing, a towel, and less-used toiletries, in the middle front of your pack. This area can also hold lightweight slippers or flip-flops.

Top of the Pack: Easy-Access, Light Items

The top is ideal for lightweight, frequently accessed items like a water filter, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, sunscreen, bug wipes, and an emergency kit. Use pouches or Durbl bags for organization.

Side Pockets & Hip Pockets

Keep a rain jacket in an outer pocket and store a water bottle and day food in side pockets, using Durbl Quart bags for food portions. Use waistbelt pockets for snacks and dog treats in Durbl Snack bags.

Waterproofing Your Backpack

Consider using a rain cover for your backpack and store essentials in dry bags and Durbl bags to keep them dry.

Essential Packing Checklist

1. Important Gear:
  • Backpack
  • Rain cover
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow or stuff sack
  • Sleeping pad or air mattress
  • Durbl bags (various sizes)
2. Clothing:
  • Hiking boots
  • Wool socks
  • Underwear or long underwear
  • Hiking pants or shorts
  • Short-sleeve and long-sleeve T-shirts
  • Insulated or fleece jacket
  • Rain jacket and waterproof pants
  • Sunglasses and hat
  • Gloves and beanie (seasonal)
3. Toiletries:
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Toilet paper
  • Face wash
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Trowel
4. Food & Water:
  • Water bottles or reservoirs
  • Water purification method
  • Cooking utensils and cookware
  • Lighter or waterproof matches
  • Meals and snacks
  • Stove and fuel
5. Emergency Supplies:
  • Map, compass, GPS
  • Cell phone and extra battery
  • Whistle or emergency beacon
  • Headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Knife or multitool
  • Duct tape
  • Bear canister (if in bear country)
  • Permits (if required)
6. Personal Items:
  • Keys
  • ID
  • Credit card
  • Cash
  • Detailed itinerary left with an emergency contact

Preparation Tip

After packing, take a short walk to ensure the pack feels balanced and comfortable. Adjust if necessary and ensure nothing is missing. Now, you're ready to disconnect, immerse in nature, and enjoy your hike! Happy hiking!

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