How to load a heavy pack

This is the place to talk about the tools & toys that make for easy living in the backcountry.

Moderators: Betsy M, dknapp1

Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: How to load a heavy pack

Post by lori »

Most packs have the sleeve for a hydration bladder down the frame, closest to the back, because water is the heaviest thing you carry. The best distribution of weight depends -- women have a slightly higher center of gravity than men -- but for the most part, I put things in the pack in a manner that puts most of the heaviest stuff close to my spine and midway up the pack. Sleeping gear and insulative clothing at the bottom, then the kitchen gear, food, etc followed by stuff I might need during the day, such as a water treatment method and rain gear and lunch, at the very top of the pack. My sleeping pad is not foam so it gets rolled up and stuffed in with the sleeping bag instead of attached outside the pack.

When working trail crew I get out the larger pack and put heavy gear such as an axe inside down the pack frame instead of on the outside of the pack.

My pack is never more than 25 lbs for 3-4 days. There's no reason to be extremely heavy unless you want to. You can get a light pack without spending a thousand dollars. There are sub-$500 backpacking kit challenges in backpacking forums thither and yon, perusable for a quick googling. ... r-backpack
Emporer Norton

Re: How to load a heavy pack

Post by Emporer Norton »

Carrying more than 35 lbs can be torture, I have carried 55 lbs before and it was no picnic all I could think of was how to lighten the load, logically thinking heavy at the bottom, You want to distribute the weight to the hip belt, With heavy at the top that weight can make you unstable.
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:19 am

How to load a heavy pack

Post by js_radford »

For some reason I stumbled across a Youtube video suggesting that backpacks should be loaded with heavy stuff high, not low and close to your body's center of gravity.

Alarmed, I (as John Radford) posted a strongly worded comment, claiming that the video was actually "DANGEROUS".

Anybody have a well-pondered opinion on packing heavy loads (40 pounds and more)?

Here's the video, my comment being the newest one:

I'd be much interested in your views/experience with this problem.
Post Reply