Climbing and mountaineering involve lots of walking. Although roadside crags exist, quite often climbers can spend up to 90% of their day walking. Walkers/Trekkers, therefore, are using a rucksack in much the same way as climbers/alpine mountaineers use a sack for a large portion of their time. Consequently, both will, in many ways, ask the same from their sacks.
- Hardwearing yet lightweight.
- Comfortable and supportive back and hip belt system, appropriate to the loads being carried.
- Pocket/s to take car keys, head torches and Mars bars.
- Ice axe loop/s for that walk up Snowdon in snowy conditions when an ice axe is advisable and useful.
- Wand pockets on the side to take trekking poles.
With all this in mind, most, if not all, of our climbing and mountaineering sacks are fit for purpose for walking. However, there are some things to consider:
- As a walker you will be carrying much less equipment than a climber.
- The rucksack does not need to be carried wearing a harness, therefore, there is no need to worry about reducing the size of the hip belt, allowing a normal size padded hip belt to be used. You might not need a rope attachment strap on the sack (although it is always useful for strapping on a jacket).
Examples of good uses for our sacks:
Stratus – A climbing rucksack like this might be ideal for day-walks in the UK as well as the odd winter day or lightweight overnight adventure. With a capacity of 37L it would be equally suitable for hut to hut treks in Europe such as the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Zenith/Zephyr – If you are looking at doing bigger treks or overnight camps over multiple days, a larger volume sack such as a would be more suitable. With a capacity around 50L these sacks are big enough for multi-day camping treks.
Chamonix – The other type of rucksacks to throw into the mix here are zip around rucksacks. These give you easier access to your kit, allowing you to remove or re-pack an item without repacking the rest of the sack. At 25L or 22L these are smaller and shorter than top opening sacks and can be better for small short day walks. They can also be used for other sports such as mountain biking or piste skiing, travelling and general purpose.
Zermatt– At 30L these sacks are true all-rounders, big enough for full-on mountain days, they also incorporate side squeeze buckle compression straps making attaching skis for day-touring or a rope for that Jack’s Rake scramble quick and easy.
The downsides to a zip around sack are that they are not overly weatherproof, due to the zip, although we do incorporate a storm flap to keep out the worst of the lovely Great British weather! Also unlike a top loading sack where you can almost indefinitely squeeze another jacket or bottle of water in on top, when a zip around sack is full… it really is full!
The main thing to remember is that just because you are a ‘walker’ doesn’t mean you can’t use a climbing/mountaineering sack; in fact it might well be the most suitable.