There are several different types of backpacks that can be used for camping. The choice between them is largely a matter of personal preference, but some backpacks are better for some types of camping than others.
An internal frame backpack has the metal frame built into the inside of the backpack. It sits close to the body. An external frame backpack is a large metal frame with the backpack components built onto it. The external frame backpack sits away from the back and often extends above the head of the person wearing it. A frameless backpack is smaller than either of the other two options. It is typically too small for a camping expedition, and is more often used as a day pack.
There are several ways to determine what backpack would work best for you. A good place to start is to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each:
· The internal frame backpack sits close to the body. This makes it easier to carry up and down steep terrain or in the backwoods, because it doesn’t interfere with your center of gravity.
· The external frame backpack sits further away from the body. This can make it more difficult to navigate over rough trails.
· The internal frame backpack, because it sits so close to the body, can be extremely warm. If you do a good deal of hiking in hot weather, you may find that an internal frame backpack is too warm for comfort.
· An external frame backpack sits away from your back, allowing a breeze to circulate between your back and the backpack.
Once you have carefully considered the advantages and disadvantages of an internal and external frame backpack, you will be better able to decide which one is right for you. Regardless of which style you choose, the backpack should fit properly for maximum comfort. How do you know if the backpack fits?
· When wearing the backpack you should be able to look up without hitting your head on the backpack.
· When you squat down, the backpack should not hit you in the back of the calves.
· Walk around with the backpack on, with some weight in it. Any pain felt in your shoulders or back could mean that you need to adjust the backpack, or it could mean that the backpack does not fit. Either way, do not use it on a hiking trip until you have fixed the problem.
· If your backpack does not have a sternum strap or hip strap, consider purchasing one to use with it. These straps are very helpful at redistributing the weight of the backpack in a more comfortable manner.
If you are interested in camping, invest in a quality backpack. A backpack is one of the most important pieces of equipment that you will use while camping. An ill-fitting backpack can ruin your camping trip. A properly fitted backpack can make the experience more enjoyable.
There are a variety of additions that you can include when purchasing a backpack. A rain guard slides over the top of your backpack so that a sudden shower does not cause all of your clothes to become drenched. Extra straps make it possible to strap hiking poles and water bottles to the outside of your backpack for easy access. A food container makes it easy to keep your food safe from any animals that may want you to provide them with a meal.
Once you have chosen the backpack and gear for your camping trip, take time to properly pack. Place heavy items that you will not use during the day in the bottom of the pack, close to your back. Cooking paraphernalia, for example, could be packed there. Items that you need ready access to, such as the first aid kit, should be packed near the top.
Things that you may need during the day, like water and snack food, can be packed in pockets on the outside of the backpack. Finally, no matter what the weather, it does not hurt to toss your raingear in the top of the backpack. This way, if a storm blows in suddenly, you will not soak the contents of your backpack trying to find your rainwear.
Properly packing a backpack requires trial and error. You may have to pack and repack it before you get the right weight and adjustment. If you plan on hiking a significant amount, reducing the weight of your backpack can significantly increase your comfort level. While some people are comfortable carrying 35% of their bodyweight, others prefer to keep their backpack’s weight to around 25% of their weight. Experience and experimentation will allow you to develop a feel for the best weight for your backpack.