A waist-pack might seem too small to use for a proper walk, but it can be done easily enough if you’re strict with your kit. You can also wild camp with one, but more on that later (much later). For the recent warm weather, this is what was in our 6 litre waist-pack, and it all fit in easily. It means that you can walk a bit quicker and you no longer suffer from sweaty back syndrome, though you’ll be surprised as to how much cooler you’ll feel without a rucksack on your back.
Ultralight wind-proof top and ultralight overtrews – either wind-proof or waterproof depending on the weather. We didn’t need a waterproof jacket as we had a Paramo Quito (as worn in the pic above).
Small torch for evening walks with spare batteries.
Energy gels, and other high calorie snacks simply take up less space, although I don’t usually take this many unless I’m particularly peckish. A small pot of nuts is a healthier alternative that I also carry.
Map and compass – even If it’s clear and I know the route, I can imagine being chastised by the local MRT if something does befall me If I don’t carry a map.
Mobile phone and wallet, as well as an optional camera If I needed it.
Bottle of water – 750-1500ml – One or two 750 or 1L bottles. I’ll restock on the way where possible and take purifying tabs where there’s any doubt about water quality. If it’s really warm, then you may well need more liquids.
Couple of hydration tablets that I got as free samples, but you can get on eBay if you’re lucky. Or just take a couple in a ziploc.
You can also squeeze a light down jacket or gilet in there, but if you do then you’ll need to hang the waterproof jacket on the outside (thus). Of course, you can put a eVent or other lightweight waterproof inside the pack and hang a warm-layer on the outside if needed.
I prefer keeping it all tidy and inside if possible, meaning that a Paramo Quito serves as both waterproof and warm-layer.
And finally, the disclaimer! You will need to really know what kit you’re happy walking up a mountain without and just because you’re taking the kit above with you doesn’t mean you’re safe! For instance, there’s no emergency kit (which I ought to take) or spare food or extra insulation. It’s risky, and I nearly paid the price on Snowdon when I sprained my foot just below the summit. I managed to hobble down, but once the adrenaline wore off I was on crutches!
Take what you’re comfortable with, and if it doesn’t fit in a waist-pack then take a rucksack! Don’t leave an essential behind just because you want to walk with just a waist-pack.