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Hit the Trail With Hiking Rucksacks and Bags

Whether you're just dipping your toe into the waters of hill walking, or you're a seasoned veteran of long-distance hikes, a good hiking backpack is an essential part of your kit. Have a look at the eBay selection of hiking rucksacks. These range from small backpacks for a day's walk to larger versions worthy of month-long treks.

Choosing your hiking rucksack

Your hiking backpack can make or break your journey. If it's the wrong size, or it fits badly, you'll end up sore and uncomfortable, and even run the risk of injury. First things first, there are some essentials to consider long before you set out on your hike.

  • Are you male or female? It's an obvious question, but men's and women's bodies are different from each other. Unisex rucksacks don't take these differences into account, so they rarely fit well. Look for a backpack designed for the right sex, and you'll be off to a good start.
  • How much space do you need? Bigger is definitely not always better. If you're going camping, you'll need space for your tent, but if you're not, then an enormous rucksack will just get in the way. 70L is the absolute maximum for most trekkers. Even on long-distance journeys like the Camino de Santiago, you can get by comfortably with 35L or so.
  • How often will you need to access your things? Some rucksacks have multiple compartments, allowing you to keep your essentials separate, giving you easy access.
  • Do you need a smaller bag too? If you're going backpacking, then look for a hiking bag with a detachable smaller section that you can carry around town.
Hiking bags for backpackers

If you're going Interrailing or on a backpacking adventure, then you probably don't need as much space as you imagine. You're not going to be carrying your food or a tent, although you might need a sleeping bag. Keep your clothes to a minimum, and look for a backpack with a secure inner pocket that is hidden from view, to keep your money and passport safe.

Do you need a special camping rucksack for overnight trips?

It depends on where you're going, and who you're going with. If you're travelling in a group - for example, on a Duke of Edinburgh trip - then you and your companions should work out who'll be carrying what. The objective is to carry everything you need, without unnecessarily weighing yourself down.

How much should you spend on a hiking backpack?

Prices vary enormously when it comes to trekking backpacks. If you're an experienced hiker, then you know which features are worth more to you. Sometimes what looks like a bargain can turn out to be a false economy because of a poor fit. If you're new to the sport, then a second-hand backpack is a good starting point. There's no point investing too much money then realising that you don't enjoy long-distance hikes.

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