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How to Buy a Backpack for Backpacking (Europe)


Backpacking is what a lot of people enjoy. It is more of an independent adventure, it is more real, more vivid and it gives you the feeling you are tete-a-tete with the world. It broadens your mind, gives you room for personal growth and self-development. But backpacking can be pleasant only if you think everything through. You sacrifice your comfort and blessings of civilization to get something wonderful in return, but it is not going to happen if you forget something at home, or pick a wrong backpack.


The size

If it is your first time backpacking, it may be pretty hard. Decide how many things you need. Try to start packing right now. See how much space your stuff takes. Make sure you can carry all of this for a long time. If you canít, leave some of your stuff at home. Remember, that for a woman the backpack:body weight proportions should be 1:6 or less, for a man Ė 1:5 or less.

The shoulder straps

There are quite a few types of backpacks. You need to choose one shoulder-straps of which are easy to regulate. Try a backpack on and put something inside to see if you can wear it with a weight. The shoulder straps have to be soft but durable. Shoulder straps of a heavy backpack can painfully wimble into your skin, and carrying it will be impossible.

The shape

If you are carrying weight 3 Ė 4 kg (6 Ė 8 lb), any shoulder straps are ok. If you are carrying 4 Ė 10 kg (8 Ė 20 lb), there has to be additional waist fixation and a harness system. If it is heavier than that Ė the harness system and all the straps should be of a very high quality. What is harness system? When you carry a backpack you have to lean forward so the gravity center of your body and that of your backpack coincide. The harness system does it for you so it is easier on your back. If the backpack is small and not very heavy, you can create balance using your belongings. Pack them so the heaviest stuff is behind your shoulder blades.

The frame

Consider getting a backpack with a frame: sticks placed in the creases of a backpack so it holds its shape and stands still which makes carrying it much easier.


Donít overestimate yourself

Donít overestimate your physical strength. Once you pack the bag it may seem ok, but in a few hours its weight may start to seem unbearable. But donít leave necessary stuff at home. Take what you need, but be prepared to leave some of the stuff behind in case you canít handle it.

If you are not sure

If you are not sure whether or not the backpack is convenient, donít buy it, because if you are not sure, it is probably not. Have an experienced person help you out.



Backpacking, hiking, it all is very interesting and even fascinating, but only if you think everything through. You should have someone to help you choose a backpack or watch a plenty of videos on how to choose a backpack yourself. It is one of the most important things you have to do before you take off.

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