A Beginner’s Guide to Backpacking – The Bag & The Content

Any job is easy to do with the right tool – this is a very wise and old saying, which applies to most aspects of our lives. So, why shouldn’t we apply this old saying to backpacking? This small guide on backpacks an their contents is meant for absolute beginners in this wonderful pastime – about the thing you can’t go backpacking without: the backpack itself.

1. Size

Backpacks are available in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, and you should take this literally. Still, the size most used by backpackers is 60-65 liters (16 – 18 gallons) or 70-75 liters (18 – 19 gallons). This is a medium size, not too big, not too small.

2. Material

It is very important to choose a backpack made of the right material. It does not have to be 100% waterproof, but you should go with at least a semi-waterproof one, so your stuff won’t get wet in a light drizzle. Many backpacks come with a waterproof tarp that you can pull over the backpack in case of heavy rain.

3. Compartments, zippers, accessories

Always choose a backpack with multiple compartments both inside and out. This way you can break up your belongings into sections so that they are both easy to access and well organized, so you can save time by not having to dig around blind in the bag. The outside should have several pockets for small things you don’t put in your pockets – knives, smokes, keys, smartphone (unless you want to play casino games at royalvegascasino.com while walking) and whatever else you might carry. The zippers on the bag should be lockable – it makes access to your belongings more difficult for strangers.

To make it more comfortable for you to carry, choose a backpack with a metallic internal frame. Most backpacks are like this nowadays, but there are still enough external frame backpacks available – these might look more cool, but the frame can be caught in things while walking, so they are less practical. Also, make sure it has a padded hip belt, padded shoulder straps and a contoured back to make it more comfortable to carry.

4. What goes into the bag

There is no standard for what you should take with you when backpacking, but there are a few basics you shouldn’t leave home without. Take the basics with you: personal toiletries like toothbrush, razor and comb, a small medical kit with bandages, disinfectants, and all your prescription medication, plastic bags to keep your sensitive belongings dry in case of a downpour, clothes (how much? well, it depends on how long you plan spending away), a flashlight, a lighter and a box of matches, so you can light a fire if it’s needed). To avoid running out of energy, you should always have a universal power converter with you – different countries can have different standards for power outlets – or, if you are leaving civilization for longer, a solar charger or a backup battery pack. Just in case.