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What backpack size do I need?

I chose my first backpack because it was blue and a bargain. What are you going to buy if you going hiking and need to carry your water, lunch, camera and a few other things?

Read on for a few tips to get you started.

There are so many different backpacks and bags on the market that choosing one is becoming a more complex process. There is fabric, size, harness system, frame type, design, pockets, attachments, gender fit…and finally color and price.

The first question is what walking are you doing? Would you like to walk for few hours around the Dandenongs, maybe hike for a day at the Cathedral Ranges or excitedly preparing for your first overnight hike? the type of walking you want to do will be the best guide for the size pack you are after.

  • 15-30 litres for some short walks with a few things in the bag and rain jacket just in case!
  • 25-50 litres for a whole day to hold your water, food, rain jacket, camera, spare clothes
  • 40-70 litres if you are considering overnight hiking. There is lot of choice here so you need to look around and match the pack to your intended type of walking.

An important point to remember that when you fill these packs they can start to weigh a lot, so always consider carefully what you put in, because you have to carry it up hills, down hills, and probably up hills again. although hopefully at the top of the hills you are rewarded for your efforts with a lovely view and some Banana cake that you carried all the way up.

Once you have the rough size, then start looking. Go to a few outdoor shops and have a browse, listen to the information – some of which will be good and knowledgable and some will be read off the label for your benefit…

Rucksacks will vary considerably with loops, pockets, harness type, material and my recommendation is to try them on and find one that feels comfortable, because bottom line is that you are wearing it and it has to fit you. You could buy the best in the store but if it digs into your bum when you take a step then it might as well be a timber box with rope straps.

So how much should you spend on your backpack now that you have chosen a size? My latest purchase was a 48 litre backpack that cost $40 and has worked perfectly on a number of walks. Come along on our bushwalks and you’ll see it. You should really pay a price that you are happy with. If you think you have got a bargain then great.

Lastly, choose any color you like.

If you still can’t decide, come along on one of our walks and we’ll provide a backpack for you. Then you can have a great day, chat to others, and discover even more about what size suits you.