First-Time Backpacking…

If you’re a first-time backpacker, Tri-State Outfitters can help you get there in comfort and safety. Not only do our hiking experts have the product knowledge to guide you to the right gear for your journey, they’re also experienced in the outdoors and understand the local terrain.

If you have a backpacking adventure in your future, the single most important item on your agenda should be “get a good pack.”. You need one that fits you right. We carry packs from Osprey, The North Face, Cotopaxi, Patagonia and Kelty, all of which are quality, name brands, but each different in construction elements and design.

Here’s what you should look for in a durable, functional pack that’ll outlast your adventures:
– Water resistant material – Don’t let you gear get wet out there. Dry gear can make the difference in you staying warm enough to survive on a cold night. Make sure your bag is at least made of a semi-waterproof materials to protect your gear even in a drizzle.
– Multiple Compartments – This is a must. It’s easier to find your things efficiently if you can access them quickly, and it’s a better way to keep organized than shoving everything in one sac. Plus, compartments are a way to keep your dirty items separated from your clean items.
– Internal Frame – An internal frame backpack has support rods and a frame that are built in to the backpack itself. The formfitting profile of an internal frame pack reduces the risk of snagging against rocks or branches and is ideal for climbing. Internal frame packs are designed to be loaded with more weight between the small of the back up to the area between the shoulders. Most packs frames are composed of a carbon fiber or durable plastic which makes them much lighter and less cumbersome.
– A padded belt that’s adjustable will offer extra support and help distribute the weight and load more evenly to your hips as well as your back, so there’s less strain and over-all discomfort.
– Padded Shoulder Straps – Similar to the padded hip belt, are designed for comfort and can decrease pressure on your shoulders as well as take pressure off your low back.
– Contoured/Padded Back – Here’s another must when hunting for a good pack: lumbar-shaped padding that supports your back as you lug around all your gear and belongings on the trail. Besides being more comfortable, it helps distributes weight evenly and helps prevent back pain.
With so many choices in brands and features, we recommend you approach your backpack purchase much like you would a shoe purchase! Plan on taking your time trying on several different packs. Walk around with the pack on taking note of pressures, weights and balances. After all, the two of you will be spending a lot of time together up close and personal.

About The Author