How to Choose a Backpack for Hiking and Backpacking

In this video, I’m letting you know what I look for when choosing a pack for hiking and backpacking. Hiking backpacks come in an array of sizes and styles and it can be difficult to know which is the right option for you, especially if you are new to backpacking.

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Gear used in this video includes: Mystery Ranch packs, Gregory Packs, Adidas Terrex

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  • For 5 days which l should I go 50,55,60,65, or 70 lt?

  • I get the bias towards 40-60L packs and the aim to stay light. However, the argument that "if you have a bigger bag you will fill it" is silly, and needs to stop. Any conscientious individual will be able to pick the necessary gear first and then fill the bag, assuming this can be done with any given bag keeping it's structure and function. Here in Sweden the norm is to go bigger with bags, but this might of course be the climate – needing warming sleeping bags, pads etc. Not everyone can afford multiple bags, so going with a bigger one makes more sense, especially for beginners who don't know exactly what gear they need.

  • I've recently picked up the Nike ACG Karst and Nike SF Recruit they aren't to big and very well made I may get a North Face that's very big for camping trips.

  • Thanks for this video, what is the bag you reviewed?

  • 85l multi dayhike and 36L for my dayhike pack (i always pack waaay tooo much)

  • Excellent information, much appreciated. I've done day and weekend trips for years. Now branching out to multi-week trips. Having a hard time deciding "light vs enough"

  • I'm getting started, but I'm the opposite. I want the smallest bag that can carry my stuff. Probably going to get all my stuff first lay it out and decide the pack.

  • Ask the Indians what they used. Or maybe some Mexican's that just crossed the Sonoran desert on foot to get across the border. Most that I saw carried a milk jug filled with water. The Indians would probably call that kinda spoiled. We get carried away really. The real packers, the one's who lived by it, not sure if they'd go the same route.

  • What's wrong with just leaning up against a tree to take a crap and leaving it and the toilet paper? Toilet paper is pretty biodegradable isn't it?

  • Can you add the word in the video?

  • Wow nice n informative video. I created a video on same topic but differently presented with other necessary information.

  • Hi what do you think about Osprey bags? Specifically the Osprey Rook 65ltr for a beginner?

  • My first and only (so far) backpack is a 70l. I love this thing! I am 5'7 with a long torso, so the 40l – 65l just didn't work well for me. Ironically, my Hubby is 6'1 and also uses a 70l. Says a lot about torso size, doesn't it?! Any who, for longer trips, 5-7 days, I can carry everything (including a bear canister) with my total weight coming in at under 40lbs and for shorter trips, 2-4 days, I am carrying right around 30lbs…depending on my "culinary backpacking meals", of course ;-). I really wanted a smaller backpack, like 40l -55l, but they just didn't fit my body correctly. On days when I am nearing the stretch of a long hike, I tend to look tuckered out because of altitude, heat, exhaustion, etc. and I occasionally get those "expert hikers" that love to tell me "Sweetie…you need a different backpack and to also lessen that heavy load". UGH….I usually move on and ignore "their opinions" knowing that I am reaching another milestone goal despite how pooped out I might look! We all need to "Hike Our Own Hike" and hopefully by others viewing this informative video, they will stick to that motto too. Happy Trails!

  • Great video man! Love the style. And also thanks for the useful advices.

  • Say what you want, nothing beats a 60L barrel with straps tied to it.

  • Cool video!
    I found my perfect backpack, 40+10 with removable lid.
    Very versatile and confort with load 35lbs (16kg)

  • One of the things I really like about your channel is that it never comes across as though UL is the only way to backpack. As someone who is an intermediate hiker but a beginner backpacker on a tightish budget, it can feel really discouraging when you see all these hiking/backpacking gurus on youtube with their UL set-ups. Carrying more than 10 pounds on your back doesn't make you less of a backpacker.

  • Cool video, unless its an 8000m peak, a 65L liter should be adequate. The 85L is unnecessary for 99% of trips. Thanks for the content. Have you ever visited Colorado? I film mountaineering/hiking videos out here. Keep at it!

  • Check out if you haven't already Boreas packs out of Sanfransico, amazing quality!

  • Good advice!
    I use a Eberlestock F65 Little Big Top pack for shorter 3 day trips and an Eberlestock G4 Operator pack for longer 5-7+ day trips, which also has a removable top lid that doubles as a fanny pack.
    I also wear a Hill People Gear chest pouch which I carry my "PPE", a basic survival kit, cell phone, binos, etc.
    Being an Army Veteran, I still have that mindset which is why I gravitate toward military-style packs with natural colors, vs the blues, yellows, etc.

  • Thanks for sharing. Like the thumbnail

  • Mystery Ranch…there is no substitute. ❤

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