Tips on Buying Your Next Camping Backpack
When someone goes on a camping trip, there is also hiking and nature walks that are often involved during the trip. If you plan on hiking or walking farther than a half hour away from your campsite, it’s a great idea to have a camping backpack with you. It’s not just about having a first aid kit with you, but sudden storms, a possible quick dip in a stream or lake, or when Mother Nature calls, you’ll be glad you’ve brought along a small plastic tarp or pocket-sized emergency raincoats, a swimsuit and towel (which can be used for lots of other things along the way during your hike), and toilet paper. Having an appropriate-sized camping backpack can make all the difference in your enjoyment of your hikes.
Walking around, you can also easily lose track of time. One thing that everyone who goes into the woods or forest should have with them is a whistle. This is especially true in bear country. A whistle here and there will often, not always, unfortunately, get bears out of your way. They don’t like to be disturbed, and typically avoid people. A whistle lets them know people are coming, and this helps you avoid confrontations. It can also be a good idea to have one whistle for each child, just in case they become lost. This can happen rather quickly.
Each child should have his or her own camping backpack that is specifically for camping. Don’t use a school backpack for camping. They aren’t sturdy enough, and can also become rather soiled and dirty from being out in the woods. This dirt can transfer easily to books and notebooks, creating a mess for your child at school, and possible embarrassment.
Choose the Right Size Backpack
This is the first of several tips on buying a camping backpack. You don’t have to get the largest camping backpack available. Something that will allow you to store what you need for a few hours should be sufficient. Hiking backpacks are another item that you might want to look into finding and purchasing for longer excursions. They will be able to hold an appropriate tent as well as clothing, gear, sleeping bag and pad. For a day trip that you will be returning from in the evening, or sooner, will work out well with a smaller camping backpack. I know figuring out a size when purchasing online can be tough. This video will put you in much better position to understand the actual size of common packs.
Camping Backpacks Come in Many Fabrics
A camping backpack should be made out of fabric that is tough enough to withstand the items you’ll be placing inside, along with anything else you or your child might collect on the way. If you are only going to go to the beach while camping, your backpack might suffice if it is made out of mesh only, with a simple drawstring. A child who is likely to collect rocks and sticks should have a backpack made from much tougher canvas material. Just make sure the closure is something your child can handle or you’ll be spending a lot of time helping to open and close it.
The bottom of your pack should also play into your buying considerations. If you will be placing heavier items in it, the bottom should be at least double fabric, and possibly reinforced with a plastic or stiff paperboard interior. This will help items remain in place and not shift around too much when you are walking and hiking.
Lots of Pockets is a Plus
Every good camping backpack will have pockets. It’s up to you to decide if you want them placed on the outside, the inside, or both. What kind of closure you want for each is also dependent on your own situation. Zippers do the best job at keeping dust and dirt out of them, but open pockets are also much easier and quicker to access.
Look for Padded Straps
Shoulder straps come in many different varieties today. Some backpacks only have one strap! These aren’t recommended for those with back problems because the weight is not distributed evenly. Shoulder straps that are padded are much better for longer trips or even shorter ones when your backpack is heavily loaded, but be careful that the padding is not going to bunch up. If shopping online, check the reviews to make sure this isn’t a problem. Having a lengthwise seam along the length of the straps should be sufficient to keep bunching up of the padding from happening.
A hand strap can also be helpful at various times when you aren’t out hiking. Lifting a backpack by only one of the shoulder straps can cause the seam to tear. This is why hand straps, placed in between the shoulder straps, should be used instead.
Color – Well, We All Have a Unique Personality, Right!
Because you are camping in the woods, or near them, you should choose camping backpacks that are brightly colored. While you might feel drab colors or those that are more ‘earthy’ would be better because of the dirt and soil these will most certainly encounter, there are safety reasons for choosing colors that stand out in nature instead.
While most, if not all, campgrounds do not allow hunting on their properties, and most parks run by government entities forbid hunting, this is not a guarantee that hunters on adjacent lands will always be aware of when they are crossing property lines. You yourself might not be aware of when you are hiking and out walking of any borders you pass through. Having a brightly colored backpack can alert hunters of your presence so that they know immediately you are not a game animal. It also keeps the possibility of poachers mistaking you for a deer nearer to your campsite.
Buying a camping backpack can help make sure you have what you need for the day trips you make close to your campsite, and ensure that your children have plenty of space for their new acquisitions. Collecting things is a good way for children to learn how to categorize different things, and can boost their knowledge in math, science, and vocabulary.
This should help you make informed decisions about your next camping or hiking backpack. Should you need advice on the essential camping gear, this is what you want. We also have a full blown camping checklist here. Happy camping!