Long-Distance Hiker Andrew Skurka shows off his packing skills.
Andrew Skurka is a renowned long-distance hiker and the author of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide, a book that I found to be invaluable in helping me move from someone who tended to overpack for trips to an efficient backpacking machine. I refer to the book often and like it so much, it was the first title I added to the Fordsbasement Adventure Library.
Skurka recently teamed up with Sierra Designs to film this short video that offers some thoughtful tips on how to pack a backpack.
One of the big takeaways is the benefit of using two 20-gallon Trash Compactor Bags to waterproof the gear inside your backpack. Although I’ve seen this technique recommended a few times over the years, I’ve never actually done it. But now that I’ve seen it in action, I’m going to test it out on my next adventure.
While the video focuses on two key aspects of packing a backpack — organization of your gear and distribution of weight — there are many more things to consider when loading up your pack. Over on andrewskurka.com, Skurka digs even deeper into the process of loading up a backpack, covering topics like stuff sacks, oversized gear, and bear canisters.