There are many factors to consider when selecting a backpack, where the choice will vary by person. But let me tell you some important ones that everyone will want to know about.
- Backpack size is important. You want it large enough to carry all the items you will need (not want). But not so big that it is hard to carry. The US Military 3-Day Assault Pack , available at most real military surplus stores , is approximately 1750 cubic inches and carries the bare minimum to last a soldier for 3 days including Ammo. This pack rides high to enable carrying other gear, including a fanny pack, or a pistol, around your waste. However, this pack may be small for most civilians, and a high riding pack is harder to carry for long periods, due to the leverage it has on your shoulders. An Osprey pack like the one pictured here, rides close to the back and will be easier to wear for long periods The US Army Ruck Sack is larger with optional add-on storage and holds around 4,500 cubic inches. No one camps out more than the US Military, and their products are top quality and all Made in the USA. IF it is NOT made in the USA, then it is NOT real Military and don't buy it as such. There are however many good non-Military Packs available from quality, trusted stores like REI who also offers a lot of Expert Advice online AND in the stores, to help pick the right backpack, but also what to put in it. There are a number of other Back Pack Guides, but note they are often biased toward products they sell. While Military Surplus packs usually offer the best value, more expensive packs tailored for comfort and convenience can be excellent. My first choice for these is www.REI.com and please note, I receive no compensation for this recommendation, and make it only because they have an excellent products and return policy. Starting with a small pack, will force you to pack light or hiking. But a bugout pack should be a larger one.
- Backpack weight, especially when full, is also important. The greater the distance you will be packing, the more important this becomes. The average person can only pack about 15 to 20% of their body weight any distance. A typical adult pack might weigh 30 to 45 pounds. Athletes, and soldiers can carry up to 80 pounds, but it is torture. Water weights 8.4 pounds per gallon, and you need to drink at least one gallon per day; up to 3 gallons (25.2 lbs) per day in arid conditions. Having smart EDC carry items will reduce your pack load. Multi-purpose items can also reduce your pack weight; for example, using your poncho as a tent tarp. Think light, plan light.
- Backpack Straps are important for comfort, especially on long trips. They must be comfortable on the shoulders and hips (must have hip straps), and also have a chest strap to keep the shoulder straps from sliding off. Notice how the REI Backpacks, conform to the back.
- Backpack Color can be important. Are you evading an enemy and need a outdoor color, or lost, want to be seen, and need a bright color?
- Pockets and compartments can really help organize your gear, but be sure the main compartment is large enough to carry your bigger items, like a tent / bivy sack, and modular sleeping bag, &/or a Hennessy style Hammock.
- Water resistant is good, but also pack your contents in water proof containers
Now it is time to get yourself a pack, and take our Survival Test. Our Alone Series will give you some good ideas on what to carry in your pack.
For additional information, see the following links:
Survival Pack (Security Patrol or Bug Out pack)
Wilderness Survival Pack (Video)
Greenbriar (catbriar)Survive on a Deserted Island
Top 10 List of Prepper info
Top Rated Prepper Handbook Posts of all time
Top Rated Prepper Website
Top 15 Prepper Movies or Shows
EDC Survival (Every Day Carry)
Top 3 EDC Survival Knives
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