Everyone has a personal method for loading their pack. But with all due respect, we—along with Jim Sano, president of Geographic Expeditions—are happy to share the very best way: ours. First off, it’s not overly anal to weatherproof in the height of summer. “I got snowed on in Yosemite last August,” says Sano. Line your pack with a plastic garbage bag. Line your sleeping bag stuff sack with a trash compactor bag, and fill it with your bag and clothes for camp. Second, concentrate the weight in your pack at your waist so you’re less likely to get thrown off balance. This way, your strongest muscles, those in your legs, do the most work. For ideal distribution, stow the lined stuff sack at the bottom of your pack, followed by food and fuel, and then the rest of your clothing. Keep storm gear and a snack at the top for easy access. Lastly, attach your sleeping pad up high and your tent low, so you don’t look like a big dork.
Excerpted from "Ready For Almost Anything," by Melissa Wagenberg; Illustration by Mark Bodnar