Thursday, February 18, 2016

How to put on a backpack for your hike

Putting on a backpack starts with standing it upright.
A loaded backpack is not only heavy but awkward to put on your back. Trying to twist your arms through the shoulder straps can prove difficult and result in an improperly placed pack – which in turn can lead to shoulder and back discomfort during and after the hike.

Properly putting on a backpack consists of a few simple steps.

First, set your loaded pack upright and then with one hand grab it by the haul loop (Unfamiliar with a backpack’s parts? Here’s a primer).

Next, widen your stance, bend your knees, and slide the pack up one of your thighs.

Slip your free arm through one of the shoulder straps. Bring the pack as far on the shoulder as it will go.

Lean forward, swing the pack onto your back, and slip your other arm through the open shoulder strap.

Secure the backpack by buckling the hip belt, then stand up straight.

Now you can tighten the various straps. Begin by cinching down the shoulder straps. Next, tighten or loosen the load adjuster straps (aka load lifter strap as needed. Finally, adjust and buckle the sternum strap.

You’re now ready to hit the trail!

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.