HOW TO WEAR YOUR BACKPACK TO AVOID BACK INJURY
Jess took on the the 3 Capes track in Tasmania recently – she is an expert on backpacks
DECIDE ON ITS USE FIRST
The first thing to consider when looking at backpacks is to think about what you are going to be using it for. Is it going to be a bag that you use on a daily basis for school or work? Or is it going to be for day trips on weekends or a multi day hike? The size and function of the backpack you choose will differ greatly depending on what you use it for. You don’t want to be carrying around a big pack if you don’t have to!
WEIGHT OF THE PACK
Choosing a backpack that is light weight will lighten the load and strain placed on your body when carrying your backpack. Make sure you get an idea of the weight of the empty backpack by lifting it up in store or even try it on your back.
You can also reduce the weight by making sure you don’t over pack your bag- pack the necessities only! This is most important if you are carrying your backpack on a daily basis- too much weight can lead to a gradual overload to your body that may develop into an injury.
HOW YOU WEAR IT
Most backpacks and designed with two straps- make sure you wear them both! If you wear your backpack slung over one shoulder, all of the load is placed through one side of your body. It’s also useful to distribute the contents in your bag evenly- don’t place all the heavy objects to one side. If your backpack generally weighs more than 6-7kg then a waist strap is a good idea (most large backpacks have them). This strap should be secured around your waist, just above your hips, and ideally should take at least 70% of the pack load. This will take the pressure off your shoulders and upper body.
In the meantime i’m heading off to get married – enjoy your trek and be safe!!