In hurry and trying to hastily pack out a deer from the backcountry in one trip, a hunter carried a heavy, irregular pack too low and in the process damaged a spinal disc, pinched nerves in his hip, and lost feeling in his ham hocks for quite some time.
Here are a few tips to help you shoulder a heavy load comfortably and safely—and avoid the physical therapy and chiropractic sessions the hunter had to go through.
From the bottom up
Stuff your sleeping bag, pad, and tent in the bottom of the pack.
Place the heavy freight—like a meat quarter—above the light cargo and against your back. It should sit above your hips and between your shoulder blades.
Surround the heavy stuff with lighter gear, such as clothing and food, followed by cooking gear, water filter, and the like. Pack the lightest gear like a hat and gloves in any remaining space at the top.
At the ready
Stash gear like a GPS, flashlight, or other items you might need to access quickly in the pack’s lid.
It’s a cinch
Now that it’s packed right, here’s how to carry your pack:
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