People are often careless with the balance of their backpacks. Being carefree should be a result of your preparation and not something that acts as a cause of trouble on your treks. While things like quality of straps and buckles, presence of an adequate frame, etc. can be controlled only when you buy your backpack, one must ensure that they are using them effectively while loading their backpack to maintain better overall balance.
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In this article we focus on how changing the way you load your gear and following tips from the seasoned trekkers can help you maintain a better balance on your next trek. Read below to charge yourself for the next ascent.
Tips for allocating your gear inside the rucksack
It is equally important to allocate the things in your bag in their respective compartments without compromising with the accessibility of the items.
The bottom of the bag (main compartment): Keep heavy items like jackets, sweaters or sleeping bag (if carrying) at the bottom of your bag. The simple logic is that the heaviest comes
Reason: You will only need your jackets and sweaters (third layer) once you reach the higher altitudes.
The middle of the bag (main compartment): The items which are slightly lighter like the middle layer and inner layer (shirts, t-shirts, thermals, trousers, etc.) can be used to fill the middle of the main compartment of your bag. Make sure to fill the air spaces well.
Reason: You might require these things only once in a day and also this helps in filling up the air spaces in the bag.
The top of the bag (main compartment): Keep the light and frequently used items like medical kits and toilet kits at the top of your bag.
Reason: These are the items that you would not appreciate searching for long in case of emergencies. These have to be easily accessible as and when required.
The external front pocket: This can be best utilized to keep your rain jacket or wet clothes.
Reason: You cannot afford opening your bag in case of an unpredicted heavy rain or snow. This saves your luggage from getting wet.
The top flap: Keep your shades, beanie, cap, head torch and other small accessories in this.
Reason: These are the most frequently used items and might get shuffled if kept with other heavier things.
The smaller pockets on sides/external loops/Hip pockets: For water bottle on both sides and snacks on hip belt pockets for easy access. Tents , yoga mats ,ice axes, walking poles etc are attached externally.
Tips to maintain the balance of your rucksack
- It is important to select a bag which is light on weight, has good capacity and waterproof to keep your clothes dry.
- Try to keep your clothes by doing ranger folding ( rolling and folding)
- Make sure your bag has no air spaces left inside it. Keep the items very close and tightly packed.
- Keep all the heavy items at the bottom of the bag.
- Make sure your bag weighs equally on both sides.
- Keep the frequently required items like toilet bag, caps, sunglasses, etc. at an easily accessible place in your bag.
- After packing your bag check if sticks tour back well after hanging and does not leaves spaces.
- While climbing on high altitudes ensure that you tie the waist and chest buckles of your bag to share the load equally on your back.
- The weight of your rucksack should be between 8-10 kilograms
Note: The above-mentioned packing tips do not include camping and sleeping bags as it is presumed that the trekker may seek accommodation in tea houses and other places. Carrying these may additionally increase the weight of the bag from 2-4 kilograms.