Your Hiking Backpack Should Be Comfortable
A hiking pack trip in summer means hiking in hot weather. Most of us can’t wait for cold temps to be replaced with balmy summer nights because we love sunshine and warmer nights in our tent. But, with hotter weather comes a few problems that will be less bothersome if we prepare ahead of time by learning these simple tricks of the trade that help hikers not “sweat it” quite so bad.
Choose Your Hike Location With Forethought
As a rookie hiker, I just thought I needed a hiking bag and some good boots for the ultimate hiking experience. Turns out, yes, you do need those things, but experience is a wonderful teacher that is best added to your hike. If you are hiking mountains, you must bring adequate clothing for daytime because you will be hot from the hike, but then nights in higher elevations will chill the air considerably. Many mountain caps have snow on them year round. Plan for climate changes wherever you hike, but especially in the mountains. Even parks and forests cool down in the evenings, so it’s wise to check online for the average highs and lows of the hiking area you’ll be in.
When Backpack Hikers Are Just Plain Hot
Your hiking pack will most likely cause sweating. Sweat is essential to your body’s ability to regulate core temperature and purge the skin of harmful substances, so there is some good to it. There really isn’t any way for you to totally prevent sweating when you are doing such an active sport as hiking. So, instead of trying to eliminate it, your best recourse is to prevent it in areas hardest to cleanse during your excursion, like your back. Your backpack should provide heat transfer in the form of mesh ventilation or suspension to give more airflow to your back.
Hikers – Don’t Sweat It- Dress Right On The Hiking Trail
Hiking pack rashes are annoying to say the least. When your sweat ducts become clogged and the sweat cannot get to the surface of your skin, the result is usually a mild inflammation or rash. This is commonly referred to as heat rash, prickly heat or Miliaria. It causes tiny bumps on the skin with redness and itching. If you can’t shower or swim to remove the sweat, it will dry back on your skin and clog the ducts.
Ways to eliminate this involves your clothing choices. You’ll need to wear moisture wicking materials such as those you wear when working out. Avoid cotton because it absorbs moisture and dries too slowly. Nylon and polyester are better choices to stay cool and dry, not only in your shirts and pants, but especially in your sock choice. No cotton socks! Take extra pairs and change them when your feet get overly sweaty. You can also carry a squirt bottle to rinse your back or feet, but make sure you dry yourself thoroughly before putting dry socks back on.
When Trail Hiking – Protect Your Head
It’s doubtful that you need lecturing on the harshness of the sun, but how about a little refresher information to help stay cool? It may be unrealistic to say “don’t hike in the hottest part of the day.” That is basically between noon and 3pm. You may have a goal or itinerary to meet so you don’t have much choice. Hopefully you’ll have some shade to take breaks and cool off. Regardless, you should wear a hat. Baseball caps are OK, but a wider brimmed hat is a better choice. I always hike with a bandanna because it has so many versatile uses. Dip it in cold water, apply it backwards and protect your neck from sunburn if you insist on wearing a cap.
This Hiking Bag Will Keep You Comfortable
A hiking pack that allows air to pass between your body and your bag during your trek is better for you. This backpack bag has a great solution to the problem. This Tacprogear backpack has fully adjustable off-shoulder straps, a ventilated “Cool Flow” back panel, and roll-over air mesh on the shoulder straps that offer features never seen in the tactical world. This bag is made with a unique high-strength, lightweight fabric, and revolutionary S-Frame contour shape for unique off-body suspension to keep your back cooler and drier. This hiking backpack is 400D weight with 1000D strength and is a great option for year round hiking comfort.
Your Hiking Backpack Bag Fit Determines Comfort Or Disaster
A hiking pack that is a quality backpack and is properly adjusted will have a massive comfort difference on your shoulders and back. If you are trying to use your college book bag as a backpack for hiking, it’s not going to end well. Those backpacks are not meant to be durable in changing weather conditions and the seams and zippers are sub-par. They are not meant to be ergonomically correct for your spine and hips.
Measurements Are Important When Determining Backpack Size
Have someone measure you to determine the length of your torso. Using the image above, use a tape measure from the blue circle to the blue line via the green vertical line. Bend your head downward and you will feel the bony part on your spine that sticks out where the blue circle is on the diagram. Use this torso length measurement to determine the proper backpack size. If you measure 15–17 inches for example, that would be an XS backpack, 16”–19” is small 18”–21” is medium and 20”–23” is large.
Backpack Fitting – Remember To Make Your Custom Adjustments Before Hiking
Hiking pack trekkers, if you can remember this acronym; WSLS Walking Sufficiently Lifting Suitably, you’ll know what needs to be checked on your backpack before heading out.
There should be several inches between the two front tips of the padding giving you room to adjust the tightness of the hip belt. Make sure there are several inches between the two front tips of the padding. Room to adjust the tightness of the hip belt is all you need.
Hiking Pack Shoulders
Your backpack shoulder straps should attach to your pack a few inches below the tops of your shoulders. There should not be more than two inches of space between your shoulders and the shoulder straps. Make certain that you tighten the shoulder straps. They need to wrap and hug your shoulders and upper back closely without pinching your armpits. It’s important to carry the bulk of the weight on your waist belt. This will eliminate strain to your neck and back muscles.
The padding on your waist belt should rest at the top of your hip bones, and then reach around to your stomach. The padding should not completely wrap around your torso. You can easily adjust that padding with your shoulder straps to raise or lower it. You’ll want your waist belt comfortably snug without being too tight.
Backpack Bag Load Lifter Straps
You can adjust the upper part of your backpack by tightening the load lifter straps. This will help bring the pack closer to your back. If your shoulder straps begin to feel too tight after this adjustment, it simply means they have been over tightened. All you need to do is should be loosen them a bit. The object is to strive for snug comfort, not uncomfortable binding.
The purpose of the sternum strap is to relieve shoulder stress by pulling the shoulder straps a bit closer together. This will give your total freedom of arm movement. This will also prevent the shoulder straps from slipping. You should be aware not to constrict your breathing by these adjustments when you tighten the sternum strap. All you’re doing here is bringing those shoulder straps closer together.
Hikers Enjoy Your Backpack Trek In Comfort
Keep WSLS ( Walking Sufficiently Lifting Suitably) on your mind when double checking all your pre-hike necessities before hitting the trail This will make for a more comfortable experience. The folks at Nature Trail Backpacks are happy to answer any comments below. If you prefer, you can speak to us directly by phone. We want all our fellow hikers to be safe and wish you happy hiking !