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Thread: Rucksack size?

  1. #1
    Registered User Wyslin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Santa Clara

    Default Rucksack size?

    Hi, what size of rucksack do you all use? I've got a 28L that I use for day hikes (spring/summer) but I struggle to get everything in it. To be honest its filled with all the stuff I might need but will probably not use. Im a small(ish) female so I dont want anything too big. Do I need a bigger bag or should I be cutting down on the amount of stuff I carry?

  2. #2


    Possibly both. I certainly wouldn't get too rash about removing things until you're very comfortable with the impact of having vs not having them.

    As a reasonable place to start, have you read any of Mike Clelland's books on lightweight backpacking?

  3. #3
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
    Join Date
    Essex, Vermont


    Vote #2 for Mike's book. And here's another link that helped me: I used that list as a start for a side-by-side spreadsheet to get down to a comfortable sub-15 pound base weight that I can add to or subtract from to suit the conditions.

  4. #4


    You should be able to carry "the 10 essentials"

    Basically this is
    1) navigation (compass/map and/or GPS)
    2) appropriate spare clothes (rain jacket, warm layer)
    3) Some first aid (I find this optional)
    4) food (PB+J sandwich and a candy bar for me)
    5) Water (how much depends on if you can find some on the way, water purification may need to be added)
    6) Knife/fire starter
    7) sun screen (optional)
    8) TP or tissues - don't leave home without some!
    I believe my summer day pack is also 28L, this what I carry:

    My phone for GPS/Photos and music.
    Poncho for rain
    Work shirt for wind or some warmth
    Water in steel vacuum thermos. A little heavy but filled with ice cubes, is nice to have cold water on a hot day.
    A knife (rarely used, but when you need it...)

    The water/water bottle is the heavy item in the pack.
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  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Wyslin View Post
    Hi, what size of rucksack do you all use? I've got a 28L...filled with all the stuff I might need but will probably not use.
    I'll vote cutting back, 'cause it sounds like you've got an awful lot of stuff.
    I use an older Osprey Manta 25L that is less than half full if I bring everything I'd need to comfortably spend an unexpected night in the woods during summer(like first aid kit, windshirt or rain jacket, water filtration, emergency bivy, and an inflatable torso length sleeping pad). That's for long hikes where I'm not likely to see people, and/or am far from the road, or would be hard to get to if injured.
    Here, it's actually about full, since it has all of the above plus grid fleece baselayers and a down parka, in case I have to survive a night out in the teens.
    This what it usually looks like.


    For shorter dayhikes, an older Ultimate Direction fanny pack listed at 4.7L is what I use. It has room for the FAK, water filtration and a windshirt, plus snacks and pocket stuff.

    So...what are you carrying to fill up a 28L pack?
    I'm willing to bet it can be pared down a bit!

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Wake Forest, NC


    You should be able to cut back. I use my 28L bag for 2-3 night weekend trips, with my 20 degree quilt inside. Replacing items with UL gear will lighten your load and also create space. Obviously that's an expensive route, but maybe less than a new pack. Another tip is going through your pack and bringing only what you need for the trip. For me, I saved a good amount of space by only bringing a few first aid supplies instead of the full bulky kit. Same with water filtration. That said, it's tough for me to go more than a few days with 30L unless it's summertime.

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