Hiking Backpacks and You

July 2, 2012 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Backpack Tips

Hiking and camping, while often lumped into the same outdoor sports category, can be very different.  With camping, the goal is to be outside and away from society as long as possible.  When you are hiking the goal is to stay away from society as long as possible but to get some exercise while you’re doing it.  That’s why it is fairly important to find good hiking backpacks so that when you are out avoiding other people, you don’t end up wishing for your car.

Once you have all of your other gear sorted out, you want to examine it and decide on what size hiking backpacks will work for your group of hikers.  The size of hiking backpacks is very important because the goal of the adventurer is to try to keep moving at all times, you will need an extremely comfortable and durable pack that won’t ruin your back, your shoulders, or your fun.  Look for hiking backpacks with adjustable shoulder straps with plenty of padding so they don’t dig into your shoulders while you are carrying it.  Also, an adjustable and padded hip belt is also important, as is a pack that displaces the weight of the pack on you back evenly.  This too will help protect your body while you are hiking.

Internal frame hiking backpacks are probably the best type.  They offer internal aluminum frames that are actually integrated into the inside of the pack.  These aluminum frames are exceptionally light weight because of the type of metal they are made of and because they are usually hollow.  Some of these types of hiking backpacks will have one external bar that will help disperse the weight more evenly and will focus the weight of the pack closer to your hips, which is where your natural center of gravity is.

Pockets on the side and front of your pack may be of the same material or made of mesh.  The mesh pockets help you to find your gear easily. But of course mesh pockets aren’t waterproof.  All hiking backpacks have easy access pockets for hydration gear, and some even have built in tube through which you can take fluids.  The main compartments of some packs are divided.  This provides space for both dirty and clean clothing and gear.  It also helps you to organize your gear in a way that will make it easier for you to find it later.  Side compression straps are the most important aspect of hiking backpacks.  These straps compress the load so that the pack doesn’t slide around on your back and there is less jostling while you are hiking.