Tips On Packing

When loading the internal frame pack the following points should be considered.

a. In most cases, speed and endurance are enhanced if the load is carried more by the hips (using the waist belt) and less by the shoulders and back. This is preferred for movement over trails or less difficult terrain. By packing the lighter, more compressible items (sleeping bag, clothing) in the bottom of the rucksack and the heavier gear (stove, food, water, rope, climbing hardware, extra ammunition) on top, nearer the shoulder blades, the load is held high and close to the back, thus placing the most weight on the hips.

b. In rougher terrain it pays to modify the pack plan. Heavy articles of gear are placed lower in the pack and close to the back, placing more weight on the shoulders and back. This lowers the climber's center of gravity and helps him to better keep his balance.

c. Equipment that may be needed during movement should be arranged for quick access using either external pockets or placing immediately underneath the top flap of the pack. As much as possible, this placement should be standardized across the team so that necessary items can be quickly reached without unnecessary unpacking of the pack in emergencies.

d. The pack and its contents should be soundly waterproofed. Clothing and sleeping bag are separately sealed and then placed in the larger wet weather bag that lines the rucksack. Zip-lock plastic bags can be used for small items, which are then organized into color-coded stuffsacks. A few extra-large plastic garbage bags should be carried for a variety of uses—spare waterproofing, emergency bivouac shelter, and water procurement, among others.

e. The ice ax, if not carried in hand, should be stowed on the outside of the pack with the spike up and the adze facing forward or to the outside, and be securely fastened. Mountaineering packs have ice ax loops and buckle fastening systems for this. If not, the ice ax is placed behind one of the side pockets, as stated above, and then tied in place.

f. Crampons should be secured to the outside rear of the pack with the points covered.

CHAPTER 4

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