Can the way you pack your backpack affect your hike?
The short answer is yes! Heavy and awkwardly packed items can pull on or poke your body in uncomfortable ways after only a few minutes on the trail. Stashing items like bear spray and water in your backpack creates a hazardous situation in an emergency. Always have those important items within reach, stashed in a place you can access without removing your pack.
As someone with serious back issues, I take packing my small daypack very seriously. Some of these tips I first learned from backpacking across Europe and Australia before my injury. All these packing tips will help you to feel safer, stronger and less sore on a short day hike.