The Independent Traveller
There are many types of travelling. When you travel with your family, it is known as a family vacation. When you travel with your significant other, especially right after your wedding, then it is called a honeymoon. When you travel alone, it is termed as backpacking, something we are about to discuss in detail. Backpacking is a type of independently travelling, usually to foreign and remote locations, under a low budget. For these travellers, the constant companion is their backpacks used to carry their minimal essentials required for the trip.
Backpackers also tend to travel longer than normal tourists and they visit those places that are off the beaten track. Thus, their backpacks are their most important commodity. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the very nature of their trip depends upon their backpacks as they carry all their essentials in it. If something untoward happens to the backpack, the trip will not take long to become a nightmare.
What to Look for in a Travel Backpack?
As already stated, the backpack is of utmost importance to the lone traveller. Hence, special attention must be given to the quality, type, design, volume and size of the backpack before purchasing. You do not want the seams of your backpack to give way while in the outdoors or to not have enough space to accommodate all your essentials or to sit uncomfortably on your back. All these will affect your trip negatively and prevent you from enjoying it. Thus, it is imperative that you make sure that your backpack is as up to the task for adventure as you are. Let us look at 5 features to look for when purchasing a backpack:
The first and foremost thing to look for in a travel backpack is the material with which it is made. Make sure that the backpack you are choosing for yourself is made of a waterproof material. It need not be 100% waterproof but must be water resistant enough that the inside of the backpack remains dry. You might be hiking and camping in a place that has frequent rainfall.
Not having a waterproof backpack in such a situation will be an real inconvenience to you. Also, it is better if the material is such that it makes the bag durable but lightweight at the same time. This will make the backpack eligible for rough use( which is normal in camping trips) and also suitable to carry while trekking.
Number of Compartments
A good bag is one that has multiple compartments. Having many compartments, enables you to segregate your items so that they are easy to find when needed. It will be quite annoying if you need a particular object and you have to sift through a thousand items to get it. Objects when organised takes up less space than usual and so your backpack wouldn’t become stuffed to the brim with items if there is multiple compartments in it for proper organisation of the items.
Size and Capacity
The volume of the backpack is very important. The backpack must have enough space in it so that you can carry all your essentials. What volume your backpack should be depends upon you and the type of treks you undertake. If you are an expert level trekker who traverses remote trails and your camping trips last at least 2 weeks then your backpack must have a large volume so that it has sufficient space for all the items you need for survival. However you need to ensure whatever size of bag you choose it remains something that you can manage without much difficulty even during the toughest trek.
The weight of the backpack is dependent on the material it is made of and what you are carrying. Besides, there will be additional luggage like a tent and a sleeping bag so it is better to carry a lightweight backpack so as not to overburden yourself. When getting a backpack, make sure that it is made of a lightweight yet durable material. A backpack made with cuben fibre material should do the trick.
Camping and trekking are rigorous physical activities and are not kind on your body. You will be overcoming rugged terrains, steep slopes, thigh-deep snow, deep forests, wild rivers and many other environmental challenges. So you will try to make yourself comfortable in any way you can. One way to do so is to have padding on the back and straps of your backpack. Padding allows the backpack to rest easy on your shoulders so that they do not get sore due to carrying so much weight. This might sound like an insignificant respite when compared to the rigours you face during trekking but something is better than nothing.
10 Best Backpacks for Travelling
There are many backpacks that are available to you. They are of various sizes and designs. Some are built especially for long, camping trips. They are made of durable and waterproof material to brave the outdoors, have attachments to carry camping gear and have padding on the shoulder straps and back for comfort. Some backpacks are ideal for long, backpacking trips across many different countries. They have many compartments to store all your essentials in an organized manner. Some look attractive with complementary colours and will appeal to your sense of fashion. Follow this BP Guide to choose the best backpack according to your needs and taste:
This is a medium-sized backpack from the house of Inlander. It comes in navy blue colour with black accents and grey straps. This is perfect for hiking and trekking as adjustable shoulder straps and the back are padded to provide comfort. Moreover, it is provided with rain cover and has multiple compartments to carry a variety of objects. There are also ice axe links and hence is appropriate for mountain climbers. There is both zip and drawstring closure in this backpack which makes it more utilitarian. All things considered, this is the perfect backpack, in terms of size, durability and other features, for those who love to brave the outdoors with treks and mountaineering. It comes at a price of Rs.1,799 on Amazon.
Mount Track Backpack
This red and black backpack from Mount Track is ideal for the outdoors. It is lightweight, compact and made from high quality durable nylon. It is also water resistant and comes with 2 zipper pockets. The main compartment has a sack closure. Needless to say, this backpack is for the adventure seeker. The water-resistant feature together with the lightweight and compact design makes it suitable for use during camping and trekking. The attractive colour combination of red and black is an added feature. The backpack comes at a price of Rs.1,299 on Amazon.
F Gear Printed Backpack
This is a rucksack made of polyester and has blue military print on it. The bag is of the dimensions 68 cm x 42 cm x 18 cm. It has padding on the back and shoulder straps for comfort. Both the waist strap and shoulder straps are adjustable. It has one main compartment with a flap closure and two zip pockets. It also has mesh stash pockets on both the sides. The size and comfort provided by the backpack makes it suitable for carrying around and hence is ideal for trekking. It comes at a price of Rs.1,679 and is available on Myntra.
This is a rucksack from the house of Wildcraft. It is black in colour with yellow straps. It is made of nylon and is of the dimensions 38 cm x 23 cm x 66 cm. The bag is a versatile one and is ideal for carrying your trekking, camping and hiking gear and essentials. The size and the compact design doesn’t make it too heavy for carrying. The bag is suitable for rugged weather and use and can last years. It costs Rs.6,499 on Myntra.
This bag is a backpacker’s gold mine. It has been stitched especially for advanced level trekkers who go on camping trips in the most remote areas for weeks at a stretch. The bag is of the dimensions 65 cm x 40 cm x 32 cm and is highly durable as it is made of reinforced fabrics and stitching. The bag can last as long as 10 years and more even after heavy usage. The bag can be opened and closed like a suitcase so that the contents are accessible to you at a moment’s notice. The zips are padlockable to protect the main compartment. Also the bag has multiple compartments for organised storing of your essentials and the boot compartment and shoulder bag are detachable. The bag comes with an Easyfit system that adjusts the bag to your body shape so that you are comfortable carrying it. It comes at a price of Rs.7,499 on Decathlon.
This black rucksack is made of polyester and is of the dimensions 10 inch x 28 inch. It weighs 700 grams and that makes it suitable for carrying around. The bag has one main compartment with zip closure, 2 zip compartments, 1 zipped boot compartment at the bottom, 2 mesh pockets on either side and 2 compression straps. It also comes with a separate compartment for storing rain cover. This bag is sturdy enough to be used in the rugged outdoors and the many compartments allow you to organise your essentials while on a camping trip. It comes at a price of Rs.1,599 on Flipkart.
This rucksack from Fastrack is lightweight but is sturdy at the same time. Weighing just 0.85 grams, it is best suited for mountaineering. The bag is of the dimensions 5 inches x 22 inches and is black in colour with orange straps. It is made with polyester and has one main compartment. This backpack is the best companion for a day trip along a mountain trail whilst soaking in the sights and sounds of nature. It comes at a price of Rs.1,629 on Flipkart.
Trail Elite Backpack
This black backpack from Trail Elite is made exclusively for expert level trekkers. It has many features for comfortable wear such as a tensioned back panel, cushioned shoulder straps and sternum straps. These prevent the backpack from feeling like a burden on your back. Besides, it has side water bottle pockets, sleeping bag straps, water resistant zippers and other attachments to carry necessary equipment. It also has a built in emergency whistle and rain cover so that you may be safe and protected on your hiking trip. The hydration capacity of 3 litres makes this backpack suitable for both long and short trips. It comes at a price of Rs.11,333 on Columbia Sports Wear.
This is green coloured rucksack with orange straps and comes from the house of Skybags. The model size of the bag is 67 cm x 32 cm x 23 cm and fabric with which it is made is polyester. It has one main compartment with a drawstring closure. Besides, it is furnished with 2 mesh stash pockets and 2 zip pockets to carry your essentials. The bag has a rain cover for rough weather. The padded shoulder straps and back makes it comfortable to carry. It comes at a price of Rs.2,952 on Myntra.
Hiker's Way Backpack
This heavy duty backpack is made from micro rib nylon which is a waterproof material. Hence, this bag does not require an extra rain cover. The back of the bag is cushioned with fibre padding and has a metal frame for support and comfort. The main compartment has a sack opening and it has a detachable boot compartment and an expandable sack should you require some extra space. An additional bottom compartment is provided to store used cloth and shoes. The black and grey colour of the bag is an added feature and it comes at a price of Rs.3,400 on Amazon.
Packing Your Backpack
While backpacking, it is necessary to know how to pack efficiently because the backpack will be your only luggage and it won't be a pleasant experience if you leave behind something important. There are a lot of articles on the internet that will help you pack more stuff efficiently so that you can accommodate more things in little space. Make sure you carry essentials like an extra pair of socks and underwear along with your medicines too. Happy backpacking!