How to Wear a Backpack | Pro Tips to Fit a Backpack Properly!

What equipment should we carry in our backpacks when preparing for a trip to the mountain? This is a recurring question whenever we prepare to get to the top of a hill or a simple hiking route. Do we forget something important? Or are we being too careful when we carry so much material on us?

This is a difficult question to answer, and our own experience will tell us that our backpack will be as optimized as possible before any trip in time. From there, we intend to give you some tips and put together a list of materials that will help you not forget anything important according to the type of activity you are going to do and its duration. So, let’s talk about how to wear a backpack!

Let’s get into the business.

The first thing that will completely change our backpack’s content will be the number of days we will be using it on our outing because a few hours out will not be the same as two or three days without returning home.

It will also depend on whether we will be spending the night in tents or shelters and whether we need to cook or eat in a guarded mountain shelter. And finally, it will vary depending on the type of activity we do, whether it is a hiking, mountaineering, or trekking, with or without the possibility of snow. Remember that in any case, your weight shouldn’t be more than 20% of your body in this case.

As many combinations can be presented to us, we will present different sections with material classified according to other criteria. 

There are things that you don’t always have to carry with you. Build a checklist with everything you might need and that you review it before each outing. It will be your common sense and experiences that will help you minimize the content of your backpack without leaving anything significant.

How to Choose the Best Backpack for Our Adventures

Before we start listing material to fill our backpack, we will offer a succession of tips on its properties and how to distribute the material in it.

It is essential to choose a backpack with a minimum quality requirement. The backpacks with waist strap optimal design, the belt, and the backrest will mold our back and waist better. Consequently, our body suffers considerably less when carrying a backpack and the weight. To do this, hang up our backpacks with enough weight, change the straps, and evaluate that we feel practical with them. If you are with your children, don’t put them more than 10% of their weight.

The greater the backpack’s aptitude and volume, the more indispensable are the components we have just mentioned. For tiny bags, however, these properties are more dispensable. This is because they are designed to carry little weight and therefore are not well designed for an acceptable transfer of weight from the backpack to our hip belt. If you have a severe back problem these backpacks will be good for you.

How to Wear a Backpack

The right size for the right activity

According to the proportion of material to be transported, we will have to choose a backpack with more or less aptitude. This aptitude is expressed in liters, and we would have the possibility of using the following classification:

  • From 18 to 30 liters: For occupations of a single day with little primary material.
  • From 30 to 40 liters: For occupations of a single day using the same material as mountaineering or climbing.
  • Well over 40 liters: For occupations of many days and with a massive load of material.

The small details will increase our rucksack price and be much more versatile and comfortable throughout its use. Among other things, a zipper that opens it completely and frontally, side pockets, two ice ax holders, helmet holders, backpack covers, etc.

How do you Distribute the Content in the Backpack?

We will make sure to place the material as follows:

  • At the bottom, the lightest material that we will use the least during the walk (e.g., sleeping bag, change of clothes). Remember that backpacks usually have a separate lower compartment for access. Learn to Attach Sleeping Bag to Backpack.
  • In the center, and incredibly close to the back, we will place the heaviest items.
  • In the upper part (on the mushroom), objects that are a little heavy and very used (e.g., GPS, glasses, first aid kit, documentation).
  • So, in the pockets, the smaller objects, taking care to avoid possible robberies, are more accessible.
  • Distribute wisely everything in the backpack, i.e., the bag weighs the same weight left and right, to avoid problems when walking hand-specific muscles are overloaded and others not.
  • Use some plastic bags to keep them more organized, isolated, and visible without opening them.
how to wear a hiking backpack

Can Backpacks Cause Problems?

The spine comprises 33 bones called vertebrae, and between the vertebrae are discs that act as natural shock absorbers. When you incorrectly place a backpack on one shoulder, such as a backpack full of books and other objects, the weight force can cause you to back out. 

To compensate, you may lean forward at the hips or lean backward; this can cause unnatural compression of the spine.

Due to the heavyweight, you can develop shoulder pain, back, and neck pain.

You may experience pain in your upper and lower back and tightening of your shoulders and neck. Improper use of the backpack can lead to poor posture. Remember that it is not allowed to carry more than 10% of body weight. According to this, you expose yourself to high potential injuries if you pick up more than 10% of body weight with your shoulder.

Is your backpack affecting your nerves? It might. Tight, adjustable straps that stick to your shoulders can compress the nerves and interfere with circulation, and your arms and hands can experience tingling, numbness and weakness. Follow the 80/20 principle.

how to wear a backpack fashion

Suggestions for Selecting and Using Backpacks

Now, we show you some recommendations so that your backpack helps you and does not harm you:

Keep in mind how it is carried out. Before taking the new backpack off the shelf, make sure it has two padded that go over the shoulder straps. The wider the chest straps, the better. A bag with a metal composition (like the one used by hikers) can also offer you more support, although several lockers are not big enough to store them. So, make your adjustments. 

Take another hiking tip: look for a backpack with an abdominal belt, which helps distribute weight some inches more evenly across the body. Bags with multiple compartments also can help spread the weight more evenly over the body.

Try a backpack with wheels. Several kids use them as choices for recurring packs, but some guidelines and considerations need to be taken into account with this kind of bag. Many academies do not accept wheeled backpacks because people can be tripping over them in the hallways.

Use your anchor locker. Try not to carry all the books for a finished day’s class for a student. Make recurring trips to the safe to drop off heavy books or extra items, such as gym clothes or project materials. 

Calculate the expendable items as well. If you don’t need a thing until the afternoon, why carry it around all morning?

Plan your schoolwork. Plan and spread out your schoolwork throughout the week to don’t have to carry all your books home for the week.

Match the load on your backpack. Doctors and physical therapists suggest that people carry no more than 10% to 15% of their body weight in their bags or backpacks. 

If your weight is 120 pounds, your backpack should weigh no more than 12 to 18 pounds. Selecting a lightweight bag can be an optimal start. Use the bathroom or this pet scale. You can consider your backpack and get a sense of how the right weight feels to you.

Keep the contents light enough to allow you to walk quickly and stand up straight, and carry your backpack with the heavier items first, closer to your back. Remember, no more than 10% of your body’s weight.

How to Wear a Backpack: FAQs

Do you wear or carry backpacks?

The correct term is to wear a backpack, not carry one. It is the most common term among mountaineers (wear a backpack).

Is it unprofessional to carry a backpack?

Not at all! It’s a great way to carry anything you need to take with you. What can make you look unprofessional is to have the stuff and throw the bag on the floor. The rest is a great idea.

Is it weird to bring a backpack to work?

It depends on the circumstances; however, it should not be a significant issue. Many people use this type of backpack to go to work. They tend to use the smaller ones to carry what they need for their daily routine. It is more practical than a briefcase, at least in these times.

Necessary equipment to have in your backpack
  • Trekking boots or shoes.
  • Canes.
  • Windbreaker jacket.
  • Trekking pants concerning the season.
  • Synthetic T-shirt.
  • A polar fleece.
  • Warm gloves and a hat, if it is cold.
  • A sun protector.
  • A small towel.
  • Thermal blanket. A thermal blanket. Primordial in case of emergency.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Small first aid kit.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Sun protection cream.
  • Front lamp with new batteries.
  • Whistle.
  • Waterproof cover for the backpack if applicable.
  • Multipurpose knife.
  • Map and compass and GPS. Its precise use is elementary for everyone who practices mountain sports.
  • Bags for the garbage and waste we generate.
  • Food. Weigh little, occupy the least viable space, and sit well in the stomach.
  • Water bottle (2 liters).
  • Every outing is different, so prepare your backpack thinking about the conditions of what you plan to do in the mountain!

It is substantial to change the backpack to the back so that the elements do not move and walk with security and control. Similarly, remember, the most important thing is not to leave a mark on our passage through the mountain and bring back home everything we carry with us.


The walks that are carried out in one day do not seem to imply a very complex preparation. However, there is a series of essential ones and some backpack organizations that will allow us to safely and comfortably carry out a one-day hike. It is unnecessary to carry a 50L backpack and a tent, sleeping bag, kitchen utensils, etc. The ideal is to use a 20L to 30L backpack, depending on the chosen route and the special equipment required. Remember what they say about the 10% loading charge for children. Also, be between 10% – 15% of your body weight (loading backpack’s capacity)

Nowadays, you can find models of backpacks for men and women, which are not equal and, in turn, go according to a backpack sizing chart. The best thing is to use one with the anatomy of our body’s anatomy for a backpack with an adjustment system that allows it to adapt to the length of your back. So, enjoy your bag, and start having a great day at work or in the mountains.

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