How to Estimate the Camping Backpack Size That You Need – Our Guide

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Camping requires alertness and being ready for the worst possible outcomes. That means you will need to prepare a lot of necessary gear to ensure a great camping experience. However, there are different types of backpacking gear. Depending on how long you’re going to stay in the wilderness, you will need to determine what type of camping backpack will fit your necessities.

Backpacking has three main types: Daypacks, which is packing for camping that will last for a day; Weekend backpacks, which lasts for one to three nights; and multi-day backpacks for three to five nights in camp.

Here’s a quick guide to estimating your backpack size:


Daypacks weigh between 20–35 liters. Depending on the size, you’ll be able to pack half a day’s worth of gear or equipment enough to last for a whole day. Important hiking items like food, clothing, and water will easily fit inside daypacks, although you’re generally limited to those or with just a few additional tools.

If you believe you will need more water, opting for hydration packs can be good for you. If you want to last a full day with more than enough items in your backpack, choose the 35-liter backpack, which will give you more than sufficient volume for your gear.

Weekend backpacks

If you’re going camping for more than a day, daypacks won’t suffice. The gear you will carry will increase as you plan to stay in the wilderness longer. Without access to markets or shops, you will not be able to restock on supplies and refill your daypack’s volume. For that reason, you will need to purchase weekend backpacks.

Weekend backpacks are bigger backpacks that can carry equipment, such as sleeping bags, pads, clothing, tents or hammocks, cooking utensils, and more food. While most of the said items are generally portable, you will need a lot of space to carry them. For that, a weekend backpack that allows up to 50 liters of volume will greatly increase your inventory capacity.

Multi-day backpacks

Planning a week’s worth of nature-loving? If so, the three-day weekend backpack will need an upgrade. While the gear you carry will mostly be the same volume, you will need to stock more on food supplies for another two or three days, which can easily double your backpack’s size. Additionally, the climate might affect your camping since staying for a long period of time means that the chances of experiencing weather changes are extremely high.

As such, you want to go for backpacks that offer up to 70 liters of carrying capacity. If you find yourself needing more than that, you can opt for expedition backpacks that can carry up to 120 liters of volume, if not more. However, these backpacks are designed for professional mountaineering trips, and if you’re not prepared to carry so much stuff on your trip, you will want to opt for smaller multi-day backpacks and just bring fewer items. That, however, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to bring sufficient supplies as 70 liters of inventory is already plenty.


Choosing the right backpack will allow you to prepare the right gear and supplies for your camping trip. Depending on how long your trip will take, you will need the appropriate size for your inventory. The general rule is that the longer the trip, the more you will need to carry.

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