How to Pack a Survival Backpack? Step by Step (2023)

In the vast and unpredictable wilderness, there is little room for error and even less margin for unpreparedness. It is in this context that survival backpacks emerge as an indispensable tool for those venturing into the great unknown. In this article, will go over a more detailed and thorough guide on how to pack a survival backpack.

What to Pack in your Tactical Backpack?

The contents of your tactical backpack are highly contingent upon the particular activity that you have in mind. Indeed, the specific accouterments that you will require for a day spent at the range will differ substantially from those necessitated by a prolonged sojourn in the field. Nevertheless, despite these contextual disparities, there exist a small number of indispensable items that ought to be included in any tactical pack that is worth it’s salt. Without further ado, then, let us enumerate the fundamental objects that ought to be present in such a pack:

  • Water.
  • Tools.
  • Food, including high-protein, energy-boosting snacks.
  • First aid kit or IFAK pouch.
  • Personal hygiene items.
  • Clothing.
  • Communication equipment.
  • Fire-starting kit.
  • Flashlights.
  • Defense items.
  • Shelter.
  • Bedding.

How to Pack a Survival Backpack 1

How to Pack a Survival Backpack?

Contemplating the art of stowing a 24-hour tactical backpack is akin to the ancient Egyptian practice of erecting pyramids. The fundamental principle is to allocate the heavier items at the bottom of the pack, followed by the moderately weighted items, and conclude with the lighter items on top. This configuration is deemed optimal for the well-being of your back and substantially facilitates transportation, particularly when embarking on an extensive expedition.

To streamline your expedition further, the external compartments of your pack or MOLLE attachments can be judiciously utilized to store items that necessitate frequent or effortless access. Examples of such items could be flashlights, a tactical knife or multitool, radios, and your first aid kit. By allocating such items to these compartments, you can free up space in the main compartment for bulkier items, ensuring that your backpack remains organized and easy to navigate.

Step 1: Start with a sturdy backpack

Choosing the right backpack is crucial for ensuring your survival gear remains secure and accessible. It’s advisable to invest in a high-quality, durable backpack with enough compartments to store all your items.

>>>> Read more: Best Tactical Backpack Under $50

Step 2: Prioritize essential items

Make a list of all the essential items you’ll need in case of an emergency or when spending a significant amount of time outdoors. Some of these items include water, food, shelter, a first aid kit, and navigation tools like a map and compass.

Step 3: Pack heavy items at the bottom

Heavy items like water, a tent, and a stove should be packed at the bottom of the backpack. This will help distribute the weight evenly and keep the backpack stable.

Step 4: Place medium-weight items in the middle

Medium-weight items such as clothing and sleeping bags should be placed in the middle of the backpack, above the heavier items. This will prevent them from being crushed by the weight of the items at the bottom.

Step 5: Lighter items on top

Lighter items such as snacks, tools, and navigation equipment should be packed on top of heavier and medium-weight items. This will make it easier to access them quickly and ensure they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

How to Pack a Survival Backpack

Step 6: Use compartments for organization

Use the different compartments of your backpack to organize your items. For instance, use the outside pockets for frequently used items like a flashlight, knife, and radio. This will make it easier to access them quickly without having to rummage through the entire backpack.

Step 7: Secure loose items

Use carabiners or straps to secure any loose items outside of your backpack like a sleeping pad, tent poles, or hiking boots. This will prevent them from bouncing around or falling off while you’re hiking.

Step 8: Test your backpack

After packing, put on your backpack and test it for comfort and fit. Adjust the straps and belt to ensure the weight is evenly distributed and comfortable to carry. Walk around with it for a while to test its balance and adjust as necessary.


Packing a survival backpack requires careful planning, organization, and consideration of weight distribution. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your backpack is packed with all the necessary items for survival and is easily accessible in an emergency.

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