“The most important step when packing your rucksack is to leave the superfluous at home! As a general rule, a fit person should not carry more than 20 – 25% of his/her body weight over a longer period of time. The German military calculates with 33% – but then, we all know that their trips are more than strenuous!”
The pack’s center of gravity should sit close to the body and ideally at shoulder height. This way it is positioned over the body’s center of gravity and the pack won’t pull backwards. How to properly load your bigger capacity rucksacks (from about 30 l):
The pack strongly pulls backwards – this indicates that the pack’s center of gravity sits far from the body’s center of gravity. When you carry a heavy load like this trekking easily turns into torture.The body constantly works against the pack’s weight.The shoulders are heavily burdened. If your pack is not loaded properly it could become even risky in difficult terrain.
In easy terrain (hiking routes, flat trails) the load’s center of gravity should sit higher.
In difficult passages (alpine routes, Via Ferrata) a bit lower and thus closer to the body’s center of gravity. This packing system leads to a more forward leaning position, yet it provides more balance compared to a higher center of gravity.