Your Backpack Basics

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Do you know how to purchase the right backpack and how to use it correctly? There is much to know about backpacks. If you plan to haul ALL your camping gear on your back you MUST be prepared with the right information.

I have setup a brief outline of backpack essentials at This information includes features, styles, sizes, loading strategies and hydration systems ALL for backpacks. Definitely jump over and check out the Backpacks section.

As a preview, I will highlight some to the crucial backpack INFO right now. Don’t learn the hard way! Follow my advice and you will be on your way and feeling right… So, here is my “quick-and-dirty” backpack purchasing advice:

1) Proper Fit - Make certain your pack fits RIGHT! Have an experienced sales person to help you find a pack that fits your body correctly. Your height and the size of your hips and shoulders are significant factors in finding the right backpack. Every backpack feels good empty. Load the backpack with weight and then try it on.

2) Internal or External Frame - What’s important to you… balance or ventilation? The internal frame style allows you to carry the weight closer to your body. This style helps provides a lower center of gravity and provides a more predictable movement of the load. The external frame typically has a system of straps and pads to keep the main pack and frame from contacting the body. This open structure has the added benefit of improved ventilation and decreased sweatiness.

3) Gear Access - How do you want to access your gear? There are three options… Top-loading styles have a single top opening that can be synched-up tight for maximum water resistance. Panel-loading style allows convenient access to your stuff through a horseshoe-shaped zipper from the front panel of the pack. Combo-loading gives you both options.

4) Backpack Size - Buy a backpack that is sized specifically for the trip you are doing. Day packs hold about 1,000 – 1,500 cubic inches. Weekend packs are sized at about 3000 – 4,500 cubic inches. Trekking packs are in the 4000 – 6,000 cubic inch range.

One Response to “Your Backpack Basics”

  1. Eric Says:

    Thank you now I know all the essential gear my wife and I need to have fun camping.


    NJ Campgrounds

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