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What is a Hiking Backpack?

A hiking backpack is a backpack specifically designed to meet the physical demands of hiking. Most will provide stability and comfort to the hiker.

What to look for when Buying a Hiking Backpack?

Some features to look for are:

  • Padded shoulder straps
    • Too soft foam can pucker and cause hot spots.
    • Curves and bends without creases will help prevent hot spots
  • A waistbelt
    • The waistbelt places the weight of the pack on your hips instead of on your shoulders.
    • A waistbelt that cups over your hipbones maximizes the amount of weight-bearing surface area.
  • A framesheet across the back.
    • The framesheet is usually made of high-density polyethylene.
    • The framesheet is designed to stiffen the back of the pack for better weight transfer.
    • Prevents sharp, bulky items from poking your back.
  • Back panel
    • A back panel made of cooling material is best. The cooling material will help prevent a sweaty back.
  • Top-loaders
    • Top-loaders are backpacks designed designed for more than a weekend of hiking.
  • Weight
  • Cost
  • Size
  • Water resistance
  • Number of zippers and pockets


What To carry in your Backpack?

When hiking, it is important to keep the backpack light and carry as few items as possible. The type of items you will need will depend on the duration of your hike.

Some essential items are:

  • Compass
  • Waterand purifying tablets
  • Extra food
  • Rain gear
  • Extra clothing
  • Firestarter and matches
  • First aid kit with blister treatments
  • Swiss Army knife or multi-purpose tool
  • Flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Orange Vest (For hunting season)
  • Whistle (three blasts is the international signal for help)

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