I wanted to wait until most people had a chance to read Darkness Divides before posting this. It’s a video of the same plane (Casa-212) and type of parachute Melena used in the book. The main difference being this takes place at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina during the daytime (plus the troops are using proper military procedures instead of Mel’s improvising). You can see how Melena would have strapped her pack to the front of her similar to the way they do. These troops are probably carrying upwards of 100 pounds on them, which makes it rather awkward to walk.
I’ve actually jumped on the same drop zone this video shows about a dozen times, often using that plane, so I did draw heavily from those experiences for the novel. Hopefully this gives you a better idea for what it would feel like to do it.
Direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAwIzpHfOaY