Simple Pack Hanging Trick for Backpacking

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Home Preppers DIY Simple Pack Hanging Trick for Backpacking
Published on July 2, 2016

If you’re backpacking or are a backpacker, pack weight and space are a precious commodity. This simple trick will show you how to get your pack off the ground without adding weight or gear to your kit.

For a while now I have used paracord and a carabiner to hang my pack from a tree when I got to camp. This has worked great for me, and is fairly lightweight. But as I backpack more and more, I continue to look for ways to simplify my kit and lighten my load.

So recently I was watching a video from Dave Canterbury ( on the usefulness of toggles and it gave me an idea. I’m sure I didn’t invent this trick, but in doing this I couldn’t recall having seen this before (otherwise, I have absolutely no problem giving credit :-). I just combined what I saw in Dave’s video (he was using toggles in camp cookery), with what I remember from utilizing a marlin spike hitch to hang my hammock with (in this video:; a trick I adapted from something I learned in one of Shug Emery’s videos ( (Maybe now you have a glimpse into the craziness that is my mind at times 🙂

After piecing those things I learned together, what I came up with was a way to hang my pack from a tree using a bit of paracord, and a toggle made from a stick lying on the ground. Simple, and no additional weight or gear required for my pack (as I already have paracord in my pack.).

Here’s how you do it:

1) Tie a piece of paracord around the tree you want to hang your pack on. Tie it at around eye level. I carry an extra hank of paracord that is about 10 feet long for this. I tie it using an overhand knot and and then a slip knot (similar to how I start my ridge-line). I then let the long tag end hang down, making sure the knots are tight to each other and the tree.

2) Tie a stick a few inches down from the first knot(s) using a marlin spike hitch. Tie the hitch to the middle of the toggle for proper balance. Make sure the stick is thick enough to support the weight of your pack. In this video, my pack is about 39lbs, and the stick is about 3/4″ in diameter. This is probably plenty, depending on the kind of stick you pick up. Obviously hardwoods are going to support more weight. Also, the stick length should only be long enough so it can slide through your pack’s handle simply, yet support it’s weight. Too long and the toggle won’t fit through your handle. Too short and your pack might slip off.

I tested this recently in an overnight winter camp where it got down to about 5 degrees Fahrenheit that night and the thing held beautifully all day and night long.

If this is your first time with us, my name is Dave, and David’s Passage is the name of my vlog. This passage in life started with a desire to share my love of the outdoors with the world. My hope is that those who tune into my videos will be inspired to venture out and enjoy all of creation for what it’s worth. This video blog features videos on an array of outdoor-related topics, as well as DIY projects that might just help you more fully enjoy the outdoors. New videos come out on Tuesdays at 3pm EST, so please subscribe and be on the lookout for new content soon!

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See you outdoors!

Music you heard in this video was from the finger-style guitarist, David Youngman. I highly recommend you check him out.
I have obtained written permission from the original artist to use his music in my videos.


  1. bigmac

    Excellent vid! Could you go with a longer toggle and place it through your shoulder straps for less stress on your pack?

  2. In the days of old
    When hikers were bold
    and toggles weren't invented
    They slung their pack
    on their back
    and walked away contented

  3. Thanks for the tip brother. Subscribed!

  4. he eventually gets to the point at 1:11
    good trick but much preliminary talk.

  5. David, I am not sure how to contact you! 🙂 I have looked on your site… I am fairly new to Hillsdale county, an avid hiker and fly-fisherman. wondering if you could contact me and we could chat? If you can give me some way to contact you that would be GREAT!! :)

  6. Hey Dave, that was clever. Reminds me of the PCT way of hanging your food bag. Loop line over a limb, bring down some rope and tie off with a stick. Both are clever ideas. Thanks partner.

  7. Thanks Dave!! I'll be using that from now on. 

  8. Rocky

    Hey there David. Great channel. Subbed. Super great tips and diy's. Thank you for sharing…Rocky :)

  9. I had always assumed that you just used the force bro, lol.  :)

  10. That looks like a heavy pack to begin with haha. Check out some of the packs made by ULA. They will save you some weight.

  11. Really cool. Normally I'll had the carabina or a elastic-band. But this is much better an easy'er… Thanks! 

  12. Keep up the great vids, David.  I appreciate your unassuming, articulate and informative delivery, sans the bluster, pretense and idiocy I've seen in other prep-related videos.   

  13. Good idea. I think having less in your kit is even better than just the weight you save. Plus that seems like a better way over all, putting less stress over a larger area than on a thin spot just makes sense.

  14. If you carry a smooth stick or dowel or shave one so it is smooth there is no need to tie the secondary knot – stick it through the slip knot loop and pull tight – done:) to remove just push it through…

  15. I showed this in a vid awhile ago to. Very nice to have the pack off the ground!

  16. Do you have any videos that show your pack and contents? Looks like some cool stuff hanging off the side there ;)-

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