It is essential to use a rucksack that fits you.  You will need a rucksack with a capacity of 55-65 litres for your expedition and your pack load should not exceed a quarter of your body weight.  This should be large enough to carry all your equipment and food. You want to avoid having too many things dangling or protruding from your pack.  Apart from uneven weight distribution they can become detached and lost or damaged, snag on outcrops or branches.

It is important that the back length of the sack (distance between the shoulder strap and hip belt) is sized so that most of the weight is carried on your hips not your shoulders.  Many rucksacks now have adjustable back lengths.  Your rucksack should hold its load close to your back and as high as possible without limiting your ability to move your head.  This allows a comfortable, more upright posture to be achieved.  Weight further away from the back requires you to lean further forward in order to compensate.

Rucksacks are never waterproof.  Use a heavy gauge poly bag or dry bag as a liner inside the pack.  In addition an external rain cover should be should be fitted when it’s wet to stop the pack getting heavy from rainwater.  Some rucksacks have these incorporated in their design.

Tonbridge Gold has 9 D of E rucksacks for hire (£5) with fully adjustable back length and built in rucksack covers.  Contact Linda Chapman if you want to hire one.