How To Pack A Backpack For Camping


Tired of not having enough room in your backpack? It’s not your gear’s fault that it can’t fit in your backpack. It’s you. But don’t worry, we can fix that problem with these easy tips.

If you have reasonable sized items, then there should be a way to fit them into your bag.

It might seem like a frustrating puzzle at first but with enough practice and experience, you will have your bag packed perfectly every time.

Before we begin, there are a few main points to fitting everything in your bag.

  • Balance
    • Once you got everything inside, you want to make sure you can walk without the bag pulling you side to side.
  • Comfort
    • If setup correctly, nothing should be poking you in the back and should be easy to carry.
  • Weight
    • Even if the bag is heavy, you should still be able to carry it. You will have all your gear inside so if you find out it’s too heavy, it’s your choice to remove some things.

Its also important to plan out your camping sites ahead of time.

Packing The Backpack

The Bottom Of The Pack

The first thing you want to do is organize all of your gear and lay it out on a flat surface. From left-to-right have your gear in order from light to heavy. This will make it easier for you to know what will go into your bag next.

The very first thing that should go into the bottom of your backpack is your sleeping bag. You won’t have to pull this out unless your camp is ready so it’s the last thing you will need to pull out. Hence why it should be the last thing in your bag.  According to Will Tottle from Wonderful Wellies packing the sleeping bag at the bottom will make your backpack comfortable to carry and take any discomfort and pressure away from your lower back and would improve your experience, especially if on a long hike.

Camping chair is also an important tool for better outdoor experience. So make a wise decision before buying any. Try to focus on size, material and features to fit the chair in the backpack.

If you have any extra footwear or clothes then you should squeeze it into your bag evenly.

The sleeping bag at the bottom will make your backpack comfortable to carry and won’t irritate your lower back, which is great.

Another thing you could do is use clothes as another cushion towards your back so you won’t feel the pressure of your gear.  You can also consider a backpacking chair.

The Middle Of The Pack

The middle of your bag should contain the heaviest camping items that you don’t plan to use until you’re at your destination. Placing heavy items at the top is something you should never do. Your bag will constantly tip side to side and you will not be comfortable walking.

Having heavy items in the middle is the perfect balance because gravity won’t be trying to pull the weight from the top of the bag.

Some common heavy items you can put include tents, footprints, food supplies, and water. Find out where we got our best 2 person backpacking tent here.

The Top Of The Pack

Backpack For Camping

This should include things you need to grab out of your bag quickly and most often. Another important thing should be emergency items. Emergency items should always be in a convenient spot either in the top of your bag or in one of your backpack’s pouches.

You shouldn’t have to stop and dig through your entire bag for one item, especially if you are not at your campsite. Having your useful items at the top will prevent this.

The items at the top should be small and relatively lightweight to keep your backpack stable.

Extra Pockets, Pouches, and Straps

Anything small that you would like in arms reach can go into your pouches.

Here is a list of common items you could have by your side.

  • Matches
  • Snacks
  • Pocketknife
  • Canteens
  • Water Purifier
  • Cell Phones
  • Compass
  • Binoculars
  • Rope

If your backpack has straps built-in, then it is recommended to have your tent poles attached so you can get started as soon as you reach your desired location.  Also you need a great tent which you can check out at Best Budget Tents.

And that’s it! Follow these steps and you will be packing your backpack like a professional in no time.

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