How to Pack for an Overnight Backpacking Trip, Part 2

Words by Coalatree Ambassador Zak Stone. Photos by Zak and Chris Barnett. Last week Zak shared tips on what to put in your backpack, and this week he tells us how to fit it all in! Read last week’s post if you missed it.

OK, got all your gear? Now let’s fit it all in your backpack. Let’s start with your water bladder first. Since it's the heaviest thing, you'll want it close to your back. 

Next your sleeping bag. Stuff it in the compression sack and make it as small as you can. Let’s put that in first. My backpack has a convenient zipper access to the sleeping bag compartment.



I then pack my food bags around my sleeping bag. Then I put my cook stove and fuel canister in, one on each side. This is when you want to start thinking ahead. You want the weight evenly spread out from side to side.

Now I add my sleeping pad and camp chair. Be sure you try and find little gaps and pockets while you pack. Fill those spaces with your gear as you pack it. This will help save room.

I like to keep all my clothes in a compression sack. In goes the Coalatree Kachula blanket, and then the tent poles. I like to pack my tent poles and stakes in my pack and save my tent for the outside. 


Hammock is next. Don’t want to forget that one! Pack your small daypack if bringing one.

Once the main compartment is filled, close it all up! Snacks and other smaller items can be put in outer pockets. I put the rest of my small and important “don’t crush me” items in my top pocket of my pack. 



Now last thing I’m missing is my tent. I like to strap mine to the outside of my backpack.

And just like that, you’re all set for an overnight excursion into the backcountry! Be safe, have fun, and remember to always Leave It Better Than You Found It!

Shop now

You can use this element to add a quote, content...