Rucksacking 101

What Size Rucksack Do I Need For A Week-long Trek?

Planning a week-long trek and wondering what size rucksack will fit all your gear? Rucksacks come in many sizes, measured typically in liters, which can be confusing to first-time trekkers.

This blog post will make the choice easier by helping you calculate the right capacity for your backpack based on trip duration, weather conditions, and other factors. Keep reading to learn how you can pack smart and hike comfortably.

Key Takeaways

  • Rucksacks come in different sizes, measured in liters, with small bags for day trips being around 15-30 liters and big bags for long treks carrying over 75 liters.
  • For a week-long trek, a rucksack backpack size of 60-70 liters is recommended to have enough space for food, water, and gear.
  • To choose the right rucksack size, consider the length of your trip and what you need to pack. Use guides or backpack size calculators for accurate sizing.
  • When choosing a rucksack, consider the frame type (internal frame offers better balance), ventilation (look for breathable mesh panels), pockets and compartments (for organization), and additional features like removable daypacks and hydration reservoirs.

Sizing a Rucksack for a Week-long Trek

To determine the appropriate size rucksack for a week-long trek, it is essential to understand backpack capacity and liters.

Understanding backpack capacity and liters

Backpack size is told in liters. A liter tells how much a bag can hold. Small bags for day trips are 15-30 liters. Medium bags that can hold more are about 35-50 liters. Big bags for long treks or winter camping carry the most, over 75 liters.

It’s good to know this before picking your backpack.

Consider the duration of your trek

The length of your trek decides the size of your rucksack backpack. For long trips, a bigger bag is needed. A week-long trek needs a 60-70 liter rucksack bag. This size gives enough space for food, water, and gear.

Be aware that long treks need more items to pack.

If you plan on a weekend trip or shorter trip, a smaller bag may work well. But always think about what you want to bring before choosing your rucksack backpack size. It’s best to have extra room rather than not having enough.

Calculate the appropriate size based on the length of your trip

Figuring out the right rucksack size for your trek starts with knowing the trip length. Here is how to do it:

  1. If your trek is a day hike, an 18L to 35L rucksack backpack will work.
  2. Plan a short weekend trip with a 25-30 liter bag.
  3. Use a rucksack bags ranging between 30 – 45 liters for longer trips.
  4. Check all items you need for your trek. Your gear list will guide you on the best size to pick.
  5. For accurate sizing, use guides, charts or backpack size calculators.

Choosing the Right Fit and Features

Consider the frame type and ventilation, look for pockets and compartments for organization, and consider additional features like removable daypacks and hydration reservoirs.

Consider the frame type and ventilation

When choosing a rucksack for your week-long trek, it’s important to consider the frame type and ventilation. The frame type of the backpack can affect its stability and comfort. There are three main types: internal frame, external frame, and frameless.

The internal frame provides better balance and weight distribution, while the external frame offers more support for heavy loads. Frameless backpacks are lightweight but may not have as much structure.

Ventilation is also crucial because it helps keep you cool during long hikes and prevents excessive sweating. Look for backpacks with breathable mesh panels or airflow channels that promote airflow between your back and the pack itself.

Look for pockets and compartments for organization

When choosing a rucksack for a week-long trek, it’s important to look for pockets and compartments that will help you stay organized. Here are some features to consider:

  • Multiple compartments: Having different compartments in your rucksack can help you separate items and keep them organized. This way, you won’t have to dig through everything to find what you need.
  • Pockets: Look for rucksacks with various pockets on the outside and inside. These pockets can be great for storing smaller items like keys, snacks, or a water bottle.
  • Accessible storage: Make sure the pockets and compartments are easily accessible so that you can quickly grab what you need without unpacking everything.
  • Internal organization systems: Some rucksacks come with built-in organizers, such as dividers or mesh pockets. These features make it easier to keep your gear neat and tidy.
  • Compression straps: Rucksacks with compression straps allow you to tighten the bag and secure your belongings in place. This prevents items from shifting around while you’re on the move.

Consider additional features like removable daypacks and hydration reservoirs

  • Look for backpacks with removable daypacks and hydration reservoirs
  • Removable daypacks provide convenience for shorter hikes or exploring without the full backpack
  • Hydration reservoirs allow for easy access to water while on the trek
  • Having these additional features can enhance your overall experience during a week – long trek
  • Make sure to choose a backpack that offers these features based on your personal preferences and needs
  • Removable daypacks and hydration reservoirs are important considerations when selecting the right backpack for a week-long trek


Choosing the right size rucksack for a week-long trek is important for comfort and functionality. Consider factors like the length of your trip, weather conditions, and any additional gear you need to bring.

It’s also essential to ensure the backpack fits well and evenly distributes weight to prevent discomfort during your trek. Researching and seeking advice can help you make an informed decision.


1. What factors should I consider when choosing the size of a rucksack for a week-long trek?

When choosing the size of a rucksack for a week-long trek, consider the amount and weight of your gear, personal preferences, and any specific requirements from the trek organizers.

2. How big should my rucksack be for a week-long trek?

The size of your rucksack for a week-long trek can vary depending on your individual needs and preferences, but generally, a capacity between 40-60 liters is suitable to accommodate all necessary gear and supplies.

3. What should I pack in my rucksack for a week-long trek?

When packing your rucksack for a week-long trek, include essential items such as clothing layers, sleeping bag, camping gear (tent or hammock), cooking equipment, food supplies, water bottles or hydration system, personal hygiene items, first aid kit, navigation tools (map and compass), and any other necessary gear specific to the terrain or climate.

4. Is it better to have extra space in my rucksack?

Having some extra space in your rucksack can be beneficial to accommodate unexpected circumstances like additional supplies or souvenirs along the way. However, having too much extra space may tempt you to overpack unnecessary items which will add unnecessary weight.

5. Can I use smaller bags instead of one large rucksack?

Using smaller bags instead of one large rucksack is possible if you prefer organizing your gear into separate compartments; however, multi-bag systems might be less comfortable during long treks due to uneven distribution of weight across shoulders.