What size backpack do you need for a 2-day hike?

Most day backpacks range from 20 liters to 35 liters in the high range. Although the needs of every hiker are different, we recommend that a backpack with a volume of between 35 and 50 liters is more than enough. This size allows more than enough space for a small tent, sleeping bag, food supplies and extra clothing. At the same time, it is small enough not to add unnecessary weight and volume for a short walk and will force you to think about what is essential during your time in nature.

A pack of 20 to 35 litres is the perfect size for most hikers. It is large enough to hold extra clothes, food and all the essentials. Increase up to 40 l if you plan to use the same package for 2-3 day weekend trips. Backpacking involves going off the beaten track, getting away from civilization, carrying everything you need to survive; including food, clothing, shelter, and a sleep system.

The weather also changes rapidly on the coast or on an island, you can experience all weather conditions in one day; sun, heat, humidity, rain and fog can come one after another while hiking. The backpack should be large enough to hold enough food and water to keep you going, as well as a jacket and layers enough to keep out the cold. Often, backpacking to a camping spot and posting for a few days is a good time with a large package, as you can carry any amount of kitchen items, drinks and extra clothing; the walk gets even sweeter without the weight of all the food you managed to eat. Whether you are hiking in the desert, in the mountains or on the coast, the destination and the time of year should determine your choice of backpack.

However, there are many things to consider when determining the most efficient backpack size for your next backpacking trip. And I'm dedicated to helping new and experienced backpackers find more joy outdoors, either by giving them information about equipment or destinations, or by sharing some tips and tricks I've learned from my own unique backpacking adventures. For people new to the world of backpacking, you might be tempted to try a one to three day hike with the reliable backpack you've been using for years. Most of the features of a night hiking backpack work well in backpacks, but not all of them are necessary.

A backpack with good ventilation and mesh material on the back, shoulder straps and hip belt would also add comfort. This information is just my perception of what a beginner backpacker should consider based on the average size and weight of the equipment. A long walk will require a backpack of at least 60 L or more if you do not plan to refuel on the way. This feature is good if you are organizing a base camp and planning to go on day hikes from there, giving you a convenient way to carry a bottle of water and other small items.

If you walk frequently on snowy or rainy days, invest in a backpack made of enhanced waterproof fabric with taped seams and bring a waterproof cover for your backpack. A note about measuring capacity, you will sometimes see hiking backpack sizes expressed in cubic inches, and sometimes in liters. Most airlines have different policies, although as a general rule, the maximum size that your backpack can have and still qualify as carry-on baggage is around 40 to 45 litres.

Clara Bagwill
Clara Bagwill

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