How to Pack an External Frame Backpack

How to Pack an External Frame Backpack in 2020

Hope you are doing well and I think you are searching for how to pack an external frame backpack? That means you are a keen traveler and going somewhere for a trip. I’m right, aren’t I?  I know you’re a bit perplexed that how to organize your gears. 

It is ok. This article is especially for you, just go through the article and learn how you can manage your things properly. Let me tell you my story, a while ago I used an internal frame backpack but one day my friend suggested me to use an external frame backpack. When I heard about an external frame backpack then the very first question clicked in my mind is that what is the best external frame backpack?

After that, I searched for the advantages of an external frame backpack. When I came to know the benefits of an external frame backpack since that day I use an external frame backpack for my every trip. I think as a traveler you also should be aware of the advantages of an external frame backpack. 

As we all know external frame backpack looks like a regular satchel attached to a metal frame that has additional space above and below for attaching sleeping bags and other important gears. 

There are also some straps and netting that has designed to maintain the distance between the metal frame and our back. External frame backpack is designed to carry heavy loads across long distances. The most beneficial thing is that you can detach the metal frame when and where ever you want for some other use.

Custom external frame backpack

Buying a custom external frame backpack is a one-time investment and after that, there is no need to spend again for buying a new one. Because in an external frame backpack there is a facility for the user to replace the hip belt, straps, and to change the pack if need.

Even you can replace the metal frame also. As a result, you have a backpack system that can last you for life with ease. It’s quite reliable, sounds interesting!

As a traveler, you can easily understand the need to organize gears perfectly because if your things will not set properly into the back. Then you may suffer from different problems like forgetting an item, spillage, wrinkled clothing, and also there is a chance that your item gets damaged. It’s time to think!

For your convenience, I have mentioned some necessary things below.

    • Dry bags or zip lock bags or plastic bags that are used to make your backpack waterproof.
    • First aid kit: In case of any emergency and make sure that your first aid kit items are not expired.
    • Bug reseller: Bug repelled will keep you safe from common bug-related diseases.
    • Pocket knife: It can be used for rope cutting, slicing food, and other things. 
    • Whistle: It will help you to call for help in case of any misshape.
    • Rain gear: This will keep you and your belongings dry.
    • Compass: Sometimes GPS doesn’t work then it’s quite better to have a map also.
  • Nylon straps or cords: Will help you to hang more things to the aluminum backpack frame.
  • Drinking-Water: As we know clean drinkable water is an essential thing.
  • Sleeping bag: It will be helpful for you to stay at night where ever you want.
  • Sunscreen: If you want to save your time and efforts from the reapplication then sunscreen is the best choice.
  • Torch: Torch or flashlight will help you to light up the place of thing if need and it’s also helpful during an emergency.
  • Matches, lighter, or fire striker: For cooking food, to make a bonfire for warmth.

Having a lot of baggage is the most frequent mistake that is made by a lot of people. To avoid this problem you should make a list of important things that are necessary for your trip then categorize these gears according to their weight. Then make a group of heavy things like pot, pans, clothes, and tents together.

The next group should be contained in small and lightweight things like books or an extra set of clothes. Now make a group of essential things that are easily accessible in case of any emergency. Because packing is the most vital yet a bit difficult task, your packing depends on the total weight of your items. On the weight of every individual thing and to determine which place is the best for which item. Then let’s start packing!

Bottom of the external frame backpack

I know you must be thinking that how do you attach a sleeping bag to an external frame backpack? The first thing that you have to pack is the sleeping mat. To make secure your sleeping mat you have to rolled-up sleeping mat at the bottom of the external frame of a backpack by using nylon straps. Do make sure that the rolled is tightly attached to the metal frame. If the rolled is tightly attached then there will be no swaying and jiggling. One more thing, remember that you have to wrap the sleeping mat in a waterproof cover.

Main Compartment

how to pack an external frame backpack

As I have told you above to make groups of the gears, I hope you have made the groups. Now it’s time to place bulky items. Yes, the heavy items should be placed in the middle compartment to keep them close to your upper back that helps to keep you in the balance position. 

That also helps to create a center of gravity stable. You don’t need to access heavy items during hiking that why it’s also the best place to keep these items in the main compartment.

Here is another tip that you have to keep in mind, wrap all the soft items around the bulky thing to prevent shifting. You can use a tent body, tent footprint, rainfly, and extra clothing to fill the gaps and also to make a partition between massive items and a water reservoir.

Bottom Compartment

Bottom Compartment

Now finally it’s time to pack some lightweight backpacking items that are not pretty essential. That’s why you can place such things in the bottom compartment. I guess you are confused and thinking that what item I’m talking about? I’m talking about toiletries, utensils, your personal items such as hats, sunglasses, your wallet, fire starter, sunscreen, and some other camping gear that you have to keep in the bottom compartment. 

Outer pockets

Outer pockets backpack

You can use outer pockets for quick-access items like your phone, survival watch, snacks, torchlight, first aid kit, water, etc. But if your vintage external frame backpack has no extra pockets than don’t worry then you can place these things in the bottom compartment. Another simple tip that you can apply, it’s best to keep books for leisure reading inside the main compartment to have enough space in the pockets for essentials.

Some Extra Things

Some Extra Things

If you want to bring a trekking stick, tent poles, large sleeping pad, camp stool or chair, Ice ax, crampons, and a climbing rope then don’t worry. You can pack these important things too.

Most of the external frame backpacks have special features of loops, fasteners for other extra storage. Such as daisy chains, lash patches, and some compression straps that can be used to carry these gears. But you have to minimize these items as much as possible.

  • Time to carry your backpack

The most common mistake that the beginners make is to lift a pack by shoulder straps that results in damage one shoulder harness and it’s also become difficult to handle backpack. Now it’s time to learn how to fit an external frame backpack?

Just follow the steps that I have mentioned below to prevent any damage:

  • Make loose all the straps simply to make the backpack easy to slip on.
  • Angle your backpack to an upright position on the ground.
  • Now stand next to the back panel and have your legs well apart and knees bent.
  • Grasp the haul loop that is located at the top of the back panel on your backpack.
  • Slide the backpack up to your thighs and let it rest while keeping your hand on the haul loop for control.
  • Slip your other arm and shoulder through one shoulder strap unless your shoulder gets cradled by the padding.
  • Swing the pack onto your back after that slip the hand that was holding the haul loop through the other shoulder strap.
  • Now buckle up and make your usual fit adjustments.

Final Words

As you are leaving for a trip but safety should be the first priority and you have to keep an eye on the following things.

  • Carry your backpack properly.
  • You should weight your bag and make sure it’s a maximum of 25% of your body weight.
  • The hip belts should be on the top of your hip bone.
  • Adjust the straps of the shoulder to make the bag closer to your upper back.
  • Adjust the load-lifting straps to divide the weight to your shoulder.
  • Buckle the sternum strap below your collarbone but don’t tight it, just keep shoulder strap steady.

I hope now you have a complete idea that How to Pack an External Frame Backpack. In a nutshell, packing efficiently is also an art. Have a nice trip! let’s see what Wikipedia says 

What is the best external frame backpack?

  1. ALPS OutdoorZ Commander External Frame Backpack. 
  2. Kelty Trekker 65. 
  3. Kelty Yukon Hiking External Frame Backpack.
  4. Slumberjack Rail Hauler 2.0.
  5. ALPS Mountaineering Red Rock External Frame Backpack. 
  6. Kelty Tioga External Frame Pack. 
  7. ALPS Zion Mountaineering Pack. 
  8. Allen Rock Canyon Hunting Pack.

Do people still use external frame backpacks?

External backpacks used to be the average, but now, most people use internal frame backpacks because they are easier and lighter to carry with. These backpacks have less weigh, and people do not need to carry a big backpack

2 thoughts on “How to Pack an External Frame Backpack in 2020”

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