If you feel strain in your body’s muscles after wearing a bag, it means you do not adjust the rucksack properly, or you have the wrong size bag. So buy a bag of your size, then inquire how to fit a backpack, the purpose of its straps, and their right positions.
So for making your hiking, walk, journey free of pain and full of joys, I have discussed all steps of fixing the bag properly and the position of different straps like shoulder straps, hip belts, etc.
Let us start!
How to Fit a Backpack?
Backpacks should be chosen wisely according to your body size because only a few bags are unisex, but mostly there are categories for girls’ and boys’ bags. You must know the purpose of each strap and how it should be adjusted. Here I have discussed in detail each and everything you need to know for the fitting rucksack.
Invest in the bag of your Body Size
Always buy the bag made for your sized people, so before buying, ask your friend to take measurements of your different body parts. First of all, measure your torso.
Take an inches stape, place its one end on c7 vertebrae, and measure till iliac crest comes. This length is known as torso length. C7 is located at the base of your neck, while the iliac crest is the top of your hip bone.
But if you feel difficulty in finding c7, then tilt your head down. A bump will be created on your neck; that bump is the c7 vertebra. Swipe your hand on your back; you will feel a bump which is the iliac crest.
These measurements will guide you whether you are grouped in small, medium, or large-sized people. More specifically, check each brand’s size chart and compare measurements, then buy the rucksack in which you feel most comfortable.
Wear and Adjust the Backpack on your Body
After buying a backpack, the second step is to wear, adjust, and check its size, whether it comfortable you or not. Bags have different belts like hips belts, shoulder straps, etc
Hipbelt is at the bottom of the bag that rests on your hips, load lifters are at the top of your shoulder straps, and the sternum straps waps on your chest and give a stylish look.
All instructions for adjusting the bag are given in the manual, so read it thoroughly and follow all steps.
1. Adjust your Hips Belts
Most of our power is provided by hips, and our center of gravity is also in the hips, so put more weight on the hips for walking with ease without feeling much burden on your back.
People think you have to carry your weight on your shoulders, but it’s a wrong concept. Your luggage 80% weight should be on your, and the rest weight should be on your shoulders.
Wear the bag and adjust it so that the middle of the hip bone is on your body’s iliac crest. Now tight the belt, so it remains fixed in its place for all of the time. The padding of hip straps will cover all your hips and your belly except your stomach.
Some bags also have hip belt stabilizers that keep the bag locked up, thus preventing it from moving here ad there.
2. Adjust your Shoulder Strap
Now adjust your shoulder straps carefully, make sure the straps of your rucksack are well padded. Ensure the shoulder straps are not loose because then all the weight of your luggage will be on your shoulders; you will start feeling pain in your back and shoulders just after a few minutes of hiking.
Shoulder straps should be tight, and they must embrace your shoulder from front and back. University, college, and high school students often wear only one strap of the backpack because they think we will look cool and cute.
But it is wrong because wearing only one strap of the shoulder causes pain in the backbone very much. So must avoid the sling method.
If you wanted to carry your maximum weight on the back, tight the hip belt and set the shoulder straps loose. When you are tired of having your weight on the back, you can also put it on your shoulders.
For this, loose your hip belt. Tight the shoulder straps fully and tight the load lifters belts; now, your maximum weight will be on the shoulders but do not carry weight for a long time on shoulders because it demands more energy, and you will exhaust just after few minutes.
3. Adjust Load Lifters
Load lifters prevent the bag from hanging behind because due to overweight back starts tilting towards the other side. The purpose of load lifters is to lift weight towards your back to maintain the balance between your hips ad shoulders.
So tighten them till they make an angle of 45 degrees with the back panel of your rucksack and the horizontal plane tangent at the top of your shoulders. All bags do not have load lifters, but the large bags do have load lifters because there is no need for load lifters in the small rucksacks.
Load lifters are present on both shoulders, so tight both straps equality if one strap will be less tight than the other severe strain and pain, will produce in one shoulder.
4. Adjust your Sternum Straps
The primary purpose of sternum straps is to fix the shoulder straps and prevent them from slipping during running and hiking. Sternum straps are mostly present in large-size packs, which people use for long journeys because they have to stuff more things in them, and more weight demands more proper adjustment.
Sternum straps fit the back on your body and ensure that it is attached to your back instead of hanging downward and weight is evenly distributed on your hips and shoulders.
Buckle up the belts and tighten them but do not overtight them because then shoulders will be uneasy. The sternum straps should be 2.5cm below your collar bone.
Change your rucksack if sternum straps are too loose because then they are not giving you an advantage. Similarly, too tight straps cause strain in the shoulders and back. Moreover, severe breathing issues also occur due to tightened sternum straps.
5. Walk Around for Checking your Comfort Level
After you have adjusted all the bag’s straps, walk here and there for a few minutes so you can check appropriately if any part of your body is in discomfort.
Sternums straps should not be tight because then the strain will produce in the shoulders. Severe breathing issues can also occur. A loose hip belt has no benefits because then all weight will act on your shoulders. So buy a bag which belt size fits on your waist.
Shoulder straps should embrace your back. If any of these requirements are not fulfilled, you need to change your pack and buy the bag that is for your body size.
During walking, tilt your body a bit. This posture will help you very much in carrying weight for a long time without exhausting. But do not bend your body very much because then there is a high risk of backbone and shoulder problems.