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hiking backpack

How should hiking backpack fit

Always start from the hips for a hiking backpack fit you perfect. Position the middle of the hip strap on top of the iliac crest pull it well, and tight it properly it will create a proper foundation for your backpack.

Always follow the principle of (80-20), which means 80% of your backpack weight should land on your hips and 20% weight should be on your shoulder. There is a misconception among many hikers that the ample weight of the backpack should be on your shoulder, which is wrong for hiking backpack fit perfectly.

It is a hip that is more strong and landing weight on it will prove beneficial for hiking with your backpack.
There should be no gap between your shoulder and straps. Pull the straps away from your body and take them down to your hips for a comfortable fit.

Remember don’t tight too hard otherwise, the straps will dig into your shoulder and create pain and disturbance.
Final touch-up for your hiking backpack fitting, adjust your load filter ( the two small straps placed on top of your shoulder straps) properly. Pull the load filter downward properly until it makes a 45-degree angle, and don’t over-tight otherwise your shoulder straps will move away from your body.

Now adjust the sternum straps. Pull the sternum strap until it rests one inch below your collarbone, and tight it well. Don’t overtight the straps otherwise it will imbalance your backpack fitting and cause difficulty in your breathing.

If you have a plan for long-term mountain hiking at any altitude then you have to prepare accordingly. Because hiking in the mountain is unpredictable. In the mountains, the weather changes drastically, temperatures drop quickly, unexpected heavy rain, wind blow, etc.

travel backpack
hiking backpack fit

How tight should you fit your hiking backpack for Travel?

Your hiking backpack for travel should not be over-tight or loose, it should be a perfect fit. You have to adjust all the belts and straps accurately at their proper position. For this, you have to measure your torso length to get a perfect hiking backpack fit.

Torso length is the first and most important for fitting a backpack on your body, so stick to a backpack that has adjustable straps for the hip, shoulder, load lifter, and sternum straps. And all these straps have to be tight well on your body for perfect fitting.

What is the appropriate size for hiking backpack fit?

carry on backpack
hiking backpack fit

The answer to this question depends on the days you have planned for your hiking destination.

If you plan to just travel for a day then a 10-25 liter backpack is best, but if your plan is for a longer trip then a 25-35 liter backpack is a must to carry your belongings. There are much more bigger back for long term hiking.

Let’s say you have 3 days plan for your hiking adventure then you should have at least need a 35-liter backpack, the more days the more gears you have to carry in your hiking backpack fit for your campaign.

What to carry in a backpack for mountain hiking?

If you have a plan for long-term mountain hiking at any altitude then you have to prepare accordingly. Because hiking in the mountain is unpredictable. In the mountains, the weather changes drastically, temperatures drop quickly, unexpected heavy rain, wind blow, etc.

So for this, you have to carry a wind proof jacket, and many other waterproof items, for clothing, and food items which are easier and faster to cook.

For precautionary measures check the weather forecast of the particular area before you switch to hiking.

It is very important to carrying a first-aid kit with you on hiking. I hope that you are never ever required to use this kit but in case of emergency, it will prove helpful for minor injuries.

Should heavy items go at the top or bottom of the backpack?

Always stuff the less useable essentials that are going to use at a particular place import them at the bottom of your backpack e.g. sleeping bag, cooking times, etc. Above that insert heavy items like climbing hardware, camp, food, clothes etc, to make your hiking backpack fit well.

And on the top keep the first aid kit, lunch box, jacket, and so on. It is important to keep heavy stuff at the bottom, which will help you on tuff terrain. The main purpose to stuff heavy things at the bottom is to transfer the weight from your back to your hips and legs with the help of straps which will prove helpful while carrying a backpack. You have to fix all the straps and hip belts tightly, there should be no gap.

Should the hiking backpack be on the hips or waist?

Your backpack should be on your hips instead of your waist, it is a waist strap that is fixed on your waist to pull most of the weight of your backpack to your hips and legs which are the strongest muscles of your body to carry a weight.

It is important to have an appropriate size hips belt, a short hips belt will never distribute the weight from shoulder to hips properly and create pressure on back and back hip bone. If done for the long term it will create injury in your back.
It is very important to buy a hiking backpack fit you to adjust the straps and have a hip belt feature.

Don’t buy a backpack that has a constant hip belt in which you cannot adjust your hip belt according to your waist.

What is the advantage of a top-loading backpack?

adventure backpack
adventure travel backpack

Top-loading backpacks are more efficient. It takes less energy to lift the top-loading backpack, which helps in longer-distance hiking without any hindrance.

The dual backpack system of this top-loading is designed in a manner that properly distributes the weight and makes your backpack much more versatile to use.

It also has two sections the top loading and the bottom loading. This type of
backpack helps to segregate the items effectively. You can load huge and heavy items at the bottom and hiking gear, etc at the top.

What do hikers look for in a backpack?

The very first thing any hiker looks at in a backpack is the size and the quality of the hiking backpack fit.

Here are some main features which every hiker consider

  • Accessibility

There should be access to the side panel without removing your backpack, it should have a J-shape opening and all the necessary straps. One of the best features of a backpack is that has a small pocket under the hip straps, which plays a prominent role in keeping your mobile, small gear, etc in it.

  • Right size hiking backpack

As we discuss earlier the size of a backpack is very important. You have to be very careful, that which size of the backpack is best for you. For this, you have to measure your torso length and according to that select the size of your backpack which fits you well.

There are many variations in the size of a hiking backpack fit, but it depends upon your type of destination that how long you are planning for your trip.

If your plan is for only a day then, 20-30 liters back is enough. But if you are planning for multiple days then medium size backpack which is 30-45 liters is a must. But wait if you are planning for a longer ride, e.g. a whole week and more then in that case there even bigger backpack like 60-80 liters.

But believe me, medium size backpacks (30-45) liters are best it is lighter in weight and easier to carry at any destination eg hiking, traveling, talking, etc.

  • Water Resistance

It is not mandatory to have a water resistance travel backpack, if you are going for it probably it will be a good choice. But instead of buying a waterproof backpack, you can switch to a semi-waterproof resistance backpack, which is much cheaper in comparison to a waterproof backpack.

On the other hand, you can buy a waterproof cover for your backpack, it will also save your pack from rain.

  • Padding of backpack

Almost every travel backpack has padding on a strap to adjust a backpack, but it is important to check that the padding is not narrow or too broad to fit a backpack. Because inappropriate width of padding will cause damage to your shoulder.

Also check the quality of the padding, especially the hip strap padding. Because it is a hip strap that helps in transferring the weight of a backpack to your hips, which is a strong muscles.

Padding eradicates most of the pressure from your shoulder and back and gives relief during hiking.

travel backpack
travel backpack

Some key adjustment of hiking backpack to fit perfect

  • straps adjust the sternum strap
  • adjust the shoulder straps
  • adjust load lifter straps
  • load lifter straps adjust
  • shoulder straps adjust

Should you lean forward when backpacking?

When you wear a travel backpack your centre of gravity shifts slightly backward, which bends your posture forward and helps in maintaining balance. But if it bends too much then it will create strain and the backpack pressure will fall on your back, which will create an obstacle in your hiking and walking.

What is an unhealthy backpack weight?

The total weight of your backpack should be 10-15 percent of your total body weight, e.g. if your body weight is 120 pounds then your total backpack weight should not be more than 12-18 pounds.

It is important to tight backpack?

Yes, it is very important to tighten your backpack properly. If your hiking backpack fitting is loose then the stuff inside your backpack will move and it will create an imbalance. So make sure that all the straps and belts of your backpack are tight well.

Is it better to size up or down a backpack?

Most hikers prefer to size down. Because the waist strap must tighten your hips properly. If your waist strap is loose, it will fail to distribute the weight between your shoulder and hips.

Do backpacks compress the spine?

Backpack compresses the spine when you carry excessive weight, it will create pressure on joints, ligaments, muscles, hips, and your entire back.

These body parts work together to distribute the weight, but carrying a heavy weight for a long period cannot sustain the strength and began to degrade which results in stiffness and pain.

In the long term, this gradual degeneration will lead to chronic back pain, compressed discs in the spine, and altered posture of your body.

The solution to this terrible problem is don’t carry too heavy backpack though you are a professional hiker. Always choose wisely your essentials, clothes, travel gear, etc.

Do backpacks worsen posture?

If your back is not organized well and your carrying style is not perfect then it will create uneven pressure which will ultimately change your posture. It will also alter your walking, which will create pain in your hips and knee.

If you carry a backpack asymmetrically it will create an imbalance between two sides of muscles.

What happens to your body after hiking?

  • Body dehydrate

Your body gets dehydrated after hiking. When hiking at a very high altitude your body dehydrates faster. It is very important to rehydrate your body in which water plays a very crucial part. A study shows that your muscle repair and glycogen production slows down by 50 percent when your body is dehydrated.

  • Blood pressure

Protein and carbohydrates help you to repair your muscles faster. Also, pack electrolyte sachets if you are planning a long hiking expedition. It will help to maintain your blood pressure, especially for those who have low blood pressure problems.

  • chance of blisters

Remove your shoes immediately after hiking and try to dry your feet because there is a chance of blisters and if it is warm weather then the chances are high. Give a gentle foot massage to your feet it will increase blood circulation and relieve pain.

  • soaring muscles

After hiking our muscles may be sore. The best way to eradicate the soaring muscles is, you have to take a good sleep after hiking. A good sleep at night also helps in blood circulation which helps to repair your muscles.

What should I drink after hiking?

  • Electrolytes and Fluids are the best drinks after hiking to reduce dehydration.
  • Chocolate powder milk
  • Carbohydrate and protein shake
  • Peanut butter shake
  • Antioxidant
  • Fruits juice of orange, sweet lime, grapes, watermelon.

These are the drinks that help you to recover faster from dehydration.


So we covered almost every thing related to travel backpack from it fitting to carrying. Having a good backpack will always help you in your destination no matter on what expedition you are.

But mostly people don’t research before buying a travel backpack and face hindrance on their tour. Select the backpack which suits you, you’re body and your type of travel exploration.

But only having a perfect backpack will never help you unless and until you don’t know to organise it. A well organised backpack will always ease your destination.

Always pay attention to the size of the backpack while purchasing, (a size which fits your torso length) because backpack fitting is a main concern of your travelling.

I hope that you may got some tips, that what type of backpack you should purchase for your travel destination.

thank you.

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