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Packing your backpack

How do I pack my backpack correctly?


“The most important thing when packing your backpack is to refrain from packing unnecessary items!” 

Naturally, however, you do need a few important things. In the following video, we show you how to maximise the efficiency of your trip by packing everything in the right place.

We wish you lots of fun packing and a really great trip!

Deuter tip

How to pack your backpack

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Distribute weight optimally


The centre of gravity of your backpack should be close to your body and, if possible, at shoulder height. This way, the backpack is always above the body’s own centre of gravity (COG) and it will not pull back when worn. Larger backpacks from around 30 litres are therefore packed as follows:

  • Sleeping bag, down items and other lightweight objects go into the bottom compartment.
  • Moderately heavy items such as clothing go on top on the outside.
  • Heavy equipment – tent, supplies, thick jackets – are packed at upper shoulder height, as close to the back as possible.
  • Small items can be safely stowed in the lid compartmentwhere they are quickly accessible.
  • In order to avoid problems such as snagging, larger wind-exposed areas or wetness, attach as little as possible to the outside of the backpack, and keep this as compact as possible.
  • In general, ensure an even weight distribution, especially for side pockets.
  • Packsacks, providing they are not bulging and thus creating dead space, keep the inside tidy. Waterproof packsacks offer a very secure alternative to a rain cover.

Important to know


A trained person can wear a maximum of 20–25% of their body weight over a longer period of time. The German Federal Armed Forces pushes this figure up to 33%. For them, touring with a backpack is notoriously extremely strenuous!

Wrong!


The backpack is pulling backwards – i.e. the backpack’s COG is too far from that of the body. Heavy weights quickly turn walking into a misery because the body has to work against the weight of the backpack. The shoulder straps put more stress on the shoulders than normal. In difficult terrain, the wrong packing technique can become a safety risk.

In light terrain


In light terrain (hiking trails, flat paths), the COG of the load should be packed higher up.

In difficult terrain


In difficult terrain (mountainous regions, steep paths), it should be somewhat lower and, thus, closer to the body’s centre of gravity. With this packing technique, you tend to bend forwards slightly as you walk to compensate, but it is also easier to keep your balance than it is with a high centre of gravity.

Packing lists


The same rule applies to any trip: take as little as possible – but as much as necessary!

Together with the certified mountain guides from the Association of German Mountain and Ski Guides, from the OASE Alpin Centre and from jdav, we have amassed a wealth of experience that we can share with you in the form of packing lists. Please note that all weights are only recommendations and may deviate. 

In general, one can assume:  the higher quality the equipment, the lighter it is.

Watch the video check off the individual points in the list below and download the packing list as a PDF
 
item
weight
on the body  
Functional underwear and socks
-
Functional jacket -
Ski trousers -
Touring ski boots -
Touring skis -
Telescopic poles with snow baskets -
Avalanche transceiver -
Hat -
Thin gloves -
Backpack, about 26–34 litres 1,460 g
Indispensable  
Spare top (short/long-sleeved) 150 g
Water and wind-proof jacket 400 g
Warm down jacket 500 g
Warm gloves 150 g
Avalanche probe 200 g
Avalanche shovel with handle 440 grams
Bivouac sack 270 g
First aid kit with personal medication 280 g
Thermos flask with tea 800 g
Snack 300 g
Ski crampons 100 g
Climbing skins 300 g
Ski helmet 500 g
Ski goggles 120 g
SPF 50 sunscreen with lip balm 30 g
Sunglasses 30 g
ID, cash, EC card, plastic bag 60 g
Smartphone incl. emergency numbers and altimeter 140 grams
Small flashlight/head torch 70 g
Recommended  
Nuts, dried fruit, bars as needed 150 g
Tissues 10 g
Pocket knife 60 g
Without mountain guide  
Maps 80 g
Ski guide 100 g
GPS 220 g
Optional  
Water bag, Thermo bag, tube insulator, 1 litre water -
Camera -
Repair kit: cable ties, wire, adhesive, wax -
DAV Snowcard -
Powerbank -
Sweater/fleece -
TOTAL WEIGHT (reference value) 6,920 g

All weights are only recommendations. We assume no liability for completeness and correctness.  Deuter Sport GmbH in cooperation with the Association of German Mountain and Ski Guides e.V.

Is this list helpful to you? Then download the PDF:

Ski tour – download day trip packing list as a PDF
Check off the individual items in the list below and download the packing list as a PDF :
 
item
weight
on the body  
Ankle-high hiking shoes with profile soles
-
Functional hiking trousers -
Functional top -
Functional jacket or vest -
Backpack 1,550 g
Indispensable  
Short-sleeved spare top 150 g
Water and wind-proof jacket 900 g
Water and wind-proof trousers 300 g
Hat or headband 60 g
Hat or buff 70 g
Thin gloves 70 g
SPF 30 sunscreen with lip balm 60 g
Sunglasses 30 g
Drinking bottle or bag with min. 1 litre liquid (route-dependent) 1,190 g
Electrolyte/magnesium tablets 150 g
First aid kit (S or M) with blister patches and personal medication 150 g
ID, cash, EC card, plastic bag 40 g
Small flashlight/optimal: head torch 80 g
Mobile phone with emergency numbers 130 g
Recommended  
Nuts, dried fruit, bars as needed 200 g
Short, functional trousers 220 g
Pocket knife 60 g
Telescopic poles 460 grams
Without mountain guide  
Maps 80 g
Hiking guide, tour descriptions 210 g
Compass 80 g
or GPS 220 g
Optional  
Snack, if no managed huts on route -
Sweater/fleece -
Camera and/or bag -
TOTAL WEIGHT (reference value)
6,480 g

All weights are only recommendations. We assume no liability for completeness and correctness.  Deuter Sport GmbH in cooperation with the Association of German Mountain and Ski Guides e.V.

Is this list helpful to you? Then download the PDF:

Hiking – Download day trip packing list as a PDF
Watch the video, check off the individual items in the list below and download the packing list as aPDF
 
item weight
on the body  
Ankle-high hiking shoes with profile soles -
Functional hiking trousers -
Functional top -
Functional jacket or waistcoat -
Backpack 1,700 g
Indispensable  
Short-sleeved spare top 150 g
Long-sleeved spare top 200 g
1–2 short/long underpants 100 g
Functional socks 60 g
Water and wind-proof jacket 900 g
Water and wind-proof trousers 300 g
Hat or headband 60 g
Hat or buff 70 g
Thin gloves 70 g
Short functional trousers 220 g
SPF 30 sunscreen with lip balm 60 g
Sunglasses, preferably self-tinting 30 g
Drinking bottle or bag with min. 1 litre of liquid (route-dependent) 1,200 g
Electrolyte/magnesium tablets (tubes) 150 g
Muesli, dried fruit, nuts, bars as needed 150 g
First aid kit M with blister patches and personal medication incl. survival blanket 320 g
ID, cash, EC card, plastic bag 40 g
Hut sleeping bag 250 g
Wash bag (travel shower gel, toothbrush/toothpaste, small functional towel, tissues, earplugs) 280 g
Small flashlight (optimal: head torch) 80 g
Mobile phone with emergency numbers 130 g
Recommended  
Telescopic poles 460 grams
Pocket knife 60 g
Lightweight trousers 200 g
T-shirt for hut (cotton) 150 g
Hut shoes 180 g
Plastic bag (for lightweight trainers, hut shoes, dirty underwear, etc.) 20 g
Without mountain guide  
Maps 80 g
Hiking guide, tour descriptions 210 g
Compass 80 g
GPS 220 g
Bivouac sack 280 g
TOTAL WEIGHT (reference value) 8,500 g

 

All weights are only recommendations. We assume no liability for completeness and correctness.  Deuter Sport GmbH in cooperation with the Association of German Mountain and Ski Guides e.V.

Is this list helpful to you? Then download the PDF:

Hiking – download multi-day tour packing list as a PDF
Watch the video for your packing list :
Watch the video for your packing list :
Watch the video, check off the individual items in the list below and download the packing list as a PDF :
 
item weight
on the body  
Long jersey/arm warmers  
Trousers/leg warmers  
Wind breaker jacket/vest  
Gloves  
Helmet  
Biking shoes  
Socks  
Sunglasses, if possible self-tinting  
Backpack 1,150 g
Indispensable  
Long jersey (spare jersey)/arm warmers 70 g
Long trousers (spare trousers)/leg warmers 80 g
Wind breaker jacket/vest 150 g
Hard shell rain jacket 250 g
Rain-proof trousers 200 g
Hat/Buff/Headband 50 g
Cycling gloves long 60 g
Sun cream 60 g
Water bag with min. 1 litre of liquid (route-dependent) 1,150 g
Electrolyte/magnesium tablets (tubes) 150 g
Energy supply: power gel, muesli, dried fruit, nuts, bars, as needed 150 g
First aid kit M (with survival blanket) 290 g
Personal medication 100 g
Headache tablets 20 g
Multitool 260 g
Tool:  
- Spare tube 220 g
- Hand pump 200 g
- Repair kit 120 g
- Brake pads 60 g
- Spare screws 80 g
- Cable ties 10 g
- Clamp (for temporary repair of shifter cables) 20 g
Tool, if not already integrated in the multitool:  
- Tyre lever 100 g
- Chain lock 10 g
- Spoke wrench 30 g
ID, cash, EC card, plastic bag 40 g
Wash bag (travel shower gel, toothbrush/toothpaste, small functional towel, tissues, earplugs) 320 g
Hut sleeping bag if necessary 250 g
Recommended  
Underwear 50 g
Undershirt 100 g
Spare socks 100 g
Lightweight trousers 300 g
Hut shoes 180 g
T-shirt 120 g
Detergent 70 g
Lubricant, adhesive tape 100 g
Pen 15 g
Light 20 g
Without bike guide  
Biking map 150 g
Compass 80 g
GPS 220 g
Head torch 150 g
Air pump 400 g
Mobile phone with emergency numbers 115 g
Bivouac sack 280 g
Expert tip  
Chamois cream  
Optional  
Snack, if no hut stop is planned on the trip  
Sweater/fleece  
Camera and/or bag  
Replacement batteries (light, camera, etc.)  
TOTAL WEIGHT (reference value) 8,020 g

 

All weights are only recommendations. We assume no liability for completeness and correctness.  Deuter Sport GmbH in cooperation with the Association of German Mountain and Ski Guides e.V.

Is this list helpful to you? Then download the PDF:

Bike – download multi-day tour packing list as a PDF
Watch the video, check off the individual items in the list below and download the packing list as PDF :
 
item weight
on the body  
Functional trousers  
Functional top  
Functional jacket or vest  
Ankle-high hiking shoes with profile soles  
Backpack 1,320 g
Indispensable  
Climbing belt 230 g
Climbing kit 520 g
Climbing shoes 120 g
Lockable carabiner clasp 95 g
Climbing helmet 320 g
Short-sleeved top 150 g
Water and wind-proof jacket 900 g
Water and wind-proof trousers 300 g
Hat or headband 60 g
SPF 30 sunscreen with lip balm 60 g
First aid kit M 280 g
Blister plasters 20 g
Headache tablets 20 g
Drinking bottle or bag with min. 1 litre of liquid (route-dependent) 1.190 g
Electrolyte/magnesium tablets 10 g
Nuts, dried fruit, bars as needed 150 g
ID, cash, EC card, plastic bag 40 g
Head torch 80 g
Mobile phone with emergency numbers 130 g
Recommended  
Sunglasses 30 g
Short functional trousers 220 g
Belt loops 40 g
Climbing shoes (tour-dependent) 530 g
Multitool 150 g
Without mountain guide  
Tour description, possibly copied from book 80 g
Compass 80 g
GPS 220 g
Safety rope, short 1,000 g
Bivouac sack 280 g
Expert tip  
Folding poles  
Optional  
Snack, if no hut stop is planned on the trip  
Sweater/fleece  
Camera and/or bag  
TOTAL WEIGHT (reference value) 8,625 g

 

All weights are only recommendations. We assume no liability for completeness and correctness.  Deuter Sport GmbH in cooperation with the Association of German Mountain and Ski Guides e.V.

Is this list helpful to you? Then download the PDF:

Climbing – download day trip packing list as a PDF
Check off the individual items in the list below and download the packing list as a PDF :
 
item weight
on the body  
Ankle-high hiking shoes with rigid profile soles, preferably for use with crampons  
Functional hiking trousers  
Functional top  
Functional jacket or vest  
Backpack 1,800 g
Indispensable  
Short-sleeved spare top 150 g
Long-sleeved spare top 200 g
1–2 short and long underpants 100 g
Functional socks 60 g
Water and wind-proof jacket 900 g
Water and wind-proof trousers 300 g
Hat and/or headband 60 g
Thin gloves 70 g
Thick gloves 280 g
Short functional pants 200 g
Hat or buff 70 g
SPF 50 sunscreen with lip balm 60 g
Sunglasses/glacier glasses, preferably self-tinting 30 g
Drinking bottle or bag with min. 1 litre of liquid (route-dependent) 1,200 g
Electrolyte/magnesium tablets (tubes) 150 g
Muesli, dried fruit, nuts, bars as needed 200 g
First aid kit M (incl. survival blanket) 280 g
Blister plaster 20 g
Headache tablets 20 g
Telescopic poles 460 grams
Hardware for high-tours:  
- Climbing belt 230 g
- Lockable carabiner x 2 190 g
- Prusik slings: 4m x Ø 6 mm, x 2 100 g
- Webbing loops 40 g
- Ice pick 630 g
- Crampons 1,000 g
- Climbing helmet 320 g
ID, cash, EC card, plastic bag 40 g
Hut sleeping bag 250 g
Wash bag (travel shower gel, toothbrush/toothpaste, small functional towel, tissues, earplugs) 280 g
Head torch 80 g
Mobile phone with emergency numbers 130 g
Recommended  
Thermos flask 560 g
Flashlight 50 g
Multitool 150 g
T-shirt for hut (cotton) 150 g
Lightweight trousers 200 g
Gaiters 120 g
Plastic bag (for rubbish or wet laundry) 20 g
Without mountain guide  
Maps 80 g
Hiking guide, tour descriptions 210 g
Compass 80 g
GPS 220 g
Bivouac sack 280 g
Hardware for high-tours:  
- Rope: tour-dependent 35/50 metres 2,700 g
- 2 ice screws 340 grams
- Depending on the tour: Wedges + Friends 700 g
Optional  
Snack, if no hut stop is planned on the trip  
Sweater/fleece  
Camera and/or bag  
Batteries/replacement batteries (head torch, camera, GPS, etc.)  
TOTAL WEIGHT (reference value) 15,750 g

 

All weights are only recommendations. We assume no liability for completeness and correctness.  Deuter Sport GmbH in cooperation with the Association of German Mountain and Ski Guides e.V.

Is this list helpful to you? Then download the PDF:

Download multi-day high-tour packing list as a PDF
Watch the video, check off the individual items in the list below and load the packing list as a PDF :
 
item weight
on the body  
Ski or snowshoe equipment  
Functional ski trousers  
Functional top  
Functional jacket or vest  
Cap  
Lightweight gloves  
Avalanche transceiver, batteries must be checked before the trip!  
Backpack 1,290 g
Indispensable  
Probe 300 g
Shovel 750 g
Ski crampons (ski tour) 190 g
Spare long top 200 g
Thick gloves (spare gloves) 280 g
Water and wind-proof jacket 450 g
Water and wind-proof trousers 300 g
SPF 30 sunscreen with lip balm 60 g
Sun or glacier glasses, if possible, self-tinting 30 g
Drinking bottle or bag with min.1 litre of liquid (route-dependent) 1,200 g
Electrolyte/magnesium tablets 10 g
First aid kit S incl. survival blanket 190 g
Blister plasters 20 g
Headache tablets 20 g
ID, cash, EC card, plastic bag 40 g
Head torch 80 g
Mobile phone with emergency numbers 130 g
Recommended  
Nuts, bar as needed 200 g
Ski goggles 140 grams
Gaiters (snow shoes) 120 g
Ski wax (ski tour) 20 g
Repair kit (screwdriver, cable ties, tape, etc.) 180 g
Pack sack 50 g
Without mountain guide  
Maps 80 g
Tour guide 210 g
Altimeter 60 g
Compass 80 g
GPS 220 g
Expert tip  
Multitool  
Optional  
Snack, if no hut stop is planned on the trip  
Sweater/fleece  
Anti-balling spray  
Camera and/or bag  
Cap  
TOTAL WEIGHT (reference value) 7,360 g

 

All weights are only recommendations. We assume no liability for completeness and correctness.  Deuter Sport GmbH in cooperation with the Association of German Mountain and Ski Guides e.V.

Is this list helpful to you? Then download the PDF:

Download a one-day snowshoe/ski tour packing list as a PDF
Check off the individual items in the list below and download the packing list as a PDF :
 
item weight
on the body  
Ski snow equipment  
Functional ski trousers  
Functional top  
Functional jacket or vest  
Hat  
Lightweight gloves  
Avalanche transceiver, batteries must be checked before the tour!  
Backpack 1,880 g
Indispensable  
Probe 300 g
Shovel 750 g
Ski crampons 190 g
Spare long top 200 g
Long underwear 160 grams
Spare ski socks 80 g
Water and wind-proof jacket 900 g
Water and wind-proof trousers (overtrousers) 300 g
Thick gloves (spare gloves) 280 g
Hat or headband 60 g
Hat or buff 70 g
SPF 50 sunscreen with lip balm 60 g
Sunglasses / glacier glasses, preferably self-tinting 30 g
Drinking bottle or bag 190 g
Thermos flask 560 g
Minimum 1 litre of liquid (route-dependent) 1,000 g
Electrolyte/magnesium tablets (tubes) 150 g
Nuts, dried fruit, bars as needed 200 g
First aid kit M 280 g
Blister plasters 20 g
Headache tablets 20 g
ID, cash, EC card, plastic bag 40 g
Hut sleeping bag 250 g
Wash bag (travel shower gel, toothbrush/toothpaste, small functional towel, tissues, earplugs) 280 g
Head torch 80 g
Mobile phone with emergency numbers 130 g
Recommended  
Ski goggles 140 grams
Multitool 150 g
Repair kit (screwdriver, cable ties, tape, etc.) 180 g
Pack sack 50 g
Lunch box 130 g
Without mountain guide  
Snowcard 50 g
Maps 80 g
Tour guide 210 g
Altimeter 60 g
Compass 80 g
GPS 220 g
Bivouac sack 280 g
Expert tip  
Chamois cream  
Optional  
Snack  
Sweater/fleece  
Wax (ski tour)  
Gaiters (snowshoe tour)  
Camera and/or bag  
Replacement batteries  
Additional equipment for glacier crossing without mountain guide  
Rope: tour-dependent 35/50 metres 2,700 g
Climbing belt 230 g
Lockable carabiner x 2 190 g
Prusik slings: 4m x Ø 6 mm, x 2 100 g
Webbing loops 40 g
2 ice screws 320 g
Ice pick 630 g
Crampons 1,000 g
Depending on the tour: Wedges + Friends 500 g
TOTAL WEIGHT (reference value) 16,200 g

 

All weights are only recommendations. We assume no liability for completeness and correctness.  Deuter Sport GmbH in cooperation with the Association of German Mountain and Ski Guides e.V.

Is this list helpful to you? Then download the PDF:

Download multi-day snow shoe/ski tour packing list as a PDF

Do you have everything now?


If not, you can take a look at our backpacks, sleeping bags, bags and accessories!