Summary: If you are going for a rock climbing high, you must carry the right backpack. But the problem is there is so many options that you are confused. Here are a few tips.
Rock climbing backpacks or day packs are as much an essential commodity as the harnesses and the ropes. Therefore, choosing a good daypack is extremely important. The key is to find something that supports rock climbing and you should be comfortable wearing it. Remember, you will be hanging from a ledge hundreds of feet above ground. If you are not comfortable wearing the backpack, you might be in great danger.
Selecting the Best for Yourself
This might seem like an overwhelming, sometimes impossible a task for you when you enter the store for the first time. To make things easy, start by asking yourself a few questions. The answers might make your task a little less intimidating.
- How much can I afford?
- Am I going to use it only for rock climbing? Or mountain biking, hiking etc. are also on the list?
- How long and treacherous are the climbs I am planning? Are they 2-5 pitches or 10+?
- Is your climbing partner carrying his own backpack or will he/she be using yours?
- What’s more important – climbing defined features or the weight?
- Durability or weight – what’s more important?
- Do you like climbing without a waist belt?
- What would be your pack like – a follower’s pack or a leader’s?
Rule out the packs with laptop sleeves and packs with external bungees or mesh pockets. If it’s a rocky climb, these will most definitely tear up though external bungees and mesh pockets are at times very helpful. Do not look at the packs smaller than 12l or larger than 20l. Followers at times have to carry large backpacks for excruciatingly long, cold climbs but we are not covering such climbs. Those who attempt such climbs know exactly what they need. Guess, this has indeed narrowed down your choice!
Leader’s Pack and Follower’s Pack
Certain packs inhibit movement more than some. The best leader’s pack is one that is narrow and fits easily between the shoulder blades and is big enough just for the bare essentials. The follower’s pack is generally bigger and includes extra gear. But it should never be so big as to ruin the climbing experience and pose a threat to the climbers.
Now that you are aware of the types of packs available and that you know your role, simply visit the gear store and make your purchase. Online video tutorials are also available. These are particularly helpful for beginners.