After hours of HEAVY-DUTY(!) Google-ing, I think I can safely say that I can advise you, the marvelous outdoors-loving how-to fan that you are, to properly pack your pack.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Im still getting pictures and will be updating this instructable shortly. I only published it unfinished to show a teacher and a friend.
FIXED! Now with pictures!!
I made the FRONT PAGE!! :D Cross that off my bucket list!
Step 1: Gear: the Pack
For a light hike, a "fanny pack" or something like a "sack pack" (the ones that are just bags with a draw string that you can put on your back) will do.
For an overnight stay, you'll need a larger pack. Also think about if youre bringing a tent, a sleeping bag, maby a hammock, because you may want lashing options on the pack for that.
For multiple nights, you'll want a more serious pack. look for one with a capacity of 60 to 80 liters, again, depending on what your trip looks like.
Step 2: Gear: First Aid Kit
But I'm rambling... You should design your 1st aid kit based on how many people will be on the trip, and how long the trip is.
Here's a list of sugested items for your first aid kit:
*First aid manual
*Sterile gauze pads
*Antibacterial soap / wipes
*Decongestant and antihistamine tablets
*Aspirin / ibuprofen
*Poison Ivy cream / cleansers
*Bee sting/snake bite kit
*Heat / cold packs
*Personal information / contact person
You dont need all of it, just use common sense and decide what you need.
Step 3: Gear: Food/Mess Kit
When I went backpacking, I only went with one other person, so we didnt need anymore than the little kit I carried (he had one too, but we didnt need it), and where we went had nice steel fire pits. If, however, I do end up going to a no-open-fire place, I plan on making one of these for the trip.
Step 4: Gear: Shelter/Clothing
It's best to dress in layers. That way, when you get too warm, you can take off a layer or two and stash it in your pack in case you get cold again.
If you are 'packing in really cold weather, you might want to bring a sleeping mat. They insulate you from the ground and makes your sleep more comfortable.
Oh!! Bring extra socks in a zip-top bag. You'll thank me, wet feet suck.
Step 5: Gear: Fire Kit
Also, I love open fire cooking. :P
The fire kit is fairly simple. You need tinder and an ignition source. Thats about it... Its not hard to make a fire.
the things I keep in my fire kit, are:
*1 bic lighter
*1 pack if windproof matches
* A magnesium-ferrosium rod fire starter (striker attached)
* Some steel wool
* A few cotton balls, and some soaked in petrolium jelly
* A few squares of birch bark (usually you can find fallen trees on the trail. Sometimes I grab a dry birch branch from one and use that as the kindling for the fire)
When I want to start a fire, I grab some dry kindling from around me, build up a nice bundle, and light my kindling in the middle. Then, feed the fire and build it up.
I prefer the smaller, easier to control fires. I don't want a bonfire, and I wouldn't make one unless I had alot of people with me. Bonfires use alot of fuel and are hard to cook on.
Step 6: Gear: Water
If you're not sure how much water you'll need, go ahead and take at least 4 1/2 liters. Your health and safety are too important to take chances, even if it means carrying more weight than you would prefer (each liter of water weighs about 2.2 pounds). Also, remember to bring the water you'll need to cook whatever you're cooking.
Start your trip with a full load of water, don't depend completely on fill stations or streams or whatever along your way: you may be dissapointed, and then, dehydrated.
And NEVER NEVERNEVERNEVER(!!!!) skip an opertunity to fill your canteen with clean water.
Also, you can invest in a filtration system and/or other purification system. Either just in case, or for a long trip with no clean sources of water.
Step 7: Gear: Tools
If you're staying longer, you may want some wood processing tools like a hatchet or machete, and a saw.
Also, a folding shovel, for all of your hole diggin' needs.
And don't forget the marshmallow sticks!!!
Step 8: Gear: Misc/Comfort Items
* Bug spray
* Lip balm
* Hand sanitizer
* Music device (I dont bring one, its distracting... no matter how much I LOVE my music, I love the woods more)
* Moist towelletes
* Toilet paper(!)
* And whatever else you think is worth its weight on your trip. (hint: caffine!)
Try not to bring too much though... Don't want 10 pounds of gear and 12 pounds of other stuff.
Step 9: The Actual How To: Step 1- Make List, Check Twice
First, take aaaallll of your gear and neatly spread it out onto a clean floor or bed. Seeing everything helps organize you.
Next, make a checklist and go over everything to make sure you wont leave anything important at home.
Step 10: The Actual How To: Step 2- Bottoms Up!
Step 11: The Actual How To: Step 3- Heavyweights
You want to try to place your heavy items in the center of your pack, close to your spine. This makes your pack more comfortable and more stable.
Step 12: The Actual How To: Step 4- Easy Access
Try to contain the heavy items with the softer, lighter ones to help minimize/eliminate shifting in your pack.
Step 13: The Actual How Too: Step 5- the Outer Rim
Lash tools to the outside of your pack, but try not to have too much parts hanging off, as not to snag on branches.
Put your canteen within easy reach, along with your kinfe, multi-tool, and flashlight (tool and torch could go in fanny-pack...)
Strap your tent to the outside or find another way to carry it.
Step 14: The Actual How To: Step 6- Hike, Unpack, Repack, Repeat
Oh, and one more thing, take lots of pics!
If you have any you wanna share, please, don't hesitate to post in the comments section!