How To Pack A Backpack: Like A Pro

It happens to the best of us. Going out in a hurry, we throw our stuff randomly in the backpack. If the items are few in number, there’s no problem until later. If the items are many in number and type, the backpack fills fast. What do we do then? We then force our stuff into the backpack, literally making it a pile of unorganized things. If we knew how to pack a backpack, the task would have been much easier.

Why Should We Pack A Backpack Properly?

Someone might argue, what’s the harm in an unorganized backpack. The stuff is going to get carried anyway. Well, tough to argue with that. But, a planned, well-organized backpack will increase your comfort in many ways.

First, you will know where your things are. This will save you from the hassle and frustration from searching for items like your earphone from that pile.

Second, a backpack can carry a lot of things you even didn’t think. There are compartments and pockets in a backpack intended for different uses. By using the accordingly, you will be filling every inch of that bag. You’ll find that you can load up double of the previous quantity.

Third, Comfort. A well-organized backpack will increase your comfort in many ways. From even load distribution to easy findings, your trip will be easier than before. And this will also ensure the longevity of the backpack.

How To Pack A Backpack?

Backpack Capacity:

Each backpack has a capacity. You have to plan how much you fill it according to your necessity and trip duration. Shorter trips require fewer items. When going for a longer trip, you will require items like cloth and food.

That’s why think about what’s necessary and what not. Do not fill the backpack with unnecessary or fancy items until taking your necessary items first. For more detailed information on washing/ cleaning backpack guide for  you, visit our washing backpack tips.

Weight Distribution Of Backpack:


Nowadays, more and more internal frame backpacks are used. They can carry a great weight, stay attached to the body and comfortable. When you’re walking on a trail, the heaviest items should be near to your back, between your two shoulder blades. This will give you better control on your steps and keep you firm on the ground. The lighter items should be organized at the top side and outer side of the backpack. This centered with will give you better stability on rough grounds.

If you are using a backpack with an external frame, the load should be carried mainly on the top part. Fill the backpack with heaviest items on the top, and then lighter items, like your clothes, sleeping bag on the lower part. Keep items like first aid kit, stove, and water filter away from the bag and as middle as possible.

Loading The Backpack

Starting to load the backpack without any planning will increase the chance of leaving any item accidentally. Before packing the backpack, especially before a trip, make a list of items. Lay them in front of you. Then make a weight class.

Generally, items like slipping bag and clothes go to the bottom, which is lighter. They are followed by the medium and heavy items. To know buying guide of best tool backpack click here

Also, you have to keep in mind when you might need them. The bottom part of the backpack is generally for bigger, bulky items, which are not needed for the camping. The medium part of the backpack is filled with heavier items near to the back, and lighter items on the outside. The top part of the backpack is filled with items you need frequently on the way.

Recommendation For Different Parts

Here’s a list to help you understand how to pack a backpack. Not that you will take all those items, but take a general idea.

Bottom part

Do not put soft, small objects at the bottom part of the bag. This will imbalance the weight distribution of the backpack.

  • Shoes (Wrapped in a packet)
  • Clothes
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping pads

Core/ Middle Part

Pack heavier items there for a better center of gravity.

  • Foods (unless it is snacks)
  • Stove
  • Cooking equipment
  • Water pack

Remember, if you are carrying a fuel bottle. Keep it at the upright position and under the foods. You can keep your tent or rainfly to separate the water pack and other items.For more detailed information on buying fishing backpack for you, visit our Best Fishing Backpack Buying Guide & Review.

Top Part

Keep the items you need frequently.

  • Toilet supplies.
  • Snacks.
  • Water purifying tablet.
  • First aid box.
  • Rain gear or jacket.

Accessories Pocket

Make full use of them without filling the main compartment with delicate items.

  • GPS
  • Compass
  • Sunglass
  • Tablet
  • Smartphone
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen/ Bug spray
  • Keys and IDs
backpack accessories pockets

Side Loops and Straps-

Use them to store tall and rigid items which cannot be contained on the backpack.

  • Tent Poles
  • Ropes.
  • Axe for cleaning the road.
  • Hiking poles

Some Exclusive Tips

  • Use full space of your backpack. For that, fill the empty spaces between bulky items with smaller items. You can also use some innovations like keeping a pant/shirt inside of your pot, use your sleeping bag to wrap the items etc.
  • Keep sensitive and delicate items protected and separate. They might break or get damaged if you keep them with regular items. Also, make them accessible anytime.
  • Use shoulder straps, chest straps, and side straps to keep the shape under control and carry able. There is a general rule of thumb, a traveler should not take more than 25%- 30% of his/her total weight. While experienced travelers can carry more than that, it’s not suggested for beginners.

Conclusion about How to pack a backpack

A backpack is the best way to keep our things organized. Think for a second, what would’ve happened if we didn’t take a backpack on a trip. That would be practically impossible, right? That’s why, feed your backpack in a clean, distinct way. Do not put items and loads where they’re not due.

We hope our guide on how to pack a backpack was helpful. If you have more tips on that, please let us know. We wish you a happy and comfy experience with your backpack. Take care!!

  • Updated December 17, 2021
  • Blog
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