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A school backpack is next to useless in a survival situation, or even a weekend camping situation. It is just not built to take the knocks and pings of living in the outdoors. You need camping or sporting goods hiking backpacks. This is your survival kit, as well as being the most convenient way of carrying your stuff in and out of the great outdoors. A fully packed hiking backpack can also serve as a backrest or a makeshift stool.

The Size

The ideal hiking backpack should be from your shoulders to the small of your back. Having it extend up past your head will make you top-heavy and liable to fall. The same goes with any hiking backpacks that extend past your butt, except you’re more likely to topple over backwards rather than forward onto your nose. Not only is your balance compromised, but when full, these hiking backpacks will be much too heavy for you to carry.

Take A Load Off

When you are camping, hiking or spending time in the wilderness, you need to pack as lightly as possible. Only pack it if it serves a double purpose, or is absolutely vital. Put the heaviest pieces next to your back and the lighter ones furthest from your back. Take advantage of any tie straps your hiking backpack has. This way you might be able to just tie your jacket onto the backpack rather than try to find room for it in the backpack when you heat up.

If your hiking backpack has a belt, take advantage of it. The belt should be adjustable like for dog collars or seat belts. This steadies your load and takes a surprising amount of weight off of your shoulders. To help your lower back and the contents of your hiking backpack, don’t just unbuckle it and let it drop. Whenever you can, have someone hold onto it when you unbuckle to ease it to the ground. You might be able to back the load up a ledge, shelf or branch and it takes the load as you unbuckle. Otherwise, the entire weight will go on one shoulder, causing an incredibly painful sprain.

Invest in some plastic tarp or an excellent rainproof jacket. Even though some hiking backpacks claim to be waterproof, they never are. Draping the rain jacket or plastic tarpaulin over the pack (tied to the straps, if possible) will make the best the best of a bad situation.

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