The Whats and Hows of Backpacks

There are a plethora of backpacks available to buy, but what should you choose?  The below infographic from REI takes you through the steps of picking a backpack and packing it.  There are lots of useful tips and advice to help you select the right backpack for you.

What capacity backpack do I need?

First up capacity, this will really help you narrow down the choices of backpack available to you.  At the smallest end you could start with a daybag at 20 to 50 litres right up to a 80+ litre bag for extended adventures.  Knowing the time you are likely to be away will really help narrow down your selection for the right backpack.  Also are you likely to be carrying tents, cooking equipment etc?  As this all takes up space too.

What size of backpack do I need?

Second to capacity is size, you want a backpack which will be comfortable for long hikes and extended adventures.  Picking the correct size will ensure it fits you well and isn’t going to cause you unnecessary aches.  Ideally its best to go into a store and try out several backpacks so you can find out whats comfortable for you and see the pockets and features of each bag.

How do I pack a backpack?

A common question is how do you pack a backpack.  There are two things to consider in our opinion, firstly what will you need when?  If you’re out walking and it starts raining you don’t want to unpack your entire backpack to get to your waterproof.  The other consideration is packing so that the weight is distributed correctly to carry.  The key here is to get the heavier items as close to your spine as possible for good support.

In the bottom of your rucksack pack your sleeping bag, torch and items you won’t need until night.  In the middle your heavier items this could include your stove etc.  Then at the top all of the lighter stuff such as clothing.  Make the most of the external pockets in your backpack for all the items you might need at short notice - Snacks, Map and Compass, Waterproofs etc.

What are your Backpacking tips?

Have a Backpacking tip?  Share it in the comments

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