How Big A Backpack Do I Need For A 3 To 5-Day Hike?

How Big a Backpack Do I Need for a Three to Five-Day Hike

A backpack is one of the most important things you must consider when hiking. Your comfort should always be your priority.

Hence, you must get an exact backpack size with enough space to pack your belongings depending on the days you intend to go hiking.  

Therefore, how big a backpack do I need for a 3-5 day hike?

The backpack size you need for a 3-5 day hike depends on what you intend to take along with you to the hiking location. Regardless, the standard backpack size for a 3-5 day hike is 50-80L. The 50-80L backpack has enough space to pack everything you need, ranging from gear, food, a cooking stove, fuel, a sleeping bag, etc.

This article reveals the backpack size you need for a 3-5 day hike. It also explains what to consider when packing a hiking backpack.

In addition, it further enlightens on how to choose the perfect hiking backpack size. Therefore, after reading this article, you will be able to choose the best hiking backpack yourself.

What Size of Backpack Do I Need for a Three to Five-Day Hike?

How Big a Backpack Do I Need for a Three to Five-Day Hike

You need a 50-80L backpack size for a 3-5 day hike. Regardless, it all depends on the items you intend to carry.

Generally, you need foods that will suffice for the number of days you plan to spend on the hike. 

You also need cooking stoves and fuel, pots, gear, water bottles, socks, underwear, tents, headlamps, sleeping bags, shirts, and everything you think you will need during the hike.

Thus, a 50-80L backpack has enough space to load all the listed items. 

Meanwhile, you can carry only a few items because of your comfort. So ensure you carry the essential things.

What Should I Consider When Packing a Backpack for a 5-Day Hike?

There are some essential things you must consider when packing a backpack for a 5-day hike; things include:

  • The backpack’s volume and ventilation 
  • The backpack’s weight
  • Foods and water
  • Hiking gear and Footwear
  • Tent and sleeping bag
  • First aid kit

#1. The Backpack’s Volume and Ventilation 

The backpack’s volume and ventilation is the first thing you must consider when packing a backpack for a 5-day hike.

What is the total carrying capacity of your backpack? Will you be able to load everything you will need during the hike inside the backpack? Is the backpack well-ventilated? 

You must be able to provide positive answers to the questions before packing your backpack, and this is to ensure that you won’t lack anything and to ensure your comfort during the hike.

#2. The Backpack’s Weight

Another important thing you must consider when packing a backpack for a 5-day hike is the backpack’s weight. 

Remember to fill the bag with the items you will need for an entire 5-day hike. Hence, you must ensure that the backpack you intend to carry doesn’t weigh too heavily.

#3. Food and Water

Food and water are the basic needs of life, and you can’t survive without them. Hence, they are essential things you will need during your 5-day hike.

Ensure that you pack enough food and water to sustain you for five days but do not pack them in excess so your backpack will be comfortable to carry.

You may not need to take water with you if you’re sure you will get water at the hike location, but ensure you take water bottles or water reservoirs.

In addition, remember to pack your cooking stove and fuel.

#4. Hiking Gears and Footwear

To experience a fantastic and stress-free hike, remember to include your hiking gear and footwear when packing your backpack for a 5-day hike.

Meanwhile, it would be best to have the weather in mind when choosing your gear and footwear. You must prepare well for the change of weather. 

Pack enough underwear, hiking boots, and every other essential clothing and footwear you will need during the hike.

#5. Tent and Sleeping Bag

If you’re not lodging in any hotel or guesthouse, you must include a tent when packing your hiking backpack. 

You must also take a sleeping bag to ensure a comfortable sleep. You can either get yourself a down sleeping bag or a synthetic bag.

#6. First Aid Kit

In case of an emergency or you sustain an injury during the hike, pack a first aid kit in your hiking backpack.

With the first aid kit, you can look after yourself to some extent. Hence, it would help if you did not forget it when packing.

There are some other things you should take along with you, and they will be helpful to you during hiking. 

The items include searchlights, sunscreens, sunglasses, sunhats, lip balms, headlamps, etc.

What Are the Best Backpacks for Hiking?

Well, the best hiking backpack depends mainly on your preference and the number of days you intend to spend hiking.

Nowadays, numerous brands design and produce high-quality and affordable hiking backpacks. 

Nevertheless, below are some of the most popular, affordable, and durable backpacks that are best for hiking:

  • REI Flash 55: This backpack is the best budget, and its volume is 55L. It’s durable, lightweight, and customizable.
  • Osprey Exos 48/Eja 48: This backpack is lightweight and has a volume of 48L. It’s well-ventilated and high-quality, which makes it exceptionally durable and comfortable.
  • HMG Southwest 2400/3400: This backpack is ultralight and has a volume of 40L/55L. Its hip belt pockets are spacious. 
  • Also, the backpack is durable and slightly waterproof. However, it’s a bit expensive.
  • Gregory Baltoro 75: This backpack has a volume of 65L-75L, meaning it’s heavy but exceptionally comfortable.
  • Gregory Focal 48/Facet 45: This backpack has a volume of 45/48L, which makes it lightweight. It’s well-ventilated, has a durable frame, and is affordable.
  • Gregory Paragon 58/Maven 55: This backpack has a volume of 55L/58L. It’s waterproof, has spacious belt pockets, and its frame transfers weight well.
  • Osprey Atmos AG 65/Aura AG 65: This backpack has a volume of 65L. It’s durable, carries heavier loads comfortably, and has an adjustable torso.
  • Granite Gear Blaze 60: This backpack has a volume of 60L. It carries heavy loads comfortably and has a good organization feature.
  • Deuter Aircontact Lite: This backpack has a volume of 55L/60L. It has a well-padded frame and a highly adjustable torso. It’s also well-breathable and a bit heavy.
  • Granite Gear Crown 3: This backpack has a volume of 60L. It’s spacious, durable, and comfortable. It also has an adjustable hip mesh pocket to fit your water bottle.

You may be curious if there’s any difference between a regular backpack and a hiking backpack; hence, check out the table below.

Regular BackpacksHiking Backpacks
A regular backpack doesn’t have hip belts; you can only see a thin one in a few models.Hiking backs do have hip belts.
The bags are less expensive. The bags are a bit more expensive.
Regular backpacks lack a suspension system.Hiking backpacks have suspension systems.
The carrying capacity is much lower.The carrying capacity is much higher.

How Do I Know My Backpack Size?

The only way to know your backpack size is to measure the backpack’s volume. The volume of a backpack means how much a backpack can hold. 

The measurement involves two processes. The first process is to measure the three actual dimensions of the backpack, i.e., the backpack’s length, breadth, and height.

The second process uses the actual measured dimensions to calculate the volume.

Below are the step-by-step instructions on how to get your backpack’s volume:

  • Use a measuring tape or ruler to measure the backpack’s length, width, and height.
  • Multiply the dimensions you got in the measuring dimensions and convert the answer to liter.
Josh Matthews

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