Nowadays, while people also go camping with wheeled suitcases, the number one luggage choice for camping lovers remains (and we hope will continue to be) the brilliant hiking backpack. Yes, but which one? It's easy to feel lost among the many choices, seeing as how the shops are brimming with backpacks in any shape, weight, material, size and fastening system from a variety of brands. Here's some basic information to help guide your selection.
Travel backpack volume. How many litres?
The volume of a backpack is measured in litres, so how many litres do you need to pack your clothes, tent, food, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and everything but the kitchen sink? For a day trip, 20 litres might be sufficient, but it is recommended to size up to 35 if the trek is demanding and you want to pack a rain jacket or a few extra litres of water. When we talk about camping, it's practically mandatory to switch to an XXL waterproof backpack measuring at least 60 litres, especially if you are travelling in winter, with a stove and other bulky items.
What's the best shape for a trekking backpack?
For a simple outing, a compact backpack could be a good solution. If, on the other hand, you plan to walk for several days along challenging trails, it's important to choose a mountain backpack with an elongated rectangular shape: this is more comfortable, balanced and less prone to getting caught on the vegetation. In addition, backpack models designed for expert hikers are often different, in both the male and female versions, especially with regard to the back panel size.
Backpacks and camping. Details that make a difference
Every self-respecting backpack must have a sternum strap to keep the load close to the body and a waist belt to shift the weight onto the legs instead of the shoulders. A padded waist belt is preferable, so it won't irritate you while walking. However, the back panel shouldn't be padded, as it has to allow air to flow freely and avoid sweat retention. If the height of the back panel is adjustable, so much the better.As for pockets, choose a backpack with lots of small external pockets that will allow you to keep everything at your fingertips. One last tip: don't buy on price alone. A quality backpack guarantees you a more comfortable and safe holiday without any back pain!