I was taught that the top of the hip belt should be around 2" - 5cm - above your hip bone.
Pull the shoulder straps untill they are "snug", but not 'tight, tight'. Raise your arms above your head as if streching, if the belt raises above your hip bones it might be too short, depending on your intended use. Scrambling, climbing, you would be better with a slightly longer back.
If you have them, pull load adjusters untill just snug, most of the weight should now be on your hips. If not try again, and 'fiddle' about to you think it's right. Now jump about, if the pack moves around too much, try adjusting again. Jump about again, if pack still moves around too much, try another pack.
Buy the one that moves about the least, if at all.
RE. The sternum strap, it should be 'just' tight enough too keep shoulder straps in place, not moving them closer together.
Well... try telling any schoolkid to tighten up their pack straps. It won't work! It's cool and fashionable to have your shoulder straps extended so far that your pack drags along the ground after you.
One of the best pack-carrying modes I've seen was in Nepal, when someone's porter came up with novel way to tote a big backpack. He carefully fastened the hip belt, then lifted the pack, slipped the hip belt round his forehead, and carried the whole pack upside-down. Seemed to work a treat, though you know it would all end in disaster if the pack lid (now at the bottom) was to come loose.
I think though after lugging a 12+ kg pack like that for a while, they might change their mind. Even if it's not 'cool'.
rubbish! THIS is how to put on a pack:
huskyman wrote (see)
LOL, Paddy. I think though after lugging a 12+ kg pack like that for a while, they might change their mind. Even if it's not 'cool'.
Dunno Huskyman... being 'cool' in front of your mates is a big deal with some of 'em.
A pal of mine used to take young folks out for walks, and once or twice I went along too. I remember one lass who insisted on carrying her pack on just one shoulder strap, on the grounds that using two straps just didn't look cool. She also wore boots that seemed to be several sizes too small for her feet, because big boots weren't cool either. A fashion victim through and through, and how she suffered for it!
Paddy's Nepalese porter's approach isn't really all that surprising. This photo is from southern Nepal and shows the "forehead-carry"is a pretty traditional way of operating over there.
What may be less apparent from the photo is that it was 35c that day, not a hint of shade to be had anywhere, and both of those load-lugging workers are women.
Paddy Dillon wrote (see)
Well... try telling any schoolkid to tighten up their pack straps. It won't work!
The head strap method is common in many parts of the world. From South America, Africa to the Far East, I've seen loads carried that way.
I've also seen a Masai girl of about 16, carry a15l container of water, balanced on her head, with babys strapped back and front, walk 8k back to her village, collecting 'grains' as she went.
I've tried the head strap method, managed @ 500m before my neck gave out and was sore for a week. Not much of a weight either, maybe 6kg max.
Milly. A lot of the 'instructors' don't know how to wear a pack properly. I'm not that suprised that others in group didn't know either.
> It's cool and fashionable to have your shoulder straps extended so far that your pack drags along the ground after you.
They need the pack that low to cover their butt-crack when their trousers are hanging around their knees...
> I was a bit shocked that nobody had shown her how to adjust her pack prior to sending them off on a 22km yomp.
It's high on my list of 'departure checks'...
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