When would you wear a rucksack/backpack

Hi all,

    Just wondering at what point or what event you would be doing to use a backpack?? At the moment i'm training for a 30miler. I have a hydration pack with room for a few nibbles and 2L of water. Perhaps distance does not come into it??

Might seem like a daft question but was just curious


  • Personally, never!

    Unless you're doing a very long run, totally unsupported, why would you need one?

    I tend to have a bottle belt, and I can put a few gels or sweets in the pocket of that.  Most races provide at least water so no need to start out carrying 2kg extra on your back?

  • True. I was just curious as to why people buy them or why they are made!  As I wouldn't know what you would fill one up with lol?

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    I bought mine for a 33-mile trail race, I had to carry a few things under the rules but on the day I could have got by with a waist belt as the water stations were frequent and had good food too. I didn't know that though, and if the worst had come to the worst I was happy to have a day's food and water, waterproof clothes, map and compass, phone and whistle.

    I use it now for long runs 20 miles +, it's less hassle than carrying a bottle.  And it's useful for general walking and days out as it is so light and comfortable.

  • Not that I have done one, but on many longer ultras there is a min kit requirement e.g. foil blanket, waterproof, phone, food, water etc. so for those a lightweight backpack is needed ..
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    I use mine on longer runs (+14 miles) as I don't like waist bags. Normally they contain:

    - SiS sports drink
    - A gel or two
    - Phone and key
    - Tissue.
    - Small change

    If a race is supported - i'll just carry gels and a tissue stuck in my bra but if i'm out alone then I have a little more with me.


  • There are no rules, if you want to wear one wear one, if you feel comfy with it then who cares what anyone else does. Some people like belts, some handhelds some backpacks, personally I can't stand belts but that's me, I wouldn't presume to say what works for me is the best thing to do.

    As others have said some races require quite a substantial kit list so you may need a pack no matter what your preference
  • That's pretty interesting. Perhaps worth thinking about for training high mileage. Could take your sarnies with you etc image I'm thinking of an excuse to buy more kit i think image

  • It can depend on a few things ..what event your doing,how far apart the feed stops are,what kit the event says you must carry,do they do drop bags,the terrain you train on.[ peak district,always].Personally i use mine on any run over 16 miles, 1..because i get used to wearing it, 2..i go off the beaten track, 3..you never know what you my need.[be safe not sorry].kit carried ,mobile phone,lightweight waterproof,leg warmers,runners gloves,buff,toilet paper,wet wipes,spare gels,and a extra food bar.If i dont know the area i will also carry a map and compass .

  • I carry a Camelback Mule with a hydration bladder for long runs. The distance varies depending upon the time of year / heat. Last weekend for my off-road run of 28 miles in 6 hours I used 2.25l of water, & for the first time ever I bought a can of coke. I also had food for the journey. I find it's useful for storing my keys, phone, money and odds & sods!

  • loulabellloulabell ✭✭✭
    Mr Puffy wrote (see)


    I use it now for long runs 20 miles +, it's less hassle than carrying a bottle. 

    agree with Mr Puffy, i dont get on with belts as they bounce around and if hands are cold i cant free the bottlesimage i bought a small backpack when training for first mara and found that it was so useful for stuffing jacket in when too hot,phone,key etc..i still carry it for LSR over 15 and vary the weight depending on what  fit  into a belt, and as on my first sweltering ultra last month the bladder is a life saver for liquids !!image just make sure you try out lots in shops to get good fit-nothing worse than running 20miles with an ill fitting backpackimage

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    I bought a camelbak octane for my long runs during marathon preparation, so wore it when I was expecting to be out 2+ hours.  I found it handy for carrying gels and my phone for the longer runs (as i don't carry anything on my shorter runs).

    There are other options, but as I'd been using one for the last twenty(ish) years for mountain biking it just seemed the natural choice for me.  I still have an original camelbak in the attic from when they first came out!

  • I've used one but mainly for the hydration pack over a long run and a mountain biking session and even then it's practically empty with a few bits for just incase.

    I've only known squaddies to run with a backpack for training purposes. I don't think it's really needed unless you're into Ultra's.

  • when you get talked into a race and this is the minimum kit list image

    • Suitable footwear
    • Rucksack
    • Sleeping bag
    • Waterproof jacket with hood and waterproof overtrousers (not pertex or other shower proof materials)
    • Long trousers / tracksters or similar
    • Thermal vest or similar
    • Warm thicker top
    • Hat & gloves
    • Working Torch (suitable for emergency night navigation)
    • Compass & Whistle
    • Pen / pencil and paper.

    Each team must carry the following at all times:

    • Tent with sewn in groundsheet, poles and pegs
    • Stove & fuel, matches/lighter
    • Food for 2 days
    • Emergency food
    • Plasters and bandage
  • I wear mine when i run home from work - or how else would i get my clothes home ? Just keep it as light as you can. 

  • Use them for long sessions of 30 plus miles and for ultras up to and over 100 miles. I have been experimenting lately with a twin bottle belt and small shoulder pack instead of a conventional rucksack. I have found that the amount of radiating surface lost on your back when wearing a pack is substantial and makes a big difference to when you overheat/get de-hydrated.

  • For some events where rules state you must carry your own water/waterproofs. So training, even shorter runs, will involve wearing the pack to get used to it. I get odd looks at my running club when I turn up for 6-8 mile runs with a Camelbak. When I started using a waist pack for LSRs I made myself wear it on every single run for a whole month, just to get totally comfortable with the feel of it.

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