Bushcraft enthusiasts know the importance of preparedness before heading out on a trip to the wilderness. Sure, it’s all about your own survival skills when you’re out there, but good advance planning is always recommended.
One of the important gear to carry with you when you head out is a strong, roomy, and heavy-duty backpack that can help you brave the outdoors.
The best bushcraft pack will be durable enough to make it through any kind of weather or outdoor conditions and have plenty of space to store other tools and gear that you bring along.
So in this article, we have examined 5 of the best bushcraft packs you can get for the next time you decide to test your survival skills in the wilderness.
Things to Consider When Considering the Best Bushcraft Packs
The best bushcraft pack can be a significant investment, so you need to do your research before you buy one for yourself.
Here are some of the factors you should take into consideration before buying a backpack:
The very first thing that you need to ask yourself before choosing a backpack is what you need it for, and how often are you going to use it.
Is it just for day trips? Do you want a multi-purpose bag? Or do you want a bag that’s purely built for bushcraft purposes?
Whatever the purpose, you can choose accordingly.
2. Size and Weight
The next thing to note when deciding on a backpack is its size and weight. While you may be tempted to go for a larger bag that can easily fit all your essentials and have some extra space to spare, a large bag will also slow you down. Overly heavy backpacks can cause back problems that could prevent you from backpacking in the future, so consider ergonomics as you choose the best bushcraft pack for you.
You will have to decide on a few things like:
- The distance of your trip
- How fast do you have to move
- If you will be carrying camping gear
- The amount of food/water you need
For beginners, it is recommended to go for smaller or mid-size bags that will make your trip that much more comfortable and easier.
3. Frame and Padding
Backpacks with a lightweight but durable frame will help you keep balance while supporting heavy loads at the same time.
Padding is important to make sure that you are comfortable while you’re on your trip. However, excessive padding will make the backpack heavy. So, you will need one with a moderate amount of padding that’s contoured in the right places to make sure your hip bones, lumbar, and shoulder, have better support.
Bushcraft backpacks will generally have a lot of compartments to help you organize the different types of gear you’ll be carrying. But the extra features will also add extra weight to your bag.
You can decide based on the gear you’ll be carrying on your trips. For example, if you’ll mostly be making day trips, you won’t need to carry a sleeping bag so you can get a bag that doesn’t have a special compartment for the same.
5. Material and Durability
Last but not least, the material of your backpack is an important factor you can’t ignore.
Traditionally, bushcraft backpacks were made from a robust canvas material, which is highly durable. But it also makes the bag quite heavy.
If you’re looking for lightweight bags, those made from ripstop nylon or polyester would be your go-to. However, these bags will have a higher chance of ripping. So you have to choose between durability and comfort.
You will also need a waterproof bag if you plan to go to a region that gets a wet climate oftentimes a year.
1. Karrimor SF Sabre 45 Backpack
This bag was originally designed for the British Special Forces, so you know it’s going to be quite reliable to use, even in the roughest terrains and climate.
The backpack is made keeping in mind survival in the toughest of conditions, so it is not just highly durable, but also quite comfortable to carry for a long time, which is why it got the top spot on this list of the best bushcraft packs.
Some of its features are given below:
Size and Capacity
The maximum capacity of the bag is 45 liters.
The backpack comes with a main compartment with a simple design that gives you easy access to your gear/equipment. The lid has an inner pocket that comes in handy to store smaller essentials and an outer packet for quick access to food or first aid materials.
The main compartment of the bag also comes with a nylon sleeve with a water bladder.
Need extra space? No problem. The Karrimor SF Sabre comes with side pockets that zip on either side of the bag, providing you with almost 25 liters of extra space.
The bag also has useful twin ice ax holders to hold your survival ax.
The durable best bushcraft pack is made from KS100e, which is a robust 1000 Denier Nylon fabric. The material comes with impressive tear and abrasion resistance.
The bag features a waterproof elastomeric polyurethane (PU) coating on the backside, while the outer face has a durable water repellent (DWR).
The bag comes in different colors, but the camouflage models have the bonus of being made from a special 500D Infra-Red Reflective (IRR) fabric. The bag also has a Coolmesh back system.
- One of the most durable best bushcraft packs on the market
- Comfortable frame and padded shoulder straps
- Additional side pockets for extra space
- Reliable water-resistant finish
- Quite heavy
- Apart from the shoulders, the padding is insufficient
2. Mardingtop 65L Backpack
If a bigger backpack would be the best bushcraft pack for you, the Mardingtop 65L Backpack provides you with a lot of space, is relatively lighter than other bags in this category, and is made of pretty good quality material at a reasonable price.
Size and Capacity
As the name suggests, this best bushcraft backpack has a capacity of 65 liters, along with an additional 10 liters from its detachable side bags. This is quite a lot of space for bushcraft enthusiasts.
It measures 11.4″ x 7.1″ x 35.4″.
The main compartment features a drawstring and expansion collar and comes with multiple access points to reach your stuff easily. It has a sleeping bag compartment at the bottom which is quite spacious.
The Mardingtop backpack has a couple of side pockets that are useful to store your water bottle(s). You can also store a 5-liter hydration bladder here.
The front side features an external pouch to keep some of your smaller items.
The backpack comes with multiple compression straps that help you reduce the size of the backpack once you’ve packed.
You will also find an integrated rain cover in this utilitarian backpack.
The Mardingtop pack is made from a durable 600D polyester material, which comes with a waterproof coating. The quality of the material is quite robust and solid, which is part of why I’m including it in this list of the best bushcraft packs.
The backpack can brave the wilderness easily without much more than a scratch, even though the roughest of terrains or climates.
The MOLLE webbing that comes with the bag is also quite reliable for carrying your outdoor gear or tactical pouches. The backpack features high-quality YKK zippers that don’t break or pinch up.
- Comfortable to carry
- Budget-friendly and value for money
- Adjustable back length
- Lightweight for its category
- Includes a rain cover
- Takes time to adjust
- Not the best for very heavy gear
3. Gootium 21101 High-Density Canvas Backpack
The next backpack on our list is the Gootium 21101 High-Density Canvas Backpack, and this is on the list of best bushcraft packs because it’s made especially for those with plans of visiting the wilderness for day trips.
This pack has a smart, casual look that you can also use on your weekend getaways or other trips as a supplementary backpack. It’s quite durable despite its small size and can be used in different scenarios.
Size and Capacity
This best bushcraft pack is available in two size variants – 30 liters and 23 liters, and measures approximately 13.5″ x 8″ x 17.7″ in its expanded form.
The canvas backpack from Gootium has a spacious main compartment that is sufficiently big to carry all the essentials that you will need on a day out in the wild.
It also features an interior zippered pocket to store your valuables that you don’t want to be mixed up in the main compartment.
When you’re traveling around the city, the main compartment can easily accommodate a 17-inch laptop along with your other belongings.
The front stash pocket and two side pockets are perfect to store the smaller essentials that you want handy at all times.
The rear exterior of the this best bushcraft pack has a pouch that can also be covered by the main flap. With three total exterior compartments, you will not run out of space.
The backpack is made from a durable high-density thick garment-washed canvas material, which gives the bag quite a stylish appearance without compromising on the quality of the product.
It is also quite easy to clean, so maintenance will be a breeze. The fastenings on the backpack are made from metal, and it also features full-grain leather trim. They give the bag extra durability as well as great aesthetics.
Since this best bushcraft pack is made from canvas material, it’s not waterproof, so you will need a rain cover if you plan to take it out in the wild where you expect rain.
- Aesthetics are on-point
- Durable material and fasteners
- Multi-purpose usage
- Two-size options available
- Not waterproof/resistant
- Can’t be used for long trips
4. REEBOW Gear Small Assault Pack
If you’re looking for a value for money backpack that’s sufficiently durable and fits your basic survival gear, look no further than that REEBOW Gear Small Assault Pack.
The military-style backpack is big enough to carry your essentials, as long as you’re not carrying huge camping gear. The clean, minimal design and compact size make it great for short-scale trips, which is why it’s got a spot on this list of the best bushcraft packs.
Size and Capacity
The tactical assault pack from REEBOW has a capacity of 34 liters, and measures approximately 11″ x 18″ x 12″.
It features four compartments, all of the different sizes. This makes storage easier to categorize since you can use each compartment according to the size of your equipment or gear.
This best bushcraft pack is hydration compatible and can easily accommodate a 2.5-liter hydration bladder. The hydration bladder sleeve is conveniently located close to your back to help you with uniform weight distribution.
It also has a useful compression system that helps you tighten up the backpack if it’s not filled to its full capacity.
The backpack is made of high-density fabric for extra durability. The material is also water-resistant.
This best bushcraft pack comes with double-stitched, heavy-duty zippers that are quite robust. It also has utility-style cord pulls to secure your items.
The ventilated mesh padding shoulder strap keeps things airy when you’re out in the wild, while the back area padding makes your adventure a little more comfortable.
- Superb value for money
- Easy to compartmentalize with multiple storage
- Sufficiently big for survival essentials
- Accommodated hydration bladders
- Not as durable as other backpacks (but which are more expensive)
- Not big enough for longer trips
5. TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack
If you’re looking for a midway between high capacity and short-trip backpacks, the TETON Sports Scout 3400 is your best bushcraft pack option.
It is one of the highest capacity bags that isn’t a backpacking bag. It’s quite useful for those trips that aren’t very short, but not too long either.
Size and Capacity
The Sports Scout bushcraft backpack has a fairly big 55-liter capacity, which makes it capable enough to carry all the essentials you need for an extended/overnight short trip.
The bag measures approximately 30” x 17” x 12” when it is filled.
The torso lengths as well as the waist belt on this backpack are adjustable, so it can fit well no matter who uses it.
This best bushcraft pack comes with several supplementary pockets and compartments that help you store different kinds of equipment. The bag has side pockets, top pockets, bungee storage, hydration storage, as well as a sleeping bag compartment. The sleeping bag compartment measures around 14” x 8” x 8”, so you can easily fit your gear in there.
It also comes with gear loops that help you organize your essentials the way you want them to be.
The TETON Sports Scout 3400 is made from durable 600D Ripstop and 600DOxford Canvas material.
It features durable open-cell foam lumbar padding as well as padded shoulder straps that are adjustable to provide maximum comfort to you while you’re surviving in the wild.
The back panel of this best bushcraft pack is also padded and channeled to provide airflow. It also comes with dual aluminum stays that can adjust to your back’s shape.
And if that wasn’t good enough, you also get a lifetime warranty with this backpack!
- Fully adjustable in the torso, waist, chest, and shoulders
- Ample amount of storage compartments
- Contoured shoulder, lumbar, and waist padding
- Comes with a rainfly
- Unique lifetime warranty
- The waist belt can get loose
- Large size
Wrapping Up the Best Bushcraft Packs
While there are several considerations to keep in mind as you choose the best bushcraft pack for you, the one you need will largely depend on what kind of trips you intend to make in the future.
The best bushcraft packs will help you carry the most valuable things available to you when you’re in the wild – so make sure you buy one after great consideration!
For more information on what bushcraft gear you should include in your best bushcraft pack, take a look at The Absolute Best Bushcraft Gear so you can be sure not to miss anything important.