Packing your rucksack is, perhaps, the most important pre-departure ritual. Improper packing means improper load distribution and this can lead to extreme discomfort as you have to carry the rucksack on your back for long distances in the rarefied atmosphere during the trek. Our trek leader, Himanshu, has some expert suggestions to help you pack your rucksack like a pro!
Download The Packing Checklist for Trekkers here.
Labelled Diagram of Rucksack showing functionality (Image Courtesy: Blacks.co.uk)
Below we enlist a few methods to pack your rucksack in the most efficient ways:
(A)ccessibility : For greater accessibility, frequently used items are kept in
a) Top/Front/Side zipped pockets
Items include snacks, dry fruits, first aid kit, ponchos, map, compass, sunglasses, sunscreen, headlamp etc.
b) Side mesh pockets
Items like bottles, rolls of tissue etc.
Side pockets in a Rucksack (Source: BackpackingLight)
(B)alance: Maintaining the balance i.e. correct load distribution in a rucksack is essential. The goal, here, is to create a comfortable center of gravity. To do so, follow these tips:
To check if your rucksack is ideally balanced or not:
How to Pack your Backpack
(C)ompressiblity: The compression part is met as described :
a)Trekker’s Clothing b)Give small fold at 1/5th position from top
c)Sidefolds at both sides d) Starting Rolling from bottom side
e) Ranger-Roll Method
(D)ry: Always use plastic compartments (if possible with different colours for different items) to differentiate between your gear. Rucksacks nowadays come with inbuilt rain covers to help keeping your rucksack dry. Prolonged exposure to water can not only make your rucksack heavier but may even damage your expensive rucksack.
(E)nvironment : Planning of gear in advance is very important whether you are going for a hike in Himalayas or in the desert. So make a list of essential items according to the environment which you would be exposed to.
(F)ood & (F)uel : Never keep Food and Fuel together on an alpine trek. Keep your liquid fuel bottle below the food items in your backpack because in case of a spill it will damage all your food items.
Tips while Packing your Rucksack :
So, now that you have mastered the art of packing your rucksack, when are you setting off to explore the mountains?
Article by: Himanshu Garg