Camping Backpacks

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Camping Backpacks

Today’s camping backpacks take on several different forms and each can serve a unique purpose.   There are essentially three types of backpacks: (1) external frame, (2) internal frame, and (3) daypacks. The daypacks are not true backpacks in the sense that they have no frame and are designed to only carry items for one day. For most tent campers, your decision will be whether to get an internal or external backpack.



External backpacks have been a staple of camping from its earliest beginnings. They afford campers with an upright backpack which places the weight of the pack above the shoulder and is great for carrying heavy loads. In addition, its structure is good for allowing ventilation to your back because of the gap between the external frame and your back. This means you are less likely to sweat profusely there during a long hike.



Internal backpacks have become the more popular backpack as they are used by mountain climbers and most military groups. Their popularity comes from the fact that the pack rides close to your back allowing more efficient maneuverability. In addition, the design fits to your body making it less likely to snag against low hanging tree branches or brush. This combination has made this pack hugely popular even with its pack carrying weight limitations and perspiration disadvantage.



Popular manufacturers of both types of camping backpacks include Osprey, Mountain Hardwear, High Sierra, Mountainsmith, Gregory, Coleman, The North Face, Kelty, CamelBak, JanSport, and GoLite. Prices range from $40 to $300 and external backpacks tend to be cheaper than internal backpacks.



Tips To Consider When Reviewing Camping Backpacks:



1.Choose ones that provide easy and fast access to store things like a poncho, map and water. Backpacks that allow for these items to be within an easy reach make hiking and backpacking easier.


2.  Select durable frame backpacks and ones with sufficient padding. As packs rise in weight, this weight will weigh against your back. Be sure to not skimp here and get ones with sufficient padding.


3.External or internal frame debate ends with your plans.   If you are planning on carrying heavy loads, external frame backpacks are the best option. However, for most needs, internal frame backpacks will win out. They form close to the body so to avoid low-hanging branches and to take advantage of body’s weight center.


4.Find packs that are made of as much waterproof fabric as possible. Most backpacks will have a splash cover; however, it pays to have a little more protection. Hunt for ones that have watertight zippers, welded seams and coated nylon.


5.Backpacks that allow your to strap on additional items are really nice. This comes in handy when needing to add on some additional items that would not otherwise fit into the pack.   


6.The better backpacks have the fewer parts to them. The more parts you have, the more likely something can get broken or be lost in the field. Do yourself a favor and reduce this risk from the start.


7.Hip belts are overrated. Much talk has been made about the use of hip belts. However, in my experience, I rarely use them and get along just fine. Another challenge I have noticed is hip belts tend to be one of the first pieces to fall apart in a backpack so I do not normally rely on them. Still, they do provide additional support to your body and if you will be doing a lot of hiking on your next trip, it is probably a good idea to use it as it takes some weight off your shoulders.


8.Match the size of the pack with your camping plans. The size of the pack is important because it will let you know how many supplies you can bring. For weekend camping, any pack under 4,000 cubic inches should work fine. If camping for longer periods, go with a larger pack.



This list of tips and information should allow you to choose a pack that is right for you and your camping plans. Since you may have to rely on your camping backpack to do some serious carrying, it is a good idea to spend your due diligence with this buying decision.



*To find out what to look for in a sleeping bag, take a look at sleeping bags.

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