Monday, November 4, 2019

Do you know how to fit a backpack?

I am guessing you don't. In the past 13 years I estimate that I have fit 9 to 12 thousand backpacks on people. All kinds of people. New backpackers, experienced backpackers, you name it.

Here is the thing, most people think they know how to wear a backpack. The problem is, they don't. If you have never been fitted for a backpack by a professional then I can almost guarantee you are wearing a backpack too low on your hips. Similarly, if you have never taken a kayaking lesson I can almost guarantee you are paddling wrong. I've written about this before, it is one of my pet peeves. Someone walks into a store, takes a pack off the wall and puts it on. They don't check size on a pack, they don't make any adjustments, they don't put any weight in the pack, and then they proudly proclaim "this feels great!" Well, guess what? Every pack feels great when there is no weight in it. You need to have your torso measured, which is hard to do without a sizing tool, and you need to have weight in the pack to really tell what it is going to feel like.

This was the driving reason behind writing "The Simple Guide to Backpacking." Pack fitting and pack selection are both covered along with a lot of other things.

I work in the outdoor industry as an instructor, and I teach all sorts of things, from backpacking and navigation to kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. I do it because my primary goal is to get people active in the outdoors, safely and comfortably. I see too many people working too hard and not having fun. You need to be having fun. With the the right gear and the right knowledge you can have fun even on bad days, when the weather is bad and the pack is heavy.

The thing that surprises me the most is how hard it is to get people to let you help them. People are so hung up on looking like they "know" what they are doing, they don't ever get the chance to know what they are doing. It gets in the way of having a good experience. If you do anything in the outdoors you should let me help you. You can reach me here, or on Instagram, and my Youtube channel is starting to get some heft in terms of content.

Look me up. Let me help.

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