Whatever you plans or your destination it is important to know the art of rucksack packing; this will make you rucksack more comfortable to carry and will help to ensure that the items needed first are not at the bottom!! Just because you can fit everything into your rucksack does not mean that you need to actually take everything on your trip. If your idea of rucksack packing is to pack the kitchen sink, at least make sure that you do it well! Never the less, it would be a good idea to forget your kitchen sink and spend some time imagining your trip and working out exactly what you might need.

Never put anything in your rucksack until you have chosen all the items you would like to take. Lay all the desired contents of your rucksack in a clear space and review if they are necessary or if they are more of the ‘wish list’ category. The art of rucksack packing includes knowing what to pack. Obviously, waterproofs spare clothing, food and snacks are fairly essential – books for late night reading, you will probably never open as you will be tired from fresh air and collapse happily into bed without opening a book, a book which may have taken up valuable space and also be heavy to carry. Even though your rucksack seems huge in the shop, once home you will find that it easily fills up – hence the importance of efficient rucksack packing.

To master the art of rucksack packing you do not need a diploma, but a clear head and plenty of common sense will get you through. Put the heaviest items at the bottom – you need to maintain a good center of balance. The items should get lighter as they get higher up the rucksack. Remember that some small soft items should be kept to use as padding so that no harder items will be uncomfortably against you back, the last thing that you want is a corner jabbing into your back. If you have several hard items, then it is a good idea to flat fold some spare clothes between them to stop any clattering or irritating movement between them. Remember, that being good at rucksack packing means it should be comfortable as well as fitting all the necessary items in!

Most rucksacks have an outer easily accessible section, ensure that this contains items you may need en route; this pocket should also be left with enough space to put the last minute items in, such as a water bottle and keys.

Our final advice on rucksack packing is to remember that your rucksack might not be as resistant to the weather as one would hope. Your rucksack is unlikely to be completely waterproof (whatever the manufacturers description), so when you do your rucksack packing do not put all spare clothes around the outside, thinking them to be more easily accessible, because you may find that if caught in a storm, all your spare clothing might become damp!

The art of rucksack packing is comfort and efficiency – enjoy your trip.

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