If you’re completing your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, one of the most essential pieces of equipment you will need is a good trekking rucksack. However, finding the perfect backpack can be a little overwhelming. There are a seemingly endless number of styles, sizes and shapes to choose from, so where do you start?
Find the right capacity
The first question you should ask yourself is this – what size pack do I need? A number of factors will dictate this decision – how long are you going away for? What kind of trip are you taking? Where are you going?
Once you have ironed out these details, you will get a better idea of what kind of pack you need. This helpful size guide will help you decide which pack will be of best use for your travels:
It’s also important to think of what gear you will be taking before picking your rucksack. Which brings us to our next tip…
Think gear before rucksack!
A common mistake can be starting with a pack and trying to fit your gear into it. Instead, do the opposite: lay out all the gear you plan to take and choose a model relative to what you see before you. Once you’ve decided which rucksack best suits your adventure, you want to make sure you pack everything as efficiently as possible. See our video for a handy guide on how to pack your rucksack.
Take with you the bare necessities, particularly on – Silver and Gold expeditions. Packing that bath towel might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but you’ll regret it when you’re forced to lug it around on your back for miles at a time. Use the DofE Expedition Kit List to plan your expedition kit well in advance and listen to advice from your DofE Leader on the type of kit you will need for your specific expedition. Don’t forget to prepare for all weathers and eventualities.
Finding the right fit
It’s essential that you make sure your rucksack fits you perfectly. If it’s too large or too small, weight will not be evenly distributed and will put pressure on different parts of your body; making hiking and trekking a painful task rather than a memorable journey.
Vango rucksacks come fitted with their own unique back systems, each one comes with its unique benefits and features. Here’s a list of these systems and where you’ll find them:
- A1 Back System – an evolution of the self-adjust back system, this is built around two body contoured alloy bars. The shoulder harness can be adjusted with one hand to fit almost any back length perfectly! This can be found in our Pinnacle rucksack.
- Self-Adjust Back System – based on our patented A3 system, SA is robust, highly tested and will fit just about any back length. It can be found in our Sherpa rucksack.
- Quick Adjust Back System – coupling a controlled alloy frame for load distribution with a webbing ladder arrangement for back length adjustment. The quick-step system offers uncomplicated adjustment, comfort and durability. IT can be found in out Contour rucksack.
Lastly, look out for bags that have add-ons that will suit your trip. Most rucksacks come with a number of additional features that are well suited to a host of different activities – for example hydration compatible packs come with a drinking straw exit hole, ideal for staying hydrated during a run or trek. If you’re carrying precious cargo, bags that come equipped with a rain cover ensure that during storms you can attach and pull it over your pack to keep your gear safe and dry. A padded hip belt is a necessity for when you’re on a multi-day trek, and will make your journey much more comfortable.