Outdoor Federation

What Is a Rucksack

Rucksacks are not just backpacks. They are another term for a backpack that is worn on the back. The term “rucksack” is German for “backpack”. It is believed that in English, the word came from German and Dutch settlers in Pennsylvania and Maryland during the 1700s and 1800s. Rucksacks were originally used by explorers and travelers before they became popular with mountaineers.

They are often used as hiking backpacks, school bags, and general outdoor gear. Depending on their size and weight, they can also be used as a means of carrying supplies during military operations.

Difference Between a Backpack and A Rucksack

A backpack and a rucksack are both a bag that a person can wear on their back. The main difference is that a backpack can be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag, while a rucksack rests on the person’s back. Another difference is that a backpack has two straps, while a rucksack has one strap (most likely adjustable).

Difference Between a Backpack and A Rucksack

History of The Rucksack

The history of the rucksack is very interesting. The pack was originally made by English wool merchants to carry gear along with them on their travels. They were worn over one shoulder and rested on one hip, hence its name “ruck”. This type of pack is still used today for carrying supplies during hiking trips, but has become more specialized to the military.

Why Use a Rucksack Instead of Backpack?

If you want a pack that is both comfortable and versatile, a rucksack might be for you. A rucksack has padded shoulder straps to reduce pressure on your shoulders and it’s more stable on the back than a backpack. The downside? You have to use two hands to put it on or take it off, which can be inconvenient if you’re in a hurry.

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More Convenient for Frequent Travelers

For some, backpacks can be a hassle to carry around. When you’re walking around town, the straps on your backpack may jostle with other people in a crowded area or when you’re in a crowded subway station. It’s not only inconvenient, but it can also damage your personal items inside of the backpack from being knocked around so much. This is where rucksacks come in handy!

Better Weight Distribution

Depending on what you need your backpack for, there are benefits to both backpacks and rucksacks. However, according to National Geographic, “the balance is tipped in favor of the rucksack” because of the difference in how the two carriers distribute weight. A typical backpack puts about 60-70% of its total weight on your shoulders while a rucksack distributes it evenly across your entire frame.

Prevent Injuries

Many people find their backs straining under the weight of a heavy backpack, not to mention the shoulder discomfort. For those who commute on foot or bus, there is an alternative. The rucksack is a backpack’s more robust cousin. With two straps, the bag sits securely on your back, freeing up your hands for other things.

Common Uses of Rucksack


The military rucksack, used to carry heavy and bulky loads, was designed in the late 1800s. Soldiers needed a way to carry their equipment in a balanced and efficient manner. The military rucksack is versatile and can be carried several ways: by hand, or thrown over the shoulder, or worn like a backpack. The design has not changed much since it was originally created.


Travelling with camping gear can be tough, which is why the best way to pack for it is using a camping rucksack. A camping rucksack will make it easier to carry around your tent, sleeping bag, and other essentials that you need to take with you on your trip without having to use two hands or carrying them in your hands all day.


The hiking rucksack is an essential piece of equipment for any avid hiker. It’s even more important to have the right one for your hikes because it can be difficult to carry all your necessary gear in a normal backpack. A lot of hikers use rucksack instead of backpack because they are usually made with durable materials that are better designed for heavy loads.


A travel rucksack is a bag that a traveler might use to carry their belongings when they are on a journey. Typical features of a travel rucksack include a padded back, straps for comfort and stability while carrying, and a detachable day pack or other small bag for day trips. New innovations in this product category make it possible to dial in the perfect fit with adjustable back lengths, straps, and torso widths.

How to Choose the Perfect Rucksack


Choosing a rucksack should be a carefully considered decision. Comfort should be the main criterion for deciding which one to buy. A pack that doesn’t fit the user, is uncomfortable and causes aches and pains, may not even be able to handle the load.


The way you choose a rucksack has to take into consideration the size of the gear you will be carrying. If you are looking for a pack that can carry more than 35 pounds, choose an external frame pack over a frameless one. A frameless pack carries your gear close to your back, which may create pressure points on your spine.


Shape is a factor to be considered when choosing a rucksack. It is important that the shape of the backpack is appropriate for your body type. A bigger person may need a different shaped backpack than a slender person.

Weight Distribution

There are many factors to consider when choosing a rucksack, but the weight distribution is the most important. The weight should be distributed evenly so that it’s not focused on one particular area of your back. This will cause more fatigue and cause you to lose your balance when carrying heavy loads.


Most people consider the price of a rucksack when they are shopping for a new one. For some, the rucksacks that cost less than $100 are not worth it because they will eventually break and cause the money to be wasted. Others believe that you get what you pay for and so they would rather spend more money upfront to buy a sturdy, quality bag that will last them years.


In conclusion, the rucksack is a piece of equipment that is used by many different people for various reasons. I hope that this article has taught you some things about the rucksacks and their uses.

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