Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Help - pack is causing back pain

  1. #1
    Trapper
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    106

    Help - pack is causing back pain

    I've been experiencing lower back pain the last few trips, is this generally because my pack is to high or too low? (note - this is unrelated to my previous post on metal back supports, as I've experienced the pain both with and without them)

  2. #2
    Tribal Elder ADz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Hull, East Yorkshire
    Posts
    1,039
    This would obviously depend on what pack you use and how you wear it. The weight (Or most of it) should be on your hips.
    "Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!​​"

  3. #3
    Ranger OakAshandThorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Connecticut ~ New England
    Posts
    2,465
    Aye, if the pack has a waist belt, the weight should be centred on the hips. I've had the same thing happen before from either not using the waist strap (bad idea for distance hikes) or from not organising my pack properly. It takes some fiddling around to find out what works and what doesn't.
    My blog, New England Bushcraft

    "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
    ~ Abraham Lincoln

    "Be prepared, not scared."
    ~ Cody Lundin

  4. #4
    One with Nature
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    "Always remember, no matter where you go there you are."
    Posts
    1,904
    hello,
    I was taught HM Armed Forces regarding the correct procedure for carrying you Bergen as to avoid 'Bergen Bounce' by wearing the Bergen high up on the back & the weight distribution slightly heavier on the shoulders than on the hips. Please make sure your Bergen is also central by keep so higher, this means that your legs take more of the strain, thus reducing the risk of back injury from leaning against the Bergen straps for prolonged periods of time. I agree with OakAshandThorn's comment It takes some fiddling around to find out what works and what doesn't.
    Regards
    David

  5. #5
    Wanderer laika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    M25, J11
    Posts
    88
    Make sure heavy items are packed nearest to your back and higher up the pack and that waist and sternum straps are properly adjusted. Shoulder straps should be tensioned to subtend an angle of 45 - 60 degrees. The aim is to keep the centre of gravity close to your spine and to distribute the weight to the hips via the waist strap.

  6. #6
    Ranger OakAshandThorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Connecticut ~ New England
    Posts
    2,465
    No kidding? I thought that was just me...but that's how I pack for my trips now. Bulky stuff to the top or on the top outside of the pack. Too much at the bottom causes me to lean forward more, straining the muscles in the lower back...latissimus dorsi, I think they're called.
    My blog, New England Bushcraft

    "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
    ~ Abraham Lincoln

    "Be prepared, not scared."
    ~ Cody Lundin

  7. #7
    Wanderer laika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    M25, J11
    Posts
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by OakAshandThorn View Post
    No kidding? I thought that was just me...but that's how I pack for my trips now. Bulky stuff to the top or on the top outside of the pack. Too much at the bottom causes me to lean forward more, straining the muscles in the lower back...latissimus dorsi, I think they're called.
    Yep, exactly. The precise placement will depend on pack length and activity e.g. when climbing I'd pack the heavy stuff slightly lower to avoid the possibility of a tank slapper, but the general principle should be to minimally disrupt your centre of gravity so, as David said, the weight is pushing down on to your feet.

  8. #8
    After fit the other thing to look at is your core strength. Strong core abdominal muscles deals with an awful lot of back ache by stablising your entire torso. I like Pilates, I actively dislike yoga because its emphasis is far too much on extreme flexibility.

  9. #9
    I get back pain too. My solution was ultralight backpacking.
    When I'm bushcrafting, I go out with very minimal and light weight equipment.

    A great book on this is "Participating in Nature" by Tomas J. Elpel

  10. #10
    Ranger OakAshandThorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Connecticut ~ New England
    Posts
    2,465
    Quote Originally Posted by Romanista77 View Post
    I get back pain too. My solution was ultralight backpacking.
    When I'm bushcrafting, I go out with very minimal and light weight equipment.

    A great book on this is "Participating in Nature" by Tomas J. Elpel
    Cutting back weight has definitely helped me out as well. I'm not quite ultralight, but lightweight. I did a lot of re-thinking in my kit structure, and brought down things down to around 8 kg/18 lb base weight for winter . Still playing around with my three-season base weight.
    Sometimes it doesn't hurt to get back to basics .
    My blog, New England Bushcraft

    "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
    ~ Abraham Lincoln

    "Be prepared, not scared."
    ~ Cody Lundin

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •