REI’s guide to packing your backpack

Jansport Blue Ridge Backpack

REI has a nice guide on the proper way to pack a backpack. Proper packing is not always intuitive, despite the opening line of REI’s post. But learning to do it the right way will save you a lot of pain and maybe even prevent a ruined weekend. Among the key learnings: If at all possible, practice loading your pack at home, where you have the luxury of time and comfort. Follow your checklist (you made one, didn’t you?) to ensure you have all the gear you’ll need (and nothing else.)

Consider not only the weight of the items, but when you’ll need them. Rain gear? On top or in some other easily accessible spot. Your sleeping bag? The bottom of your pack is probably fine — it’s likely to be one of the last things you need.

There’s plenty of good advice in REI’s article, as well as useful charts and links to other information. Among them, not surprisingly, an article about how to choose a backpack to buy. Mercantile skeptisism aside, it’s a good reference piece and well worth a read.

Our friends at Jansport also have a video guide to loading a pack.

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