A fundamental element to be able to carry all the equipment needed for this activity.
There are different types and shapes, and the current variety of brands, models, colors and elegance is very wide, but when choosing a backpack we must bear in mind its comfortableness and the use we will be giving it.
For Aconcagua, it is important for the backpack to have a big capacity (80 —100 litres), because it will be carrying all the things that are needed to spend the night in the mountains. It must be ergonomic in order for the weight to lie on the body (back) and for the load to be focused on hips and legs.
Backpack capacity is measured according to its volume, the smallest being up to 30 litres, medium between 35 and 55 litres and the biggest hold over 60 litres.
There are three very important elements that contribute to choosing a good backpack:
1- Backpack + pockets = size > order and accessibility
2- Back + shoulder straps = transport > comfortableness
3- Shape + accessories = practicality > type of use
An important factor is the possibility the backpack offers to regulate the structure that is supported on our back, because this ductility will allow us to distribute the weight better on our waist, back and shoulders. It must also have a good bumbag or adjustable belt at the waist with good pads and excellent quality buckles. It is also important that the tightening belts are long, for transporting big but not heavy elements — although it is best to place the most amounts of things inside it when possible to avoid them hanging on the outside.
Even though, it is recommended taking a large backpack to Aconcagua, you must avoid carrying useless objects, taking only indispensable items. In order to do so, it is best to have a list of the equipment that is suitable for each trip to the mountains, because the weight of the backpack is one of our greatest problems and can often make the difference between a successful expedition and a failure.
Regarding its maintenance, to keep it in an optimum state it is advisable to protect it from harsh weather conditions with a backpack cover.
Recommended brands are Lowe Alpine, The North Face, Deuter, Black Diamond.
Source: ABC Aconcagua / Heber Orona
We would like to clarify something about the Camelback backpack, a brand that has become very popular and which function is to carry liquid in a resistant plastic bag covered with a fabric that is adapted to the demands required. These backpacks are very practical for trekking, but, when climbing higher, the hose that leads the liquid and the exit orifice freeze, therefore not working and becoming a useless extra weight.