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Planning ahead with Packing Lists

Drill down to the essentials of what you need to bring, and what you should leave behind.

A packing list is essentially about choosing what kind of outdoor adventure you want to have.

Packing Lists are a key tool for everyone planning an outdoor trip. While a mountaineer planning a complicated ascent will put a lot of work into their packing list, a hiker will put together a packing list as well. The packing list serves multiple purposes, from ensuring that that you bring everything you’ll need, to making sure that you don’t bring more than you can carry.

A packing list is essentially about choosing what kind of outdoor adventure you want to have.

The first choice for any outdoor trip comes down to lodging, will you be staying in a cabin or sleeping outdoors. In Scandinavia many of the most popular trails have cabins along the route making it possible to forego a tent, and just bring bedding. A tent will also require a sleeping bag and a sleeping pad. While tents and sleeping pads vary in size and weight you will usually require a backpack of at least 60L if you’re bringing a tent strapped to the outside, and at least an 80L backpack if you’re stowing the tent inside the backpack.

Röskva 65L
Versatile Backpack

What if you’re only going to be out for a weekend? If you’re staying at cabins for three nights you can probably get away with a 40L backpack, depending on what else you bring with you. Even if you’re staying in cabins, a full week of supplies usually requires a 60L backpack.

Bringing a tent usually adds 20L to the backpack you require. Shorter outings can be managed with a 60L backpack while an 80L backpack will usually suffice for an entire week if you’re bringing a tent.

Cold weather and a larger tent size, such as for a group of three or four people can require a 100L backpack. Cold weather means insulation which adds a lot of volume by itself. Even if the larger tent only goes in one backpack, sleeping bags and sleeping pads still add volume for everyone.

What is taking up so much space? Supplies of different kinds take up a lot of space as well as add weight. At a bare minimum you’re bringing freeze dried food and a portable heater even if you’re staying in cabins, so that you can eat while you’re on the move. Utensils for eating, water preparation if required, some kind of trash disposal and supplies for hygiene also factor into you minimum. Equipment and tools quickly add up and can fill up any backpack.

Clothing on the other hand can be kept under control by making some sound choices. The base layer should usually be doubled so that one set can dry out while you’re wearing the other set. For a mid-layer a set of durable pants like Gere form a solid base, with a Balder, Einride or Allgrön as a top depending on weather. Rain is always a possibility and as a shell layer for your pants Fjorgyn Knickers are excellent and can be combined with Kormt gaiters to keep the rain out of your boots. Allgrön works as a shell in itself, while Fjorgyn Anorak makes a very portable shell for your jacket. Special rain covers are available for all Klättermusen backpacks which also have space provided for tents or sleeping bags strapped to the top of the backpack.

The volumes suggested in this guide are rough estimates and will vary a lot depending on the specific equipment you bring, and choices you make. Look for ready-made check lists on the internet and adapt them for your own needs, and make sure you can carry everything you want to bring!


Adaptive expansion

Our essentials for a packing list