Adventure Kokoda Gear Guide: How to pack your backpack

The best way to plan your backpack load is to lay out all of your gear to get it organized. This is a great way to make sure you have everything you need and organize it by weight.

It is then a good idea is to cluster similar small items, such as eating utensils, toiletries, 1st Aid items, clothing, sleeping gear, etc and pack them in zip lock or stuff bags. I use different coloured bags for these items.

I pack the things I am likely to need during the day in the zipper compartment on the top of my pack i.e. head-torch, mosquito repellent, snacks, spare torch batteries and lighter.

I pack my cup, eating utensils and a small chamois in the side compartments.

When loading my pack I obviously place the gear I do not need during the day at the bottom of the pack i.e. sleeping bag (which is packed in a waterproof stuff-sack); sleeping gear and clothing.  I then pack my 1st Aid Kit, rain jacket, plastic plates and toiletries at the top of the pack for easy access during the day.  As a guide you should place your items so that 80 percent of the weight is sitting on your hips.

If you have a foam or therm-a-rest sleeping mat you can strap this to the outside of your backpack – if the ground is wet when you take a break you can easily unstrap it and use it as a mat.  I also hang my sandals on the outside of my pack for easy access for creek crossings.

After your bag is packed, tighten all compression straps to limit load-shifting while trekking.


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