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Is a duffel or backpack better for camping?

Q. Which is better for camping, a duffel or a backpack?
— Thoughtful Theo, London, England

A. Well, Theo, it depends on what sort of camping you have planned. If you’ll be car camping, a duffel bag is the better choice since it has just one large compartment for easily stuffing things inside — think of it as a mobile closet for all your gear. On the other hand, if you’ll be backpacking (hiking miles to a backcountry campsite), a traditional backpack is definitely the better choice. Although some duffels do have shoulder straps, they aren’t designed to carry loads comfortably for long distances the way an internal- or external-frame backpack is.


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8 Comments on Is a duffel or backpack better for camping?

  1. Random scout // November 7, 2013 at 8:19 pm // Reply

    i say to have both a small duffle for important small needed mostly all things like utensils, bug spray and anything else thats compact and light wight and any thing else can go in the backpack

  2. if you must choose; for a scout, think of it this way ….. a backpack can always be used on an outing but a duffel bag can not. Simple enough?

  3. backpacker // May 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm // Reply

    I think a backpack would be good for car camping

  4. OLD Scouter // May 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm // Reply

    A duffel is great for cabin or car camping. A backpack is for hiking. Backpacks take more room in the car and are not needed to move gear around after you are set up on site. With a good duffel all your stuff can go in one bag and you can hang it off a bunkbed or nail.

  5. questionmark? // May 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm // Reply

    I’d also say a backpack would be better to camp with

  6. a duffel is way better

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