I'm going hiking in April and have been hiking casually for a while now and would like to up it by doing overnight hikes.The thing is I want to buy a backpack now as I have some spare cash, but I have no idea which brand to buy and I am uncertain about the size. I was thinking of getting at least a 55 l backpack and was looking at the Deuter Backpacks, but it's a pretty difficult decision because the bags aren't cheap and I want it to last me a few years AND be comfortable. So does anyone have any advice? If you hike what do you use and have you tried anything else? Also what size would you recommend? Thanks in advance.
I have done some hiking, though I wish I had the time to do more haha I looove camping, tramping, hiking etc. I'm no pro but I guess I could try and be of some help. You're going to want something that is comfortable on your back as a number one on your checklist. If the bag isn't comfortable, it will be the most horrible hike ever. You could end up with blisters on your shoulders and bruises on your back. Not to mention the damage that could be done to your legs if the pack isn't comfortable. You really do need to go into a shop to buy a pack, ordering online having never seen and tried the style is a bit risky because everybody's body is different and what a friend says is the most comfortable pack in the world, could be horrible on you.
What I find to be really good is weight balance. If one side of your bag is heavier, it will tip you off! Haha. Try and find one with water bottle holders on each side so that all of the water isn't on one side. Definately get one with a pocket undoing at the bottom, and a pocket undoing at the top. It's such a hassle when you remember you packed your camera at the very bottom and you have to get EVERYTHING out to find it, or when you are all packed but forgot to put something in that you want at the bottom. Also- it helps if you get one with multiple pockets for snacks, walkie talkies (which I very strongly recommend buying for everyone in your group) and camera/cellphone etc. Many tramping and hiking regions won't have cellphone coverage, walkie talkies are fantastic but make sure you do splurge on some good ones, the cheap ones are crap.
If you go into a specialized camping store, they will help you chose one right for your body and your needs. You could write down the names and numbers of the ones you liked the best and go online to see if you can get one cheaper, once you know which one to get. Also try online auction sites- many people decide that they will love tramping, so go out and buy fancy equipment only to use it once and decide it's not for them. You may find a very near new pack for half the retail price!
Hope I helped somewhat.
I looked at some from North Face and a few other brand names...I don't hike, but, from what I read there are a few main issues:
fit / comfort
number of compartments
size of compartments
What I usually do when shopping for something I'm not familiar with, even if I don't buy it on amazon.com, I read all the reviews there and the various summaries / especially negative reviews to see what problems (if any) occurred with the product.
(sorry, best I could do after 15 min of reading & research) :)
If you have any other questions, I'd be more than happy to see if I can help. Have you got proper hiking shoes? Depending on where you are going, you may need shoes that can hold traction well. Most sports shoes can be a bit slippery in some terrain. But if you buy new shoes, try and get them a few weeks before the hike and wear them around EVERYWHERE before you go, the last thing you want is unexpected blisters! :( :(
I usually wear my adidas running shoes. I've been hiking in the drakensburg mountains a few times (one overnight hike) and they seem to work fine, no blisters or aching feet. I don't know if I'll have time to wear in new shoes and would rather work with these. The route we'll be doing won't be too hectic (hopefully). But thank you very much. I appreciate the help.
Oh btw, good shoes will also help your posture. You need to be careful with how you are carrying yourself as walking with 30kg on your back for 40 hours isn't great for the ol' skeleton ;P
Okay cool. It's just that in some terrain, running shoes could be slippery, but that all depends on where you are going. Hope you have a great time!
Thanks. I'll definitely follow some of your advice. Very useful :)