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KE Kit Guide: Rucksacks for Trekking Holidays

We asked our Operations Executive, Kerrie, to draw on her wealth of experience as a mountain leader and her prior work in the outdoor retail industry ... Read more
KE Kit Guide: Rucksacks for Trekking Holidays

We asked our Operations Executive, Kerrie, to draw on her wealth of experience as a mountain leader and her prior work in the outdoor retail industry to give us a guide to rucksacks for your next trekking holiday.

Now you have your shiny new kit, you need something to carry it all in! For most of our walking and trekking trips, a 30ltr rucksack, or daypack, is big enough for what you need to carry.

The fit of your rucksack is just as important as the fit of your boots. You should be able to carry all your equipment with ease if your pack fits correctly. Aching shoulders or a sore back are often indications that something is wrong with the pack and it needs adjusting.

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When in the outdoor shop, select a few different packs that are the right size. Loosen off all of the straps before you put it on. Once on, follow this simple fitting guide – and here’s a top tip: do not adjust the shoulder straps first. This is a sure fire way to getting sore shoulders!

Step 1

Locate your hip bone. Your hips are where the pack sits. The hip belt should not be around your waist when you fasten it – it should be on the widest part of your hips.

Step 2

Once you have fastened the hip belt and made it secure, you can adjust the shoulder straps so they are not loose. Try not to overtighten them, as this will force the hip belt to move higher when you start walking. The tops of the shoulder traps should sit around your shoulders, following the natural shape of your back. If they are not fitting correctly, it may mean that the back length needs to be adjusted but this feature isn’t available on all packs – instead the same model of bag might be available in different back lengths.

Step 3

Once you have adjusted the fit to put the pack on, do the reverse to take it off. Slightly loosen the shoulder straps, and the hip belt and then unfasten it. The more you do it the easier and quicker it will become. Try the pack on with some weight in it. When in the outdoor shop, ask the sales assistant if they have some weighted bags that you can put in it. Try it back on, hip belt first and the shoulder straps, and have a little walk around the store to see how it feels. Practise packing your daily essentials in the rucksack before your trip as well.

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Once you have found the right bag for you, packing it correctly is the next important step. Ultimately, packing your bag correctly is a game of weight distribution, and also ensuring that you have easier access to items (like food) that you’ll need during the day.

Big, bulky items should ideally go into your pack first, or items that you may not need quick access to, followed by any spare layers and water bottles. You can the put things like snacks either in the lid if it has one, or in a reusable zip lock bag in the top of the pack to access quickly. Separating everything into different coloured dry bags is an easy way of keeping your pack organised and the contents dry!

Top Tip!

A good way to tell if the bag has been packed correctly is to put it down on the floor. If the bag falls to the left or to the right then the weight isn’t evenly distributed. If the pack falls forwards, there is too much weight at the front of the pack and this can mean that the load pulls you back as you walk.

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If you would like to speak to Kerrie about any kit questions you may have, ring our office on +44 (0) 17687 73966 or USA/Canada toll-free 1888 630 4415 or email Kerrie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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