A hiking backpack is an essential piece of gear for any outdoor enthusiast. It is important to pack your backpack with the right equipment, food and water in order to ensure that you are prepared for an enjoyable hike that doesn't leave you feeling sore or exhausted. This article from Koala Outdoor will provide a detailed packing list as well as tips on how to pack a backpack so that you have everything you need without carrying too much weight. What to pack in your backpackHow to organize your gearTips for packing a hiking backpackWaterproofing your backpackHow much food and water should you bring on a hikeWhat to wear on a hikeHiking safety tipsMiscellaneous items that might be usefulHow to Pack a Backpack?A hikers backpack needs to have a lot of good items to help the hiker have a safe and enjoyable time. The first important item is boots, and a sleeping bag if overnight. For safety, it's also important to pack different types of first-aid kits and emergency tools like a headlamp. Hikers need to find out what type of terrain they'll be crossing on their hike, so they can pack appropriately (i.e., rain jacket if rain is expected). It helps to pack snacks that are low in water content but high in energy for when you're on the go all day long!How to organize your heavy gearIf you're the type of person who organizes everything by category, put all your sleeping gear (like a sleeping bag) in one area and clothing in another. If you just want to have everything accessible, pack your stuff according to how it's going to be used -clothes or rain jacket on the bottom, toiletries and dry food above that, and heavier items on top that you'll need easy access to.When you're hiking, the only thing that should be in your pockets are items that are used frequently like your phone, snacks, bug spray, and sunscreen. Put everything else in your backpack where it's safer without having to balance it on your shoulders.Tips for how to pack a backpack and heavy gearHere are some tips to help you pack your backpack:Pack few things and lighten your loadPack items that weigh the same or are bulky items and that fill up the little space in your backpack. For example, bring 1 large bottle of water in a thermos rather than 2 smaller ones. If you're not sure what to pack, ask yourself "What am I going to need when I get there? Will I change clothes? What type of weather is it predicted for?" Only pack what you think you would need.Pack everything on your person at oncePut the heaviest things or bulky items on your back, lighter things in the front. Keep most bulky things in the bottom. Pack most important items at the top where they are easy to get at.SAVE SPACE!You don't want your backpack getting too bulky, so try to roll up clothing or your sleeping bag and other bulky items instead of folding it. If you can fit 2 items in one pocket or bag, do it! It will save space.The best way to protect small delicate things like glasses or other lighter gear is by putting them inside socks or t-shirts. This way they won't break against hard objects and they'll stay safe during rainstorms.If possible, pack more stuff on the outside of your backpack using a compression stuff sack and dry bags . Try not to have loose straps hanging off of your waist or back-it's useless weight that you have no use for later on the trail! Don't forget to bring some bungee cords too for those extra loose bits.Make use of your top lid pockets or outside pocket. They're easy to access and you can stash things that you might need on the trail quickly. On a day hike, this might be snacks and water, but if you're going overnight it's good to have safety gear in there as well (like a first aid kit). You can also put wet clothes inside so they don't get everything else wet on the way home. If you have an extra rain cover, throw that into your backpack for emergency purposes-you never know when it'll rain!Waterproofing your hiking backpackLike everything else, the waterproofing of your packed backpack is important. The good news is, if you store your backpack properly and avoid getting it too wet in the first place, you won't need to worry about waterproofing it. Here are some tips on how to make sure your backpack stays dry!-If possible, store your bag in a high location. This will help keep it away from water sources like lakes or puddles.-Keep your pack away from rainstorms by storing it indoors or using tarps or a rain cover to protect it.-Wipe off any dirt or dampness that collects on the outside of the bag before storing it away again. This will help prevent mold growth inside of the pack liner too.-If water somehow gets into your fully loaded pack, make sure it's clean before storing it again.-For the truly determined backpackers, you can purchase a waterproofing treatment to apply to the exterior of your bag. This will keep raindrops at bay and stave off any issues with dampness or mold growth that might occur after an unfortunate wetting. You can also purchase a pack cover.After each hike, check over your pack carefully for any tears in material or straps that may need replacing. The worst thing you could possibly do is go on another long hike only to realize halfway through that one of your straps has given out! You should not have any loose threads sticking out of the seams so if something does feel loose, fix it right away.How much food and water should you bring on a hike?One of the most common questions asked when packing for a hike is how much food and water to bring. It's important to know that different trails have different distances so it's difficult to come up with an exact number. One good measure is to estimate how much you want eat and drink! For a day hike, you'll want to pack snacks and a few litres of water. If you're going overnight, pack enough food rations and water to last until your return or until the next morning. There are many websites that provide calculators that will help you determine exactly how much food and water you need for your trip-use them! Also make sure your water bottle pockets correctly fit your gear.Another tip for a successful hike is to bring a small first aid kit with you. You never know when something might happen so it's always better to be safe than sorry!-Bringing a sewing kit could help fix any tears or rips in your clothing so they don't get worse during the hike. It would also be useful in case of an emergency where one of your straps breaks and needs mending.-If you're going on a multi-day hiking trip, then definitely pack some extra supplies just in case there are problems along the way. These can include things like batteries, rope, extra food or water rations (just in case), and anything else that could potentially help if something goes wrong before the end of your trip.-Make sure you're bringing enough for everyone! It's no fun to run out of food halfway through the hike because someone forgot something at home or packed too little for themselves. If you're sharing, make sure you all pack about the same amount so nobody finishes the trip hungry while others are still packing their bags.-Be careful with any medications that might need refrigeration! It gets hot on trails and if it's warmer than usual where you live, then your medication could quickly spoil in the heat.What to wear on a hikeA hiker's clothing should include appropriate layers for the season-preferably waterproof ones. Make sure you have appropriate footwear, socks, gloves or mittens, compression straps, hat, and sunglasses or sun glasses. For bad weather conditions you will need to pack appropriately with things like a heavy down jacket, pants, hat, etc. If you're hiking in warmer months then it is important to be prepared for mosquitos or other pesky insects that might infiltrate your clothing with sprays containing DEET which is an active ingredient that creates a non-greasy protection against bugs.Hiking safety tipsIt's always good to pack snacks, water, and any medication that needs to stay cold with you on your hike. If it's a day hike, you'll only want the necessary items like snacks and water. For an overnight hike, make sure you bring food and water for the whole trip and a sleeping bag. It is also good to pack some extra supplies in case something goes wrong with your journey-things like batteries or rope might be hefty to carry, but they are lightweight if they're not used! Compression straps are also important.It is important that hikers know where the closest hospital is just in case anything were to happen. There are many different ways to get lost on a hike so it is essential that hikers have some training on what to do if they are ever lost.When hiking, it is important to keep safety in mind while packing your backpack. You don't want to pack too much and find yourself carrying everything on your back. Here are some things to think about:-Pack clothes for the season - waterproof if possible.-Make sure you have appropriate footwear and socks (and gloves, hat).-Compression straps-Bring a small first aid kit with you. This can be helpful in case anything should go wrong while you're out on the trail.-If packing for a multi-day hike make sure you bring extra supplies like batteries, rope, extra food or water rations (just in case), and anything else that could potentially help if something goes wrong before the end of your trip.-Develop a map of the area you are hiking in. This helps to have an idea of what kind of terrain you might be walking through.-Pack light!Miscellaneous items that might be usefulMaps:-Maps can be as simple as a physical map or as detailed as a GPS map.Winter Gear:-If you're hiking in winter consider packing snowshoes, crampons, and an ice axe which can all come in handy depending on the kind of terrain.Compass:-A compass will help orient you and will also help for making another if your primary compass malfunctions.Headlamp:-There is nothing worse than being out hiking and realizing that you left your headlamp at home. It's essential for lighting up dark trails and getting around without having to use a flashlight.First Aid Kit:-The kit should include tweezers, bandages, antiseptic wipes (chlorhexidine), ibuprofen or acetaminophen (do not use aspirin - it's bad for your stomach and kidneys), sunscreen, insect repellent containing DEET.Watch with Altimeter Function:-This will help you to track your progress throughout the day as well as let you know how high up you are (if that is an issue).ConclusionIn order to get the most out of a hiking experience, you should put some thought into what kind of supplies you're going to need before setting off. Things like appropriate clothing for the season, map reading skills if venturing into unknown territory or extra food rations can be incredibly useful when things aren't going according to plan. Our guide will help you think about what necessities are important so that you can easily decide on what items would be best for your next hike. It might also be a good idea if there are weather conditions that are deemed dangerous to have waterproofing items like raincoats or ponchos. If there aren't any water sources near your destination then make sure you bring enough water rations as well as supplies like rope and extra batteries which could come in handy if a difficult terrain escape is required. So go ahead and give these tips a go on your next hike.