“I would gladly live out of a backpack if it meant I could see the world.” ~ unknown
In nearly every outdoor adventure you take, you’re going to want to bring a backpack. Backpacks allow you to carry necessary items like food, water, and even shelter. Whether your adventure is a couple of hours long or a couple of days, having a properly fitting and properly equipped pack, is a must. Let’s talk about a few of the different types of packs you might choose to bring along on your adventure.
A daypack is typically small in storage capacity and lightweight when empty. It typically will have two back straps but no hip belt for weight disbursement. Carrying capacity will be around 20L and typically carrying weight capacity will be >10 pounds. Some of the items you might carry are a couple of full water bottles and some snacks.
A mid-range pack will be slightly larger, up to twice the size of a daypack. These packs are great for carrying slightly heavier loads from 10 pounds up to 20 pounds of gear. Typically, you would have full water bottles, more snacks, and perhaps camera equipment. Look for packs in the 30L-40L carrying capacity that have hip belts to help distribute the weight.
A full-size pack will have all of the above features and be bigger in size, 50L-70L packs are common. These packs are perfect for carrying everything you would need for overnight trips and even multi-month expeditions. The kind of equipment you would carry in these are several days of food, a day or two worth of water, tent, sleeping bag, clothing, and first aid. Typical loaded weights that these packs can carry comfortably are 30+ pounds. When shopping for a pack in this size it is important to get a proper fit. A visit to your local outdoor outfitter will help you get the right fit. Much like a properly fitting hiking shoe or boot, a properly fitted pack is crucial to enjoying your adventure.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a backpack especially if you are just getting into backpacking. Visit your local outdoor outfitter, if you don’t have one near you, check out Walmart’s “Outdoor Products” line. You can find most everything you need to get started in backpacking without breaking the bank. From there, you can make upgrades to your pack choices later on by learning what situations you typically hike in and what your needs are.
Check out the accompanying video where I explain more about proper pack selection.
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