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Going Camping? How to Choose The Right Backpack

Going Camping? How to Choose The Right Backpack

So, you have decided to go camping. Well, good for you. However, have you got the necessary camping gear sorted out; especially the backpack. Its one the most important components of the camping gear and you have to make the right choice in this regard or you are done for.

Importance of choosing the right backpack

A person who is not all that experienced with the concept of camping or hiking might not give the backpack its due importance, and might just have a feeling that all backpacks are the same. But such is not the case, just ask an experienced camper.

There have been many cases wherein, instead of enjoying a nice little camping trip, people have come home, suffering from a back injury; resultant of a faulty backpack. There are many more unpleasant experiences that are a result of not choosing the right camping bag, but we won’t delve into it.

How to choose?

The style of hiking

A large part of choosing the right backpack is dependant of the kind of outing that you have lined up. This means that whether you are going to hike for an extended number of days, or just a few days.

There is a backpack available for every requirement, and the storage capacity of the backpack is dictated by the number of days, that you are going to use it for.

The type of frame

Depending on the terrain of the camping trip, weather that you might encounter, and various other factors, you must choose the frame of the backpack. They come in two types:

Internal-frame packs: They have design that makes for easy maneuverability, stability, flexibility. Moreover, backpacks that are made from this type of frame fit closely and must be chosen if you are going camping on a terrain that is uneven.

Such backpacks are great to use, while climbing, scrambling, or even on snow bound slopes.

External-frame packs: If you are traveling on established trails, and aim to carry a heavy load, then backpacks that have an external frame, are the right choice for you.

They make for a comfortable carrying of heavy loads, and also have a larger storage capacity. Moreover, they are noted for their air circulation advantage and are quite cool to carry. The great thing about them is that they are not too expensive.

The storage capacity

This is one of the most important considerations before choosing any backpack. List out all the gear that you are going to need to take with you, and then work out the details with regards to space.

Storage capacity needs vary from one individual to another and from one camping trip to another. If it’s a long camping trip then, a storage capacity of about 5000+ cubic inches would be a standard requirement

On the other hand if your camping trip is short, then you can choose backpacks that give you around 3,000 to 5,000 cubic inches of space. For day long camping trips even 2,500 cubic inches of space will do.

The comfort factor

Be it a camping trip of any length of time; comfort must be the overriding factor that must dictate your choice of backpack.

Some of the accoutrements of the backpack, which make for comfort, are:

> Suspension system

The suspension system of a backpack is important, and is what you must be looking for while checking out the shoulder straps of the pack. The suspension systems should be adjustable in nature, and thus you should be able to customize it to your requirement.

Other suspension features are load-lift straps, cinch straps, and a sternum strap.

> Hip-belts

It’s these belts that support the major portion of the weight of the pack. When you choose a backpack make sure that it’s padded and shaped to perfection.

> Comfort factor in internal-frame packs

Internal frame backpacks have something called the lumber pad that helps in air circulation. Moreover, there is also the presence of a frame-sheet, which helps keep your back safe from the poking of sharp objects

Extra features

Try going for backpacks that promise something extra or offer you some extra add-ons. These add-ons could be in the form of rain covers, accessory pockets, stuff sacks and even trekking poles.


Some backpacks are ridiculously expensive, while others are ridiculously cheap. It will be up to you to make the distinction between something that will give you value for your money, and something that will just be a futile investment.

If you are thinking about going for regular camping trips then it does make sense to buy something that will survive for a good length of time. Such backpacks don’t come cheap, but are worth every penny you invest in them.

On the other hand, if you are planning to go for camping trips on an off and on basis then it’s not a good idea to buy expensive, and advanced backpacks. Go for the affordable variety, but those which give some kind of assurance about quality.

Choose your backpack with due care. It could mean the difference between a happy camping trip and a disappointing one.