Top tips when packing a camping backpack

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packing a hiking backpack

Are you going on a camping trip? Have you gathered the essentials to make your camping trip smooth? So, now it is time to correctly pack your best hiking backpack for camping. A backpack just stuffed with all the gear can be a headache for you during camping since you will not be able to move easily carrying a heavy bag on the back. Moreover, a heavy and improperly packed backpack can give you injuries and back pain. Therefore, the way you pack your backpack can make or break your trip.

For having a smooth camping experience, it is important to learn how to pack your backpack smartly. And the packing of your bag depends on the place you are going to and the weather there. So, here we have listed some important tips on smartly packing your backpack when heading camping.

Get yourself the right backpack

The first thing is to get yourself a suitable hiking backpack that fits your needs. Go for the right capacity and durable backpack that has side pockets also. You should choose the bag with small and large pockets to organize the items in the backpack perfectly, and it will be easy for you to relocate the items you need.

Also, if you have mesh side pockets, you can keep your water bottle in it rather than putting it inside the bigger pockets and feeling uneasy when looking for the bottle inside the bag. Moreover, the right backpack should include zippered pockets to store the snacks, keys and other handy items.

Other than the size or capacity of the bag, the material of the bag is at play. The material should be durable, lightweight and temperature resistant. In addition, it should be able to withstand bad weather conditions like heat, raining and storms. So, before having a well-packed bag, it is important to choose the one that supports efficient packing.

Gather the essential items

You should not start packing the items unless you have collected all the essential gear in front of you. If you start packing without gathering all the necessary items in one place, you may end up missing the basic items that help you for convenient camping.

The right way to pack the items

One packing technique does not go well with all kinds of backpacks. The packing technique mainly depends on the bag design and the things you are packing inside the bag. However, the basic fundamental for efficient packing is to start filling the bottom of the bag with items that can work as a cushion for you while resting until you reach the destination.

Pack the bottom

Put the sleeping bag and clothes close to the bottom. Also, avoid packing the heavy and bulky items near the bottom so that these items do not press on your back, causing you discomfort. Besides, avoid putting the sharp and the edge items at the bottom, so they don’t dig into your bag or harm you.

Pack the middle portion

When it is about packing the middle portion of the bag, then choose to put the heavy items in the middle closer to your back to maintain and balance the weight. And you can put the light items in the middle section on the upper side. Again, pay more attention to the weight distribution so that you can easily carry the bag on your back.

If you want to reduce the pressure on your shoulders while carrying the bag pack, the above strategy can help you. Moreover, you can fill the vacant space between or on the sides of the bag with soft items like puffy jackets and other perishable items.

Pack the top section

Items you use frequently should be placed on the top. So, it will be easy for you to access them in less time. Moreover, if you want to relocate them easily, you can put them in different packets and label the packets. For example, you can place the navigation instruments, maps, cameras, and first aid kit on the upper part.


We cannot predict the changes in the weather even if you have planned to embark on your camping journey on summer days, and you cannot be sure that it will not start pouring. Therefore, you should be prepared in advance to avoid wetting your bag and the clothes inside the bag. So, the best option is pack liners. You can put them inside the backpack to protect your camping gear from the rain.

Some points need to be taken care of, like the size of the pack liner; it should be bigger than the size of the bag to get the full waterproofing; otherwise, it will not fit properly. The other good option is using the pack cover, a lightweight and external cover for your camping bag. Same as the pack liners, it should also be larger than the bag to offer the full coverage

Buckle up and make required adjustments

If everything is stuffed properly in the bag, tighten the waist belt, and you can loosen the shoulder straps as per your comfort. Next, fasten the waist belt so that most weight is distributed on the hips, not around the shoulders. Now you can check if you can carry the bag comfortably or if something is causing you discomfort. And you can reorganize the items if needed.

Summing up

Now, you have read all the top tips for backpack packing given above. The most important thumb rule is avoiding carrying more than a third of your body weight. And, try to keep your bag as light as possible so that you can move freely without any restriction. Moreover, always put the dry items in the bag so that it does not get smelly inside.

Andy Sullivan

Andy Sullivan

A lover of all things outdoors, Andy is an experience camper having traveled the east cost of Australia multiple times and countless trips throughout New Zealand.

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