What Should You Look For in a Hiking Backpack?
Most people know from an early age that having a quality backpack can make a difference when it comes to going on a hiking trip and carrying essential camping equipment. Essential camping equipment like tents, a good camping cookware set, food, water, and a map of the area so you can avoid getting lost in the wilderness.
A strap that’s starting to come undone at the seams can put a significant amount of stress on a person (both mentally and physically.) For serious backpackers, there’s nothing worse than realizing that a backpack is inadequate about halfway through a trip.
No matter what the store’s return policy is, it won’t help if campers are deep in the woods when their backpack falls to pieces. To avoid this type of distress, keep the following tips in mind.
Backpack Liters of Volume
The amount of hiking gear a person carries is generally measured in liters or cubic inches. A person who only takes their pack out on day trips shouldn’t need any more than 30 liters (1,831 cubic inches) to carry all of the water, spare clothes, and cooking gear they need. But a camper who takes their backpack out into the woods for a week or more will need more than 55 liters to store all of their gear. Those who take weekend trips or longer trail hikes can likely get away with between 45–55 liters (up to 3,356 cubic inches) for their pack.
Compartments of Storage in a Backpack
For the most part, compartments are a style choice when it comes to how people choose their backpack, but it can make a difference in terms of the total camping experience. For those who want to keep their phone, snacks, and water organized, hikers can find backpacks that have more storage compartments to divide their equipment as necessary. But for those who want to simplify their camping experience (and who know they might forget where everything is located), they can buy a more streamlined backpack with only a few compartments to keep necessary gear.
Backpack Sizes and Shapes
The best way for a person to determine the right size of their pack is to measure from the top of their spine to the top of the hips on the side of the body. This tells a camper the size of their torso, so they can look into the packs that will best match the size. (Campers will need a helper or a friend to obtain the approximate length with a tape measurer.) Many backpacks will have adjustable straps, but some will not. Campers can also visit a camping store to get more advice about buying the proper backpack for their specific body shape and size.
Trying Out Backpacks
Campers really can’t go wrong investing in brands like REI, Osprey, and Gossamer when it comes to quality stitching and durable materials. But whatever a camper’s routines happen to be, they should test out each brand with some of their own gear. This way, they can practice putting things in and taking them out at a quick clip. If there’s nothing intuitive about the pack for the person, they’ll know before ever taking it out of a store. If ordering online, a camper should make sure it has a solid return policy, so they can test it out in the comfort of their own home.
Backpacking can be fun when everyone is prepared, and the right one can really help instill confidence into a camper. Whether a person likes the comfort of their things around them or prefers the bare necessities, they can find a pack that can fit their needs when they keep the above criteria in mind, so they can go backpacking safely.