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Choosing The Right Backpack For Your Expedition

Feb 9, 2008
A good backpack is an essential piece of equipment for any hike or camping expedition. It needs to hold everything for your journey while providing comfort and balance for trekking. Backpacks come in different sizes with a wide range of features. The type of hike or camping trip you're taking on will determine which backpack is right for you.

If you're going on a short hike (a few hours) then a small pack will be sufficient. These include day bags and waist bags which aren't technically backpacks. They don't provide back support but since you'll only need a few provisions and a bottle of water it's not necessary. Their small size allows free movement and won't weigh you down.

Day packs are great for short hikes and they can hold about a half day of provisions. All have shoulder straps for back support and some have small chest and waist straps for further support. A feature to look for is a bladder built in to the bag which will hold a few gallons of water. You drink the water from a long tube connected to the bladder so you don't have to keep reaching for your water bottle.

Mid size backpacks (sometimes called midrange or light duty packs) typically have padded shoulder straps and waist straps for extra comfort and support. They hold upwards of 35 liters but don't feel you have to fill them with unnecessary gear.

Full size backpacks (also known as expedition or heavy duty backpacks) hold upwards of 70 liters and are for longer camping trips. Since you'll need to carry a lot of weight these bags provide a number of straps that help distribute the weight. They also have an interior frame made of high quality plastic or lightweight aluminum. The frame acts as a stiffener so the pack doesn't shift and make you loose your balance. Full size backpacks are designed to ride higher so you have freer movement and less strain on your lower back.

When looking for a backpack make sure you try it on and see how it fits. Make sure you can adjust the straps so the pack fits snuggly to your body. Ensure the straps are properly padded especial if you're purchasing a full size backpack. Most backpacks these days are made of strong, water resistant material so that shouldn't be a concern. Don't penny pinch; you usually get what you pay for so stick to reputable brands.

A good backpack that fits your trekking and camping purpose is essential. Take the time and spend the money on the right backpack for you.
About the Author
Kurt Schefken is publishing predominantly for http://www.alicante-spain.com , a web publication covering information on costa blanca holiday rentals and holiday villa costa blanca. You might see his work on cheap holiday villas in spain on his site.
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