A tent is a vital item you must pack in your backpack whether you are going hiking or camping. It is also one of the bulkiest and heaviest items you’ll have to carry. Therefore, you must know the ideal way to pack a tent. Doing it the wrong way is a potential harbinger for injury and back strain.
Learning how to pack a tent in a backpack is very easy if you have the basics. If you manage to pack the tent correctly, you will find your camping or hiking experiences incredibly enjoyable. You can achieve this in either of two ways: You can pack it inside of the backpack or attach it to the outside of the backpack. We’ll describe both of these methods in-depth.
Method 1: Packing a Tent inside a Backpack
This method is applicable if your backpack has an internal frame. Internal frame backpacks are roomier than external frame backpacks. This extra space makes placing a tent inside the backpack a much easier undertaking.
Step 1: Choose an Appropriate Backpack Size for Your Tent
The size of your backpack has a direct bearing on the size of the tent you can pack inside. Bigger tents will definitely need bigger backpacks. The reverse is also true. In case you bought a backpack already and you think the tent you want to pack is significant, a compression bag could be of help. Such a bag will enable you to pack the tent as tightly as it can get. So choose backpack size carefully to pack tent, camping blankets, water bottle, and other personal Essential.
Step 2: Spread Your Tent on a Level Ground
Lay the tent on level ground in the form a long, flat shape. Leave the poles of the tent in their bag. Take the bag and line it up along one side of the tent and not in the center. The poles will help create support for the tent when you pack it away.
Step 3: Roll up the Tent
Ensuring the pole bag remains in line with the side it is on, rolls up the tent as straight as you can. The pole bag will deliver support as well as a base for the tent. After you have made a few rolls, lay the peg bag of your tent in the same position. Doing this will provide additional support for the shelter. Continue rolling up the tent.
Step 4: Stuff the Rolled Tent into Your Tent Bag
The peg bag and tent poles at the center make it easier to stuff the tent into its bag. The central placement of the peg bag and tent poles provides primary support. Remember to pack the tent when it is dry. Packing it when it is wet makes the tent heavier and more difficult to pack.
Step 5: Compartmentalize Your Backpack
The general rule is that you pack heavier items at the bottom and lighter items at the top. Since hiking involves a lot of walking, experts recommend that your backpack should weigh about 30 percent of your body weight. Compartmentalizing the backpack leads to proper weight distribution.
A sleeping bag is hefty. Therefore, it should go into the bottom compartment. The tent should go into the middle compartment of your backpack immediately above the sleeping bag. You can choose to pack the tent either vertically or horizontally. The vertical orientation makes the tent easier to access but eats up space. Horizontal orientation saves space but makes the tent more difficult to access.
Method 2: Attaching the Tent to the Outside of the Backpack
If you have a backpack with an external frame, the best way to pack your tent is to attach it to the outside. In fact, an external frame backpack is specifically built to allow the external attachment of a tent and other items. That notwithstanding, there are certain risks associated with packing a tent to the exterior. Here are the risks:
- The tent may snag because of its vulnerability to damage by tree branches as well as other pointed objects.
- The tent may fall off of your backpack. The same cannot be said of a tent packed inside the backpack.
Step 1: Ensure You Protect the Tent from Rain
An outside lying tent is exposed to the elements. While tents are made of waterproof materials, any water that gets into it while packed can cause you a lot of problems. You can provide the tent further protection by using a zip bag or any other waterproof bag.
Step 2: Test the Suitability of Your Backpack for Exterior Packing
All external frame backpacks are suitable for external tent attachment. However, you can also use an internal frame backpack if it possesses numerous compression straps. Regardless of the type of backpack you choose, ensure the compression straps or the frame are in the perfect condition before you can attach the tent.
Step 3: Make Closed Loop Ties For Exterior Packing
This type of loops is perfect for tying a tent to the outside. It is because they are threaded via closed loops on each end. Should your tent slide off, it will remain attached to your backpack. In case you do not know how to make closed loops, just make any secure knot. It will work just fine.
Step 4: Attach Your Tent to the Bottom of the Pack
Similar to packing a tent inside the backpack, ensure you attach it at the bottom on the exterior. This will ensure a balanced weight distribution. Besides, it will lower your chances of injuring yourself because it will minimize the strain on your back. The bottom attachment provides more comfortable trekking than the top attachment.
You can see it is not difficult to learn how to pack a tent in a backpack. Packing the right way will make it easier for you to walk with the backpack. Similarly, it will minimize the chances of injuries and back strain even if you were to trek over a long distance. If you follow the steps we have discussed, you will not have any problems packing your favorite tent regardless of whether yours is an internal frame or external frame backpack.