How do I lift a loaded hiking bag?
To avoid starting your hiking trip with a sore back, remember that there is a right way to lift a large hiking pack. Follow these easy steps for pain-free lifting when you put on camping backpacks:
Take the loop: Place your loaded large hiking pack upright on the ground, and grasp the large, webbed loop at the top.
Take a slide: Holding the loop, slide the hiking pack up along your leg. Bend your knee so your thigh is approximately parallel with the ground, and let the hiking bag rest on your thigh.
Slip it on: Hold the hiking bag with one hand, and slip your arm and shoulder as far as possible into the shoulder strap. Then use some momentum, but not jerky motions, to swing the hiking bag fully onto your back, and slip your other arm through the straps on the other side.
Once you are wearing a large hiking pack, adjust the hip belt and load-lifter straps near the shoulders. Adjust the straps as often as feels comfortable during your hike; this will help reduce muscle fatigue.
Visit your local Sun & Ski Shop to test out different camping backpacks and hone your hoisting technique.