How To Pack
The less your pack weighs the easier it will be to carry. It is also important to balance the weight in your pack – this will help your pack feel lighter and make it easier to carry. Especially when skiing and even snowshoeing, you want your pack to be balanced so the weight does not shift and throw you off your feet!
Where to start
Start packing your pack from the bottom with your sleeping bag. You generally want to have the heaviest items as low in your pack as possible, centered in your pack and as close to your back as possible. You also want to keep certain things handy, while camp supplies can be buried at the bottom of your pack. Stoves, pots, fuel, tents, and non-snack food are heavy items that should go near the bottom of your pack because you will not need them until camp. Extra clothes are good to put in the middle of your pack because you probably will not need them, but it is good to have them handy in case it becomes necessary.
Top of your pack (main compartment) – accessible
You will want to have snack food, water, an extra layer, and a warm coat at the top of your pack. Regular stops should be made to refuel and rehydrate, but you don’t want to get cold, or have to tear apart your pack for anything you need during the day. Although it is heavy you want to have water near the top of your pack – make sure it is right against your back and centered in your pack.
Top pouch of your pack
The extra compartments on the top or the outside of your pack can be used to organize and keep handy the 10 essentials.
Outside of pack
Generally too many things strapped on the outside of your pack is unwanted –If there is a surplus of gear on the outside a bigger pack may be necessary. These items may catch the wind, catch on brush, fall off, get wet, dirty in warmer weather, or make the pack unbalanced. Sleeping pads are good to strap to the outside of your pack usually at the bottom. Tent poles, and other long, skinny items can fit on either side of the pack.
When Actually Packing...
Start by compressing your sleeping bag and stuff it into the bottom of your pack. Stuff your bulky warm layers around the sleeping bag filling in the voids tightly. This is also a good time to stuff your tent body or fly into your pack. Drop your food bag/barell/pot on top of the tent. Around the the large, solid, heavy item, stuff smaller items such as the water filter, fuel bottle, extra fleece, socks and long underwear. Pushing everything deep into the pack, making sure to fill all the small voids. At the very top of your pack you should keep the items you may need throughout the day should the weather change (rain gear, a fleece, extra socks, hat, etc.)