What kit will I need?
For a two day expedition you’ll need some specialist equipment for navigating, cooking and sleeping. If you don’t have the kit already, most Groups or Districts will be able to lend it to you. We’ll supply you a 1:25000 scale map at the start!
Your rucksack will be carrying everything you need throughout your whole expedition, and you’ll be carrying it on your back for hours at a time. Modern rucksacks are made from lightweight fabric, with lots of padding and pockets. For a Cheshire Hike you’ll want a pack with a capacity of at least 40 litres.
Get a rucksack with a strong waist strap and wide well-padded shoulder straps.
A lot of modern rucksacks come with an adjustable back system that tailor the fit to your back. It is really important that you look for a pack that is appropriate to your height. This gives a better load transfer from the back and shoulders to the hip area.
Before you buy
- Rucksacks are measured by their litre capacity (internally and expansion), e.g.
60:70 means a total capacity of 70 litres.
- Don’t go too big. Get the right size rucksack for your age category.
- Some rucksacks are designed for women and smaller men with narrow shoulder
straps and back.
- Most rucksacks aren’t completely waterproof, so it is recommended to use dry
bags and possibly even a rain cover.
- Look out for a load transferring, adjustable back system and ensure your rucksack is fitted to you.
- Make sure your pack transfers the weight of your kit to your hips and not on your shoulders by always using the waist strap.
- Line your rucksack with a rucksack liner or strong rubble sack to keep everything
- Carry no more than 25% of your body weight at all times.
- Try out packing your rucksack before your expedition. This allows you to check you have everything and it will fit in the rucksack properly.
A good nights sleep is essential to any adventure! Look for a good 3 season sleeping bag and pair it with a sleeping bag liner and comfortable warm pad. The liner can be used to increase the temperature of your sleeping bag as well as help keep it clean! The variety of bags available is huge so do your homework. You may prefer a quilt and good quality pad with a warm ‘R rating’ which will help you save on weight/bulk. Often overlooked, a sleeping pad or Thermarest style mat is essential to insulating you from the cold ground thus keeping you warm. This is because when you lie on on your bag, there is little to no ‘loft’ on the underside of the bag.
Before you buy
- A mummy-shaped sleeping bag helps keep the warm air close to your body, especially your feet and head.
- Be sure of what bag you need. A four season may add unnecessary weight but using a two season in April may not keep you warm.
- Think about how tall you are. A 3⁄4 length mat might save on weight/bulk.
- Use a mat designed for outdoor use. Yoga/roll mats don’t have the same durability, comfort or insulation.
- If you know you need a good night’s sleep to be motivated the next day, a good quality mat is a wise investment.
- Invest in a bag designed for the outdoors with a compression stuff sack to
- Always pack your sleeping bag in a waterproof bag to keep it dry.
- Synthetic sleeping bags cost less but are bulkier and heavier than down but
retain better heat insulation when wet.
- Down offers the best insulation, is lighter, easily compressed and very warm but
more expensive than synthetic and must be kept dry
How much should it all weigh?
If you are going to be carrying all this kit on your back, then it matters how much it weighs. Be smart about what you bring with you and leave any non essentials at home. Each section has a maximum weight limit but if you pack correctly then it shouldn’t really matter at all.
Recap for Pathfinder
Essential kit should be packed in a daypack, and your team equipment consisting of your tent, cooker, fuel, evening meal and breakfast should be packed in a separate rucksack; clearly marked with your team number. This will be transported to the Basecamp ready for you to pitch on arrival.
Recap for Pathfinder Plus and Explorers
All of your kit should be packed into the rucksacks being carried by the team. Your team will register, have
your packs weighed, and then asked if you have all the items required.
- 1.5kg – 2.0kg – Rucksack
- 1.0kg – 3.0 kg – Tent per team
- 1.0kg – Sleeping bag
- 1.0kg – Food & snacks
- 0.5kg – 0.5l water
- 0.5kg – Waterproof coat
- 0.4kg – Stove system
- 0.4kg – Insulated jacket
- 0.4kg – Therm-a-rest
- 0.34kg – Sandals
- 0.3kg – Waterproof trousers
- 0.24kg – First aid kit
- 0.2kg – Hydration bladder
- 0.15kg – Gas
- 0.036kg – Compass
- 0.088kg – Head torch
- 0.011kg – Whistle
- 0.001kg – Spork
How Will I fit it all in
If you are a Pathfinder Plus or Explorer, you’ll carry all your kit to Basecamp in a
rucksack. Here’s how to pack.
- Start by packing lighter items at the bottom, and heavier items towards the top, closer to your back. This will help you balance the pack.
- Everything you may need in the middle of the day e.g. waterproofs, first aid etc should be at the top of pack.
- After packing bulky items neatly stuff items like coat, tent fly, spare layer etc into the space around the rest of your kit to fill empty spaces.
- Look for a pack which supports a hydration bladder or has an accessible pocket or pouch on the outside of the pack to store a water bottle. This will save you from having to keep taking your pack off every time you need a drink.
- Any spare clothing should be packed in a roll-top dry bag. This will keep it dry but also makes stuff easy to find.
How to skivvy roll
Perfected by the Marines, the skivvy roll is one of the most efficient packing techniques out there. Combining all your essentials (socks, underwear, base layer, and – with a little practice – some lightweight shorts) into a compact, bag-ready burrito…
- First, take your favourite base layer shirt and lay it flat on the ground. Then, take your briefs and shorts, fold ’em in half, and place them right below the collar of the shirt-this will make it easier to roll up.
- Next, fold your shirt right above the shoulder and then layer the second sleeve in the exact same way. If you want your shirt to stay wrinkle-free when you unroll it, be sure to take your time on this step.
- Then, grab a pair of socks and cross them toe to heel right over the sleeves of your now folded shirt.
- Once in place, take the collar of the shirt and begin to tightly roll the shirt to the bottom. The tighter you roll, the less space you will create.
- When you are happy with your roll, you should have the two ends of the socks sticking out on either side. Take one of these ends and slide it over the roll. It should cover at least half of your shirt bundle. With the remaining sock end, repeat the step to completely cover the shirt. Ta’dah—you now have the coolest and most compact way to pack for your adventure.