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How To Pack Your Rucksack For One-day And Multi-days Summer Hikes In Europe

When embarking on a hiking adventure, properly packing your rucksack is crucial to ensure your comfort, safety, and enjoyment. This article will provide actionable tips on how to pack your rucksack effectively for both one-day and multi-day summer hikes in Europe.


When embarking on a hiking adventure in Europe, properly packing your rucksack is crucial to ensure comfort, safety, and enjoyment. This article will give tips on how to pack your rucksack effectively for one-day and multi-day summer hikes in Europe. We will cover topics such as arranging clothes, positioning heavier items, and essential gear to include in your pack. We'll be able to cover the arrangement of clothes, the positioning of heavier items, and essential gear to include in your pack. Ready? Let’s go then!

How to Pack a Rucksack Effectively

When preparing for your hike, starting with a quality rucksack that suits your needs is t. Look for a backpack with sufficient capacity and adjustable straps for a comfortable fit. Begin by prioritizing essential items and packing them first, ensuring easy access into consideration the length and toughness of your hike. 

For single-day and multi-day hikes, you can start with a suitable backpack: choose a lightweight backpack with adjustable straps and sufficient capacity to accommodate your gear comfortably. Only a little room or your gear will bounce inside the backpack. Not too little, or you’ll need to store your gear and clothes outside the rucksack, with good chances of ripping it off or losing it. In the first scenario, you can utilize compression straps or bungee cords to keep your gear secure and prevent shifting. The starting point should always be your packing checklist: make a checklist of essential items you'll need for your hike to ensure nothing is forgotten, prioritizing essential gear to ensure they are easily accessible when needed.


Size matters! Please keep an eye on the dimensions of your rucksack. Eventually, you'll understand your needs and choose the right size for your adventures © Patrick Hendry. 

A good tip that comes from a friend of mine, who is really into alpinism and mountaineering, where efficiency and lightweight is crucial, is to invest your money in some packing organizers: use stuff sacks, packing cubes, or waterproof bags to categorize and organize your gear, making it easier to find items quickly.

Arranging Clothes in a Backpack

A well-organized arrangement of clothes in your backpack can significantly impact your hiking experience. The only tip you need is this one: follow the layering system. This will allow you to adapt to changing weather conditions quickly. Start by placing lightweight and moisture-wicking base layers at the bottom to keep your body dry and comfortable. On top of the base layer, pack insulating mid-layers such as fleece or softshell jackets. For protection against the elements, place waterproof and windproof jackets or shells on the topmost layer. Roll or fold additional clothing items such as t-shirts or pants and fill the remaining gaps.

It is generally recommended to position heavier items closer to the bottom of your pack to maintain stability and balance. This distribution helps avoid straining your back and ensures a more comfortable hiking experience. However, there is an exception for accessibility. Consider placing items you may need frequently, such as snacks or a rain cover, in easily accessible pockets or on the top of your pack for convenience.

Hanging all your stuff outside the rucksack may feel like the right thing to do, but you'll soon realize all the bouncing it's not worth it © Luca Pizzarotti.

Packing for a One-Day Walk

You won't need special equipment for a one-day hike in Europe during the summer. Days are longer than usual, temperatures are comfortable, and there will be quite a few people on your trail, so that you will feel safer. Remember to be autonomous in every situation, though! Pack the following essential items:

  • Clothing essentials: Choose a moisture-wicking t-shirt or top for the base layer. Include a lightweight fleece or softshell jacket for the mid-layer and a waterproof and windproof jacket for the outer layer. Summer storms are unpredictable, and you don’t want to get stuck in the middle of your way back during a thunderstorm with no protection. 
    Wear comfortable hiking pants or shorts as bottoms, moisture-wicking, and cushioned hiking socks. Select sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes or boots as footwear.
  • Accessories: Pack a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for sun protection. Carry a water bottle or hydration bladder for proper hydration. Include light snacks or energy bars for nutrition. Carry a map, compass, and GPS device for navigation. Remember personal items such as a wallet, ID, mobile phone, and camera. Pack a kit containing band-aids, blister treatment, and personal medications. Lastly, carry emergency essentials such as a whistle, headlamp, and emergency blanket.

Packing for a Multi-Day Walk

For multi-day hikes in Europe during the summer, in addition to the items mentioned above for your single-day adventures, pack the following:

  • Additional clothing: Pack enough base layers for each day, ensuring you have clean and dry options. Include extra insulating layers such as fleece jackets, down vests, or sweaters for colder weather and higher altitudes. Pack extra hiking pants or shorts and comfortable sleepwear appropriate for the climate. Include extra pairs of moisture-wicking and cushioned hiking socks. If embarking on colder or high-altitude hikes, thermal underwear will provide added warmth.
  • Functional gear: Consider carrying a tent and sleeping bag suitable for your trip's duration. Include a camping stove, cooking utensils, and lightweight, dehydrated meals. Bring some water for the first part of your hike, then pack a water filter or purification tablets for accessing clean water in the wilderness. Lifesavers! Include a camping mat or pad for added comfort during sleep; ensure they are not too heavy. Nowadays, you can find up to 250-gram heavy sleeping mats, so you need to choose a suitable model. Pack extra batteries or a portable charger for electronic devices, especially those you need in dangerous situations.


Properly packing your rucksack is essential for a successful and enjoyable hiking experience in Europe. Following the tips outlined in this article, you can arrange your clothes, position heavier items, and pack essential gear to ensure comfort, convenience, and safety during one-day and multi-day summer hikes. Remember to adapt your packing list according to the specific requirements of your destination and the anticipated weather conditions. Happy hiking!

Cover Photo © Jordan Heinrichs