Living in the mountains of New York State there are so many breathtaking places to go for a hike. Hiking is great exercise and allows you to see everything from a different perspective. I remember how awesome it was the first time hiked in the Shawangunks. Reaching the top and sitting on those rocks, looking down on everything, was a thrilling experience I will never forget.
If you want to tackle some peaks, you will need some essentials. I want to focus on the number one essential, a backpack. Your backpack is going to hold all your other essentials, so you want to choose one that fits your hike.
The length of your hike will determine your needs. Packing for a day trip hike is very different than packing for a multi-day hike. For typical day hikes, it is best to go with a daypack. Daypacks are perfect for one-day hikes. Daypacks are usually frameless so they are lightweight. Certain features like padded straps and wicking fabric will help you stay more comfortable and make your hike more enjoyable. Price can vary with daypacks, the range is from about $40 up to several hundred dollars.
The Stowaway Day Pack from L.L. Bean is only $39.95 and is available in 6 colors. This is the lightest daypack they carry and when empty it stuffs away into its own small internal pocket. Made of extra-tough ripstop nylon fabric, it has padded foam shoulder straps and back panel. The back panel is made of wicking air mesh for maximum comfort. There are lots of pockets to help organize your gear. The adjustable waistbelt and sternum straps hold the pack firm against your body. The sides have mesh water bottle pockets with new loop locks to keep bottles secure. The weight of the pack is 14 oz. and the packed size is 8” x 7”.
If you are a woman, you may like the woman-specific fit of the Osprey Tempest 20 Pack. The lightweight Osprey AirScape back panel features molded foam ridges with air channels and a vertical “air chimney” covered in airy mesh for ventilation. The padded BioStretch shoulder straps and hipbelt are made specifically for women. The panel loading main compartment can hold your lunch, an extra layer of clothes and tools. The Zippered mesh pockets on the hipbelt can hold a compact camera while the other can hold energy snacks. The pack is available in two sizes to fit a range of torso and waist sizes. The Osprey Tempest 20 is available in 3 colors at REI for $99.95.
The North Face 31-liter Recon daypack for men features a redesigned suspension system for all day comfort. A hydration port and two stretch-mesh water bottle pockets make staying hydrated easy. A stretch front pocket allows you to carry a helmet or stash extra gear on the exterior. The comfortable, padded air-mesh back panel with Spine Channel and PE sheet give you extra back support. This versatile daypack has sleeves for a laptop and tablet and is available on Amazon.com for about $70.
There are so many different types of daypacks to choose from. Your best bet is to go and try some on and see what feels the best for your body. The time you invest picking the perfect backpack will be well worth your effort.