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How Do You Fit a Backpack?


Once you are hiking the trails with your pack of gear strapped on your back, you will be glad that you took the time to make sure you had the right fit. Fitting your backpack is a very important step, and it will help make your trip more comfortable, and consequently, more enjoyable.

Step 1: With a new or unfamiliar pack, weighted with a dummy load, first loosen all the straps, noting their purpose and where the tabs are located.

Step 2: Fully extend the back adjustment system. Tightening will now be the only adjustment necessary.

Step 3: Put on the backpack, then tighten the lower shoulder straps until the pack feels comfortable on your back and shoulders.

Step 4: Reach behind you and locate the back adjustment. Your aim is to get the pack sitting as high as possible on your shoulders.

Step 5: Tighten the waist strap. This transfers the weight from your shoulders via your pelvis to your legs.

Step 6: Tighten the upper shoulder straps to pull the backpack into your back and raise the pack’s centre of gravity.

Step 7: Tightening the shoulder straps and loosening the waist strap relieves pressure on the waist, and vice versa.

Need more information on hiking, backpacing and surviving in the wilderness? We recommend Hugh McManners' books, available at Amazon.com.

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