Your itinerary for your next hike is ready but what about your bag?
This article was originally published here.
1. CHOOSING A BACKPACK
Your choice of backpack will be determined by the type of trek you have chosen.
If you opt for a so called "portered" trek, a 30 litre backpack will be more than enough. You will be able to slip water in your bag as well as snacks, clothing to be worn in case of bad weather and a first aid kit to tend to all imaginable ailments.
If you have opted for a trek staying in refuges, a slightly larger bag will be necessary. 50 litres should be enough to let you carry a sleeping bag, food, clothing etc.
Totally self sufficient treks require more equipment, so you will need more than 70L capacity.
To ensure that you walk comfortably be sure to try on your backpack before you buy it preferably with some weight which will let you check the correct distribution of the load on your back. Larger capacity backpacks are also often adapted to the body shape of the wearer (men or women).
2. ARE YOU GOING AWAY FOR A WEEK OR TEN DAYS?
Here is a list of essential items as suggested by the guides from Huwans our specialist trekking partner
-4 breathable T-shirts
-1 short sleeved shirt
-1 long sleeved shirt (for visiting cities or religious buildings)
-Comfortable base layers
-1 polar fleece or softshell type jacket
-1 protective waterproof and breathable jacket
-2 pairs of trousers
-1 swimsuit (many trips have opportunities for bathing)
-Poles (poles help you to distribute the weight of the bag better)
-Water bladder to put in the bag to drink from while walking
For your feet
-1 pair of walking shoes
-1 pair of sandals or flip flops to let your feet breathe in the evening
-5 pairs of walking socks
-2 pairs of comfortable socks for the evening when bivouacking
-Anti-chafing cream to prevent blisters
-1 sleeping bag with an adequate comfort rating for your destination
-1 sleeping bag liner
-Needle and thread in case you lose any buttons
-Toiletry kit (containing sunscreen, hand sanitiser gel and mosquito repellent in particular)
-Head torch (or Clic)
-Chargers and international adapter
-Earplugs in case of background noise
If you're heading into the mountains gloves leggings and a compact down jacket will be always useful.
Over to you to complete this list according to your desires!
3. HOW DO YOU ORGANISE YOUR BAG PROPERLY?
Organising your bag properly is essential so as not to injure yourself when carrying it but also so you can quickly find the items you need without having to unpack it completely.
Placing the heaviest items close to the back will make the bag more balanced which makes it easier to carry.
We recommend that you pack as follows:
Top of the bag / upper pockets: daily necessities, fragile accessories and frequently used items (food, map etc.)
Along the back: heavier accessories (stove, food, billy can etc.)
Hip belt pocket: cereal bars, camera etc.
Bottom of bag: sleeping bag and spare clothing