Back Pain Prevention: How to Wear Your Backpack the Correct Way
More often than not hikers who compromise on the quality of their backpacks, complain of shoulder strain and back pain. This is not always because you overpacked your bag or because the long and strenuous terrain is taking a toll on your strength.
Sometimes the reason is as simple as not wearing your backpack the correct way. Of course, this also has a lot to do with the quality of the backpack you’re using because not all bags are manufactured like ours.
Our backpacks are created to help hikers maintain a naturally balanced posture such that the load is distributed across the skeletal structure, and so that you are more upright, which uses less energy than when stooped over. Pioneered by Prof. Ray Lloyd, the research into bodypacks has guided our manufacturing processes. This way our backpacks are body friendly and ultra light for long-distance hiking and traveling.
All you need to do is make sure you’re wearing them the correct way.
No matter how light or heavy your backpack may be, always wear both straps on your shoulders. Slinging your backpack on one shoulder can be really dangerous for your body. You may be tempted at several points to quickly single-strap and rush to catch up with the crew. But this can be seriously detrimental to your physical well-being.
Adjust the Length of Straps
Make sure both your shoulder straps are adjusted at the same length, such that the backpack is high on your back and not hanging low. The aim is to ensure the entire pack fits above your waistline, and that the weight is resting on your hipbones; otherwise, it can get painful for your shoulders, neck and back. If your backpack is bouncing on your hips as you go, you need to pull it higher and more firmly on the pelvic bones.
Adjust According to Clothing
One of the most neglected factors when it comes to wearing backpacks is adjusting your straps for clothing of different thicknesses. If you’re wearing a puffer jacket, you might want to loosen the straps a bit to adjust them on your shoulders. Similarly when you strip down to just a T-shirt, don’t forget to tighten the straps again.
Keep It Fixed
If your backpack is swaying from side to side while you’re hiking, it means you’ve either picked the wrong brand or not worn it right. Your backpack should ideally stay in one place. Otherwise it can lead to chafing because your shoulder straps are constantly rubbing and the load is hitting your lower back.
This is why Aarn’s bodypacks are made with flow-thru shoulder straps that “float”, while the pack load remains firmly in place on your back. In that way, the shoulder are not pulling the load with each rotation of the torso, and the weight of the load is carried on the hip bones, not the shoulders. Also, the front balance pockets help maintain the hiker’s posture in perfect alignment. Preventing unnecessary movement and dividing the weight equally on both sides, this feature really distinguishes our backpacks from other substitutes.
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