Is 36L Enough for Backpacking?

By Robert Palmer

When it comes to backpacking, there is no universal answer to the question of whether or not 36L is enough. The capacity of a backpack is usually determined by the type of trip you plan to take and the amount of gear you need to bring with you. That said, there are some general guidelines that can help you decide if 36L is enough to meet your needs.

Duration of Trip: Generally speaking, the longer your trip, the more gear you’ll need to bring along. If you’re planning on an extended hike lasting more than a week, 36L may be too small for all your supplies. On the other hand, if your trip will last only a few days or a weekend, 36L may be plenty.

Type of Activities: Are you planning on doing any activities that require specialized gear such as camping or climbing? If so, then you may need more than 36L. On the other hand, if your activities are limited to day hikes or sightseeing then it’s likely that 36L will be sufficient.

Weight Capacity: Make sure that any backpack you purchase can handle your intended load. Your total weight should not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended maximum weight capacity for the bag. This is especially important for heavier items like food and water which can quickly add up in weight.


Whether or not 36L is enough for backpacking depends on many factors including duration of trip, type of activities planned and weight capacity. Ultimately, it’s best to consider all these factors when deciding if a 36L pack is right for your needs.