Introducing Atom Packs and a fab GIVEAWAY!

What kind of backpack do you love? I expect if you’ve hiked a while you’ll know. If you’re new to the hiking world you’ll soon figure it out! In fact, if you spend enough time hiking, you soon begin to understand which kit works best for you and your body. It doesn’t take long to realise that although your current kit setup might be ok, it could be so much better if only ‘this’ or ‘that’ were a little different. That’s where Atom Packs comes in.

The UK’s own well established long-trail adventurer Tom Gale has hiked far and wide across the world. He walked the walk and took his own excellent insights about his preferred pack set-up a step further. With a background in engineering and thousands of miles on trails, he decided to dedicate his creative focus into making excellent backpacks. Through a process of trial and error over many years, his hard work culminated in his own company; the functional, stylish and respected British brand ‘Atom Packs’.

Tom Gale – Founder of Atom Packs (

Tom, originally from Devon but now living and operating out of the Lake District, started long-trail hiking with the Appalachian Trail in 2009. Like most of us when we start out, his pack was too heavy and over-loaded – very different from today! Twelve years later he is still an avid hiker and now a Mountain Leader too, professionalising the skills he learned out on trails. Tom has 12,000+ miles and counting under him, including the Triple Crown. He’s hiked more than enough to know and understand what makes a good, ultra-lite backpack. It was on New Zealand’s Te Araroa that he was first struck by a fellow hiker’s super simple and extremely lightweight pack, and he’s been on a journey  to create his version of an excellent super-light pack ever since. 

Tom is a great guy with so much to tell and teach. I was lucky enough to interview him on and IGTV live which is saved on my Instagram page. Check it out here.

Tried and Tested on Trails

 Atom Packs today are thriving. They continue to make and refine their super-lightweight packs and are in demand! I was lucky enough to be given a pack for my West Highland Way thru-hike. I not only used it for that but for my training hikes too.

This isn’t a ‘review’ as I don’t go into the specifics, but it is to say that I really enjoyed using the Atom Pack. It’s lightweight, robust and super functional. It’s also joyful to look at. I loved that it could be customised! if you want certain colours, fabrics or pockets it’s all personalisable.

Tom’s small and family-like team in the Lakes are so friendly and accommodating it was easy to get my pack to reflect not only my hiking preferences but also my personality. One example is choosing the dyneema stretchy mesh on the front of the pack so I can stuff in all my last minute /overpacking bits and pieces. Ha! 

Of course I also chose colours to suit me –  bright blues and yellows! I loved the simplicity of the pack, the waterproofing and the array of pockets. It’s definitely for carrying more minimalist loads however.  And as I’m a little short, I did find it too tricky to take water bottles out of side pockets whilst on the move, but a bladder inside with a drinking tube can take care of that issue. I was delighted to use the pack for the hike and it saw me through super well. 

Gail sitting with her Atom Packs on her lap drinking coffee on a trail break

Do you say Fanny Pack or Bum Bag?

Atom also gave me a ‘Roo’ bum bag (or fanny pack If you’re in the US) to use. Now there’s just no getting away from it, I LOVE a bum bag. I can’t imagine hiking without one, and this Atom Roo is without doubt my favourite. It’s the best I’ve ever used for hiking. I also use it loosened and over my shoulder for daily errands now too! Waterproof, roomy and a super useful stretchy pouch on the front which is ace for phone or quick grab items.

Atom Packs Giveaway!

Atom are extending the kindness they showed to me, to all of you. They are giving me 5 ROOS to give away! Then, when I return from the CDT for my book launch they’re also giving me a full PACK to give away to one of you. Keep your eyes peeled for that! But for now, get your hands on a ROO. I’ll put a post on my IG which you can like, share and tag. Then, I’ll pick 5 winners randomly to receive one of these exceptional bumbags. I hope you win and can enjoy how bloody fabulous they are! Click here to get to Instagram. I’ll post on Sunday night. You can head over, find out the details and stake your claim. Let me know if you win one! And even if you don’t, head over to the Atom Packs website and IG to check out their gear and show them some love.

Thanks to Morgan Cartlidge for some of the images on this page @tinandcopperstudios


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  1. Hi Gail! How tall are you and what volume and what torso size of the backpack and what size of the Roo (1,5 or 2,5l) did you use? I am 5’1 and am considering AtomPacks for a Thruhike as well 🙂
    Thank you