Climbing / mountaineering - what belongs in the backpack

Klettern / Bergsteigen - Was gehört in den Rucksack

Mountaineering – What belongs in the backpack?

·         Choosing the right climbing backpack

If you start looking for a climbing backpack, you will notice that there are many different models on the market. One model for women and one for men. There are also small backpacks with a volume of less than 20 liters and there are backpacks with a volume of over 50 liters.

·         Very close to the body

Try different backpacks while purchasing. It is important that your backpack is close to your body so that it can distribute the weight across your entire back and hips, not just your shoulders.

·         Order and overview is the most important thing

You can recognize a good climbing backpack because it has many features that make things easier for you when packing and finding it again later. You can open a good backpack from the top and the side at the same time.

·         You should definitely pack minimalistically

When it comes to climbing backpacks, the general saying is: “The more minimalist, the better”. Because the backpack becomes heavier with every loop and every compartment.

·         Climbing backpacks hardly have any padding

Compared to a hiking backpack, the hip belt of a climbing backpack needs to be less padded. Because if the hip belt is wider, it would only disturb you when climbing.

·         The tightening loop

If you plan to go on difficult tours, we recommend a haul loop so that you can pull your backpack if necessary.

·         Additional volume

It can be very practical if you have the option to expand your backpack by a few liters. This gives you more flexibility. How you close the backpack is a matter of your taste. So try out whether the compartments, buckles, loops and zippers fit you well and whether you can use them well.

·         Additional

Many climbers also appreciate a removable lid. Some other details that you can pay attention to when purchasing are helmet holders, rope holders and attachments for the ice ax or poles.

Set up the climbing backpack correctly and pack it (3 complete packing examples)

When you pack a climbing backpack, it depends on what you plan to do. Because you have to pack differently for climbing indoors in an afternoon than for an alpine multi-pitch tour. While the weight of your backpack doesn't really matter for a trip to the hall and you need less material, things are different for an alpine tour or a multi-pitch route.

On the one hand, you need materials such as wedges, quickdraws or friends and you want to be as light as possible so as not to drag extra kilos with you during the climb up.

How should a climbing backpack be packed?

In any case, you should distribute the weight correctly! When it comes to a climbing backpack, it is important that you firstly do not pack it too heavy and secondly that you distribute the weight well. The main rule is that you adjust the backpack weight so that it is max.25% of your body weight. The other important rule is that you pack the light things towards the bottom and pack the heavy things closer to the middle and closer to the body. This is usually done incorrectly because many people pack the heavy things at the top.

·         Lighter equipment

For example, the down jacket, the bivouac bag, the first aid kit or, on longer overnight trips, your sleeping bag are all light equipment. You should store these things in the bottom compartment.

·         Medium-heavy equipment

Especially your clothing, shoes, slings, climbing harness, etc. are medium-heavy items.

·         Heavy Equipment

To make carrying things easier, it's best to pack heavy things at shoulder height and close to your body. These are drinking bottles, food, quickdraws, carabiners and if necessary. a tent).

·         Little things

You should store your cell phone or camera in the lid compartment. Make sure that the lid compartment is always tightly closed so that nothing falls out. If you have a lot of different things in your backpack, we recommend getting colored stuff sacks in different sizes. This makes it easy for you to keep things tidy. All your equipment should have enough space in the backpack. In exceptional cases you can attach light things to the outside.

Also make sure that everything is fastened really well and that there are no loose cords or ends hanging down that could then get caught.

Example 1 - Pack a climbing backpack for a multi-pitch

If you want to climb on a multi-pitch tour, you have to strike a balance between having enough equipment and keeping the weight as light as possible. For such a tour you should use the optimal size backpack with a volume of 15-20 liters. It may seem like little, but it will be enough for you and won't tempt you to pack unnecessary things.

The checklist for the multi-pitch tour could look like this:

  • Your standard climbing equipment, such as climbing harness, quickdraws, rope, helmet, carabiner, shoes, etc.,
  • Stuff for building a stand, such as additional slings or carabiners,
  • The mobile safety devices, such as clamping wedges, friends, etc. (Optional depending on the tour),
  • Ideally a topo on your cell phone or printed out. (Not the entire climbing guide),
  • A cell phone for possible Emergency calls or photos,
  • A suitable headlamp (for longer tours),
  • A thin jacket to wear over it. (If possible incl. Windstopper),
  • A sunscreen and possibly. A mosquito repellent,
  • Important! The first aid and extra tape,
  • Enough tissues and toilet paper,
  • Drinks (A drinking system is an advantage here. But depending on the tour at least 1 liter),
  • Nutrition (energy bars, fruit, etc.)

Be sure to remember: Light things, such as:b Jacket, first aid kit come downstairs. Heavy things, such as the climbing material, up to your shoulder height. Depending on what the climb to the route looks like, you can put your harness on right at the beginning or only at the start of the route. Danger ! Sunscreen can generally always be forgotten.

Example 2 - Packing a climbing backpack for sport climbing

The ideal size for your sport climbing backpack is 45 to 50 liters. Because this is where you can store your equipment. Depending on the trip you plan to climb, you will need to pack appropriate equipment. We recommend it to you spacious and you will be more than happy with a 50 liter backpack.

The checklist for a sport climbing tour could look like this:

  • A suitable climbing backpack,
  • A climbing harness,
  • Suitable climbing shoes,
  • A climbing rope,
  • If necessary. A climbing helmet,
  • A rope bag + exes,
  • A backup device,
  • Carabiner,
  • Magnesium,
  • A jacket (depending on the weather: insulation jacket, softshell, hardshell),
  • Band slings
  • Rep cords
  • A drinking bottle or drinking system,
  • Enough reinforcement (e.g.b muesli bars, nuts),
  • A handle and boulder brush,
  • Finger tapes,
  • A topo or a climbing guide,
  • A pair of sunglasses,
  • The first aid kit,
  • Enough money, a cell phone, a camera, keys.

Light equipment, such as jackets, should be stored in the bottom compartment. Heavier items such as belay devices, exes, carabiners, etc. should be packed close to the back. Small things like money or cell phones go in the lid compartment.

Example 3 - packing a climbing backpack for the via ferrata

On the via ferrata you need above all a via ferrata set, a harness, gloves and a helmet. You should therefore pack the first two items at the top of your backpack so that you have them straight away at the start. 12-20 liters should be enough.

The checklist for the tour on a via ferrata could look like this:

  • A climbing backpack that is suitable for via ferrata (approx.12 liters),#
  • A via ferrata set,
  • A climbing harness,
  • A climbing helmet,
  • Gloves,
  • A first aid kit,
  • Suitable replacement clothing, such as a rain jacket, change of shirt, hat, insulation jacket, etc.,
  • Suitable sun protection tools, such as glasses, cream, cap,
  • Slings and carabiners,
  • Enough money, your ID and keys,
  • A cell phone and a camera,
  • Reinforcement and drinks.

In most climbing backpacks you can easily store the helmet outside of the backpack using the special helmet attachment. You can hide your first aid kit and food in a side pocket so you can get there quickly when needed. Hady, ID and key or similarÄ. You should store them so that they do not fall out of the backpack. While you are climbing, you should not attach anything to the outside of the backpack and make sure that nothing is hanging down on the backpack so that you can minimize the risk of entanglement.

The correct adjustment of the climbing backpack

If you have packed your climbing backpack correctly, you still have to adjust it correctly. To do this, you need to properly adjust the straps and the various loops.

  • Use a hip belt: You should make sure that, especially with a large, heavy backpack, most of the weight is not only on your shoulders, but also on your hips.
  • Always try to carry your backpack as close to your body as possible.
  • As you pack, ask yourself whether you really need everything.
  • Most backpacks allow expansion to give you 5-10 liters of additional volume. This is very practical and can also be adjusted.

Some tips for your nutrition: Climbing makes you hungry quickly. Therefore, you should always have food and something to drink with you. We recommend water as a drink. Min.You should have 1 liter with you, depending on the length of the tour. When it comes to food, it's best to pack what you personally like. Power bars, granola bars or nuts are popular with most climbers and will give you quick energy. Make sure the snacks have a shelf life and do not melt or deform.

Did our article help you? Or do you have questions or suggestions about our topic? Please feel free to leave your comment below. We welcome your questions, criticisms and comments and we will be happy to answer them.