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Selecting The Right Backpack

selecting the right backpack

Whether you enjoy outdoor activities such as camping or hiking or are looking for a decent backpack for your bug-out bag, it makes sense to take some time to choose the right backpack for your needs. Even a short hike can be made miserable if the pack is too heavy or the wrong size or shape. Selecting a backpack that will be comfortable is as important as finding the right pair of hiking shoes – both will serve well if they are the correct size, but will reduce you to misery if they are not.

What Kinds Of Backpacks Are Available?

If you are only going to be using your backpack for short hikes, you can use what is called a daypack. This is a soft backpack that will have a capacity of approximately 1,000 to 2,000 square inches, and will have a few pockets and separations in the pack to make it easy to access different items in the pack.

backpacks that are going to be used for longer hikes and camping will fall into one of two categories – backpacks with external frames and those with internal frames. Both have their uses, but there are differences that might affect your choice. External frame backpacks are less comfortable to use than internal frame, but you will be able to carry larger loads with them. You should be aware that because the center of gravity for an external frame backpack is high, it is easier to lose your balance when going over uneven ground. These backpacks can have a capacity of 6,000 cubic inches or more, and will contain many internal and external pockets.

An internal frame has the frame inside the body of the backpack, and this pack will sit right against your body. While it can be hotter to use than an external frame pack, it is much more stable regardless of the terrain, and you will have less chance of falling while using one of these. Internal frame backpacks can also have a very good capacity, and there are some that even provide 7,000 cubic inches of space.

Loading Your Backpack The Right Way

Loading your backpacks properly will help to assure that the load is stable and that you will be able to access items needed easily. The first thing to go in should be your sleeping bag, along with any other items that are bulky and light in weight .Try to fill in the corners completely. Next will come such items as your portable stove and camp cooking gear. It is important to load lighter weight items near the bottom and heavier ones toward the top of the backpack, and this is especially important when you will be walking on a trail. If your hiking and camping will be taking you into more rugged areas, you will want to put heavier items a bit lower and closer to your back than otherwise. The thing to remember here is that you will want to maintain your balance regardless of where you will be going. Do not overload your backpack, as carrying too heavy a load will not only make you fatigued, but can also contribute to a fall.

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