You'll be carrying waterproofs, food, water and various other bits & bobs. Carry it in a rucksack (not a carrier bag, as one sometimes sees on Snowdon!)



Rucksacks are synonymous with walking, and for good reason. Using a rucksack means that you can keep your kit organised so you can find things quickly when you need them, rather that routing around and wasting time (and possibly getting wet in the process). A well packed rucksack can be comfortable to carry and means that your can keep your hands free.


If you follow the advice on this site, you will be properly kitted out when venturing into the hills. A good starting point for size of rucksack is 30 litres. Much smaller and you run the risk of leaving kit at home as there's no space, especially in summer when your waterproofs will be packed away in your rucksack.


Pockets are great to keep your kit organsised, but some would argue that they encourage you to take too much kit. As a minimum, a good pocket on the rucksack lid is useful, whether that's for carrying waterproofs or food, it's the easiest place to find. Side pockets can sometimes get in the way if you're scrambling or climbing.

Straps & Attachment Points

Having straps, bungees and attachment loops will give your rucksack some flexibility. For example, if you intend to use walking poles, make sure that your rucksack that has sufficient attachments and straps to allow you to store the poles when not in use. Times to store away include any section of scrambling, where they'd hinder rather than help, and could be dangerous. Walking in winter conditions should mean that you carry an ice axe and crampons, with some rucksacks having side straps to keep crampons (you could keep them inside too), together with loops in which to store an ice axe when not in use. Modern rucksacks also tend to have additional loops, into which additional kit can be affixed, such as snow shoes.

Hip Belt

The hip belt of a rucksack is there to take the weight away from your shoulders, and you'll notice the benefit as your rucksack gets heavier. The hip belt is also a handy place to store your map when not immediately required. 

Rain Cover

Some rucksacks come with rain covers. Be under no illusion that rucksacks leak, and whilst a rain cover may prevent some ingress of water, the only sure fire way to keep your kit dry is to put it in dry bags. See keep it dry under the kit advice section of this site.


When buying a rucksack, pay attention to its weight. For every gram of extra weight of your rucksack is either a gram more weight you'll carry, or a gram that you'll leave behind.