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Backpacking Gear & Equipment

When you're on the road for the adventure of a lifetime, you want to make sure you’re not weighed down by luggage. The right backpack will save you time and energy. Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping at camping stores or online travel sites.

  • Travel style backpacks that include a detachable daypack are ideal if you’re spending a few weeks or months on the road. Choose a travel pack that is roomy and hardy, with practical features like a zipped external pocket, internal organizer and tuck away shoulder straps.
  • Lightweight and water-resistant materials like Cordura or nylon combinations give you the kind of durability to withstand the wear and tear of backpacking.
  • There are even backpacks designed specifically for women, that are shaped to fit a woman’s body.
  • Hiking packs are thin and high to take the weight and pressure off your back. As New Zealand travel gear company Fairydown explains: “A well designed pack harness will transfer the load forward onto the front of the pelvis providing an improved center of gravity and utilizing the more effective load bearing mechanics of the hips and legs. By removing load from the spine your balance (safety) is improved and you will be able to maintain a more comfortable and natural posture, effectively reducing the energy required to travel with a load on your back. As well as transferring load forward to the pelvis a pack harness should be able to mimic the body’s natural dynamics while keeping the load stable. It should also be comfortable and fit your body well in terms of back length, hip and torso girth and shape.”
  • To protect your gear, invest in security products like Pacsafe, which put a layer of mesh around your backpack to prevent someone slashing it and swiping your stuff. Combination locks and retractable cable locks are another option to secure your gear when you’re on the move. Look out for locks like Prolock that can be opened and relocked by US luggage inspectors.

Hydration for hiking

Wouldn’t it be great to fit two liters of water in your backpack to see you through a whole day of hiking? Hydration backpacks are designed for just that reason.
CamelBak was the originator of the hands-free hydration systems, and offer one of the most comprehensive ranges of hydration backpacks on the market.

Sleeping bags

If roughing it is part of your backpacking adventure, you’ll need a sleeping bag to keep you snug under the stars. Pay particular attention to the temperature grade of the bag, and purchase a compression bag that will allow you to squash the sleeping bag into the smallest possible space for easy storage.


What would an outback adventure be without cooking in the great outdoors? A hearty steak on a four-burner BBQ just ain’t practical, but you could definitely whip up some baked beans in a portable stove. The portable cooking stoves are lightweight, and ideal for hiking and camping.

There are several main types based on the type of fuel used:

  • Simple single-burner stoves, often without any controls at all, using solid or liquid fuel that is placed in the burner before ignition.
  • Single-burner stoves using volatile liquid fuel in a pressurized burner-tank combination.
  • Single or multi burner bottled gas stoves, providing controls for the heat setting similar to a kitchen cooktop.
  • Gravity-fed spirit stoves, with priming pans.

One of the most popular cooking devices for on the road is the Swedish invention – the Trangia. A small brass ‘pot’ is filled with alcohol, then lit, and voilà – instant gourmet stew.