Picking the Right Rucksack or Camping Bag: Things to Look For

 “I’m going on an adventure!”

These iconic words were said by Bilbo Baggins of Bag End, who without a bag on his shoulders ran off to an adventure in the mountains. Everyone whose body is host to a restless spirit has shouted these words in excitement at least once, and good riddance too: camping is one of the most exhilarating experiences one can have in their lifetime. But unlike what they show in the movies, you don’t venture out into the woods wearing nothing but your Sunday best, and no matter how hard Disney tries there are no friendly Baloos or beasts waiting to take you under their protective wings.

Out in the wilderness, it’s every man for himself. And it is for this reason that your rucksack has to be chosen and packed just right.

And since you are no Bilbo Baggins, this blog is all about helping you choose the right bag for the right adventure.

What NOT to Do

Ironically enough the first thing we’re going to tell you is to keep that big bag right at home. You know, the one big bag with space enough to contain two bottles of wine, a full cake, and a room freshener? Yeah, leave that behind, and ask yourself why you need wine or cake or room freshener on a camping trip in the first place. Of course you will think that if you don’t need something, you simply won’t take it: what does the bag have to do with it?

Well, the bag has space. Lots of space. Space which might entice you into stuffing one little extra thing because why not? The space can afford it, right?


The first rule of packing for camping is: pack light, and take only what is essential to your trip. You’re not going to Rome on a vacation.

Well then, What about a Small One?

Try moderate. A pack that is tiny will not allow you to carry the essentials, and you might even feel inclined to leave something important behind because you “might not really need it.” Things such as rain gear after you hear that the weather’s clear. Bad idea; because Nature can be pretty unpredictable when it wants to.

So how do you decide what bag you’re carrying? Think of these:

Where are You Going?

How far are you going? Is the trail closer to your home or is it in a land far, far away? Knowing the length of the route will help you determine the duration of the journey, and you can then know how much food you need to carry and what number of supplies you’re going to need.

Your Torso

Your torso matters. At least when you’re packing your bag for a camping trip, it really does matter. Stuffing it in with things should be in accordance with the length of your torso—and also with the amount of weight which you can lift. Any more than that and you won’t be able to carry it atop your shoulders for long.


 You can make do with a single main compartment in a streamlined pack, but it is advised that your backpack have multiple compartments where you can extract from and stash things like your phone, sleeping back, etc.

The Fabric

Polyester and nylon roll off the mind, with high denier indicating a stronger pack. The bottom specially should be lined with a high denier fabric so that it can withstand the load.

Looking for a Camping Bag?

OzSurplus is an Australian surplus store has a vast and extensive collection of all camping gear and tools, bags and rucksacks included. You can find some high quality bags on our website or give us a call at +612 4822 1020 to discuss more.