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Putting on your pack
Putting on your backpack, repeated many times daily, requires a great deal of energy and not a little finesse.

BACKPACK SKILLS


Putting on your pack
The art of hiking
Treating water
Fording rivers
Finding your way
Avoid plant & animal hazards
GoBackpack Introduction

TIP: During rest stops on the trail, the pack can be used as a seat if the ground is cold or wet.

STEP BY STEP

Moderate to light loads

Lift the pack using the shoulder strap (or the nylon loop attached to the top of the pack back on nearly all models).

Rest it on your hip, and put the arm on that side through the shoulder strap.

With loads of less than 25 or 30 pounds, you can then simply swing the pack onto your back.

STEP BY STEP

Heavy loads (50 pounds or so)

Lift the pack using the shoulder strap.

I swing my pack onto my bent knee rather than my hip.

Then from a stooped position I slowly shift, rather than swing, the load onto my back.

Finally, I tighten all of the straps until the pack fits snug.

[photo] [photo] [photo] [photo]
1
Grab your pack by the top of the shoulder straps.
2
Lift it onto your bent leg.
3
Swing it slowly around.
4
Tighten all of the straps.

Additional advice
Whenever I stop on the trail, I try to find a rock or bank to rest the pack on so I can back out of and into the harness. Such shelves are rare, though, so I usually sit down, put my arms through the shoulder straps, and then slowly stand up if I haven't the energy to heavy the pack onto my back.

I also try to take the pack on and off less often when it's heavy; I keep items I need for the day in my fanny pack and rest the pack against something when I stop.

Adapted from The Backpacker's Handbook,
by Chris Townsend.

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