What Size Hiking Backpack Do I Need?

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It is essential to be prepared when hiking. It is important to be prepared for any eventualities that may arise while hiking. Its means dressing in the right clothes, knowing where you are going, and having the right kit. What size backpack is the best? It all depends on the length of your hike.

Hikes lasting a few hours

You won’t need much for a short hike. You will only need a few 18-ounce water bottles, a small first-aid kit, and a compass/map. These are the essential items you should bring.

All other items are purely situational. Checking the weather forecast can help you determine if you will need a raincoat. Most likely, you won’t need extra clothes or food.

A few granola bars and an apple are all you will need. It is not a problem to carry too much kit for a short hike, but it is unnecessary. This is why a small backpack, 30L, is ideal.

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One-day hike

One-day hiking is similar to just walking for a few hours. It is easy to predict what you will need by looking at the route and checking the weather forecast.

For a short hike, it is possible to pack light. A compass, map, small first aid kit, and water are all you will need. Also, you will need more water if you hike for a day. You will need between 0.5-1 gallons of water per day. You might also need a sports drink to maintain your electrolyte levels.

A spare shirt and, depending on the weather, a spare jacket is also essential. You can use the weather forecast to help you plan, but it is best to just trust your instincts and bring a raincoat.

Sunburns are more common when you hike for a long time. It is worth bringing sunblock or lotion. It is important to bring a hat, regardless of the weather. You will need to be ready for anything.

You will also need to drink more water. To save space and eliminate the packaging, you might wish to take a full meal with you on your hike.

For a one-day hike, you will need a minimum of 50l. A 30l pack may still be acceptable, but it all depends on how warm you are and how many layers you bring.

On a longer hike, it is safer to be safe than sorry. You may get soaked and wet for 6 hours. You shouldn’t bring too much for one hike. Day hikes can be exhausting to carry all of that extra gear. It takes time to learn how to pack efficiently.

Multi-day hike

All the essentials will be required for a multi-day hike. You will need to bring more food and water. It is a good idea to bring 3 days worth of pre-made food.

You can still bring enough food to last you for the trip, even if you don’t need any cooking equipment. You can take high-carbohydrate foods like pasta and rice in Tupperware.

This makes it easy to pack them and leaves no litter. You’ll need more water and more sports drinks. A refillable water canteen will be necessary to keep water fresh on the trail. It is very heavy to carry 2-3 gallons of water. This is about 20-25 lbs of water you’ll be carrying around.

If you plan on changing, you will need to have enough clothes for the next day and enough sleeping gear. Although it isn’t heavy, carrying multiple days’ worth of clothes takes up quite a bit of space. The 70L capacity pack will hold all the additional items.

Hike for a week

A multi-day hike can be as long as a week. There are two main differences: quantity and practicality. You’ll need to bring more water and more food. It is likely that you will not be able to prepare enough food for a week.

Your food will begin to spoil if it isn’t refrigerated. It is important to bring long-lasting food that can be prepared on the trail. You will need pots and pans to prepare the food. You will also need a small gas stove if you want to light a fire. It is a good idea to carry a satphone on such long trips.

Due to the distance of the hike, there is little chance of you overpacking. If it is winter, you will need clothes that can be worn in different conditions, extra socks and undergarments, as well as layers.

It is not ideal to unpack everything and then repack it every time you need it. Your backpack should be at least 80L. But most likely, it will be larger.


It can be difficult to decide which size backpack you should bring. Each size is best suited for different length hikes. This article will serve as a guideline. It is now a matter of common sense to determine the right size backpack for you. A bigger backpack will give you more space and make it easier to carry. Remember that you will not be able to pack your backpack the same way you did before you left. It will be much easier to leave a little room in your bag before you go.

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