My West Highland Way Daypack

I’ve been planning what to pack for the past 2 months, and now that the trip is just one month away, I feel I’m ready.  Too soon to worry about packing?  Not when you are hiking 96 miles.   Every little thing has to be carefully considered:  “Do I need it?”,   “How small can I get it?” and “How much does it weigh?”.   Although this is not a camping trip (we’ll stay at small B&B’s along the Way), there’s still a lot that has to be carried on a walk in the Highlands.  My task is how to fit everything into a 22 litre daypack.   Weather will be predictably unpredictable, so I need to prepare for all seasons – from sunscreen to rain jacket, from dry-fit to fleece.  Some days we’ll stop at a pub for our lunch, but other days the trail will be remote, so we’ll need to pack our food.  We’ll average 6 hours/day hiking for 8 days straight, so the weight on my back will be a consideration.  We also have no option but to GO each day regardless of the weather – our rooms are booked.  Yes it’s daunting, but super exciting!  I love a challenge.

West Highland Way, Scotland

West Highland Way, Scotland

I take a lot of pictures – so my first problem is:

How do I carry my camera comfortably for quick access?

I shoot an Olympus Pen Micro 4/3.  Although it’s compact, it has interchangeable lenses and removable electronic viewfinder which makes it small but bulky at the same time.  Although my camera only weighs 1 pound, it’s too uncomfortable to be hanging off my neck.  Besides, it needs to be protected from rain.  Enter the Timbuk2 waistpack.

Timbuk2 Radar Holster can be worn as a waistpack or a shoulder bag

Timbuk2 Radar Holster can be worn as a waistpack or a shoulder bag

I love this little bag!  I wear it around my waist and it sits comfortably in front.  It not only holds my awkwardly shaped camera, but I can also use it to store other items that require quick and easy access without having to take off my backpack.  This little bag will hold:

– Olympus Pen camera

– iphone (GPS, compass and the Trakrabbit app)

Innate Mentor Trail Sac (dry bag for my camera and phone)

– lip balm

– kleenex

– sunglasses

Chaos buff

– rain cover (the Timbuk2 is not water proof)

Everything I'll need for quick access - note the rain cover is from my DSLR camera bag but fits snugly over this waistpack

Everything I’ll need for quick access – note the rain cover is from my DSLR camera bag but fits well over this waistpack

Snug as a Bug

Snug as a Bug

Now For My “Big” Pack (if you call 22 litres “big”)

Here’s what I believe I’ll need each day:

Black Diamond Alpine Ergo Trekking Poles

MEC Alpine Ally Waterproof Jacket

– waterproof pants (but if you call them “waterproof pants” in Scotland and they’ll laugh at you – they are “trousers”.  Waterproof pants are what babies wear over their diapers)

MEC Waterproof Enough Gloves

– gaiters

– warm shirt for layering

– extra socks

– first aid kit

– bug spray

Whiz Easy (so a lassie can pee standing up just like the guys!)

– Trekking Umbrella (haven’t used it yet – will review another day)

Source Water Bladder

– Guide Book and Map (this is a self-guided trip)

– Small Innate Travel Towel (check out the review I wrote last year here)

– First Aid Kit

– Sunscreen

– Hand Sanitizer

Innate Mentor Storage Sac (to use as a compression dry bag)


Everything Else I Think I'll Need

Everything Else I Think I’ll Need


All My Clothes Compressed into an Innate Storage Sac

All My Clothes Compressed into an Innate Storage Sac

And A Word About the Deuter Futura Backpack

There are 4 main reasons I selected this pack:

– The frame allows air to flow through the back

– The size fits me perfectly

– Just enough pockets to stay organized, but not so many you can’t find anything

– It has a stow-away rain cover


Total Weight: 12 Pounds

Ready to Go

Ready to Go – Total Weight is 12 pounds and there’s still room at the top of my backpack for a small lunch 🙂


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