Know How

Campcraft Basics : How to Pack your Rucksack

Sarthak Madan

Last updated: 31-10-2018

Knowing how to correctly pack your backpack can mean the difference between enjoying and enduring a trek. The video below details the process and principles to keep in mind while packing your backpack.




Accessibility - Items that are frequently used and required during the day or in case of emergencies should be kept at the top - Sunglasses, Rain Cover, Waterproof layers, Trail food, First Aid Kit

Balance - Bag should be equally weighted on both sides to prevent imbalance. Heavy items should be kept in the middle. Care should be taken while keeping items on the outside of the pack two half litre bottles on either side of the pack are better than a litre bottle on side.

Compression - Items should be packed tightly together without leaving any spaces or gaps. Small compressible clothes like thermals, tshirts and socks should be used for padding around larger, fragile items like cameras. This helps in keeping the volume of the pack low which aids in balance and prevents damage to your belongings.

Dryness - Always keep a rain cover for your pack accessible in the outer pockets. Dry sacks, waterproof garment bags or simply plastic garbage bags should be used to organise items inside the pack and keep them dry.



Start at the bottom - Lightest items - sleeping bag, clothes etc.

Middle - Heaviest and most fragile items go closer to the back of the pack (weight is placed on hips, helps in stabilising the pack) - tent, camera, food, stove etc. Surround/pad with lighter items like clothes

Top - Items that need to be accessed frequently/quickly - first aid kit, rain cover, waterproof jacket, headlamp, trail food etc.

Outside - Avoid keeping anything outside your pack as it can get caught on thorns and bushes, knocking you off balance, unless you absolutely have to - mattress, trekking pole, water bottle etc.

Sarthak Madan

I work with Bikat Adventures as an expedition leader and technical content writer. Sometimes, I fly. Read more

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