The right gear - Rucksack

RucksackThe advice below refers to a day rucksack; if you are camping and carrying your own gear, you need a much larger, heavy-duty rucksack - and experience of carrying heavy loads. In general, pick a rucksack that's on the generous side: it makes for easier retrieval and packing. 30-35 litres allows for clothing, food and water, but for winter walking consider 40-45 litres to allow for extra clothing, a thermos and perhaps more food. Don’t expect the rucksack to be waterproof: you need either a waterproof cover or liner (e.g. a bin/garbage bag).

Check that the rucksack

  • is easy to put on and take off
  • is comfortable to wear (test it heavily loaded in the shop)
  • has side pockets for small items
  • can store trekking poles when not in use (see below)
  • is large enough for all you need.

Modern rucksacks have extra features that you may value, e.g. a special pocket for a water bladder, a built-in waterproof cover, ‘wand’ pockets that allow easy stowage for poles, compression straps, shock-cord lacing to store waterproofs or crampons externally, easy-access pockets on the waist strap, and so forth - the list of features is endless.