Backpacks with separate compartments are handy for sorting items, but remember not to over-strain the zipper. Backpacks with side pockets can hold more assorted items, while those with a rigid back frame can ensure balanced weight distribution over the entire body. The second type of packs are less tiring to carry, but you may find them clumsy on buses. The best material is nylon, which is much lighter and has better waterproof performance than canvas.
Packing tips and rules for carrying load
Pick lightweight items.
Place light items at the bottom, heavier items in the middle, and the heaviest ones on top. Arrange items in the order of use, and put items that need to be handy on the sides. Remember to keep the left and right loads balanced.
Children's load should not be the same as adults'. A child should not carry anything that exceeds one third of his/her body weight. A teenager should not carry anything that exceeds one fourth of his/her body weight. Maximum load is 40lb.
How to look after your backpack
Remove dirt on your backpack with water, then leave to dry in a cool dry place. Never dry backpacks made of chemical fibres with an electric heater.
Illumination device: To be prepared for any emergency, bring a torch and matches with you even if hiking in the daytime. Spare light bulb and batteries are also good. Carry long matches in a waterproof plastic bag.
Notebook and pencil: Pencils are most practical for they can write even when wet. A diary-size notebook is convenient.
Map: Bring a 1:20.000 scale map for Hong Kong. Fold it up like a fan and place in a waterproof plastic bag.
Compass: Carry a Silva compass.
Whistle: To alert others in an accident.
Flask: An aluminium or plastic flask that holds 0.5L to 1L. Aluminium flasks can be used for cooking in an emergency.
Emergency food: Choose something high in calories, convenient and easy, e.g. glucose, raisins, chocolate.
Personal drugs: Medicine for stomachache or potent drugs for specific indications.
Personal information sheet: Containing name, home address, telephone number, blood type, name and telephone number of a family member or close relative.
Sewing kit: Containing needles, threads, pins and spare fabric for emergency.
One-dollar coins: To make calls in a public phone booth.
Mobile phone: Note the coverage of your network and the time of your standby battery.
Watch: Take one which can take getting wet from rain. What outdoor clothes to take Outdoor clothes should meet the following requirements:
Comfortable, convenient and soft in texture.
Allowing sweat to evaporate, so you can keep cool along the way.
Keeping you warm when you stop to rest.
Offering adequate protection if you meet bad weather.
Unfortunately, no one fabric can meet all four requirements, and special purpose fabrics are expensive and hard to source. At times of cold and damp weather, a thick long-sleeved shirt and a polyester fleece or pile jacket will keep you warm. Down, Polarguard and Quallofil jackets are highly protective clothing. These lightweight jackets are best for extremely cold environments. Follow the general rules below when you choose a protective outer jacket.
The protective outer garment should not be too loose or too tight with the zipper or buttons all done up. You should be able to move freely, and put it on or take it off easily. The sleeves should be 2-3" longer than the body of the garment. To make room for thermal clothing underneath, choose an overcoat that is one or two sizes larger than usual.
The coat should have high collar and a hood. A front zip-up design is most convenient, comfortable and best for ventilation. There are designs with ventilating mesh under the sleeves and on the back, which are quite airy and comfortable.
The same rules apply to trousers. High-cut trousers are more comfortable. If possible, pick a pair with side zippers.