The Adventure

What Pack do I Need for Heli-Hiking?

Posted by Topher Donahue on Fri, Jul 02, 2010

The easy answer is: NO PACK AT ALL. 

For anyone who doesn’t bring a pack, CMH lodges provide daypacks that are small enough to hike or climb unencumbered, but big enough to hold your lunch, water, sunhat, and jacket.  With a helicopter to provide easy escape from the mountain elements, we have a lot of options and you don’t need to carry too much. 

If you want your own pack for heli-hiking and other summer adventures, that’s great.  Using your own pack is nice.  But don’t fret it.  That’s why we call it HELI-hikingIt’s not about the pack.

Even a trusty book bag works, but a pack with a little more space makes packing - and then later finding your sunscreen in the bottom of your pack – that much easier.  If you prefer your own, here are a few things to look for in a good heli-hiking pack:

  • Around 25 litre capacity - buy your friend the bigger pack.  
  • Roomy exterior pocket for easy access to cameras and trail favors - tight pockets look cool in the store, but are a pain to use.
  • Lightweight material and design with no frame or super-light internal frame - heavy helicopter should equal light pack.
  • Hydration system is handy but not necessary – why not just stop and look around while drinking?
  • Ventilation along the back area – it gets warm heli-hiking under the bright alpine sun.
  • External strap system of some kind in case you need a little extra space - adventure travel doesn't happen by the litre.

Touching mountains as wild, vast and un-developed as the Columbias of British Columbia with only a small daypack on your shoulders is a treat that only heli-hikers get to experience.  The light-footed sensation of moving easily through such terrain, surrounded by untouched wilderness the likes of which few modern humans ever see, is alone worth the price of admission

Heli-hiking-as-good-as-it-gets photo by Topher Donahue

Tags: Adventure Travel, heli-hiking, CMH Summer Adventures, CMH