Know How

How to wear a loaded backpack

Kanishka S

Last updated: 11-03-2020


Even the best backpack can fatigue you or cause injuries when worn wrong.

We have listed below a step by step guide on how to hoist and fit your backpack right along with some common mistakes to avoid.

In case, you are unfamiliar with the parts of a backpack mentioned below, please refer to the article: Know Your BackPack for clarifications.


Hoisting your Loaded BackPack


1. Loosen the shoulder straps and load lifter straps to make the backpack easier to slip on.


How to wear a loaded backpack

2. Tilt your pack to an upright position on the ground.


3. Lift the backpack from the ground using the haul loop.

Common Mistake to avoid:

> We have seen trekkers lift a backpack using the shoulder straps.

> This leads to premature wear and tear of the shoulder straps.

> It also knocks you off balance and places excessive strain on your body while hoisting the pack.


How to wear a loaded backpack

4. Rest the pack on one of your thighs first. 


How to wear a loaded backpack

5. Slip your free arm through one of the shoulder straps until your shoulder touches the padding of the strap.


How to wear a loaded backpack

6. Lean forward and swing the pack onto your back.


7. Now slip the other hand that was holding the haul loop through the other shoulder strap.


How to wear a loaded backpack

Strap Adjustments

The goal is to adjust the straps in such a way that majority of the load sits on your hips. 


8. Fasten the hip belt buckles first and tighten them.

Note: It shouldn’t be too tight that it is pinching at your hips.


How to wear a loaded backpack

9. Pull down on the Shoulder Straps to tighten them in such a way that they are wrapped closely around your shoulders.

Note: Adjust the hip belt straps and shoulder straps so that your shoulders are not carrying significant weight. If they are, there will be excessive stress on shoulder, neck and upper back muscles which can lead to injuries in the long run.


How to wear a loaded backpack

Finer Strap Adjustments


10. Tighten the load lifter straps to draw some of the weight towards your torso.


How to wear a loaded backpack


11. Finally buckle and tighten the sternum strap across your chest.

Note: Avoid over tightening the sternum strap. It could ruin the overall fit of the backpack and restrict breathing as well.


How to wear a loaded backpack

You are now ready to go.

Do keep in mind that it is possible you won’t get the fit right in the first go.

Be aware of aches and pressure points in your body and tweak the adjustments of your straps to relieve the stress.

Pay attention to the position of your body while hiking. As a general rule of thumb, leaning slightly forward will make the load feel more in balance.

Take the pack off whenever you stop for a break. This helps your back muscles recover and breathe for a bit before resuming your hike once again.


Designs by Ayush Magotra

Kanishka S

Kanishka is a part of the Content Team at Bikat Adventures. She holds a Masters in Development Studi Read more

Add a Comment

* Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.