Wondering how to make the most of your space? Check out our tips and tricks for how to pack a day pack.

When it comes to outdoor enthusiasts, a must have the necessity for any outdoor lover is a great daypack. At its conception, a daypack allows you to carry along all your belongings that you will need for a day of exploration. There are many features that distinguish a daypack. In fact, there are different types of daypacks depending on your specific needs. Having the right daypack with you can make or break your adventure. For example, if you are going on a long hike, having a daypack that can properly store your fluids will ensure that you stay hydrated throughout the day. In today's article, we are going to take a look at how to pack a day pack.

The Lost Art of How to Pack a Daypack

Nothing ruins a trip more than a poorly planned packing job. When you are out on the road, the last thing you want is to have to tear your whole bag apart just to find that one items you need. It's so frustrating. Whether you've been caught in a rain shower or have soaked your clothes through with multiple water crossings on a hike, packing your bag properly will improve your chances of travel happiness and success.

While hiking in wet clothes is awful, having an unbalanced pack might be worse. Luckily, we have a way you can remedy both wrongs. You can hike comfortably and pain-free by just following a few simple steps. We highly recommend purchasing a top-loading internal frame style backpack (check out our recommendations for these; Osprey and Teton Sports are always good choices). These rules are universal. But even if you opt for an external frame backpack or a standard zippered bag, you will pack your bag in a similar gear-distributing fashion.

Does anyone else think that packing is a lost art? It's far too easy to just toss what you want into a small grab bag without actually taking the time to organize it and maximize your space. Not only does organization free up space but you can find the items you need when you need them the most. Luckily for you, we've found what you need and have some tips on how to pack a day pack efficiently.

Here are some ideas of what you should bring:

  • Lightweight, waterproof jacket
  • Comfortable walking pants
  • A packed meal
  • A flask of water
  • Snacks (e.g. granola bars, jerky, dried fruit, energy bar, nuts, trail mix)
  • Spare pair of socks
  • Portable water filter drinking straw
  • Walking pole
  • Mini first aid kit
  • Spare change of clothes inside a sealed, waterproof bag
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and bug repellent
  • Rain cover
  • Rain liner
  • Other equipment such as a camera
  • Compass and map
  • Flares
  • Pocket knife and cigarette lighter

Learning How to Pack a Day Pack is Easier Than You Might Think

Packing for a day hike is so much easier than packing for an overnight stay or extended stay. Even so, you want to make sure you are coming prepared and won't run into a sticky situation where you really need an item you don't have on hand. As a general rule of thumb, rain gear, a mini first aid kit, food, water, and sunscreen are necessary to have on hand at all times. Don't go without a map and compass too. Make sure you know how to use all of your items before you hike and let friends and family know where you are going in advance, how long you plan to go for, and how to get ahold of you in case of an emergency.

The Key to Packing Comfortably: How to Pack a Daypack

This might sound like a lot of stuff. You are probably wondering how to pack a daypack comfortably. To do this, make sure the weight of your items is well distributed. Start out by putting the heavier items at the bottom of your pack to balance yourself out. Put them as close to the back of your pack as possible too. The remaining items you have should be packed around these larger, heavier base items. 

When learning how to pack a day pack, the organization of the bottom of your bag makes all of the difference. Think of this section as your overnight packing one. Your sleeping bag, toiletries, and most of your food can be stored here. The key is to keep the heaviest, bulkiest items closest to your back. This lowers your center of gravity, making you more stable as you set out and hit the trail. 

The middle or core of your pack is where the lighter, less frequently-used items should be stored. You can keep your sleeping pad and water filter here. Fill any extra space you may have with items that are easily compressible. An inflatable camping pillow, your favorite down jacket, and a portable water filter are a few good ideas. When it comes down to how to pack a day pack in the middle, filling the extra space is the goal.

Now, we have come to the top of your pack. Most of your internal space should be full by now. This is just where you will store your convenience items. Your rain gear and first aid kit should always be kept on top where you can grab them easily if need be. While it might not be the most comfortable thing carrying the first aid kit at the top, safety should top comfort. 

Next, we will take a look at the lid of your pack. Most day packs have additional storage compartments on the lid of the pack. Take advantage of as much additional storage space is given to you. While we don't encourage over packing, it is always best to be as prepared as possible to face the elements.

Let's not forget the importance of side pockets when it comes to how to pack a day pack. These are great places to store food you want to store, additional food, water, and your cooking kit and grill fuel. If you can, it is best to keep your trekking poles on the outside of your bag as well. Smaller pockets can be used to hold camping knives, multi-tools, or small kits. Furthermore, hip belt pockets are a great place to carry things. This is convenient to grab something you need without having to stop or remove your pack.

Step 1:

if you are wondering how to pack a day pack, start out by taking your bag and lining it with a plastic bag inside. This way, even if the exterior of your bag gets wet, your belongings will stay safe and dry inside. Compost bags or rucksack liners make for the perfect waterproof protection. If you can, avoid using a plastic black bag because it will be far too flimsy.

Step 2: 

Now, it's time to pack your extra pair of clothing and those heavier items toward the bottom of the bag. They will prove to be invaluable if your clothing gets wet from a rainstorm of you're out hiking in the elements. You should keep them sealed in a waterproof bag such as a dry bag. You should also think about how you are going to bring along your water supply. Are you going to bring it in a bottle or a hydration pack. It is always helpful to bring along a portable water straw filter just in case of emergency.

Step 3:

Another good thing to be put into practice when learning how to pack a day pack is to stow a small grab bag. In it, you can keep all of the goods that you need to access quickly and have on hand. This could be everything from healthy snacks to packed lunches or your camera and accessories. A mini first aid kit and extra socks are also convenient items to pack.

Step 4: 

After you are all packed up and ready to go, you should grab some extra waterproofing supplies and a rain cover. Spray the outside of your day pack with a water repellent seal spray. Then, cover the outside of your bag with a rain fly. Your belongings will stay safe and dry even in the most torrential downpour. Pack any extra waterproofing layers you would want at the top of your bag. 

Step 5: 

Last but certainly not least, pack which items you are okay with having on the outside of the bag. Your water flask, umbrella, and hiking poles are a few example items. Your hiking poles should fit comfortably on the outside of your pack by way of straps or loops. Now, you know how to pack a day pack for your next big hike or adventure. These simple steps will help you keep the items you need the most in a convenient storage place. 

Now That You Know How to Pack a Day Pack, It's Time to Prepare for Your Next Trip!

We hope you enjoyed reading our article on how to pack a day pack. While these tips may seem simple, sometimes it's the little things that makes traveling so much easier. Shifting the weight from your back and shoulders to your hips and distributing your item's weight well really does make all of the difference. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions. Happy travels!

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