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Are you fed up with the city, the noise and the people and you want to go and clear your mind?

A hiking bag, adapted, prepared in advance and well organized allows you to make the most of your most beautiful excursions while being equipped without breaking your back.

For this, Muule offers you advice for preparing your bag before your hike as well as methods for getting organized during your excursions. Whether you're going on a day trip or a multi-day trek, here are the most important points.

First of all, it is necessary to choose your bag according to the planned activity: the distance, the number of days, if the trek is completely independent, etc. For this, I refer you to a previous article which will allow you to choose the ideal bag: how to choose your hiking bag

Adjust your bag

Before the big departure, you must adjust your bag to your body shape so that it can be fully functional and thus relieve you as much as possible by correctly distributing the weight.

The first step is to completely loosen the straps of the bag that needs to be filled.

1. Height of the shoulder straps : You must adjust the straps of the shoulder straps so that the abdominal belt falls correctly on the iliac crest (the bone that you feel at the level of the hips) and not at the height of the stomach. The straps must rest correctly on the shoulders without any pain points.

Some large volume bags have a system for varying the height of the back (Vari quick, etc.).

2. Tightening abdominal belt : The belt surrounds the pelvis. Good tightening is necessary because the abdominal belt greatly relieves the weight of the bag and will reduce the weight distributed on the shoulders.

Deuter backpack with abdominal belt, chest belt and load reminder. Vari Quick back variation system

3. chest belt tightening : The chest belt should be positioned at the level of the nipples. The tightening must remain light because it does not relieve weight but only to hold the straps as tightly as possible and prevent the bag from moving too much during movements.

4. Tightening of the load reminder : The straps located above the shoulder straps allow the bag to be placed on the back, providing greater comfort and reducing the weight as much as possible.

5. The last check : Once the backpack is correctly positioned, it is important to check if there is any pain. In which case it may be necessary to review the tightening or the model.

NB: For most large capacity bags, there are men's and women's models. The Women's models are tighter at the shoulder straps and wider at the pelvis.

A good, comfortable backpack is more practical for crossing the river!

Optimize bag filling

For an equipped and comfortable hike, consistent storage will be essential.

1. Distribute the weight : The heaviest items (stoves, accessories, pots, food) should be stored as close to the back as possible and in the middle of the bag. Bulky items that are used the least are placed at the bottom (sleeping bag, bag sheet, etc.). Lately, the lightest and most space-saving accessories can be stored in all of the exterior pockets.

2. Facilitate access: The backpacks with the largest capacities have multiple pockets of varying size to store the things you will need most during your hike.

A well-fitted backpack to facilitate movement when you have to walk the paths.

The largest pocket on the top allows you to store rather fragile items that you will use most, such as cell phones, sunglasses, cameras, etc.

The side pockets can be used to store a map, a jacket or a fleece to provide quick shelter in bad weather.

Lately, the large central pocket is sometimes divided into 2 compartments with a separate bottom. This pocket can be used when you want to store wet clothing or a pair of dirty shoes so as not to dirty other belongings.

A little break from the view.

Exterior straps : Too often forgotten, exterior straps allow you to carry often bulky items without using the interior capacity of the bag.

The side straps provide good support for your hiking poles and mattress.

The bottom straps can hold your tent or a sleeping bag.

Backpacks specific to skiing and mountaineering have straps suitable for hanging your skis, snowshoes and ice axes.

Lately, some bags have a very practical external threaded pocket for storing a fleece or a waterproof jacket .

Mountaineering backpack with storage for ice axes, crampons, snowshoes, touring skis

Travel light and safe

If you want to try the bivouac experience, suitable equipment is necessary in order to minimize the weight of the bag and stay safe.

Sleeping equipment should be as light and compact as possible. A down sleeping bag combines warmth, lightness and compactness as well as a light mattress and a suitable trekking tent .

To restore yourself, dehydrated food and energy bars will help you get through the day despite your efforts. A filter bottle is also a way to travel light so as not to carry too much water which quickly adds up to extra weight.

An easily stowable stove as well as a pot and lightweight cutlery save space in an already full backpack.

Sea To Summit ultra-light and compact down sleeping bag

Don't forget anything!

A set of accessories is more than necessary to avoid any problems in the mountains.

A first aid kit should not be neglected in the event of physical problems (blisters, cuts, etc.)

A headlamp , a compass, a knife take up little space and will definitely come in handy.

A cap , sunscreen , sunglasses to protect you even more in the mountains where UV rays are stronger.

Of course, waterproof equipment is essential to cope with changing weather conditions.

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