If you walk any distance over one mile in the out-of-doors, you should think about getting a backpack. Sure, cargo pants, fanny packs, and khaki vests with a bajillion pockets are attractive and plenty effective at carrying up to 15 pounds of essentials, but for real carrying capacity, you need a backpack.
If you read outdoor magazines, you are familiar with many types of backpacks, including but not limited to The Best Weekend Backpacks, The Best Winter Backpacks, The Best Backpacks For Travel, The Best Backpacks For Dayhiking. Obviously these are all the best backpacks, so if you have read an outdoor magazine and find a backpack in a color you like, purchase it immediately. If not, I’d like to help you with a few ideas for buying The Best Backpack For Dominating Any Type Of Terrain.
I have worn backpacks for at least 180 days a year starting in 1984, my first year of kindergarten, when I accidentally dropped my 4-liter backpack on the sidewalk and shattered a jar of grasshoppers and was unable to complete my Show and Tell assignment for Mrs. Honeyman’s class. Since then, I have used them for a variety of purposes: carrying beer across my college campus as an underage freshman; carrying water on my back on a mountain bike while subjecting it to repeated jumps up to one inch in height; filling them with grocery store items for walks up to 30 city blocks; using them to carry burritos and those little cans of coffee for XTREME snacking on technical mountain summits; and for “trekking”—which I believe is the same as hiking—for up to seven days at a time.
As an expert, I have high and very exacting standards for the gear I use. I look for four things in a backpack. The right backpack:
- carries all my shit
- doesn’t poke me in weird places
- doesn’t rip easily
- doesn’t make me feel like a 7-year-old kid is hanging off my trapezius muscles when I walk more than one mile
When you are buying a backpack, you will ask yourself many questions, such as What Brand Properly Expresses My Taste In Outdoor Gear And Apparel, What Color Will Match My Hiking Shoes And/Or Bring Out My Eyes, Does The Backpack Come With An Itemized List Of At Least 40 Pockets So I Know Where To Put All My Gadgets, and Are There At Least 6 Daisy Chains On The Outside Of The Pack Even If I Don’t Know What They’re For?
If you find a backpack that can answer “yes” or “blue-ish green” to 3 out of 4 of those questions, then you’ve got a good candidate. Here are some other points to consider:
- Ueli Steck wore a backpack when he climbed the South Face of Annapurna last year in a 28-hour solo push. Thusly, a backpack might be a good idea on your next hike.
- Backpacks are equally as proficient as briefcases when it comes to transporting all your important business stuff from your home to your office.
- Some backpacks employ high-tech ventilation systems to maximize airflow between your back and the backpack itself. It is totally possible to wear one of these packs and still sweat your ass off.
- Backpack owners can go months or even years without knowing what certain features of their pack do.
- Stowing a water bottle on a pocket on the outside of your pack does not guarantee you will be able to reach that pocket without taking the pack off, or asking your friend for assistance.
- Taking a backpack to the grocery store prevents the use of those flimsy plastic bags that fly into the ocean within six weeks of your using them.
- A bunch of people have climbed Mount Everest without oxygen, but pretty much nobody has done it without a backpack.
- People who thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail all carry their stuff in backpacks, not those cylindrical NFL team gym bags everyone had in the ’90s.
Backpacks are available worldwide in stores and the Internet. To find a place to buy a backpack, go to Google.com and search for “backpacks.”