Size. The backpack should be large, but not so large that you can’t carry it when it’s full. A large main compartment is a must. You will also need smaller compartments to store items that you need to be able to find easily. Also look for a pack that has loops and clips so that you can attach items that will hang on the outside. Those are handy for water bottles or tools that you use often.
Construction. It should be both lightweight and sturdy. So look for fabric that is strong but made of lightweight material. An interior aluminum frame adds to the strength but doesn’t add a lot of weight. The frame also distributes the weight of the pack evenly over your back and helps to keep the items packed in it organized.
The truth about backpacks it that the longer you carry it, the heavier it will feel. To alleviate that as much as possible, make sure that the shoulder straps are padded. You’ll need the cushion to keep the straps from digging into your shoulders.
You’ll also want a strap around the waist. Make sure the height of the pack is compatible with your height and that the strap actually hits at your waist. And it should be adjustable.
Other features. You’ll want to make sure there is some protection from the rain, so either the material should be waterproof or you should have a rain cover.
Some backpacks come with a hydration system. That consists of a bladder that’s almost as large as the surface of the pack. The bladder can be filled with water and is attached to a hose that you can use as a straw.
Value. A good backpack can get pretty pricey. You don’t want to splurge on the pack itself and then be underprepared with the contents. Since preparedness is a long-term plan, it can be a good idea to start with a pack that is adequate but not better and then trade up.
Although the contents of the backpack are the keys to your preparedness, the backpack itself is also very important. A well-chosen backpack will ensure that the pack and its contents are portable at a moment’s notice. It will also ensure a reasonable degree of comfort when carrying a full pack a long distance. It’s worth your time and money to invest in a good one.
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