Comfort and Space: Camping and Hiking
When choosing a camping and hiking backpack, there are certain considerations that need to be made by the
backpacker. One consideration is the length of the camping and hiking trip, since shorter trips require less space
in the pack, with some trips not requiring a camping and hiking backpack at all. Another consideration is the size
of the person who is going to be carrying the pack, since a smaller person cannot carry as large a pack
comfortably, so the materials that are able to be carried inside are more limited. There are also terrain
considerations, with some camping and hiking trips requiring that the hiker go through rivers at certain points in
the trip, which could require that a waterproof pack be bought.
Fitting a Backpack
Backpacking and camping safety requires that the camping and hiking backpack be properly fitted to the
individual who will be carrying it. If this is not done properly, the individual could injure his back which could
not only affect the trip, but also his life after the trip is over, depending on the injury, which can be
Many camping and hiking backpacking stores have salespeople who are trained to help an individual to choose and
fit just the right backpack. A camping and hiking backpack should not rest on the shoulders to carry it; the
majority of the weight should rest on the hips through the belt that goes around the waist. The shoulder and chest
straps hold the pack snugly to the body so that the weight distribution is properly placed at the hips, thus
relieving the pressure from the back. Since every person's torso is a different length, which tightening or
lengthening the shoulder straps may not solve, there are sizes of backpacks to match the frame of the individual as
well as the space, pockets and straps needed in the type of backpack for carrying the supplies for the trip.
Most backpackers have more than one camping and hiking backpack so that they can choose the proper one for that
particular trip. There are different types of camping and hiking backpacks as well, including a camel pack, which
has limited room inside of it but allows the hiker to carry a small water supply on his back, usually attached to a
drinking tube for easy access on the hike. There are also 'fanny' packs, which do not have shoulder straps at all,
but are carried on the hips through the use of a belt, mainly being used for day hikes.