Mt. St. Helens Packing Your Pack

The gear list entry contains the full list of personal and troop gear to go in your pack. However, that doesn't tell you how to pack it. Here are some tips:

Location, Location, Location:

  • Heavy items should be at the bottom of the pack or close to your back to keep your center of gravity down (water, bag of little stuff, etc).
  • Items that you will need most often should be easy to get to (water, gloves, trail food, map).
  • Hiking poles and other large or odd-shaped items can be strapped to the outside of your pack.
  • Items on the outside of the pack should be secure against the pack so they don't swing as you move and climb.

Pack Fit:

  • The bottom of the pack should come to your waist. This places weight where it is easier for your skeleton to carry it.
  • If your pack has a waist strap, your shoulder straps should not carry the weight of the pack.
  • Clips and straps can damage some fabrics, so don't wear your favorite knit shirt under your pack.
  • The ideal pack separates your back from the fabric of the pack for great cooling airflow

When to pack:

  • PACK EARLY! You might be surprised by what you need to get or how heavy the pack is... you might even want to train with it!

Here are the modern versions of the packs I own and recommend. I change between them based on the conditions and how much gear I need to take along.

YIS, Jeff

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