How to fill the hiking backpack

Published by Elena Feresin on

How to fill the hiking backpack

Read How to choose the hiking backpack here.

Now that we have hiking clothes and a backpack we need to combine the two. Observing Matteo, owner of the Cityalps store in Udine, filling his trekking backpack was a Zen experience worthy of Marie Kondo. Although I have paid attention to his gestures, I swear, still today, in the moments ahead of a hike I ask myself the same question?

How do I fill the hiking backpack?

The “how” refers to how we fill our backpacks and what we put in them. I’m pretty sure that Matteo’s advice will change your life and not just that of a hiker.

What is the right technique to fill the hiking backpack?

I usually use two criteria:

The first concerns the weight and volume of what I carry with me. Heavy objects should be placed near the back and/or downwards, light objects on top.
How you fill your backpack also depends on what kind of backpack you have (contact-backrest or not?).

In backpacks with detached backs, the above rule applies with the weight. In backpacks with contact backrests, on the other hand, you need to be extra careful not to put solid objects in direct contact with your back as you might feel uncomfortable.

Keep in mind that the backpack must unload the weight downwards. Speaking in percentage terms, 35% of the weight goes on the shoulders and 65% on the pelvis.

The second criteria I use has to do with necessity. I put downwards what I think I will need the least and keep at hand what I might need quickly. For example the waterproof layer.
In the high and immediately accessible pocket, I recommend keeping a first aid kit. It should never be missing in your backpack.
Some backpacks, especially with higher volumes, also have double access so that you have everything at your fingertips.

What should one always have in the backpack?

The plastic bags, like the ones you use for food. They help us to further protect what’s in the backpack in case of rain and are very useful for storing sweaty clothes.

How do you fill the summer backpack?

For me, the summer backpack is a very light one even if, obviously, it depends on the length and the difference in height we do.
I would always keep a fleece and waterproof layer. If we plan to climb high even a light down jacket might be useful.
If you are away for more than a day, depending on the altitude you are at, I also recommend that you bring winter technical underwear. You never know how the weather in the mountains can evolve.

I recommend that you bring a water bottle anyway. It can be useful to put some mineral salts or to give a drink to those who are with us.

Two precious tips

I hope these tips have been useful to you. If so, remember to follow Matteo and me on social media and share the article!


How to fill the hiking backpack

How to fill in the trekking backpack? What is the right technique to fit all the things inside? Is there any trick? What really can't miss? The answers are in…

How to choose the hiking backpack

When we are in the mountains, the backpack becomes our home. How to choose it best? To answer, I got help from Matteo, the owner of Cityalps store in Udine.

Elena Feresin


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