New scouts should soundly be into their first year and looking at their second year when they decide to get a backpack. Too many first year scouts put one on and overdue it enough that it ruins them for outings from then on. For those who put that pack on when they’re ready (I’m looking at you, 12 and 13 year olds), you’ll find some pack recommendations gleaned from ScoutmasterCG.
Be sure to check out the original articles at ScoutmasterCG and REI for information on the proper fit and other important details. Boys Life also has a great article.
So, you want to know the top picks? Here are a few of ScoutmasterCG’s ideas to get you started, in no particular order. Remember, the best backpack can vary for each person. Make sure yours fits and meets your needs:
- Outdoor Products Mantis Dragonfly External Frame ($40)
- TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame ($63)
- TETON Sports Explorer4000 Internal Frame ($76)
Again, exercise judgment in choosing your pack. Exercise even more judgment in packing them – it’s vital that a pack (especially for new scouts) is as light as possible once it’s loaded. Beginners should aim for a capacity of about 20% of body weight, fully loaded.
As for capacity, most scouts go on excursions that only last a 2-3 days, tops. Before you buy, be sure to check out the gear your buddy has. It’s also worth a trip to the local sporting goods store such as Appalachian Outdoors to check out their gear and speak with one of their backpacking pros.
Check out REI’s backpacks next time you head outdoors!