Packing for Adventure
So, you’re planning a multi-day trek or expedition and need to pack a
pack/rucksack to suit your adventure.
All adventures are different with a lot of factors to consider however a few things remain the same when packing a pack/rucksack for an expedition.
For multi day expeditions there is an ocean of packs on the market, each with their own pros and cons. If you have a pack already, great, if not look for a pack that is around 65 litres in size. This is a very versatile pack size with enough room to suit any expedition, if packed correctly.
Packing to suit your needs throughout the expedition is a skill. It’s a balancing act between comfort and weight distribution. You also don’t want to be unpacking and repacking everyday, but your pack should gradually change over the course of the expedition.
For this article I will be using general equipment and gear in my explanation.
Lay out all your gear you intend on taking and try to organise it into small piles. I use divider cells and water-resistant stuff sacks with compression straps as my main packing aids. I find these very helpful in helping me manage weight distribution and space while keeping things dry and organised.
At the bottom of the main compartment of your pack, start with your clothing placed in your water tight compression stuff sacks, these compressed bags filled with clothes are quite heavy and by having them on the bottom it makes the centre of gravity of the pack align with your body. Next your sleeping bag, I use mine in the compression bag it comes with, I like to pack this around the middle of my pack, so I only must unpack a few things to get to it every night and most of the time the things on top are the things you may need at that time of day. Rain coat and down jacket in their own bags always float around my pack from top to bottom in the main compartment, depending on the weather outlook for the day, there is nothing worse than unpacking everything to get to your rain coat as the heavens are opening. So, at the start, I stuff these down into the small spaces left around the bigger items. Next is my toiletries bag, however I like to keep my toothbrush and a roll of toilet paper in the top compartment of my pack for easy access. I always pack my tech bag which is filled with my batteries, chargers, camera, personal medical kit and accessories etc at the top of my pack.
Lastly, in the main compartment is a jacket windbreaker or warm fleece for easy access. Also, a 3-litre camel bag in the designated compartment with the drinking line run through the designated hole. I close the main compartment with the draw string and place my sleeping mat over the top before clipping the lid down.
Keeping your passport money and documents in the zipper pocket under the lid is a great idea as it is easy to access but also tucked away safely.
Top lid Pocket of your pack should be for easy access items such as your toothbrush, beanie, gloves, sun cream, insect repellent, etc.
With the exterior of my pack, I attach items also depending on my requirements for the day and the expedition. for example, a cup, thongs, ropes etc. At the bottom of most packs there is an area or attachment to strap down a tent.
Centre of gravity is very important to consider when packing for a multi-day trek or an expedition. You want to be comfortable but also have easy access to items when needed, therefore I love the compartment and divider method.
These are some simple tips to hopefully help you load your pack. But remember, no two expeditions are the same as are no two people’s needs. Get creative and find what suits you best. Pack to your requirements on the daily and remember that your pack will morph as the adventure changes.
Yours in adventure, Dan
Earth Trails Expeditions.