Moving your stuff about

What you carry your kit in can make the difference between a traumatic experience and a comfortable adventure.  Your main carry system needs to be big enough to carry your stuff comfortably with room to move stuff about and get at its contents, comfortable to carry and sufficiently weather and environment proof to keep your stuff in good working condition.

If you’re investing in a rucksack or backpack, take time to go to a well equipped and knowledgeable highstreet outdoors company such as Blacks or Go Outdoors, and ask to try ona full ladened version, not just an empty pack.  You don’t need a backpack if you’re only walking from the car to the campsite, but whatever you take your stuff in, it needs to be up to the challenge.

Features to look for:

  • Robust
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Large enough
  • Versatile and adaptable

Features to avoid:

  • Cheap

Multi-pack rucksack

For
  • Multi compartment for different types of equipment – cooking, sleeping etc
  • Packs can be removed to make a day-pack for short journeys from base-camp
  • Plenty of room to rummage around, 70 litres is plenty for most weekends
  • Waterproof
Against
  • Without a frame, the rucksack can become uncomfortable if you are hiking for long distances
Stockists and Price
Snugpak are a good value brand that make reliable equipment.  The Rocketpak 70 litre is a good example which is available via Amazon for around £110.

One compartment backpack

For
  • Lightweight
  • Robust and strong
  • Large capacity
  • Ideal for long hikes
Against
  • Single compartment causes problems if not well packed.
Stockists and Price
Berghaus is an excellent brand, producing a good range of great quality backpacks ranging in price from £50 to £150.  Many outdoor shops have a fantastic range and can advise you on the best product to suit your needs.  But you should only consider a backpack, which is an expensive investment if you plan to walk any appreciable distance with your equipment, otherwise a holdall or duffel bag will be absolutely adequate.

Large duffel bag

For
  • Cheap and good value for getting your stuff safely from home to camp
  • Easy to access stuff inside as the top opens the length and width of the bag
  • Good carry handles can be used as a backpack for short distances
  • Some come with wheels that are helpful if you are travelling any distance using public transport
Against
  • Not comfortable to carry for long distances should the need arise
Stockists and Price
Huge range available from all sports shops as well as outdoor shops.  Choose one that is waterproof with good strong zips.  a quality bag should cost between £15 and £30: avoid branded ones where possible and opt for neutral natural colours.

Terry’s favourite

“I love the versatility of the rocket-pack, especially with the side-pak adapter that allows you to carry the two side-packs as a small backpack if you’re leaving camp this is very handy”

Adrian’s favourite

“The Roketpak is my bag of choice, the side pods carry my shelter system and cooking stuff, so i can quickly set up without disturbing the main contents of my bag.”