This is the #1 thing you should invest in for your hiking trip, according to an outdoors expert

Your fast-track to a better-packed bag

Marie Cheng as part of Jack Wolfskin Wolftrail hike team
(Image credit: Jack Wolfskin)

If you're a regular hiker, you probably think you have your packing list completely sorted, but we have a hot packing hack from Marie Cheng that might change the way you organise your hiking backpack

Marie is a DofE Supervisor and Trainee Mountain Leader, a runner, skier and general mountain enthusiast. She's also an ambassador for Jack Wolfskin, and part of a team of female hikers who embarked on the Wolftrail as part of the brand's United We Hike campaign. 

When T3 caught up with her to ask her all about her what to wear on a hike and her packing hacks, she had one essential that we'd never really considered too important before: dry bags. 

"Not only will they keep your kit dry, but they’re great to help you organise your pack as they also compress to make everything smaller.  For example I have a dry bag just for socks and underwear, a dry bag for my gloves and beanies, a dry bag for my base layers," Marie tells T3. "Plus pack an extra for dirty clothes / washing!" 

"It means that when you’re having to unpack and repack on a daily basis, like on some of the expeditions I’ve been on to Morocco and Tanzania, it’s a lot more organised in your tent," she continues. (You've probably already got a dry bag kicking around somewhere, but if not, head to our best dry bag guide for some recommendations.)

As well as keeping your stuff compact, dry and organised, they have a fourth trick up their sleeve – they can replace another camping comfort essential, to help you save on packing even more: "They also double up as a useful pillow if you stuff it with your clothes!" 

Other trip essentials that you might forget pack include a power bank, to make sure your phones / navigation / GPS equipment doesn't run out of juice, and a loo roll. "I carry emergency toilet roll, always!" she smiles. "A good space saving tip is take out the toilet roll inner out and squash the toilet roll down and put it in a waterproof bag."

Ruth is currently on secondment as Sleep Editor for Tom's Guide and TechRadar. The role is an extension of her work on T3, where she ran the site's Wellness channel, which includes sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing. She was also Outdoors editor, reviewing and writing about everything from camping gear and hiking boots to mountain bikes, drones and paddle boards. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy, for fear of getting smothered in the night.