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
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.
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
- 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.