The Most Comprehensive Q&A In The Industry

Backpacks Q&A: "How"

 
Who | What | Where | When | Why | How | Misc.
  1. How do I pack a front-loading backpack?
  2. How do I pack a top-loading backpack?
  3. How do I fit a backpack?
  4. How do I measure my torso?
  5. How do I clean a backpack?
  6. How do I fix a broken zipper on a backpack?
  7. How do I fix a tear in my backpack?
  8. How do I fix a broken buckle on my backpack?
  9. How many pockets are on an outdoor backpack?
  10. How do I fix a broken bungee cord?
  11. How much weight can my pig snout/lash point handle?
  12. How many 12oz cans can I fit in a 50 litre pack?
  13. How do I clean my backpack?
  14. How do people get certified?
  15. How do you define a laptop backpack?
  16. How should I store my backpack?
  17. How do I store food in my backpack?

How do I pack a front-loading backpack?

Heaviest items closest to your back, and from there, go lighter as you get closer to the front of the backpack.

How do I pack a top-loading backpack?

Bulky items you don’t need until camp at the very bottom, like shoes or sleeping bags. Heavier items near the middle of your back, and lighter items/items you always reach for closer to the top.

How do I fit a backpack?

Above all else, it should be comfortable when empty and packed. Shoulder straps should be tightened so that the backpack doesn’t hang off the shoulders. Hip belt should rest above the hips, not at the waist. Sternum strap should be snug but not pinch. Load-lifting straps should be tightened to just enough tension to pull them taut. Tl;dr: every strap should be snug but not too tight it pinches.

How do I measure my torso?

Using a flexible measuring tape, measure from the C7 vertebra to the iliac crest. The C7 vertebra is the bone that pokes out on the base of your neck when you bend your head down. The iliac crest is the top of the hip bone. Draw a straight line from the top of the hip bone to the small of your back. The length from that point to the C7 vertebra is the length of your torso.

How do I clean a backpack?

Always check the label before machine washing. Some backpacks have coatings that can get damaged when machine washing. To be safe, or if you’re not sure, use a soft bristled brush, like a toothbrush, warm water, and mild soap. If there’s an excess of sand, dirt, or crumbs, inside-out the pockets and vacuum up the debris.

How do I fix a broken zipper on a backpack?

If the zipper is stuck, run some clear lip balm or a crayon between the teeth. Gently pull on the zipper, but don’t yank. Yanking it can cause the zipper to break further. You can also use pliers to gently bend the zipper closer together. If the zipper is completely broken, check the company’s website for replacement parts or if you can mail the bag to them to get the zipper replaced.

How do I fix a tear in my backpack?

The smaller the tear, the easier the fix, so if you spot a tear, fix it before it has a chance to get worse. If you’re not particularly worried about waterproofing your bag, then a simple stitch-up will work. If you are worried about waterproofing, then there’s a couple of options. Attach a water resistant tape cut into a circle (that way no edges will catch and peel off) that is bigger than the tear, on the tear. Place another piece of tape like before on the inside to reinforce the repair. You can also use a seam grip to get a watertight seal.

How do I fix a broken buckle on my backpack?

In a pinch, if you break a vital buckle, like the hip belt buckle, you can cut off a working buckle in less important place (the sides of the bag used to hold gear like ski poles) and replace the broken buckle. If you are not in a pinch, then properly replace the broken buckle with a new one. It’s the same process as when out and about, but glue or use a lighter to attache the new strap onto the old.

How many pockets are on an outdoor backpack?

Depends on the backpack! In general, front loading backpacks will have more pockets than top loading ones.

How do I fix a broken bungee cord?

Unfortunately, you will need to purchase a new cord. It's best not to take chances on essentials like bungees, and the price of a new cord will pale in comparison to lost gear, damaged gear or medical bills. Play it safe and replace damaged goods to get the most out of your next trip.

How much weight can my pig snout/lash point handle?

Originally designed for ice axes, these stylish yet practical leather patches are now used for lightweight items that may take up excess room in your pack. Use them for smaller things that take up a lot of room such as shoes, helmets, electronics or even a flashlight. Anything that you may need quick access to can be strung through the lash point for reliable convenience during your expedition. Anything too large can offset the balance of your pack, changing your center of gravity and potentially causing discomfort or injury in the long run. Keep it simple and you won't run into any issues.

How many 12oz cans can I fit in a 50 litre pack?

It depends how determined your bachelor party is. Kidding! Consider packing liquids in a single container or using a hydration bladder system to stay hydrated. While surprising your crew with a case of Modelo might sound like a good idea on paper, you'll be kicking yourself while you try to keep up with your group with a 30-pack on your back.

How do I clean my backpack?

Extend the life of your pack with proper cleaning and maintenance after a journey. Begin by shaking out the pack, including all of its pockets. A thorough cleaning of the interior with a damp rag or towel will generally do the trick, however if your pack requires additional attention refer to the tags for machine or hand-washing options. For heavy dirt, remove the straps and metallic frame from the pack before soaking it in a tub of warm water and detergent free soap before hand-washing. A quick wipe down and air dry should get you back to speed and ready for your next hike!

How do people get certified?

If you're interested in becoming a certified Hiking Guide, Backpacking Guide or Mountain Leader, please refer to the American Hiking Guides Association website for detailed instructions on embarking on your journey.

How should I store my backpack?

After cleaning, apply silicone grease to the zippers to elongate their life before stowing away the pack. Try to store it flat to minimize creases or cracks in the fabric. Proper care of your gear will significantly increase the life of your kit, so do what you can to get the most bang for your buck!

How do I store food in my backpack?

How you organize your meals will be up to you, but there are a few old standby's when it comes to loading up your pack with fuel. First off, pack all of your consumable food in plastic zip-top bags. This reduces the risk of spills or accidents while hiking. It would be terrible if you found out that your toothpaste mixed with your chili, right? Bags provide extra protection in addition to organization so that you can eat and get back to enjoying your surroundings. However, keep in mind that food should be in airtight, safe compartments to discourage unwelcome critters from exploring your campsite and pack. Keep your cooking fuel upright and on the outside of your pack, while the food remains on the inside. Propane and dinner preparations go together, but in a different way than mixed while inside of your backpack. Stay safe and stay vigilant about your food, as exposed food is a leading factor in having curious creatures seeking out a midnight snack in your pack.