The way a rucksack is packed is important because it can affect your balance, your posture, and your breathing. Therefore, it is important to think about where you put things.
The main rule is to pack the light things in the lower part and the heavier things in the upper part. This means that the centre of gravity is high on your back and the rucksack is much more comfortable to carry, provided the adjustable straps are positioned correctly.
The total weight will be the same however you pack it, but it is much less tiring when the rucksack is packed in such a way that it helps your posture and stresses the muscles that you use a lot in everyday life
Shoulder straps should be pulled tight, thus pulling the rucksack higher on your back, and ensuring a snug fit between the rucksack and your back. This keeps the heaviest part of the rucksack closer to your back and distributes the weight better onto your body.
If fitted, a waist strap or belt on the rucksack, should be securely fastened and also be a snug fit to your body. This feature of rucksacks is not there for decoration! The waist strap should sit firmly on your waist and hip bones and will further aid the distribution of weight.
Some rucksacks also feature further adjustable straps and the correct use of these straps could further ease the pressures of the weight being carried.
Items that you might need to lay your hands on quickly should be in the side pockets or just under the top for easy access. When you pack a rucksack it is easiest to pack everything in plastic bags. This keeps all your things dry even if the rucksack leaks in heavy rain and it also helps to keep order in the rucksack.
You can even pack using plastic bags of different colours to help with identification. For instance, your wash kit in a yellow bag, your cutlery in a red bag and so on. This makes it much easier to find a specific item.
The Wolds Challenge and The Fells Marathon are organised and run by Blacktoft Beacon District Scout Council.
Registered with the Scout Association: 016357. Registered Charity Number: 1148031