How to Pack an Internal Frame Backpack

How to Pack an Internal Frame Backpack
Internal frame packs are more streamlined and generally balance weight better than external frame packs. They are also more comfortable. When learning to load an internal frame pack, keep these suggestions in mind to improve your hiking experience.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Internal frame pack Gear and related pack items
  • Internal frame pack
  • Gear and related pack items
Step 1
Pack large items that you only need at night in camp at the bottom of your pack. Your sleeping bag, tent and poles can go in the bottom of your pack because you won't need them during the day on the trail.
Step 2
Leave room in the outer pockets and toward the top of your pack for the items you will need more frequently while hiking. Mid-layers and extra base layers of clothing that you will use when you stop to make camp can go on top of your sleeping bag. Items like a rain jacket or a long-sleeve shirt to pull on during snack breaks can go just under the top lid of the pack where you can reach them more easily.
Step 3
Pack food in a nylon zipped duffel. The food bag usually weighs several pounds, so it should be placed close to the hiker's back and in the top third of the pack for ideal weight distribution.
Step 4
Pack fuel for cooking stoves and any other chemicals below the food bag. It is very important that you pack anything that could contaminate food below it in case something accidentally leaks.
Step 5
Fill up as much unused space as possible. Roll up your sleeping pad and put it inside your pack if you can and stuff extra socks, shirts and other layers into the gaps. Don't clip items such as ice axes to the outside of your pack unless they won't fit inside.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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