How To Pack Your Rucksack For Hiking

When you go for long hikes, a rucksack is an essential bit of kit to take along. It is there to take up all the stuff you might need while being on the way for several hours. If you pack it right, it will be a big help and hardly any trouble; if you pack it wrongly, it will be a pain in the neck and possibly dangerous. Packing a rucksack is not rocket science, but taking some care with it helps a long way.

The first step to packing a rucksack correctly is to use your brain. Use common sense to keep the content to a necessary minimum. You don't need a flash light for daylight hiking, for instance, and your water bottle can be refilled along the way from fountains and brooks. The total weight of your rucksack should not exceed 20 percent of your body weight; the weight includes any jackets or pullovers you put on for an early morning start and will take off later when the sun comes out.

You might still get old information on how to balance the weight ideally within your rucksack. The old method told you to put the heavy stuff at the bottom and the lighter things on top. While that may help to keep your pullover wrinkle-free, you should ignore the advice. The ideal place for heavy stuff is against your back, the light stuff away from your body. It helps you keeping in balance and gives less strain on your muscles, as the movement is more natural.

Not getting pulled off balance can be pretty essential; if you have to cross a trunk bridge, cross a narrow stretch on a mountain trail, or cross a stream while balancing on stones, a good balance will keep you dry and safe. Having the heavy contents against your back makes ascents easier as the rucksack doesn't pull you away from the incline and makes overbalancing less likely in the descent.

If you are a regular hiker, you might think about getting dedicated bags to organize what you want to take with you on a regular basis. Bags for fruit, matches, and other small fry will keep them accessible inside the rucksack and make packing it easy. And a small water bottle reduces the overall weight, too; refills can be had for free along the way you are hiking on.

Further reading
Wrong Footwear Makes Hiking Dangerous
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