10 items for your rucksack (20/10/2020)

10 items for your rucksack

What to put in our rucksacks for outdoor activities?? A question that many ponder before venturing onto the hills and mountains but the answer should be the items that you need for that particular activity and not absolutely everything for every occasion, every time! They will of course vary to reflect different seasons and individual requirements. The aim should be to have a balanced rucksack with essential items that limit the weight carried.
Here's our list of of ten items that are worth considering when packing your rucksack for the Autumn period.

  1. Basics - hat, gloves, waterpoofs, warm layer. These should be classed as one item and always carried or worn.
  2. Food and drink - food you are likely to eat outdoors, that will sustain you for the activity. Drinks that will hydrate you such as water, squash, etc
  3. Map and compass - alongside the ability to use them in a manner that reflects your journey. If you are on a low level path then simple navigation techniques are probably sufficient. If you are heading into complex mountain terrain then additional skills, experience and knowledge are required. Check out our courses that will teach you navigation skills.
  4. Mobile phone - fully charged before leaving the house. Consider an additional power pack.
  5. Headtorch - install fresh batteries when required at home rather than outdoors. Carry spare batteries or preferably a spare headtorch. Take care to ensure the headtorches do not switch on accidentally in your rucksack.
  6. First Aid pack - this does not need to be extensive and should reflect your individual needs rather than preparing for the worst case scenario that you may come across. We discuss this on our hill and mountain skills courses.
  7. Emergency equipment - these can include a simple foil blanket or a more professional version, whistle and perhaps a group shelter.
  8. Personal information - if you have a medical condiion that may affect your activity then it's probably worth carrying a simple laminated card in the top of your rucksack that contains contact information and details of your condition as well as medical information. The more information the emergency services have, the better they can look after you.
  9. Spares - they don't have to be numerous but should reflect your activity and weather conditions. Items such as spare map, compass, gloves and hat are lightweight and do not take up a lot of space.
  10. Personal items - these are items that you need to look after yourself day to day. They can be medicinal or they could be something as simple as walking poles or a particular pair of insoles for your boots that you need to walk comfortably. They could also include anti bacterial gel and a suitable face mask. If it contributes to you having a safer and more enjoyable day then remember to include them!

The above list is a simple guide and is not designed as a definitive list of items. The responsibility lies with you to carry and wear the appropriate items, plan accordingly and have the required skills to have a safe day in the outdoors. Self sufficiency is something that we encourage and our skills courses help you achieve that aim. Feel free to check out our courses or send us a message and see where we can help you have a safer and more enjoyable day out!