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On the way to stok la, Spituk Matho Trek

How to find the Perfect Backpack?

 

It’s always important to have the right equipment with you. For instance, you cannot peel a potato with a hacksaw similarly you cannot keep on carrying an oversized or ill-fitting backpack to every hike or if you haven’t got one yet then you must consider scrolling down for your own good.

There are ‘n’ number of options available in the market and buying a backpack could be really overwhelming when you don’t know the basics. No! no! It doesn’t mean that you have to spend the next four hours from your busy day to research the basic stuff. Since there are n number of backpack options available there are even more number of places as well where you can buy your backpack from and today we will figure out exactly how.

 

LOOK FOR THE RIGHT KIND OF MATERIAL

Choosing the right material is a judicial factor to consider before buying a backpack. It should be practical and sturdy, which are the first things to consider during your quest for the right backpack. Basic knowledge of fabrics and their unique properties can make your quest pretty easy.

Cordura

Cordura is somewhat heavy than nylon often used l for the base material in the backpack to save the items from foreign elements like dust and water. Kodra is also a similar kind of fabric which comes from Korea.

Cotton canvas

Cotton was heavily used years ago but its usage has certainly declined now because of the reason that it gets soiled after being stored for long periods also due to its the incapability to withstand high abrasion. It is generally coated with a layer of wax for water resistance.

Nylon

Nylon is treated with a polyurethane or PVC coating for water resistance. This treatment makes the fabric strong and waterproof but it comes with a drawback; the treated material doesn’t allow the bag to breathe, making your backpack stink with your sweat and your leaving any wet clothes inside to rot.

Polyester Packcloth

Polyester is not very strong but has high resistance to ultraviolet degradation. But when continuously exposed to sunlight it may crack up the disintegration of the material but with it’s UV resistant capacity this problem could be avoided.

PVC fabric

It is one of the most widely used fabrics these days because of its durability and availability in a wide range of colours. It can also have certain additional features of being water-resistant flame-resistant and durable, blackout fluorescent etc.

Keep your size requirement in mind:

It’s always good to know the purpose of your purchase unless you are a shopaholic and the same parameters should be considered before buying a backpack.

Ask yourself
“What do I need it for?”
“What kind of trips I generally make?”

Once you are done with all the self-analysis, note that there are kinds of backpacks depending on the duration of your expedition.

Day backpacks are suitable for a short trip for a day or two. They have a standard capacity of 30L which could be further extended with supplementary attachments of up to 10L.

The next variation comes in the size of 40-65L making it suitable for weekend treks. The third one is for longer expeditions with a capacity of 65L to 95L or more.

Consider the right fit

It’s very important that the backpack you choose should be proportionate to your size and also suitable for your body type. Backpacks for both men and women have different structures depending on the variations in their body types. For instance, the shoulder straps in women’s backpacks immediately taper off under the armpits while in men’s the straps are a lot more rigid also men’s straps are wider to accommodate their wide shoulders.
The right backpack will be equal to the length of your spine and maximum weight will directly fall on your hip. Also, it will touch your back at all times.

How to measure the length

Your upper body length is measured from the ending point of your neck to the end of your back.
Spread your arms during the process to know the exact length.
Make sure that all the other straps like the waist strap and the chest strap fit perfectly. It should neither be too tight nor too loose. The waist strap should settle perfectly on the sides and the arm strap should neither pinch you nor bundle up. This will make carrying the weight a lot easier and fun.

Select the right frame for yourself

Considering your needs you must also consider the choice of the frame. While daypacks are generally frameless bigger ones generally comes with spines and frames.

While external frames offer more support and structure they are not adjustable like the internal ones. They provide better ventilation making it a good choice for hiking. While on the other hand internal frame packs are more form-fitting and can work better in tighter areas. These are also more flexible than external frames. So keeping your requirements in mind choose wisely.

Good backpacks don’t always have to burn a hole in your pocket.

It’s a common misconception that only expensive things are good quality while in reality you easily find a decent backpack without burning a hole in your pocket. Backpacks range anywhere from $90 to $300. The price keeps on rising considering the brand value and the number of additional features. As a beginner, you certainly wouldn’t have too many requirements. So it would be better to start off with a basic one and gradually shift to better versions.

Let your backpack breathe on the trail

Hiking is a tedious and long process. You certainly wouldn’t want to be sweatier than yourself actually are so it’s always better to look for breathable fabrics and backpacks with mesh padding and comfortable padded shoulders.

If you need removable pieces

Among the vast sea of options available there is a new array of detachable backpacks. The attachment could be used as a single separate piece on a daily basis as well. These are available in the form of smaller detachable backpacks or small pouches to be hung around the waist. Wouldn’t it be a better option to harvest the benefits of two by spending only on one?

Weatherproofing is must

For a stress-free hike, it’s important to have a weatherproof bag that will protect your essentials during harsh climates. And you never know when it might rain*snow* or any other natural phenomenon occurs that might disrupt your hike. So it’s always better to choose a bag with water and dirt repellent qualities and in case you haven’t found one find a good cover for your existing one.

And lastly, if you have made it so far then congratulations!! You are now ready to buy your perfect backpack.

 

Also Read:

  1. The Guide to Staying Healthy at High Altitude Treks.
  2. Monsoon Treks in India
  3. 8 Common Things People Pack For The Trek Which They shouldn’t

 

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