So you have just figured out how travel is the best medicine for the soul and have decided to get prepared for any impromptu travel plan you and your friends decide to make. The first thing you need in your arsenal is a good quality rucksack. Rucksacks are very essential when trekking is involved.
Here we have for you the top 4 things to keep in mind while buying yourself a rucksack.
Size of the Rucksack
Rucksacks come in different sizes and capacities, normally ranging from 10 liters to more than 60 liters, and the capacity of rucksack you need largely depends on the purpose you’ll be mostly using it for, that will account for a lot of things— amount of equipment you need to carry, the number of days you would usually travel for, the clothes you will need, et cetera.
If you’re mostly into cycling and your trips wrap up in 1 day, rucksacks of 10 to 20 liters of capacity should be enough for you. On the other hand, if you’d rather trek for 2 days, you might require a rucksack of 20 to 40-litre capacity. 2+ days of backpacking adventure would be ideal with a 50 to 60-liter capacity-rucksack.
Kinds of Rucksack
There are a lot of types of rucksacks out there, and since the variety is so huge, you’re bound to find the rucksack which is just perfect for you. Backpacking rucksacks are generally the largest of the lot with 60+ liters capacity. They are ideal for multi-day excursions and have multiple pockets and attachments to support such a trip. Daysacks, as the name suggests, are ideal for one-day adventures and range from 20 to 40-litre capacity. Then there comes something known as High Paced Activity Rucksacks, which are designed to be the smallest and lightest of the lot. They are for activities like running and cycling and fall within the 10 to 20-litre capacity.
You would usually prefer that your rucksacks are durable. Depending upon your purposes, check which material your rucksack should ideally be made of and make sure that is strong. You also need to make sure of seemingly small things like if its zippers are of good quality, or whether you need your rucksack to be waterproof or not. Check how the shoulder straps are sewn since they are most susceptible to tears. Double stitches are most preferred.
Comfort— Getting your rucksack correctly fit
Rucksacks have come a really long way from being just a bag pack on steroids. They are highly engineered equipment to perfectly distribute the heavy weight of your rucksack into the strongest muscles in your body. And this is achieved to make sure that your rucksack fits you correctly.
Following are the steps to make sure the rucksack fits you comfortably:
- Start with filling up your rucksack with mock weights, just to simulate a fully loaded rucksack. This is because you’d really know what is comfortable and what is not when your rucksack is filled to its max capacity. Make sure the mock weights are evenly distributed in the rucksack.
- Wear the rucksack and locate your hip bone, which will carry the majority of the weight of the rucksack. Now fasten the hip strap. You will need to lengthen or shorten the main shoulder straps in order to alter the height of the hip strap. Find out which height works best for you.
- Now access your shoulder straps. The top of the shoulder straps should fit snugly with the back of your shoulders. If you see any gap between your back and the shoulder strap, chances are that the straps are too high or too low. Adjust accordingly. If it still doesn’t fit you snugly, you will need to adjust the back length of the rucksack.
Depending on what rucksack you’ve chosen for yourself, there will be different kinds of other straps and attachments that it will come with, like sternum straps, hip belt stabiliser, load stabilizing straps etc. Follow the same course of action with them. If they feel uncomfortable, try changing height and/or length of that strap and it will eventually feel more comfortable.
So whether you’re going for a short trek, or you’re backpacking across Western Europe, a rucksack is a must for you. It is symbolic and it brings with it so much convenience. Now that you have much knowledge about what to consider before purchasing a rucksack, it is time to stop putting off that adventure you’ve been planning for ages and hit the road!
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