Author Topic: Fine details of gear placement  (Read 944 times)

daniel0o0

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Fine details of gear placement
« on: 16:58:19, 21/03/21 »
Hello hikees. How do you weigh in about this possibly new subject? Certainly the general subject is old - place the heaviest gear against the "middle" back however it appears this "middle" advice is very general as the included diagrams show from the lower neck to the lower back. Could you make reasons or share experience to say that you prefer the lower neck area or the precise middle back area or the lower back area for the heaviest items?
« Last Edit: 17:05:05, 21/03/21 by daniel0o0 »

jimbob

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #1 on: 17:52:09, 21/03/21 »
Hi Daniel, welcome to the forum. Can't answer your questions as I pack haphazardly.   Why not pop over to the welcome part of the forum and introduce yourself, areas of interest, type if walking you do etc, Be good to get to know you forum wise.
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ayjay

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #2 on: 18:00:18, 21/03/21 »
I only carry a lightweight rucksack with just a couple of items inside when I walk now, but when I fished regularly I carried a much heavier rucksack,  I'd often walk 3- 4 miles with that.

 It was always packed with the efficient use of space most in mind. I think more important than item placement is how you wear your rucksack, get it up as high as  possible, it's no use when it's dangling down near your bum, (and I see many like that).

richardh1905

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #3 on: 18:04:05, 21/03/21 »
Welcome to the forum, Daniel.


I can see the sense in putting the heavy items close to the back, and not too high, so as to maintain a good centre of gravity, with most of the weight being transmitted to the hip belt.


But when it comes down to it, I pack my bag with the overnight gear (tent, sleeping bag) at the bottom, stuff that I might use during the day (waterproofs, fleece, food, water) nearer the top, purely for practical reasons.
« Last Edit: 18:08:43, 21/03/21 by richardh1905 »
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daniel0o0

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #4 on: 18:07:04, 21/03/21 »
Hello forum thank you for some replies already. Hello Jimbob yes I will make an introduction page cheers.

gunwharfman

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #5 on: 19:01:08, 21/03/21 »
My sleeping bag is at the bottom and my tent and poles are at the top of my rucksack, what makes the difference for me to feel comfortable, for say two weeks, is to ensure that my rucksack is held securely against the curve of my body, I never have it loose. Where my body goes, it goes, I just try to make it part of me. My Osprey Exos 48L is great for this.

archaeoroutes

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #6 on: 19:06:15, 21/03/21 »
For a big expedition pack, I go as high as possible with heavy items. In practice that isn't the very top as that is reserved for quick-access stuff like waterproofs and food.
The reasoning is that the higher it is, the more the weight pivots and presses against the bottom contact point. That way more of the weight can be carried on the hips than downwards on the shoulders.


For other activities I may go different. For instance, something likely to include scrambling or anything else where I'm shifting my balance rapidly I'd want the weight close in to my back.
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vghikers

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #7 on: 19:29:29, 21/03/21 »
As others have said, where feasible I put the heaviest items close to my back, midway up, and lighter ones at the rear. The objective is always to get the pack centre of mass as near to mine as possible to improve biomechanics and stability.


That's why I don't like those backpacks with a wide airgap between the pack and my body: they may feel cooler in summer but they're terrible for biomechanics/posture and very unstable on scrambly routes.

Stube

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #8 on: 19:51:10, 21/03/21 »
I remember an article in the New Scientist some 50 years ago that measured the energy epended in carrying a load versus how high you carried it. It took half  the effort to carry it on  your head compared to a briefcase. Sherpas know something.

daniel0o0

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #9 on: 19:58:11, 21/03/21 »
Very good

Birdman

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #10 on: 20:43:51, 21/03/21 »
As said, weight as close as possible to your back. From my own experience, I prefer to have the weight a bit above the middle (definitely not too low in my pack). Because with a heavy pack I'm leaning a bit forward and this way the weight is straight above my hips.
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richardh1905

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #11 on: 20:45:42, 21/03/21 »
I remember an article in the New Scientist some 50 years ago that measured the energy epended in carrying a load versus how high you carried it. It took half  the effort to carry it on  your head compared to a briefcase. Sherpas know something.


I often raise eyebrows when I buy a 15kg sack of dog food or a large bag of compost - I carry them out to the car on my head! Seems much more natural than struggling with the sack in my arms; my posture seems so much better.
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Birdman

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #12 on: 20:54:23, 21/03/21 »

I often raise eyebrows when I buy a 15kg sack of dog food or a large bag of compost - I carry them out to the car on my head! Seems much more natural than struggling with the sack in my arms; my posture seems so much better.


I'm not surprised, because it places the weight above your hips. This is how your body was "designed" to carry weight.
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daniel0o0

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #13 on: 21:27:31, 21/03/21 »
Very good all of this thank you forum. Now can I try some contrary and see how you weigh it? The reasonable consensus is to carry the heaviest items higher up. However the head carrying example brings up an arguably certain fact - that placing weight directly above the hips is why the head carry works. With that, would any among you support the contrary idea that lower placement of heaviest items should prove easier to carry - with the reasoning stemming from the weight being nearer to the above point of the hips as opposed to the middle back which arches out and hence creates an above point over the hips that is further away than the point the lower back provides. This contrary thought also asks you to allow that a good hiker's belt is employed, eliminating any droop effect from a weight sitting slightly above the hips. I hope I do not appear to be making this post as a statement that I believe the lower back should be superior and this is a question and request for your thoughts on this subject which I ask about due to my wanting to be as well-informed on this subject as humanly possible. This subject is limited to your own thoughts as well because as far as I could gather, google will not result in the specifics of this subject.
« Last Edit: 21:35:16, 21/03/21 by daniel0o0 »

richardh1905

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Re: Fine details of gear placement
« Reply #14 on: 23:13:49, 21/03/21 »
Depends what sort of activity you are participating in. Me balance on the head example is fine for carrying a bag of compost to the car park; less fine for Tryfan or Striding Edge! I suppose what I am suggesting is that it is a compromise between what is best for posture, and what is best for balance. And, of course, practicality - less used items at the bottom of the rucksack, items you may need quickly or more often near the top.
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