What Should I Pack in My Backpack?

It’s critical that you carefully prepare not just what you’ll bring but also how you’ll pack it, when you’re going on a multi-day walk or journey and will be camping in the woods.

When packing a large hiking or backpacking bag you can follow a procedure. It will not only help you arrange your time on the path, but it will also make carrying your load simpler and safer.

As a result, we’ll go through how to pack a backpack in this post. Below is a thorough step-by-step instruction that will walk you through the entire procedure.


External frame and internal frame hiking backpacks are the two most common types. Before going into the various procedures, it’s important to understand the two basic sorts of packs since this will help you figure out how to make the most of the space you have. Here’s a quick rundown of what they’re all about:

External frame packs: When contrasted to internal frame packs, these backpacks are heavier, clumsier, and often regarded “old fashioned.”  As the name implies, an external frame pack exposes the frame. Check out our must-read post on the subject for a list of the best external frame backpacks.

An internal frame pack’s support system is located inside the backpack, making it more conformed to the body and providing more stability. Internal frame packs are far more prevalent than exterior frame packs these days, especially for hiking. Furthermore, the majority of the weight is distributed to the hips, which is more ergonomic.

Here’s our pick for the finest internal frame backpacks to keep your back healthy. We give guidelines targeted to internal frame backpacks because they are more prevalent and better for trekking and backpacking in general.

Prepare your pack and organize the stuff you’ll be bringing.

Small goods (kitchen supplies, toiletries) can also be grouped together in plastic bags to make life simpler. A packing checklist, either handwritten or prefabricated, may be useful.

When camping, space is at a premium, therefore even the least addition to your burden must be justified. You don’t want any more weight because you’re carrying your full cargo on your back.

Almost often, it’s preferable to go as light as possible. Remove everything that isn’t absolutely necessary, and consider how you might “stack” goods (for example, if you’re packing a bear canister, stuff it full of food!). On the other side, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you’ll need on the path, so don’t forget anything!

This is also a good opportunity to physically examine your bag to make sure it’s in excellent shape and free of rips or tears, especially if you haven’t used it in a while.

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Double-check that everything fits – both in terms of space and weight!

Before repacking more strategically, you may quickly pour everything into your bag to test whether it all fits. It’s a good idea to run a fast space check. Also, make sure your completely loaded luggage isn’t too hefty for you to carry. This is especially critical if you are new to backpacking or planning a multi-day journey.

Make a strategy.

The most crucial aspect of correctly packing a suitcase is you’ll need to carefully plan how you’ll fit everything into your pack once you’ve gathered everything.  You’ll need and double-checked that it will all fit. Before adding goods to your bag, you may even organize them according to the tier they belong in. It might be helpful to think of your load in terms of “layers” or “zones.”

Place all of the big stuff you’ll need for setting up camp toward the bottom of the bag, but not before. This includes everything you’ll need to sleep- your sleeping bag, camp shoes, clothing, and a sleeping mat if you’re bringing one.

Make sure the things that are the densest are closest to your back. Your heaviest things should be placed on the second, or center, layer. Cooking equipment, heavier food provisions, a bear canister (which you may fill with supplies), and your water reservoir are examples of stuff you should take here that you won’t need on your real trek. This will aid in maintaining stability.

Preparing ahead of time for goods you might need before setting up camp can save you from having to unpack your entire backpack while still on the route. Thus any goods you might require on your journey such as a rain jacket, toiletries, or a first-aid kit that won’t fit in the outside pockets should be stored in the top layer.

Finally, most backpacks contain many exterior compartments that may be accessed without opening the bag itself. These are really useful and should be used to their best potential.

A rain cover for your backpack can also be stored in an accessory pocket. You’ll want to save them for little stuff like food, sunscreen, maps, a GPS, a water bottle, and any vital personal goods like your phone, wallet, and keys that you’ll need on your journey.

What Should I Pack in My Backpack

Complete the packaging process.

This is a rather simple task. Follow the steps outlined above, layering the grouped objects.

Additional goods may be attached to the exterior of your backpack using carabiners and other fasteners. It’s best to keep the amount of things you connect directly to the exterior of your pack to a minimum because it may be inconvenient or even dangerous, but it makes sense for some goods like poles and ropes.

Fill the water reservoir first before adding other items to your bag. Note that if you plan on accessing a water reservoir during your journey (many backpacks have built-in reservoirs or places specially meant to contain water receptacles),

If you have anything you don’t want to get wet (such matches or electronic equipment), you may wrap it in waterproof bags, which are light and don’t add any weight. You can wrap anything that can spill in additional plastic bags to prevent leaking.

Another option is to fill up gaps between layers and heavier goods in your rucksack with soft, shapeless objects like cloths or your tent. This will assist to disperse the weight and prevent objects from shifting around (imagine packing stuff in a shipping box!)

Check the backpack’s fit and make any required modifications.

The heaviest section of your backpack should be nearer to the middle of the bag, distributing the weight equally (and your back). To avoid back discomfort, it’s critical that you make the required changes. Try on your backpack and make sure it fits properly. Backpacks commonly include hip belts, load lifter straps, and sternum straps.

Because they aren’t designed to hold the majority of the weight of your pack, your shoulder straps should be snug but not overly tight or taught. Your backpack’s hip belt should sit comfortably on top of your hips as your hips should be bearing most of the load.

You’re ready to depart if you’ve tried your (packed) bag and everything feels nice. Most current packs, fortunately, can be readily adjusted for the best fit.


We discussed how to pack a hiking backpack in this article. The most essential thing to remember is that a little forethought goes a long way when it comes to hiking and trekking.

Your hiking journey will be more organized – and pleasurable – if you have a well packed backpack. It will aid with stability and comfort, also ensure you getting the goods you need when you need them.

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