Backpack packing advice



Y

Yup

Guest
I hope this doesn't start more fighting in the group !

Just a quickie.

When packing your backpacks, would you have the most weight (ie tent) at the very top of your pack
or at the bottom ?

Please help to settle an argument I'm having with a soon to be ex-mate.........

cheers

Ade
 
P

Phil Cook

Guest
On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 00:01:30 GMT, yup wrote:

>I hope this doesn't start more fighting in the group !
>
>Just a quickie.
>
>When packing your backpacks, would you have the most weight (ie tent) at the very top of your pack
>or at the bottom ?
>
>Please help to settle an argument I'm having with a soon to be ex-mate.........

For the best ballance and to maintain as natural a gait as possible the heaviest stuff should be
nearest to your GofG. So as close to your back as possible and
2/3 to 3/4 of the way up. Of course the heaviest thing may well be the thing you want to be able to
get at quickly so then it goes at the top, but always as far forward as possible.
--
Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
 
P

Peter Clinch

Guest
yup wrote:

> When packing your backpacks, would you have the most weight (ie tent) at the very top of your pack
> or at the bottom ?

It depends...

And it depends on what you want the load characteristics to be. The point of packing very high
weight is that with only a small forward lean the centre of mass of the load can be manoeuvred over
your own CoM, so you need to do relatively little work to keep it balanced, as long as you're not
doing anything tricky beyond walking on a good trail. The point of packing weight lower is there is
less total distance from the pack's CoM to your own, which may mean less comfort but OTOH it's
easier to keep it balanced doing tricky things.

So for a walk with a big load up a good path, keep the weight high, for a scramble or ski descent or
similar keep the load as close to the small of your back as you can.

In all cases the weight should be places as far forwards as possible, and also it should be evenly
placed side to side.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
J

Jim Ford

Guest
* yup <[email protected]> deigned to grace uk.rec.walking
* with their presence by declaiming:
> I hope this doesn't start more fighting in the group !

Seconds out!

> Just a quickie.
>
> When packing your backpacks, would you have the most weight (ie tent) at the very top of your pack
> or at the bottom ?

I don't bother about weight distribution, only handiness. I generally put spare clothes at the
bottom, then sleeping bag, cooking utensils, waterproof trousers, waterproof jacket, camera gear.
The tent (TNF Tadpole) slides down the side of all this. I've never felt the weight to be unbalanced
in any way. Food and stove go in the side pockets of my sac (65L Jaguar).

Regards: Jim Ford
 
J

John Laird

Guest
On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 00:23:29 +0000, Phil Cook
<[email protected]> wrote:

>On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 00:01:30 GMT, yup wrote:
>
>>I hope this doesn't start more fighting in the group !
>>
>>Just a quickie.
>>
>>When packing your backpacks, would you have the most weight (ie tent) at the very top of your pack
>>or at the bottom ?
>>
>>Please help to settle an argument I'm having with a soon to be ex-mate.........
>
>For the best ballance and to maintain as natural a gait as possible the heaviest stuff should be
>nearest to your GofG. So as close to your back as possible and
>2/3 to 3/4 of the way up. Of course the heaviest thing may well be the thing you want to be able to
> get at quickly so then it goes at the top, but always as far forward as possible.

What a funny shape you must be, with your CoG somewhere just south of your shoulder blades(*). I
would have gone for the lower back area, where the weight-bearing vertebrae are.

However, I always arrange the straps on my rucksack so that most of the weight *feels* as if it is
being carried on my pelvis through the hip belt. As this tends to allow the sac a degree of freedom
around the shoulder area, I don't want its own CoG unbalancing me, and so heavy stuff goes right at
the bottom.

(*) Could be because you seem to be the dummy, not the ventriloquist ;-) Gentre of Gravity, huh ?

--
Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse.

Mail john rather than nospam...
 
P

Phil Cook

Guest
On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 10:21:39 +0000, John Laird wrote:

>On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 00:23:29 +0000, Phil Cook <[email protected]> wrote:

>What a funny shape you must be, with your CoG somewhere just south of your shoulder blades(*). I
>would have gone for the lower back area, where the weight-bearing vertebrae are.

I claim lots of brains in my head, though obviously there aren't.

>(*) Could be because you seem to be the dummy, not the ventriloquist ;-) Gentre of Gravity, huh ?

Pete expresses it rather better than me. I claim the lateness of the hour as a mitigating factor in
my muddled words.
--
Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
 
P

Paul Saunders

Guest
Jim Ford wrote:

> I don't bother about weight distribution, only handiness.

I agree. I've tried packing it different ways and it doesn't seem to make much difference. Lighter
stuff tends to get compressed anyway so there's not that much difference in the weight of
different bits.

I first put my Thermarest LE in around the edges then put everything else inside it. This keeps the
bag a nice shape. I always put the sleeping bag on the bottom (last thing I take out) then various
odds and ends including stove, pots and pans, gas canisters etc. On top of that I put the food.
Various items of clothing get squeezed into gaps to help fill out the space. Empty water bottle goes
on the top (away from the back), then it's closed up and finally the waterproofs go on top of that
but under the lid. This makes them easily accessible for putting on and taking off, and they don't
actually go inside the sack so that's okay when they are wet.

In the lid pocket at top (only one pocket in my sack) I put emergency items and things that need to
be accessed quickly during the walk, like torch, first aid kit, maps, batteries, film, filters etc.

Then the tent gets strapped to the outside of the bag.

Paul
--
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