PROPER Backpack PACKING tips

PROPER PACKING

For maximum comfort, it is important not only that your backpack sit well on your back but also that you pack it correctly. Good backpacks are designed using the latest know-how in this field, which has advanced significantly in recent years. Thus the old rule that the heaviest objects should be placed in the top of your pack no longer applies.

While everyone has his or her own system for packing, you should follow a few general rules about how to distribute weight. Of course, these rules change a bit depending on the type of activity you engage in. There are three basic categories of rules:





* Mountain climbing- heavy
* Outdoor activity- medium
* Active outdoor sports- light


Mountain climbing
It is important to pack clothing and equipment in such a manner as to maintain maximum balance during both vertical and horizontal movement. That means that the backpack’s centre of gravity should be as close as possible to that of the body. The heaviest objects should be placed in approximately the second and third “quarters” of the backpack, measured from the top, and as close as possible to the back. Medium-weight objects should be in the top and bottom quarters, again as close as possible to the body. The lightest, largest objects should be placed in the remaining space. The picture at right illustrates where to place objects according to their weight.
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General outdoor activity
Outdoor pursuits such as camping and hiking often entail carrying the backpack for lengthy distances over relatively level terrain, where balance is not the most important consideration. In these circumstances, comfort becomes the number one concern. That means that the pack’s centre of gravity should be as high above the body’s centre of gravity as possible. In practice, that means that the heaviest objects should be in about the first and second quarter of the backpack, measured from the top, and as close to the back as possible. The lightest, largest objects should be in the bottom of the pack, and medium-weight objects should occupy the rest of the space. The picture at right illustrates where to place objectsaccording to their weight.

Active outdoor sports
Activities such as downhill and cross-country skiing, running and cycling call for large waist packs, or small backpacks. In this case, placement on the back becomes more important than packing technique. The basic rule is to maintain a snug fit around the part of the body that moves the least -- usually the lower back area. In any case, it is important to put heavy objects as close to the back as possible, ensuring that they do not move around, and to pull in the compression straps as tightly as possible. The chest and back stabilization straps should also be tightened as much as possible.



PROPER CARE OF YOUR BACKPACK

Good backpacks are engineered and manufactured for long life. However, proper care is also essential to ensure that your backpack lasts. Please observe the following rules in caring for your pack.


NEVER use chemical-based cleaning agents, which can damage the fabric coating and water-repellent treatments applied to the fabric.


NEVER put your pack in the washing machine or a clothes dryer. As above, this can damage the fabric coating and water-repellent treatments applied to the fabric.


Clean your pack with soap (only). Remove heavy-duty dirt or stains with a fine nylon brush. For mud and similar, first allow the pack to dry, then remove dirt with a fine nylon brush. Sea salt can best be removed by rinsing in cold water. We do not recommend excessive brushing of the fabric, which may damage the fabric surface.


After cleaning, allow backpack to dry at room temperature. NEVER expose your pack to hot air or radiant heat. Unzip all zippers during drying.


Avoid any contact with chemical compounds used in some mold-repellent treatments, since these can lead to deterioration of synthetic materials.


Store your pack only when dry, in a cool, dry place. Do not fold it unnecessarily, or expose it to sun (UV radiation) unnecessarily.