Proper pack adjustment

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by wasgas, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. wasgas

    wasgas Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2009
    Anybody have any tips or ideas for proper pack adjustments and where or how you should try to carry most of the weight?

    A friend of mine gave me a big military pack today I quickly loaded it strapped my bow to it and took it out for a few miles, it did a great job but I think I need to adjust it and dial it in.
  2. mad mountain mike

    mad mountain mike Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    I like to get the pack sitting where I want it then pull the waste belt as tight as I can first, then snug the shoulder straps, then pull the load lifters and last snug up the delta straps. When I load the pack I like to put the bulk of the weight close to my back and half way up. I put my sleeping bag in the bottom and rain gear on top for easy access.

  3. RockChucker30

    RockChucker30 Member

    May 31, 2013
    I get into the pack, snug the shoulder straps a bit so I can shrug my shoulders and lift the pack up. I do this and then fasten and tighten the waistbelt so it is centered on my iliac crests.

    Then I will loosen the shoulder straps and the load lifters. I re-snug the shoulder straps, but not too tight. Then tighten the load lifters until they're snug. Then fasten the sternum strap.

    On load distribution I want around 70% of the weight from my mid back to slightly above my shoulders, and very close to my body. Bulky light items like clothing and insulation, possibly food can go in the bottom of the pack, heavier items near the back up higher, and everything else gets filled in.

    Weight distribution makes a HUGE difference in pack comfort. You can take a pack that is improperly loaded on a hike and you'll hate it. Stop and redistribute the load properly and continue on and your opinion of the pack will change drastically.

  4. 1SevenZero

    1SevenZero Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2012
    I know this post is a bit old, but I figured I would post up anyways.

    I keep it fairly simple.
    1. I loosen up all the straps.
    2. Get the pack on my back and start with the waist belt first. I position the center of the belt strap on the top of my hip bone and tighten it down enough it won't slip off when walking. This ensures the belt doesn't drop into the area of the hip joint and affect my walking gait. (very important)
    3. Snug the shoulder straps to where they take up approx 45% of the weight.
    4. Buckle and snug the chest strap just enough to keep the shoulder straps on my shoulders. To tight and it pulls them onto my traps and causes cramping.
    5. Snug the load lifters (which ideally have an approx 45% angle).

    Weight distribution wise I generally keep the heavy mid to upper back, as close to my body as possible, and balanced.
  5. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2012
    They should not bear more than 20% of the weight most of the time. They are mainly to keep the top of the pack from "falling backwards". Padded hip belts carry the rest of the load.

    This is used to take strain off the shoulder straps OCASIONALLY, not all the time. They also pull the pack in to prevent it from moving around in steep climbs or descents.

    Most good packs have them and they balance the pack, pulling it in toward the shoulders when tightened for climbing steeper hills.
    Descents can be made more comfortable by loosening the lift straps a lot and letting the pack top lean back, again, for better balance. Good backpackers ae constantly re-adjusting pack straps for comfort in varying terrain.

    WAIST BELT: It needs to fit YOUR hip structure. Packs that have side tension adjustments are nice, otherwise belts need to be tailored for different hip shapes, especially for women. **Walk around the store for 30 minutes with a fully loaded pack to see if it truly fits you.**
    This belt must be fairly comfortable 100% of the time. It should have decently large side pockets to store items you will need while walking like compasses, sunscreen, monocular, etc.
    The main idea of a padded waist belt is to transfer weight TO your big bones (pelvis and legs) and OFF your spinal column. Kelty was the first pack maker to make this idea a reality in the '60s.

    FRAMES: The best hunting packs have good internal frames. External frames are not recommended unless you absolutely will use it mainly for carrying out quartered game. Internal frames are lighter and move a bit with your body for greater comfort. Plus they are much more maneuverable in brushy or heavily wooded areas. All frames main job is to transfer weight to the padded hip belt but they often provide for back ventilation, pack shape and attatchment points for hipbelts, shoulder straps and definitely for lift straps.