Ready to start packing? This is an exciting and quite important moment in preparation for your adventure. Having your backpack properly loaded helps getting up the fun factor of your trip. The last thing you want to be thinking about when you’re hiking up a mountain is your backpack.

It is important to pack your backpack properly as it will make it easier to carry heavy loads and it prevents you from having back/ shoulder issues. A well-packed backpack helps to stay balanced and comfortable. Besides that you want to make sure that frequently used items are within reach as you don’t want to have to search for raingear when it is already pouring rain.

A few things to keep in mind before you start packing:

  • Put all items out on the floor in front of you before you start packing.
  • Use stuff sacks to easily help you pack and unpack your gear. Using different sizes and different colours will help you quickly find what you need.
  • Items you use for camping go to the bottom of the pack.
  • Start loading your pack through the top. Lots of backpacks these days have zippers all round to make it easier to find your items. It’s better to only use those zippers for finding items rather than using them for packing.  
  • Keep heavy items closest to your body and pack them closer to mid/bottom of backpack. Water and food are usually the heaviest items.
  • Items that you frequently use go at the so-called brain of the pack, in the waist pockets or in the pockets of your pants.
  • Items that you less frequently use, but chances are high you will need them along the way (raingear) stay at the top of the pack.


Items you use for camping (light items) – Start with your sleeping bag to give your backpack a firm base for the items above.

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Stove & fuel
  • Camping shoes & socks
  • Sleeping gear
  • Food that you don’t need during the day

Closest to your body

  • Water
  • Food (bear canister)
  • Tent (or put it at the outside of your pack in a dry bag)

Top of the pack

These items you’d like to have within reach so you can quickly grab ‘m when needed.

  • Insulating layer
  • Rain gear

Brain of the pack and outside of your pack:

Items that you will use frequently go at the top (brain) of the pack. It can be handy to have a separate bag with a few of these items. Other items you can put in the waist pockets of the backpack, the very top of the pack or in the pockets of your pants.

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp
  • Phone/ Camera
  • Lip balm
  • Gloves (if needed)
  • Toque (if needed)
  • Snacks
  • Map, Notebook & Pen