How to Pack a Hiking Backpack7.25.2023
Your Guide to Packing a Hiking Backpack
What is a hiking backpack? Is a hiking backpack worth it? Is it different than a school backpack? We get a lot of questions about hiking backpacks and whether or not you need one (short answer is yes), but why, exactly?
If you’ve just picked up hiking as a beginner or you’re looking to upgrade your current every day, traditional backpack with a hiking backpack, then this is the blog post for you! We’re here to answer all your hiking backpack frequently asked questions and give you the best tips and tricks on how exactly to pack a hiking backpack.
Benefits of a Hiking Backpack
Firstly, let’s take a look at the difference between a traditional, travel backpack and a hiking backpack. A hiking backpack is specifically designed to provide you with four key features: comfort, durability, weight distribution, and extra space.
As hikes can often last anywhere between one hour to multiple weeks, having a backpack that is designed to withstand long walks and often rough terrain is an essential part of ensuring your safety and comfort on the trails.
Let’s take a look at these four benefits further to better understand why investing in a hiking backpack is always the smart choice.
Hiking backpacks are designed to be worn for longer periods of time, which is why they’re often more comfortable than traditional backpacks. Whether you’re going on a short hike or an extended travel hike, opt for a hiking backpack that fits your body type and one that can be easily adjusted.
Hiking backpacks tend to be made of more durable material like synthetic fiber-based fabric and ballistic nylon, as these materials are incredibly strong and offer abrasion resistance for the wearer. A strong hiking backpack that is properly maintained can last around 10 years, so it’s important to choose a high-quality backpack up front.
Even Weight Distribution
When you’re on a hike, the last thing you want is to suddenly have sore shoulders from carrying a bottom-heavy backpack. Fortunately, hiking backpacks are designed to evenly distribute the weight in your backpack and give your upper back, lower back, and shoulders support, regardless of what you’re carrying.
If your hikes are longer than 3+ hours, you’ll want to invest in a hiking backpack as they often have extra compartments designed to hold water, food, and camping equipment. Many hiking backpacks can carry all the camping essentials as well as food and water, including sleeping bags, tents, and extra clothing.
How to Pack a Hiking Backpack
Now that you know why you should choose a hiking backpack, here’s a guide on how exactly you should be packing your hiking backpack.
Step 1 (Bottom layer): Pack your bulky, less-frequently used gear on the bottom. This can be your tent or your sleeping bag. This area should never hold food or fragile items as they run the risk of getting squished by the items on top.
Step 2 (Middle layer): Here’s where you pack denser items: clothes, blankets, or a bear cannister. These are items you may need on the trip, but are likely only going to be pulled out while at camp.
Step 3 (Top layer): Your top layer should be lighter items that you can easily grab. These can include food items, a jacket, a water bottle, toiletries, etc.
Step 4 (Outer Layer/Accessory Pockets): The outer pockets are where your most important and most frequently used items should live. Items like phone, wallet, keys, sunscreen, your compass, a map, and bug spray should always be in an area where you can easily access them.
Start your Hiking Adventure in Cherokee, North Carolina!
After you’ve purchased your dream hiking backpack, it’s time to explore nature and hike the trails of the beautiful Smoky Mountains National Park! Grab your family and friends for a vacation they’ll never forget in Cherokee, North Carolina, where you can hike, fish, golf, and more!
To learn more about Cherokee, North Carolina or to plan your next trip, please contact us today!