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How to Find the Right Backpack for Your Hiking Adventure

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How to Find the Right Backpack for Your Hiking Adventure

If you plan to hit the trails on your RV trip, you need to invest in a quality backpack

It might seem like a small detail, but your backpack is actually one of the most important aspects of your trek. If your bag is ill-fitting, too heavy, or not secure, it can derail your adventure right off the bat.

Take a moment to think about your dream hike. Maybe you’re trekking across Yosemite, or soaking up the crisp fall air in the Appalachian Mountains. You’ve bought the flashy gear and fun accessories. You pull on your boots, grab a walking stick, and set off with your friends to explore.

As the miles pass, you begin to get a little twinge in your neck. You reach back to find your water bottle only to realize that it slipped out and is now lost on the trail. You hitch your straps up, push through the discomfort, and try to ignore the growing irritation you feel as your bag digs into your shoulders.

You try to enjoy the scenery, take time to enjoy the wildlife and plants, but the fun is punctured by your distraction with your uncomfortable backpack. You sigh, resigned to the truth. Your bag, so attractive on the store shelf, is quickly becoming a nuisance.

Don’t let this happen to you. Many products on the market today are more than sufficient to meet your needs, whether you’re an experienced hiker or just a casual trailblazer. Here’s our take on purchasing the perfect backpack for your RV adventure.

Key things to keep in mind

When shopping for a good hiking backpack, consider these three components: fit, category, and capacity.

There are endless variations on these three backpack traits, and when you narrow down your needs for each category, you’ll have no trouble finding the pack that is just right.

Generally, there are three kinds of outdoor backpacks:

  • Daypacks
  • Internal frame packs
  • External frame packs

Start by going to an outdoor specialty store. These stores have staff who are knowledgeable about trail gear, and they can help you determine the best fit and size pack.


These are usually soft-backed packs suitable for single day hikes, bike rides, or even runs. Daypacks are intended for lighter loads, so don’t plan on packing your whole campsite into this bag.

Internal frame packs

Internal frame packs are designed for heavier loads and contain a framing system, usually made from aluminum or another lightweight material. The rods are curved to hug the contours of your body so that the load you carry will be close to your body and reduce jostling.

These backpacks are used for activities like climbing or skiing, where you need good mobility with a sturdy pack.

External frame backpacks

Made for carrying large loads – often your whole campsite – these big boys are outfitted with an exterior frame and lots of pockets and space. Unlike the internal frame backpack, the external frame sits farther away from your back.

This makes it more comfortable and easier to carry a lot over a long distance, but it can upset your balance if you’re not experienced.

Getting a comfortable fit

Before you purchase your pack, be sure to measure yourself or have a sales associate measure you. While most daypacks are easy one-size-fits-all models, sizing for internal and external frame packs can be a little fiddly.

Try on several different packs to see what feels best. Make sure that there is no pinching or tightness over your shoulders and under your arms, and take a walk around the store to make sure it feels right on your back and legs.

Choose the right capacity

Take some time before shopping to plan out your gear. How much do you need to make room for? If you get a backpack that’s too big, you might end up sore from carrying unnecessary weight. If you end up with something too small, you may have to forgo important items to fit your essentials.

Have a list of things you know you want to bring, and try on backpacks with that amount of gear in mind. A little preparation goes a long way here, and if you take the extra step of writing it down, you’ll be glad when you end up with a backpack that is just the right size and capacity for your needs.

The right gear makes all the difference

You’ll be cruising along scenic vistas with ease if you get the right backpack. Focus on the type of pack you want, try it on to ensure a perfect fit, and choose the right capacity. That’s all there is to it!

Are you interested in joining the RV Advisor community? Membership gives you an all-access pass to everything our community has to offer. Visit RV Advisor today to learn more!

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How to Find the Right Backpack for Your Hiking Adventure

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