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Hiking Backpacks: You’re Not Heavy, You’re My Backpack

Hiking backpacks are essential, even for the most casual hikers. Even if you plan to walk a well defined trail, walk with a group or guide, or undertake a more serious hike, a hiking backpack is essential, and not all of them are created equally. When faced with a multitude of choices and confused by sales people, it may seem like choosing a backpack is complicated (to say the least) but a little research and preparation, before you hit the stores, can keep you grounded and able to focus on the hiking backpack that works best for you.

Hiking backpacks come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. Of course the kind of hike you are planning will define the type of hiking backpack you need. You should consider these things, and do a little research, before you decide which one to buy. A casual walk that takes place during the day necessitates only a bag large enough to carry food and drinks for the trail, a small first aid kit, insecticide and sun screen, and whatever other necessities you feel you need. An over night hike, whether for one night or several, necessitates vastly different essentials and, as a result, the need for a different type hiking backpack.

Backpacks, first and foremost, need to fit comfortably. The last thing you need is a hiking backpack that strains your back, rubs blisters on your shoulders, throws off your balance, is too heavy, or is not sufficient to contain all your necessities.

The price for hiking backpacks can range dramatically from upwards of $400 to as little as $20. If you are a casual hiker, who is just beginning, I would suggest you use a less expensive backpack for your beginning hiking. That way, should you evolve into a true hiking enthusiast; you can invest in a pricier hiking backpack that will accommodate your needs on bigger hikes.

Another consideration, when choosing a hiking backpack, is the gender of the climber. All hiking backpacks should be constructed to be lightweight, and with plenty of compartments to accommodate the various things you will need on your hike, but backpacks are gender specific. The center of gravity is different for men and women, so the hiking backpacks must take this into consideration when they are being constructed, to avoid a backpack that throws a hiker off balance. Women also require a shorter torso, curved shoulder straps, and a contoured hip belt.

Backpacks that can handle approximately 4,000 cubic inches of gear are ample size, and if you choose the right model, the lightweight versatility can work for hikers of any age and gender on hikes of various durations and degrees of difficulties. A little planning and research will make your decisions easier, even when you are faced with a plethora of styles, sizes, and sales people.

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