Part of hiking is to experience nature. You want to hear the stillness, or the birds and enjoy the peace and quiet. So imagine a squeak, squeak every time you take a step. You will not be the only one wondering why do hiking backpacks squeak?
Your fellow hikers might wonder the same and definitely will not appreciate you squeaking all the way. To make matters worse, once you hear it, it is all you will hear for the rest of the trip.
So Why do Hiking Backpacks Squeak?
First place to look and easiest to fix is to check if you packed something that is making a squeaky sound. If that is not the case, it is the backpack itself.
9 times out of 10, the squeak will come from the fabric rubbing against the frame. The friction from this will make a squeaky noise. That doesn’t mean a backpack without a frame cannot squeak.
If it is not the frame, it could be the shoulder straps and suspension. The sponge pad inside can stretch and rub against the outer shell which will also result in a squeaky sound.
You will usually find the squeaky noise in a new backpack or a backpack with a heavy load. After a few uses, the squeak might disappear.
What Do You Do When Your Backpack Starts Squeaking During Your Hike
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about a squeaking backpack when you are already out on your hike. The best advice I can give you is to ignore it.
I know this is a difficult task. But as with all other things in life, the more you focus on it, the more aware of it you will be and the more it will annoy you.
You can do one of two things.
Accept that it is squeaking and place your focus on your surrounds or . . .
Accept that it is squeaking and use the squeak to keep your walking pace.
How Do You Fix Your Squeaky Backpack?
When you are back at home, you address the squeak. First find out where the noise is coming from and then see which of the following tips work for you.
You can try to use a silicone lube aerosol spray if you know exactly where the noise is coming from. This is not a permanent fix though and you probably will have to reapply before your hikes.
Bowstring wax can be applied to the frame as well as the straps. This should eliminate the friction which will get rid of the noise. For better application you may need to heat the bowstring.
It might not look so great but taping the area of the frame where the squeak comes from with medical tape or camo tape might eliminate the squeak.
Sometimes a good old wash is all that is needed. If you can remove the frame, wash your backpack in the bathtub. Always read the manufacturer instructions before washing your backpack and remember not to use any harsh soaps or chemicals.
If the squeak comes from the shoulder straps it is worth it to adjust them and see what happens. Shoulder straps should be adjusted according to the load and your body type. The wrong tension could be the reason for the squeaking.
For most this is not going to work but look at your warranty as there might be a chance that the manufacturer will address the noisy issue.
There are a few things you can try to stop the squeaking. Lubricant and wax are probably your best options. But when it happens that your backpack is squeaking, it really is best to simply accept it and focus on your hike.
A squeak is not worth spoiling the time you have in nature. Thank you for reading this article and enjoy your hiking while building a stronger life.