How to Pack a Backpack for Winter Walks: 5 Key Steps to an Organised Bag 

Posted by Chloe Ackland on 15th January, 2024

Crisp air, hot flasks, solitude, breathtaking early sunsets and frosty views...

Winter hikes can be an idyllic escape and a great way to brighten your mood during the colder months in the UK. There's evidence that Winter walking is a good way to boost your immune system and improve circulation, but if you're planning a cold-weather hike it's important to make sure you pack the right things for the changeable conditions. 

We've put together a handy guide to organising your bag for Winter adventures, featuring 5 tried-and-true steps to getting a well-packed backpack.

How to Pack a Backpack for Winter

Step 1: Take a Visual Inventory 

Start by laying out everything you think you'll need for the hike. This 'visual' inventory acts as a birds-eye view of the items you want to take. Then, you can begin separating your must-haves from your nice-to-haves (be ruthless). Once you're happy with your selection, it's time to pack it all in!

Step 2: Bottom-Up Organisation

Identify which items you'll need less frequently and pack these at the bottom of your backpack. If you're planning on camping overnight (brave!) make sure you put your warm pyjamas, tent slippers, extra food or cooking gear right at the bottom of the bag.

Step 3: Centralise Your Heavy Items

Aim to centralise heavier items between your shoulder blades and the centre of your back for weight distribution and comfort. You could also roll your warmer layers around other items to stop anything rattling around inside the bag while you walk. 

Step 4: All-Important Winter Layers

Layering is crucial during Winter walks to regulate your core temperature. From your base layer to your waterproof outer shell, the ability to move freely and adjust layers according to your body's temperature fluctuations is essential.

How to pack a backpack for winter


We recommend packing layers at the top of your backpack or in easy-to-access pockets so you don't have to dig through the whole bag every time you get too hot or too cold. It's also a good idea to reserve a pocket for potential wet jacket storage. You want to avoid stuffing a soaking wet jacket into any compartments with your dry layers. 

Step 5: Stash Your Essentials in Easy-to-Reach Pockets

Use your easily-accessible pockets for the key essentials you'll use frequently like water bottles, hat, gloves, trail mix, compass, snacks, head torches and any first aid items.

How to pack a backpack for winter

Our Fellside backpack features zip pockets on the hip belt which are another handy space to keep essentials easily accessible without the need to remove your bag.

Mesh water bottle pockets are a great place to keep your water bottle or flask, but they're also a good place to store any wet items and keep them away from the rest of your dry gear.  


If you're in need of a lightweight, feature-packed backpack, shop our collection of backpacks designed and tested in the Lake District

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