The search for finding the lighter alternatives to outdoor gear is endless, from featherlight rain jackets to toothbrushes chopped in half to save a few vital grams, whatever it is, it’s most likely being tried and tested as we speak.
Today I'm talking about packs, hiking multi-day ones as well as day packs; what to look for when buying one and the attributes of it that could be handy!
It’s a really odd feeling…. a heavy back pack. Somehow there is actually a sense of reassurance when we have a heavy pack upon our backs, the ‘right’ weight gives you a feeling of confidence too. Get it too heavy with unnecessaries and your experience in the outdoors quickly becomes a chore. There is an element of reassurance when we know the pack on our back is tough and can withstand some mistreatment but with multiple brands now coming out with packs with 'lighter-than-ever' technology, there is the temptation to go for something minimalist in the weight category and like anything, there are pro's and cons!
Hiking/Trekking/ Tramping, is, when you think about it, a pretty broad category of activities. It could involve a hike up to a singular small peak or a set of hills, right through to taking on a multi-day trip along a mountain range. The primary difference between these opposite ends of the spectrum, is the capacity in which you must have available to carry the loads you need.
The loads you need will dictate what activity you are undertaking, for example, for day hikes, you only need to bring essential items. A bottle of water, some snacks or a light meal, a topo map and a waterproof shell jacket are really the essentials you will need. Looking at the capacity for these day hikes- packs in the range of 20-40 litres would do just fine.