With IGOs first ever weekend challenge starting in just 4 days, we thought this week we would focus on the first thing you should start with before even thinking about leaving the house for a weekend adventure.

The bag.

Whilst IGOs are tough physical challenges, they are also designed to be very enjoyable! As such, the IGO team move camp each day so that participants can focus on what they need and carry only the essentials. With the tents, soft bedding, food, water urns, tables, fire-pits, wood burning stoves and massage tables being carried by the IGO team, participants can travel light and are required to have two bags on every IGO.

1) Camp bag (70-100 litre)
2) Day backpack (17-20 litre)

The Camp Bag

This is a wet & dry bag that carries everything you need in camp and consists of items for sleeping in tents and general adventure accessories: head torch, sporks and mugs (all reusable!), a range of layers for exercise and warmth and a couple of shoe options.

For the longer adventures, such as the IGO Signature week-long challenges, we recommend the:

North Face Base Camp Duffel – Large
Mountain Equipment Wet & Dry Kitbag 100 litre

However, for a weekend challenge we believe your camp bag can easily be a large backpack of around 70 litres.

Osprey Xenith 105 Expedition Backpack
North Face Base Camp Duffel – Medium

Most of us are guilty of overpacking but with the absence of sherpas and conveyor belts it’s important to pack right and not go totally nuts. Here is an example kit list for the IGO Scotland weekend to get an idea.

The Day Backpack

There are many of these on the market and you can easily get a little bogged down with different brands and zips and toggles but as long as it is the right size, has a waterproof cover and adjustable straps to create a snug fit on your back you can’t go too far wrong. This bag should be holding basic survival kit. Leave the luxuries in the camp bag otherwise you will be swearing 2 miles down the road and asking why you thought it a good idea to bring the Gameboy​ or a third hat! Think practically.

One of our favourites is the Salomon Trail 20 backpack.

What is in the IGO Weekend Challenge Day Backpack?

  • 3 litres of water minimum. Top tip: slip a full camelback​ into your rucksack first and after other essentials have gone in see if there is space for a water bottle with some electro lites for flavour and energy. When was the last time you heard someone complaining they had too much water!?
  • Food & nutrition. Something substantial that will give you slow releasing energy – so not just an energy SIS gel! Trail mix with nuts is a great choice. Take snacks that you know you like. Top tip: trial energy bars, gels and snacks whilst doing your training exercise before hand to see the effect it has on your body – not sat at your desk.
  • Fully charged phone. Whilst Bob Dylan and the Bee Gees make great company on a hill side you should really be conserving the power for emergencies. This is potentially your only way of calling for help and if out of juice you will be pissed off that you didn’t just sing to yourself whilst climbing up the mountain! Top tip: ensure you are aware of what number to call in an emergency and have it saved – there will most likely be no 4G in a wild forest.
  • Water proof. Even if its the sunniest of days its always a good idea to take a thin waterproof​ layer for when the weather changes which by the way it probably will if your are changing altitude. It also acts as a barrier if the wind picks up.
  • Fleece. Thin or thick location depending.
  • Small first aid kit. Good to have the basics to sort yourself out or a fellow adventurer who you may happen upon in the wild and will be thankful that you were responsible and came prepared.
  • Hat / Cap / Buff. Your face and head need protection from the elements, be that be sun, rain or wind.