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    Option 1: Lightweight – For enthusiasts serious about weight reduction and skilled enough to do with less. These packs are designed to carry only minimal weight in comfort (often there is no frame and only a basic hip belt). so lighten your load to around 10-12 kg for comfort.

    Option 2: Canvas – The traditional choice of Aussie and Kiwi bushwalkers who demand long-term weather resistance and toughness. Designs tend to be no-nonsense affairs with minimal pockets and extraneous features. Be prepared to spend $400 plus

    Option 3: Synthetic – The most widely available rucksack type, these use lightweight synthetic fabrics and are often bursting with features. Quality varies from budget (sub $100) to top-of-the-line ($400 plus). Waterproof welded seams are the latest development to help reduce weight while increasing waterproofness.

    Top 5 Buyers' Tips:

    • 1. SIZE – Rucksack frames are available in up to four sizes. Buy the wrong size and the rucksack willnever be comfortable, no matter how expensive.
    • 2. FRAME – Some frame systems are simple, others are marvels of technology. More important is how effectively the frame transfers weight to the hip belt.
    • 3. PADDING – Soft padding may feel dreamy in the store, but in the real world firm padding will provide superior weight to the hip belt.
    • 4. QUALITY – You get what you pay for. An inexpensive rucksack might suffice for occasional trips, but don't expect it to carry as well or last as long as a quality brand.
    • 5. FEATURES – It's better to buy a high-quality, simple design than a lesser rucksack with loads of features.

    Carrying comfort:

    A backpack can be comfortable carried for hours over the roughest terrain. To avoid a spine-crunching relationship with your chiropractor you'll need a comfortable harness and the lightest load possible.


    The more weight you intend to carry, the more substantial the harness system needs to be. For the Kokoda Track choose a more sophisticated harness with deluxe straps and a robust frame system.

    Try on various backpacks and include the intended weight you plan on carrying. Ensure the salesperson provides the correct frame size and demonstrates how to adjust the straps so that two-thirds of the weight is distributed to your hips. If this service isn't offered you're in the wrong store.

    Take a walk around the store and see how the pack carries. The load weight should be well balanced and transfer evenly to the hip belt. If you plan to carry heavy loads (15kg or more) look for a stiff frame system and firm padding as this combination will carry the weight best.

    Lighten your load:

    A heavy pack is a ball and chain, while a light pack is your ticket to freedom.

    Start by only packing items that you will use regularly. Then build a system of clothing and accessories that will prove useful in a variety of situations. Choose clothing that can last longer between washes and that dries fast and you'll need to pack less of it. When you learn to do with less, day-to-day living becomes simpler. Less really is more.

    If you are carrying yourself you may get away with a 50-65ltr pack, however if you are hiring a personal porter you require a larger pack 75ltr-80ltr to allow him to put in some gear of his own to keep it out of the weather. You will also require a day pack for yourself to carry to include your water, personal items, camera etc.

    Larger packs are more popular, but the bigger the pack you have, the more you'll take and the heavier it will be. An expanding zipped gusset is a feature that's worth looking for. It provides additional capacity when heading home with souvenirs of your trip or gifts for friends. The rest of the time you won't even know it's there.


    A removable daypack is undoubtedly the most useful travel luggage feature. You'll need a small backpack of some kind for sightseeing, so it may as well attach to your main luggage for convenient transport. Ensure the daypack is big enough for your needs, especially as you are bushwalking. For better security see if the daypack will strap across your chest at the front (clips to the main pack's shoulder straps).

    Alternatively, ensure that it can't be easily removed when mounted on the main pack and out of sight.

    The main pack should boast lockable security zips to prevent items being placed inside your baggage without you knowing.

    A harness cover protects the harness during transit; make sure it zips closed easily when the pack is fully stuffed, or risk broken zippers.

    Removable toiletry bags are a very handy feature if they're the right size and shape for your needs. Extra compartments and pockets are popular additions, but try to avoid choosing loads of features over quality.




    • Buy from a store that will adjust the harness length, frame curvature and show you how to adjust the straps for maximum comfort. A pack is only comfortable if you adjust it correctly.
    • Be suspicious of stated capacities; many are guesses. Compare contenders side-by-side.
    • A warranty is of little use in the middle of nowhere when you are living out of your pack. Buy quality!
    • A pack with zippers is never waterproof so a raincover is a handy feature, but only if it is waterproof (many are uncoated).
    • Try not to get too excited about how many features are offered. The best luggage is usually simple and well thought out.



    • A correctly loaded pack will always be more comfortable. Keep the bulk of the weight close to your back, just behind your shoulders. Never place heavy items in the bottom.
    • Organise yourself with coloured stuffsacks. Undies in blue, T-shirts in red…you get the idea – refer below
    • If your backpack ever feels uncomfortable while you're away don't be afraid to adjust the harness length or bend the frame. All harness systems require occasional adjustment.


    Various Backpack companies for you to compare:


    1. Berghaus – http://www.berghaus.com or CLICK HERE:

    2. Eagle Creek – http://www.snowgum.com.au or CLICK HERE:

    3. Osprey – http://www.ospreypacks.com.au or CLICK HERE:

    4. Vaude – http://www.rucsac.com.au or CLICK HERE:

    5. Black Wolf – http://www.blackwolf.com.au CLICK HERE:

    6. DMH Outdoors – http://www.dmh.aust.com or CLICK HERE:

    7. Macpac – http://www.macpac.co.nz CLICK HERE:

    8. Outer Limits – http://www.outer-limits.com.au or CLICK HERE:

    9. Roman – http://www.roman.com.au or CLICK HERE:

    10. Tatonka – http://www.outdoorsurvival.com.au or CLICK HERE:

    11. Explore Planet Earth – http://www.exploreplanetearth.com or CLICK HERE:

    12. Mountain Designs – http://www.mountaindesigns.com or CLICK HERE:



    Useful waterproof sacks to use as inserts in your backpack:

    Ultra-Sil Dry Sack – Feather Light, Bone Dry – Ultra lightweight dry sacks made of nylon – a fully seam-taped Siliconised Cordura.

    Keep your gear dry and your pack light.

    Waterproof, Ultralight, no compromise. Seven sizes, seven incredibly light weights:

    • 1 litre – 20 g
    • 2 litre – 23 g
    • 4 litre – 26 g
    • 8 litre – 30 g
    • 13 litre – 40 g
    • 20 litre – 50 g
    • 35 litre – 65 g

    Contact Details – Sea to Summit – http://www.seatosummit.com.au or CLICK HERE:

    Footnote: If you cannot afford this option, a good quality garbage bag inside your backpack will do the same job.



    Travel Clothing:

    • 1. Versatility: Choose garments that can be worn for a variety of environments and occasions. If you will only wear it once, leave it at home.
    • 2. Odour Resistance: Merino wool and anti-bacterial synthetic fabrics can be worn for days before needing a wash, so you can get away with packing less clothing.
    • 3. Quick-Drying: Spend your holiday seeing the sights, not watching laundry dry. Synthetic fabrics dry the fastest, often overnight. Avoid jeans and cotton T-shirts.
    • 4. Non-Iron: Choose fabrics that never require ironing. Crunch the fabric in your hand and discard those that show excessive creasing.
    • 5. High Performance: Quality, high-performance clothing will not only provide comfort, but it will last longer too.

    Some suitable options:

    1. Columbia – http://www.columbia.com.au or CLICK HERE:

    2. Exofficio – http://www.paddypalin.comau or CLICK HERE:

    3. Icebreaker – http://www.icebreaker.com or CLICK HERE:

    4. Snowgum – http://www.snowgum.com.au CLICK HERE:

    5. Black Wolf – http://www.blackwolf.com.au – or CLICK HERE:

    6. Macpac – http://www.macpac.co.nz or CLICK HERE:

    7. Mountain Hardwear – http://www.mountainhardwear or CLICK HERE:

    8. Gondwana – http://www.gondwanaoutdoor.com.au or CLICK HERE:


    • 1. Don't sweat it! Assemble a clothing system that is as breathable as possible.
    • 2. Choose neutral colours that will work with whatever other garments you wear them with.
    • 3. To save laundry time wash dirty clothes in the shower and dry overnight.
    • 4. Beware of wringing certain fabrics, as they may permanently lose their shape.


    Source: Adventure Gear Guide 07 – $9.95 Inc GST – http://www.adventurepublishing.com.au

    Excellent information, strongly suggest purchasing a copy.

    Contact Details:

    Dylan Jones
    Adventure Publishing
    2 Victoria Street
    Leura NSW 2780
    Ph (02) 4784 1029
    Fax (02) 8212 8163

    Email: dylan@adventurepublishing.com.au

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