A school backpack is next to useless in a survival situation, or even a weekend camping situation. It is just not built to take the knocks and bumps of living in the outdoors. You need a camping or sporting goods hiking backpack.
This is your survival kit, as well as being the most convenient way of carrying your stuff in and out of the great outdoors. A fully packed hiking backpack can also serve as a backrest or a makeshift stool.
The Size of Your Hiking Backpack
The ideal hiking backpack should be from your shoulders to the small of your back. Having it extend up past your head will make you top-heavy and liable to fall. The same goes with any hiking backpacks that extend past your butt.
In this case you are more likely to topple over backwards rather than forward onto your nose. Not only is your balance compromised, but when full, these hiking backpacks will be much too heavy for you to carry.
Take A Load Off
When you are camping, hiking or spending time in the wilderness, you need to pack as lightly as possible. Only pack it if it serves a dual purpose, or is absolutely vital. Put the heaviest pieces next to your back and the lighter ones furthest from your back.
Take advantage of any tie straps your hiking backpack has. This way you might be able to tie your jacket to the backpack rather than try to find room for it in the backpack when you get too warm.
If your hiking backpack has a belt, take advantage of it. The belt should be adjustable. This steadies your load and takes a surprising amount of weight off of your shoulders. To help your lower back and the contents of your hiking backpack, don’t just unbuckle it and let it drop.
Whenever you can, have someone hold onto it when you unbuckle to ease it to the ground. You might be able to back the load up a ledge, shelf or branch and it takes the load as you unbuckle. Otherwise, the entire weight will go on one shoulder, which could cause a painful strain on your back or shoulders.
Invest in a plastic tarp or a rainproof jacket. Even though some hiking backpacks claim to be waterproof, they never are. Draping the rain jacket or plastic tarpaulin over the pack and tied to the straps, if possible, will make the best of a bad weather situation.