How to Pack Your Bug Out Bag for Long Distance Trekking

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If the airlines places every passenger on one side of the plane, it couldn’t fly.  If you place everyone on one side of a vehicle, you would cause damage to the suspension system over time.

If you place all of your gear in one pocket, or on one side of your pack without giving thought to weight distribution, you will strain your back and shoulders.

Properly Pack Your Gear for Easy Carrying

First, the bag that follows the most standards would be a hiking pack.  They are specifically designed to hold gear that you would use while hiking.  Because they are fairly standard, we can easily discuss the bag’s compartments and their functions.

  1. Main Compartment
  2. Sleeping Bag Compartment
  3. Water Bottle Pockets
  4. Hip-Belt Pockets
  5. Top Lid Pocket
  6. Front Pocket

Carry Most of Your Items in the Main Compartment

The main compartment is large and will easily carry the bulk of your items.  The reason for its size and why it isn’t compartmentalized further is to allow it to be versatile with a vast array of different gear of various sizes.

This also makes it a little more difficult to pack and more difficult to get to your gear quickly.

Weight distribution will make or break your back.

Because it is the most difficult pocket to retrieve gear from, you will want to back items that you don’t need constant access to.

The most important thing in packing is your weight distribution.  This will make or break your back.

best way to backpack

  1. Heavy items need to be center of pack, near your back
  2. Medium weight items get packed around the heavy core.
  3. Keep all the weight possible at your spine
  4. If weight is too high, you will be off balanced
  5. If weight is too low, you will lean forward to balance and overwork your back

Sleeping Bag Compartments aren’t Just for Sleeping Bags

The bag compartment is designed to hold a sleeping bag, so, you won’t really go wrong here.

My preference is to lash bags and tents to the outside of my pack, because they take up lots of valuable space.  This compartment would be a great spot for hammocks and mosquito netting.

This compartment isn’t designed or located in a spot that is good for heavy weight.  Keep it light.

Water Bottle Pockets could backfire on you

Water Bottle Pockets are the mesh pockets you see on the side of a pack.  They usually have an elastic top to help hold bottles in place.

Don’t Trust Them!!!

Always lash or clip your bottles onto your bag, even if you keep it in the pockets for stability.

Hip belt pockets allow you to get to important items quickly

hip belt pockets

These pockets are great for small items.  I like to keep items that I will want to quickly get to.  These are convenience pockets.  I don’t want to take my entire pack off to get to a food bar.

These pockets work well for Ids, cash, cards, food bars, nuts, hard candies, or other convenient items.

Use the Top Lid Pocket to Fine Tune your weight balance

The lid pocket is a great pocket to place lightweight items into to balance your pack weight a little bit.

You may need to take your pack off to get to this pocket, but it is still more convenient than attempting to dig into your main compartment.

The Front Pocket is a large, yet convenient pocket

Just like your lid pocket, the front pocket can hold items that are relatively convenient.  You still have to take your pack off, but it will be much better than digging in the main compartment.

Keep light items that you will be needing a lot in in all outside pockets

By understanding all of the pockets and their designed intent, you can properly distribute the weight of your gear.  By properly distributing the weight, you can save your back, shoulders, and knees a lot of pain.

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Ken is addicted to fitness and mountain biking. He is such a thrill seeker, people are starting to be concerned!He enjoys MTBing, Hiking, Climbing, Geocaching, Orienteering, Weight Lifting, and Wilderness Survival.

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