How Should I Pack a My Trail Co Backpack?

Posted by Thomas Dangerfield on

Pack your My Trail Co backpack as light as possible!

My Trail Co backpacks are uniquely designed to be the perfect interface between your body and your gear. From our lightest, smallest backpacks to our 50L and 70L long-haul backpacks, we’ve engineered them with lightness, durability, and comfort in mind. To get the most out of your trail day, follow these tips from the people who designed My Trail Co backpacks and use them every day.

An ounce at dawn feels like a pound at dusk.

Think really hard about what you need to take with you. Where would you like to go? What will you need to get there? What will you need to get home? Only once, did I go on a multi-day trip on which I used every single item I brought, and arrived at the end of the adventure having eaten all of my food but not being hungry, and having drunk all my water but not being thirsty.  That was a 13-day, 273-mile, 1st ever un-resupplied thru-hike of Vermont’s Long Trail. Every other trip I have ever taken, I’ve carried more clothing, equipment, food and/or water than I had to. Learn from every single trip. What did you use? What didn’t you use? Unpacking your My Trail Co backpack is the most important step in packing it perfectly in the future.

Know your pack. Know your back.

Keep the heaviest things in your My Trail Co backpack as close to your body as possible and as close to the middle of the backpack as possible. This will help you keep your natural center of gravity as you hike. The higher and further away from your body things are, the more you’ll have to bend over to compensate. I try to balance weight with comfort. For instance, I usually have my sleeping bag fill out the bottom of my backpack all alone which allows it to mold to my hips for a super comfy ride. If I carry a bear canister, that goes just above the soft bedding to slot nicely into my lower back. If I want to insulate my My Trail Co backpack contents against a hot desert day, I’ll put a tightly rolled sleeping pad in 1st, then agitate if from the middle so that it expands out to line the backpack, then everything else goes in the sleeping pad insulator.

The trick to fatigue is to keep it moving.

People look for one way to pack their backpack, and one perfect setting on the straps. There is no such thing. After a few miles on the trail, part of your body is going to start to get sore. Knowing how to adjust the straps on the pack can help relieve that soreness and move the strain around your body so you always feel fresh. Tightening the hip belt and moving the backpack up slightly can relieve your shoulders. Tightening and loosening the load lifter straps even 1/4 inch on our bigger bags can help re-center the weight in your backpack and provide relief. Ask any endurance athlete. They all know that fatigue is the biggest enemy. The game is not to eliminate it. The game is knowing how to relieve it and keep going.

A place for everything.

When packing my My Trail Co backpack, If I don’t need something all day, it goes into the main compartment at the bottom.  Sleeping bags, ground pads, shelters and extra food all go in first. Higher up in the main compartment I’ll put things I won’t need until later in the day, like warm layers. Near the top of the main compartment and inside, front, and hip pockets, I put everything I want quick access to — water, today’s food, medical kit, smartphone, lip balm, hiking umbrella, map, compass etc. Be consistent with where you put things and you’ll never be distracted by having to put your backpack down and go searching. When my My Trail Co backpack is perfectly packed and balanced, I don’t even think about it. I’m free to take in whatever experiences the trail has to offer. My Trail Co backpacks are designed to do just that. Have fun out there!

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