How large a bag, in Litres is needed for general events

Good evening, I was wondering how much L backpack I should bring to events like RIAT, Muster, road marching and big general events. (I’m asking this because im thinking to buy a camo one for my greens) Also, do you get supplied backpacks if you go on fieldcraft?

Supplied kit for fieldcraft will depend on what’s available in stores or from Wing stores.

If I was buying a bag now for general use I would want something 30l or under as a Cadet. You don’t have to carry a lot so no point spending mega money.

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For general activities I’d recommend a good quality holdall. If you can stretch to one that has straps so you can use it backpack style so much the better.

You won’t ’March on’ to training in the ATC so even for Fieldcraft your overnight kit will go in a vehicle. A holdall is much easier to pack and transport and even to store stuff in on camp.

If you want to get something for Fieldcraft get a good day sack in the 30-45L range, something that can fit waterproofs, maybe a couple of spare bits of clothing, rations, and can stretch to carrying your smock if needed. Then you’ll be able to use it for range days and other activities.

(Accepting that DofE is of course different and cadets do carry full kit on DofE)

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I usually say go at least 30L as otherwise it might fail the ‘wet smock’ test. Also a lot of modern daysacks have many compartments so the useable space on a smaller model can be limited.


I would worry going too big - if the space is there, people tend to fill it “just in case”.

I have an 22L Osprey bag i use for everything - I bought it for AT Day walks but end up using it for personal use more than RAFAC!
it is big enough to carry everything i need without being too small it is a squash to get it all in, without being too big to look “empty” and encourage more kit to be taken.

I would say 30L is probably about right though, gives you some latitude to have the “just in case” kit which you can gain experience from to determine what is actually required

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I’m guilty of this.

My rucksack is a 45L “infantry bergen”. I always over pack. But is rather have and not need.


I have the same, it is (for once) a sensibly designed piece of kit which can carry big or bulky loads or by synched down as needed.

I have other more expensive bags but that’s the one that gets the most use.

i totally get this, and prior to my Osprey I had a “hand me down” rucksac someone in the Wing AT Community donated to me. I think it was ~40 litres, and I found myself unpacking it at end-ex constantly having never used a third to half of what i had packed.
I soon worked out what i used on a regular basis, and took a smaller bag option when I purchased new (the Osprey).

Just because you didn’t use something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have packed it. I rarely use a spare set of clothes, but wouldn’t want to be without them if I got soaked. Back in my Recce days I carried a lot of weapons and ammunition I hoped never to use, but would’ve been in a lot of trouble if I hadn’t bothered.

A 30 litre daysack is an ideal size for cadets - in field conditions it will take waterproofs, a softie/fleece, 2 litres of water, food for a full day, hat, gloves, and map.

If you get one with loads of pockets you’ll be much more limited in what you can put in it, the ‘best of class’ are the Berghaus Munro and the Karrimor Sabre - both are relatively steep compared to something you’ll get from Mountain Warehouse, buy they’ll last forever and have excellent resale values.

Look on eBay.

The old NI patrol pack is also excellent - indestructible, DPM, and cheaper than the commercial ones above.

i agree but it is all relative - packing it just because there is space isn’t efficient

i wouldn’t for instance pack these on a non-wet forecast day


And Ally. Which is the most important thing really.

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I have a civvy Osprey bag but it woudn’t fit a smock. Or even a spare jumper, due to all the sections it has.

In a similar way I got a smaller daysack for the range etc and quickly passed it on to a colleague as it just wasn’t flexible enough. Whereas my Infantry Patrol Pack does the job really well with the bulky but not that heavy stuff I need to carry such as a softie.


I use an old DPM NI patrol bergen, but it’s only ally because it’s sufficiently faded: new DPM doesn’t look ally at all (not like OG, which is always ally).

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oh when it comes to shooting I have a separate bag altogether which is far larger. but as that is specific to shooting would not consider that “general events” use
(and in my defence the larger size is down to the qualified element i bring to shooting, with training aids, personal ear defenders etc which over fill my otherwise universal “day bag” before i even consider any additional layers or provisions for the day


Fair. We did have a Daysacks Anonymous thread a while back I’m sure.

It was the OP’s point about using it for Fieldcraft which makes me lean away from the Osprey type bag (though I am sure if Osprey did multicam they’d sell a ton)

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Thank you all for your advice. (And any future comments)

There is some marching onto training areas, some of it was a steady jog with full bergans and webbing for two nights in the field. The SI incharge got a bollocking for that.

Err… DofE?

One of the magnificently moronic aspects of this organisation is that people tend to think that physics acts differently depending on the colour of clothing people are wearing…

Walking 2km carrying a 20kg DPM bergen on a training area? :x:

Walking 20km across Snowdonia carrying a 20kg red rucksack? :white_check_mark:

Just, the actual…?


Shouldn’t be. Belt kit and daysacks only. So a holdall is fine :grinning: