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HOW TO PACK A DAY PACK

This is only an outline, your specific style of pack and your "on the trail" needs are unique to your destination and personal requirements. Listed below is a basic packing formula that hopefully will help you visualize your individual arrangement needs. It is important that you take the time to experiment with your packing arrangement, as you will be more comfortable and better prepared on the trail.

Layer your extra clothes on the bottom of the pack. Carefully fold and stack, this takes up less space and makes it easier to get to when you want or need an item. This also helps provide a good base while cushioning all other items in the pack. With the majority of the weight above, this gives a stable yet flexible base when you set your pack down.

Place heavy gear like tree pegs, extra ammo, cooking gear etc. in the next upward layer. Cushion loose items with clothing or wrap tightly in poly bags.

Distribute your food items, rope, your first aid kit, etc. on the next layer

Place raingear, camera, personal hygiene items and survival kit on the top layer where they are quickly available.

Keep water bottle, map, compass/GPS, knife and extra fire starting kit in the outside pockets of your pack along with any small snack items.

Lash or secure your coat to the outside of the pack, as the day gets warmer. Some packs come equipped with bottom lashing straps, if these are not on your pack then consider rolling it bedroll style and carry some cord to tie it off and then lash it to the "haul handle" on top of the pack. This keeps it out of the way and easily available if the weather changes quickly.

Don't hang items off your pack or from the shoulder straps. These tend to abrade the material from bouncing around, make noise, pull on the material and can catch on branches or underbrush. The only exception to this is wearing "bear bells" if you are traversing through bear country.

Position the heavier items toward your center of gravity. FOR MEN, this tends to be higher in the pack and forward towards your body FOR WOMEN, it tends to be lower centered on the small of the back and towards the center of the pack.

Wear your pack as low on your back as is comfortable for you to walk and maneuver. Let the "hip belt" (it is not a waist belt) secure the majority of the weight of the pack on your hips. The shoulder straps should only stabilize and balance the weight of the pack. Your hips are much stronger than your neck or shoulder muscles; so let them do the heavy work.

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