I’m new to backpacking, should I buy all my gear then buy my pack? Or, should I buy my pack first? I will be doing some long distant hikes and some weekend hikes too.
Submitted by - Greg - Newblaine, AR
As a newbie, it really doesn’t matter which you buy first, as long as you’re realistic about capacities and don’t buy a gigantic pack, then fill it up with unnecessary stuff that will just weigh you down. It sounds like you need a mid- to large-size pack, somewhere in the 50- to 65-liter range, but with a good compression system so you can shrink it up for shorter trips. Two good options from our recent Gear Guide: the REI Flash 62 and the Mountainsmith Ghost 50. Both received rave reviews for comfort and organization, and both are $190 or less, which is a good deal.
You’ll find tons of beginner tips on our website to get you started. Check out http://www.backpacker.com/backpacking101