The need for a backpack that can do it all is magnified when you start looking at a backpack that will hold every piece of gear needed to survive in the bush.
The best bushcraft backpack will take care of you when you need it the most. This is the piece of gear that holds your necessities in it. Cutting corners with a cheap backpack that might work for survival isn’t going to help anyone. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best bushcraft backpacks that are available today.
Before heading out into the woods for a month-long expedition, or even when packing up a bug out bag, the right backpack needs to be ready. This list is filled with bags that will do it all, so let’s dive in and see precisely what that means.
Best Bushcraft Backpacks
German Military Mountain Rucksack
There are times that simplicity is a perfect answer and will make a product perform incredibly well. With the German Military Mountain Rucksack, that’s exactly what you get. This is an incredibly simple rucksack design that allows you to forget about all the extravagant fixings that many backpacks have on them these days.
The 25-liter capacity will let you bring along enough for a day trip. The drawcord and toggle on the interior secures everything inside and keeps it there. This way, if you’re going out for a day-long trip, you don’t need to worry about any quick or aggressive movements dumping the contents of your bag all over.
In addition to the large interior compartment, this rucksack has two huge outside pockets that buckle shut. These are great storage options for quick access to any tools or pieces of gear that you need in an instant.
The bag is made out of 100% water-resistant cotton and interior PVC coating to keep moisture from getting to your gear. This pack’s bottom is reinforced vinyl, which makes it durable and able to be tossed around without fears of it ripping.
This is potentially the best bushcraft rucksack with its small size, but secure fastenings both to yourself with the fastex buckle and for your gear inside.
Maxpedition Condor 2
The Maxpedition Condor 2 has every feature desired when it’s time to take flight. While it has a moderate capacity of 32 liters, it is built with PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) webbing that lets you attach MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment) compatible accessories with ease. This was a pack built to haul.
The backpack itself allows you to haul a load of weight and disperses it across your body in a comfortable way. Foam-padded double shoulder straps fit your chest and help you carry the load without getting dragged down. The sternum strap distributes the weight evenly across your upper body to get the most out of every muscle available.
The mesh padded back adds comfort and breathability as you move. For hydration, the reservoir with a bi-directional tube port will let you carry a 3L hydration bladder easily.
One of the most unique parts of this pack is the lockable CCW (Carrying a Concealed Weapon) compartment. With this feature, bringing along larger pistols is possible, and doing it safely is even easier.
This bushcraft backpack will help you take heavy loads for long treks without feeling too much of the weight.
Tasmanian Tiger TT Trooper Pack
The Tasmanian Tiger TT Trooper Pack is an all-out heavy-duty pack for extreme uses and longer trips. This is a pack made to be carried for a long haul comfortably. The V2 Plus Carrying system gives you adjustable back lengths, removable aluminum rods that distribute the load evenly, and ventilated padding that shapes to your back.
If organization is on your mind, this pack has it. The 50-liter main compartment is huge, allowing plenty of space to get bigger gear in comfortably. Inside the main compartment, there are additional zippered pockets, elastic straps, and ports for water bladders or antennas on your radio.
There are three additional compartments on the front and two lower pockets with pouches and zippered pockets. Finally, the top pocket has elastic straps for additional organization and security. If that’s not enough, the exterior has plenty of spaces for gear to attach with the MOLLE system, D-rings to clip to, and large side pockets.
Not only will you get to take a huge array of gear with you, but the gear is well protected inside of the water repellant 700D Cordura fabric. This stuff is made to put up with a lot of abuse from stray branches and being tossed around. The included rain cover helps to keep water off of the pack and things dry inside.
MT Alice Backpack
Up next, we have the MT Alice Backpack, a military-style rucksack that is an All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment machine. The United States Army has used this style since the middle of the 20th century, and it’s a pack that will last you as long.
The pack itself is made out of 1000D material with an interior lining that adds to its durability and lifespan. It’s a simple enough design with one large compartment with drawcord closure and five exterior pockets that clip shut with buckles.
The padded shoulder straps and the kidney pad strap both secure the pack to your body in a way that will make the load a bit more bearable. When an emergency hits, the pack is rigged with a quick-release system to make sure the pack drops instantaneously. Aluminum is mixed in with iron to give this pack its lightweight yet strong structure.
The MT Alice Backpack is made to be combined with the ALICE Butt Pack to give even more storage space and quick access to any smaller items you may need. It’s not a surprise that this is widely popular among military enthusiasts and those looking for an impressive bushcraft pack.
Maxpedition Falcon 2
If you’re looking for a pack that can withstand all of the elements, the Maxpedition Falcon 2 is the backpack built for the task. The Falcon 2 starts with 1000D Nylon material finished with a triple coat of polyurethane and a final coat of DuPont Teflon Fabric Protector. This is a construction that’s designed to last.
Every stress point on the bag is reinforced with composite thread, and there are as few seams as possible on the pack itself. Military-grade nylon webbing is the choice for all of the straps on the exterior and the separate handles.
Maxpedition prides itself on using YKK zippers to their full capability, while other brands only use partial YKK builds. If you know a thing or two about zippers, you’ll know that the only way to go is YKK. These zippers stay functional for as long as you can use them.
This pack has three separate compartments for organization and storage. The main compartment has two interior pockets, the second compartment is nearly the size of an entire backpack, and the upper front pouch gives you the ability to store anything you need quick access. You can store a huge amount of supplies in this pack and keep it neat as well.
Tactical Military Backpack
This tactical military backpack is an excellent option for bushcraft and taking it to the office or a school classroom. The 30-liter pack is enough to get you through the day with comfort or last you for multiple days on a slim ration of food and gear.
This pack has a huge amount of integrated organization pockets to let you keep everything neat and straightforward. With this system, you know where everything is when you need it. The worst time to be baffled and confused is when you’re searching for something that could save your life.
On top of a load of pockets, this pack’s exterior is covered in MOLLE straps to hook gear. The front of the pack has two perfect spots for clipping electronics, such as radios and GPS locators. With these, you can have your directions and communication just inches away.
One of the less bushcraft, more luxurious features of this pack is the insulated compartment that makes this backpack a cooler of sorts. This can be good in bushcraft when you find yourself surviving in frigid environments and need to keep your water from freezing.
Overall, this is the best budget bushcraft backpack that you can find. It has a considerable amount of organizational and hauling capacity, and it doesn’t come at a high price.
The EvaTac Backpack is another low-price pack that’s built to carry a decent amount of supplies (35 liters). This pack is made from 600D water-resistant nylon that can also go head to head with sharp branches and thorns that try to tear it apart.
With a total of 10 different carrying compartments, this pack can either maximize your efficiency or make you confused with which pocket you put what in. It seems like a great thing to have ten separate pockets, but not for those that confused once things are split into four different places.
While this pack is on the cheaper end, it still will work well as a bug out bag that’s ready to go at all times. You can get enough gear in this pack to last a couple of days. That’s enough time in the bush to figure out your next move. This is also a pack that’s sized right to carry around as your daily assault bag, making it highly versatile.
The EvaTac backpack is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee for 60 days, which is both reassuring and comforting to know there’s a little bit of leeway. With budget bushcraft packs, leeway is going to be on your side because they can break rather quickly.
ArcEnCiel Tactical Backpack
To get a pack that works functionally both as a day pack and an assault pack for multiple days can be a real challenge. The ArcEnCiel Tactical Backpack works to bring both durability and function to the table in a 40-liter capacity. This pack is good to take to school and then empty it and fill it for a weekend survival expedition in the bush.
The 1000D nylon material used in this bag is high density, scratch-resistant, and slightly water-resistant. They still encourage you to get the water off immediately since it is not fully waterproof. They include a rain cover, which is an excellent addition to help keep your gear dry inside.
This pack is highly adjustable, nice to have for a growing teen, or if multiple people will be wearing the bag. The adjustability gives a snug fit against your body without creating sweat pockets and spaces that cause chafing. With the thick padding, you should have a bit of relief on your spine during a long hike.
This bag’s manufacturer makes you rely on the MOLLE system a little bit more than other packs. You’ll also need to get a water bottle compartment separately, and a lot of the MOLLE straps are made to hold their accessories. The bag itself is still well-built and has a ton of different compartments to boost your gear storage.
Paraffin Outdoor Canvas Rucksack – Ideal for Summer Only
An old school canvas backpack always has a spot on a list of the best bushcraft packs. The Paraffin Outdoor Canvas Rucksack is the best canvas bushcraft backpack that you can find affordable today. There’s something about canvas that speaks to the durability and reliability of other materials. Canvas just lasts, well, forever.
Paraffin’s rucksack also uses genuine leather for all of the straps on the pack’s exterior to make this a solid and reliable bag overall. The biggest issue with canvas and leather is that the rain will make this bag quickly become heavy and uncomfortable to wear.
This backpack is sized to be used just during the daytime and would make a great choice as a bushcraft bag in dry environments without expecting to be out for a long time. The pack closes easily with a flap that will keep everything protected, but it may struggle to hold everything if you were to take a tumble.
Although it is a durable material, it is tough to recommend a canvas bag for bushcraft in general. Wet gear can be more harmful than helpful, and canvas just won’t cut it when there are so many other options available. However, if you want a bushcraft pack, and are fixed on canvas, this is the bag I would recommend.
Teton Sports Mountain Adventurer
When things go south, and you find yourself out in the bush for weeks or months on end, a pack that’s big enough to store all the supplies on the move is necessary. The Teton Sports Mountain Adventurer is a well-built pack that gives you 66 liters of storage space to get everything you need, and more, into the backcountry.
With big packs and heavy loads, your back will thank you for the internal frame and lumbar adjustment. The padded waist allows you to comfortably put the weight onto your legs rather than your back. The hip and torso adjustments help to get an even more comfortable fit and prevent pains from forming.
The polyester material makes for a strong shell to keep your gear safe from sharps and the weather. The zippers are stormproof, and with the included rainfly, you should be safe from some heavier rainstorms.
The pack’s quality is impressive for the lower price. Teton Sports is a well-known brand around the outdoors industry that makes gear for beginners without making them fork over a fortune. As a bushcraft pack, this bag will serve you well and will make sure you can comfortably haul enough supplies to stay out there for the foreseeable future and beyond.
How to Choose a Backpack for Bushcraft
There’s a lot that goes into qualifying as one of the best backpacks for bushcraft.
Preparations for a certain trip can be simple. With an itinerary in hand and companions by your side, the chances are good that you can more or less know what to expect. In a bushcraft and survival expedition, that isn’t always true.
To prepare yourself for every possibility while out there surviving, getting the right specifications in your bushcraft bag will be everything. The following quick guide to finding the best backpack for bushcraft will undoubtedly help bring you closer to the perfect decision.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of your bushcraft backpack are going to vary for a lot of different reasons. If this bag is meant to be for an INCH (I’m Never Coming Home) bag, you’ll need a lot more volume than if it’s intended for a single overnight trip into the bush.
I’ve never been a big fan of small packs as they never seem to have enough room. I’ve also run into plenty of issues where I’ve had a pack far too large for me, and the hip belt doesn’t cinch tight enough to put the load on my hips. Size is important, and each pack manufacturer should have a size chart for different sized packs.
The weight of the gear that you will haul with you is most likely not going to be that of a couple of snack bars and a bottle of water. Chances are good you’ll have a solid amount of weight already on your back, so there’s no reason to add even more weight with a heavy pack, even when it’s empty.
Some of these packs on the list weigh up to six pounds on their own. There’s a delicate balance between durability with thick material, heavy-duty metal buckles, and the lightweight pack that you want to move around quickly with.
Length of Trip
The volume of these packs ranges from 21 to 66 liters of storage space. The 21-liter pack won’t cover a week-long trip, and the 66-liter pack is overkill for an overnighter or as a simple grab bag.
For better reference and clarification, a 21-liter pack is mostly only serving as a day bag with the essentials. With this pack, you know you’re getting back to a spot that you have more gear available to you.
A 66-liter pack means you can stay out away from home for as long as necessary. With this volume, you can have a multi-week trip’s worth of gear stashed in there. That’s plenty of time to figure out how to get food or other necessities.
Somewhere in the middle tends to be the safest option if you’re only looking to buy a single pack. A 40-liter pack has lasted me for a week-long trip but never felt like too much for a single day.
In an ideal world, we’d all have a pack for every length of trip possible, but most of the time, you just need to know your plans.
Internal and External Storage Options
Every time you pack up your bushcraft rucksack or backpack, accessibility will be on your mind. With the unexpected headed in your direction, having the necessary tools easily accessible is an absolute must for me. This is where the external storage comes into play when looking at the best bushcraft rucksack.
To avoid digging around inside your backpack, having many external storage options is an excellent feature of a bushcraft backpack. This way, you know where to go for what tool any time it’s needed. This can go from being a water bottle pouch on the outside to a pouch on the hip belt that holds a headlamp or a knife that’s readily accessible.
Headed into the bag, looking at the internal storage is also essential. This goes beyond just the sheer volume of the bag but more into the internal organization. True, most things that go deep in the pack shouldn’t be needed until you head to sleep for the night, but good organization can still keep everything in check.
An array of different internal compartments will keep everything in a spot where you know how to find it. There’s not always time to dig through every belonging to get a snack bar and fuel up.
Material and Durability
Debatably the most important feature of a bushcraft backpack is the material it’s made out of, along with the quality of build and durability. If you’re deep in a survival expedition, there’s no time to sew up a ripped shoulder strap or have to jimmy-rig a new interior frame.
The packs on this list are made from many different materials, ranging from cotton to canvas to water-resistant synthetics. Choice in the material will often depend on where the backpack will be used and what accessories are available. A canvas or cotton bag is going to soak up water and create a heavy and damp home for your gear.
Wet can be bad. It causes rubbing in places that you don’t want rubbing, can lead to hypothermia much faster, and can ruin gear quickly. Water-resistant materials are a great option if there’s the possibility of getting rained on or if you are in an incredibly humid environment.
Canvas and cotton can be impressively durable and stand up against stray branches and take a real beating from all kinds of use. For survival, this is an excellent option because the pack will stay in great shape for a much longer time.
Keeping a durable bag will ensure all of the gear inside it stays housed safely and doesn’t end up leaving a trail behind you. The repairs can be challenging to make in the field, so it’s always better to find something that won’t need to be repaired.
Of course, the price has to be on our list to look out for. While some packs can be surprisingly affordable, others can run up your bill. First things first, figure out your budget. If you have a bit extra to spend, backpacks are something that money can greatly change the quality of. In most cases, buying a cheap pack wasn’t worth saving a hundred bucks.
These budget packs still stand up to the test of time, but it’s far more likely you aren’t backed by a guarantee, or you’ll see failure in the pack earlier on. More money usually means better materials, better build, and overall a better pack.
There’s a vast number of packs that you can choose from to use for bushcraft, and no pack will be right for everyone. They all have different purposes and uses for various skill sets and other kinds of gear.
Your needs and lifestyle will significantly influence the type of bushcraft backpack that you need. The best bushcraft backpacks are going to be around to help you enjoy a seriously tough expedition, but they also will go along to work or school with you. Take one of these bags and use it to get yourself outside.