Hiking with a Backpack and Back pain

The main reason to wear a backpack while hiking is for all the snacks. But in all seriousness, if you’re an avid hiker, carrying a backpack is actually crucial for safety during your trip because it carries water, snacks, a flashlight, and even a small first aid kit should you need it. The importance of being prepared is huge when being out in the wilderness.

The other day, I talked about how hiking is a great activity for people with low back pain when done correctly. Now, carrying a bag on your back can be a useful way to be prepared but it can also cause a literal backache. 

So here are three action steps for you to follow when carrying a bag when you’re experiencing low back pain. 

The first one is going to be packing appropriately. If you’re going out for a couple of hours, pack enough for snacks and water. But you don’t really need a tent if you’re not staying overnight. This can be remedied by ensuring that you are planning your hike ahead of time. 

Number two, you have to keep the bag close and tight to you. I remember as a kid in school, loose backpacks, and heavy backpacks always pushed against my low back and it caused a ton of pain. Really, the same thing goes for the adult. And so the closer that the backpack is to your body, the less swinging it will do which can knock you off balance and cause more pain. 

And the third and final part is keeping your abs tight. You’re applying an external load with the backpack and as a result, you need to have an engaged core so that you don’t buckle under the pressure. You don’t have to have a plank hold type of contraction. In fact, just a simple way to do this is by just pulling your ribs down gently towards your pelvis so that you can maintain a neutral spine. 

If you follow these three steps, nothing is going to stop you. Now, Hudson River Fitness has opened up space for five busy adults who want to live free of chronic low back pain. If that sounds like you, then book a free strategy call by clicking the link below or emailing me at


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Fill out your information to join our email list and receive exclusive content and updates.

fill out the form below to get started!

Take the first step towards getting the results you want!

fill out the form below to stay up-to-date!