Your backpack can make or break a day of hiking. Choose the wrong backpack, and a light load can feel like a ton of bricks. Choose the right one, and you’ll feel like you’re barely carrying anything at all. Here’s how to fit a new hiking backpack:
Pay Attention to Length, not Height
Don’t choose a backpack exclusively based on your height—the length of your torso is a far more important measurement. Use this helpful guide and a friend to properly measure your torso, or visit a local outfitter to get an accurate measurement.
Measure Your Hips
Once you’ve gotten your torso measurement, it’s time to measure your hips. You’ll be carrying most of the load on your hips with a well-fitting backpack, so this is an important measurement to consider. Use a tape measure to determine the circumference of your hips, and check the bag’s hip belt size to ensure it’s a good fit. If not, many manufacturers offer interchangeable hip belt options to accommodate different body types.
Adjust the Straps
Ideally, your shoulder straps should be flush with your shoulders and upper back. If there’s too much space between the bag’s straps and your shoulders, you’ll need to shorten the suspension or try a shorter model. You can also adjust the load straps on the top section of the backpack to keep the weight evenly balanced over your hips.
Ready to load up your new backpack and do some hiking this summer? We’d love to see you on the campgrounds at Suwannee River Rendezvous! Book your campsite online or give us a call today at (386) 294-2510 to learn more!
There are different kinds of campers. Likewise, there are all different kinds of camping trips. There are of course the traditional, weekend camper you could find at any state park across the country on any given Saturday and Sunday. But then there are the more adventurous campers.
We are all familiar with the ‘family camping’ trip. The first component to family camping trip is what’s known as the contemporary nuclear family, with a mother, father and 2.5 children. Those enjoying the family camping trip, known as ‘family campers,” usually pull their SUV right up to the campsite where they plan to spend the long weekend.
What is usually most fundamental to the family camping trip is the type of campground selected. Family campground sites facilitate the park and camp principle, allowing family campers to park as close as possible to the site. This is because your typical family camper will pack everything that can possibly fit in their vehicle to contribute to their comfort on their camping trip. This can include anything and everything from 6 collapsible chairs to a full size grill to an 8-man tent.
Then there is the kind of camper who likes to travel lighter and quicker. They may also want to take a bit more adventurous of a route, either off the beaten path or away from the pollution and noise of vehicular traffic. These campers, ‘light and fast’ or ‘woodsman campers,’ integrate hiking as the main component to their camping trip. Enjoying only the comforts which can fit in a backpack, the ‘woodsman camper’ packs a bit more conservatively than the ‘family camper’ counterpart.
Because everything you camp with you must hike with, and a hiking bag only holds so much, scaling back what to bring as a woodsman camper is crucial. This means trading in a grill for a pocket camp stove, the 8-man tent for a bivvy bag and a giving up your collapsible chair. You may also want to trade in that 18 pack of beer bottles for a flask of whiskey.