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Hey y'all,

First post so bear with me. I'm new to prepping and could use some advice on a good Bug out bag choice. First off, I have a 3 year old child that I would have to carry for as well, please try to keep this in mind. I have two packs at my disposal a "Standard backpack (from college) and a big 'ole internal frame backpacking ruck. My major concern is large capacity vs maneuverability.

The standard backpack has very comfortable straps but no buckle across the chest and no kidney pads or buckle. it has two main compartments (one with a divider (for a laptop) and two smaller compartments with many sub-compartments, plus two pockets that can hold a 1 Liter water bottle each. My best guess is that it can hold about 30-45 pounds (at least of textbooks). I have taken it at about that weight on 10 mile test hikes and only experienced mild discomfort that comes with backpacking. It is discrete, that way as I get the hell out of Dodge it doesn't look like I have a pack full of life saving gear just ripe for the taking.

the Back packing ruck is a big'un, it stands about 2.5-3 feet high one massive compartment and lots and lots of smaller ones (seriously I've had this thing since i was in the Scouts and I'm still finding new hiding spots). I i really wanted to, i could fit about 100 pounds of gear in it, however it slows me down a lot, that same 10 mile test hike took a full hour longer with much more soreness after even with the supporting kidney pads and such. It also screams survivalist which could be a bad thing.

TL : DR is it better to go for a pack that allows for greater maneuverability and speed or for one that can hold more gear but slows you down.

any advice on either would be great! Or if you have an opinion on a better bag let me know.

Cheers!

Not a guy named Steve
 

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Now, on a serious note. It all depends on choice and what you are comfortable with. I like one with Molle webbing just so I can add any attachments I might want/need. I am more a a medium sized bag person. If I am having to haul around 100lbs worth of gear. I didn't plan right..
 

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Or, why pick one. The light and bulky stuff (bed role, Sleep system, tarp) in the bottom of the pack and the outer stuff in the back pack inside of the pack. If you need to maneuver ditch the pack pull out the back pack. I find that the most comfortable way to load a pack is the heaviest stuff at the top. It won't take long to overfill the backpack either.
 

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I am afraid that with the added responsibility of caring for a 3 year old, you are going to be stuck with the larger bag, although nothing says that you have to load it to capacity. IMO a good option is to buy some sort of cart that you can load your gear on and pull it by hand. Another very good if not better option is that allot of sites that sell hunting equipment sells devices for pulling deer out of the woods, usually something that looks similar to a travois with one or two wheels. Check it out at stores like Cabelas, or Midway USA, and see if they have something that you might be interested in.
 

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If it were me I would get a new one just for the trail. It would take a while to remove books and to then pack the supplies. I would think most situations that require bugging out will be at a moment's notice. It doesn't need to be big or expensive. My bookbag for college is actually an orange hiking bag from northwest territory. It has three pockets for whatever you like then it has two places for water bottles then an area for a hydration pack. (Plastic bag with water and a straw)
I have had that bag for a year and a half and the strap finally broke. Four days a week for a year and a half.
I would go with a daypack if it were me.
 
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