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One of the most basic outdoor skills is packing a backpack properly. It is also a skill that I find many people don’t really know how to do correctly. But there are myriad benefits to getting it right if you follow a few simple guidelines. There is a lot more to packing a backpack than just shoving all your belongings inside and hitting the trail. Done carelessly, a pack might feel awkward or uncomfortable. It could cause back, hip, or shoulder pain. You might not be able to find the things you need in a poorly packed pack without unloading the entire thing every time. You’re likely to lose efficiency as you fuss with the pack and its contents throughout the day too, which is frustrating and takes your attention away from the beautiful mountain scenery you came to experience. In a group setting, you might find that your companions become frustrated too, as they repeatedly wait for you to organize yourself. With just a little extra thoughtfulness and care, you can be a backpack-packing champion whose life on the trail is measurably easier and more comfortable. The ABC’s of packing a backpack provides a simple framework for getting it right: Accessibility When I think about accessibility, it is really efficiency that comes to mind. Imagine spending time at each rest break digging around for a buried item. In emergency situations you certainly don’t want to lose any time locating and extracting the first aid kit. And when poor […]