How to Use a Military Backpack? [Extensive Guide]

Alex Clarkson
Alex Clarkson

Military backpacks are quite useful for both military personnel and civilians. Because it can be used for long trips. Thus, get yourself one. 

But how to use a military backpack properly?  

For starters, to use the backpack, you need to know what it actually is. Then you’ve to pick the right backpack for yourself. After that, you’ve to know how to pack or organize the backpack properly. The last thing you gotta know is how to lift and wear it.

Now, this is just the brief. To use a military backpack properly, you need more info. And that’s why we’ve come up with a guide for you. 

Therefore, we hope you’ll give our piece a chance and go through it!

What is Exactly a Military Backpack?

Now, there’s an easy and common answer to this question. 

And that answer is- 

It’s a backpack that is actively or usually used by someone who’s in the Army. For example, a marine or a soldier. 

So, this backpack is built, keeping military personnel in mind. However, civilians can use this backpack as well. And you’ve obviously seen lots of civilians wear this gear. 

The military backpack is built to perform well in tough situations and environments. By using this, you’ll have more space for your tools. So, you can carry essential items without any problem. 

Plus people can use this gear for both regular and occasional use. Because they have different varieties. 

You just need to pick the best military backpack for yourself.

How to Choose the Right Military Backpack?

how to choose the right military backpack

Now, if you haven’t chosen a military backpack yet, we’re here to help! 

Because choosing the backpack that’ll suit you is definitely a difficult task. But you still gotta do it. And to be honest, your decision relies on what you’re intending to do. 

Therefore, think about what you’re actually looking for in a backpack. Also how you’re going to use the backpack. 

Now, we’ve mentioned three things you need to consider before selecting a backpack-

Is the Material & Weight Right?

Your comfort should be your first priority when choosing or doing something. Plus you should know that-

You’ll carry this backpack on your shoulder for quite a long time. Thus, the material and weight of it are important. 

The material of the backpack needs to be light. But it should also be strong enough for any heavy load.

And the weight of the backpack shouldn’t be too much. As you’ll be loading it afterward. Therefore, keep in mind that- 

The overall weight of your backpack shouldn’t put too much pressure on your back. Otherwise, you’ll suffer from back pain

The backpack should distribute its weight on your back evenly. For that reason, go for backpacks that have waistline and shoulder strappings. 

Also, you should pick a military backpack that’s weather-resistant. Because these backpacks are even more durable!

Is the Storage Capacity Enough?

The storage capacity depends on the equipment you’ll be carrying. Now as we’ve mentioned, military backpacks can be used for any kind of use. 

However, for a better experience-

You need to pick a backpack that has compartments. Because a backpack with compartments will give you access to brilliant packing. 

If you’re supposed to stay outside for a longer period- 

Go for military backpacks with external and internal storage systems. Because this type of backpack you’ll give you more space for your items. 

Anyway, the summary of this segment is- 

Always pick a military backpack that has enough space for your loads.

Do Design & Style Matter?

Yup, the design, and style matter if you’re going for war or hunting. 

Because in these situations, you’ve to disguise yourself according to your surroundings. For both cases, it’s best if you pick a camouflage-colored backpack. 

Thus, pick a backpack that goes with your outfit and environment. 

So, these were the essential facts to consider for every kind of purpose. Whether it be going to war or going to your office/school. 

Now, just fix your budget. We suggest having an open mind while doing so. Because you can’t compromise much when getting yourself a military backpack!

How to Pack a Military Backpack? 

Now after getting the military backpack, you need to know how to pack it. To properly pack your backpack, you’ve to think about two things- 

Your comfort and purpose. 

First of all, purpose actually refers to- 

Where you’re going, for how long you’ll stay outside. And what you’re going to do. 

For different purposes, you’ll need different items in your backpack. 

Therefore, we’ve mentioned the basic things one might need. 

And secondly, these will match your comfort level as well. 

Because there aren’t many types of equipment-


Necessary Items

Hiking, long trips, etc.

First aid kit, food, personal hygiene materials, essential equipment, water.

Camping, hunting, war, etc.

First aid kit, bedding, clothing, flashlight, fire starting kit, communication devices, shelter, defense materials.

So, these are the items one should have in their backpack according to their mission.

Now, let’s see how to pack the backpack properly-

What to Keep at the Bottom of Your Backpack?

The bottom of your backpack works as a foundation. At the bottom, it’s best to place- 

The heavy and less frequently-used items. 

For example, extra clothing, bedding, heavy tools, hygiene items, and so on. Also, try rolling your clothes, sleeping bed to save more space for other items. 

Why these items? 

Well, because these are mostly taken out after carrying the backpack all day!

What to Place in the Middle of Your Backpack? 

After you’re done with the bottom, you need to work on the middle. 

In this part-

You can keep items you’ll not need that much while roaming around. Items like extra food, shelter, tools to set up your tent are best suited for the middle space.

What to Put on  Top of Your Backpack? 

Finally, the top of your backpack! 

Now, this part will be dedicated to your essential and frequently used items. 

You’ve to keep your self-defense tools, communication devices here. You can even place some snacks, water purification tablets on the top. Other small but essential tools or items can be kept here too.

What Items to Attach Outside of Your Backpack? 

what items to attach outside of your backpack

As you already know some backpacks have external storage space. And you’ve to try to use most of this space. 

Keep your first aid kit in this space. If you couldn’t on the top part of the backpack. You can even attach defense items like pocket knives here.

So, grab your pocket knife. And pack your military backpack in an organized way with your necessary items quickly. 

However, it’s important to check the balance of the backpack before taking it on your mission. Thus, you can put the backpack on. And walk/run around for a bit. 

If you want, you can run for half a mile. This will help you test whether your backpack is properly balanced or not. If it isn’t, try putting in more items. Or attempt to remove some that aren’t important. And lastly, test balance again.

But do the checking part after going through our next segment. Otherwise, you might get injured. 

Now, the packing for school and office is a bit different. Plus the military backpacks you’ll use for school or office are smaller and lighter. 

Because obviously, they are for regular use. And you don’t have to carry much in the backpack. 

So yeah, the packing process is similar to that of a regular backpack.

How to Wear a Military Rucksack or Backpack? 

Now, you’re done packing and balancing your backpack. It’s time to wear it! 

Wearing the backpack properly is pretty crucial. Because this backpack of yours definitely has some weight to it. And you’ll be carrying this on your precious back. 

Therefore, if you don’t wear the backpack properly- 

It’s gonna get really difficult for you to carry it. Plus your back can get injured as well. 

For example- 

If you forget to put on the straps beforehand your journey. You’ve to fix the straps of the backpack afterward. This can create an uncomfortable situation for you and your back. 

Scary, isn’t it? 

But we don’t want you to go through that. Thus, we’ve explained how you can wear your military rucksack or backpack. Just practice these steps with an unpacked backpack-

Undo the Straps & Adjust Your Back Length

Military backpacks often come with straps done. 

So, first of all, you’ll need to undo all the straps of your backpack. Then you’ve to adjust the back length of your backpack. 

And it should obviously be according to your own back length. 

Now for this, you’ve to understand where your C7 vertebra is. Well, it’s usually right at the top of your back. 

To detect it, bend a bit and touch that spot of the back. You’ll feel a little bubble at the back of your neck. And that’s my friend where your shoulder straps have to sit in line with.  

After the top let’s talk about the bottom part. So, the bottom of your backpack needs to sit with your iliac crest. 

Now don’t get startled by seeing this difficult word. Because the iliac crest is literally your hip bone. And we all know where that is. Therefore, make sure the bottom of the backpack is sitting in line with that spot. 

After putting the backpack on, check yourself in the mirror. This will help you identify whether the back length is correct or not. 

Now, remember to keep in mind that-

Don’t leave any gap between your shoulder and the shoulder straps of your backpack. Thus, if you see a gap, you’ve to adjust the back length. And check it afterward.

Put on Your Backpack Straps 

Now, putting the straps of your backpack is important. Because this makes your journey easier. 

So, the first strap you’ve to put on is the one that’s located in the hip bone area. Therefore, just find your hip bone. And line the straps in that position.  

After lifting it, quickly put on the hip belt. Then tighten the straps around your hips. To be honest, this is where the weight of the backpack will be sitting. 

Now, let’s get to the next strap- 

Once you’re done with hip bone straps, pull your shoulder straps. Let the straps sit on your shoulder properly. But it shouldn’t be too tight. So that you can put your thumb underneath them. 

After that, you need to move on to the chest strap. However, this strap is actually not a load-bearing strap of your backpack. Because it doesn’t have any padding on it like hip bone or shoulder straps. 

Nonetheless, put on the chest belt. And tighten it. Now, make sure it sits 3 fingers away from your collar bone. 

And that’s all about wearing your military backpack properly! 

You did a good job for now! Now, do give yourself a pat on the back!!

How to Lift a Military Backpack? 

You’ve gone through the packing process. Also how to wear the backpack on your shoulder. 

Now, you’ve to lift the heavy backpack upon your shoulders. 

Yes, you can practice with an empty back. But it’s better to do this with a packed and back-length adjusted backpack. Because the weight difference might throw you off later on.

Anyway, unlike normal backpacks, it can be a bit tough to lift a military backpack. Because it does weigh more. 

And lifting it in an incorrect way is-

Hazardous for your sensitive back and shoulders.

Therefore, to use the backpack, you need to know how to lift with it-

How to Lift the Backpack Standing Up?

Now, to lift up your military backpack, you’ve to widen your leg gap. 

The gap between the two legs should be approximately 20-inches. Then bend your knees a bit. Also, make sure the backpack is in front of your right leg. 

Now, you’ve to grip the handle in the middle of the backpack. Next, lean towards the backpack by bending your knees more. But keep your back straight. Lift the backpack with your two arms on your knee. 

After that, slide in your right arm through the right shoulder strap. And stand up. Then shift the backpack to your right shoulder. Next, slide the other arm in. So that the backpack is on your both shoulders. 

Once you’ve it on, put on the straps just how we’ve mentioned before. 

Now, if you want to lift the bag down, follow the same process. But in reverse.

How to Lift Yourself with Backpack when Being on Knees? 

Now, in the Army or while hiking you might’ve to get on your knees. And yes, with your heavy backpack. So, how to lift the backpack while being in that position?

Well, it’s pretty easy! 

While getting up, make sure to lift your one foot forward first. Then place the weight of the backpack on the knee. 

Next, support yourself with your hands. Put your hands on that knee and push yourself up. 

That’s all! These are all necessary details of using a military backpack. And now you know all the bits!


Question: How to pack a military backpack easily?

Answer: Well, to pack it easily but properly, start with heavy items. And place them at the bottom. These are the items that you won’t use frequently. And a bit smaller and frequently used items in the middle. Lastly, keep all your necessary stuff on the top part. 

Question: How to walk with a military backpack on?

Answer: You’ve to keep your back straight throughout your journey with the backpack on. You can use a walking stick while hiking. Also instead of running take big and heavy steps to increase your pace. 

Question: Can civilians use a military backpack?

Answer: Well, of course, they can. Military gear is known for its durability and good performance. So yeah everyone can use them when needed.  

Question: Is it hard to carry a military backpack?

Answer: Well, military backpacks aren’t always for heavy-duty use. They can be used for school and office too. Because they come in various forms. Thus, some are pretty safe and easy to carry for anyone.

Take Away

So, there you go! We hope you got everything you wanted on how to use a military backpack. By the way, you can use the backpack to rest on while you’re traveling. 

Now, did you understand everything? 

Let us know the answer by writing a comment. You can even comment down the info we’ve missed to mention. Thank you!

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