How to

Adjust Your Hiking Backpack


Right Way

Do you know how to adjust your hiking backpack the correct way?

You make your hike miserable by not adjusting your backpack how it should be.

Poor adjustment can result in pain, strain, and wear on your body. In addition, it can do a number on your back and shoulders. Finally, it can result in you hating hiking altogether.

And you don’t want that!

If you adjust your hiking backpack the way it’s supposed to be adjusted, you can focus on hiking and not have to worry about pain.

I will show you how to make the correct adjustments in this article.

Before You Adjust Your Hiking Backpack

Before you adjust your hiking backpack, you need to do a couple of things first.

You need to ensure you have the correct backpack for what you need. Getting one from a local hiking gear store or a nearby REI is best. If there is a staff member at the store that can help you find the perfect backpack, it’s going to help you out.

You also need to make sure you are packing correctly. You should weigh your gear and ensure that it doesn’t exceed the amount of load the pack is designed to carry. That amount is usually weighed in liters. Having too much gear or not packing the backpack correctly can result in pain and wear on your back, legs, and shoulders.

Make sure you have a great pack before you worry about how to adjust your hiking backpack.

How to Adjust Your Hiking Backpack the Right Way

How to Adjust Your Hiking Backpack

The first thing you want to do before you adjust your hiking backpack is to load it up with everything you want to carry.

Then loosen the hip belt. Loosen the shoulder straps. Loosen the load lifters, which are located behind the neck and shoulders. Finally, loosen the sternum or chest strap.

Put your backpack on to begin to adjust your hiking backpack.

First, evenly tighten the hip belt straps where the pack fits on the top of your hips. The fit should be tight but loose simultaneously, not too tight or too loose.

Then tighten the shoulder straps but make sure they’re not too tight but not too loose, either.

Put the load lifters tightly to pull the load of your backpack closer to your back.

Finally, tighten the sternum strap to where it’s slightly tight. After that, it doesn’t need to be tightened that much.

If you adjust your hiking backpack like this, it should make for a very comfortable hike free of pain and strain.


Thanks for reading my blog post showing you how to adjust your hiking backpack. If you’ve enjoyed reading this post and want more hiking tips, subscribe to my free newsletter for more information about hiking.

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Shawn Gossman

Shawn Gossman

Founder, Hiking with Shawn

Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. Click here to learn more about Shawn Gossman

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