The Explorer's pack comes with a backpack and a bunch of stuff that (I assume) goes inside.

A Backpack can fit 30lbs in it. But the stuff - a bedroll (7), a mess kit (1), a tinderbox (1), 10 torches (10), 10 days of rations (20), and a waterskin (5) - totals 44lbs.

My party holds the weight of stuff a bit loosely, rather than playing RAW. But if you did play RAW, you wouldn't be able to carry all the stuff you're given. Why would the game designers do that?

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    \$\begingroup\$ As asked, this seems like a designer reasoning question, which we consider off-topic for rpg.se (see this meta). I'd suggest rephrasing to "how am I supposed to carry everything in the explorer's pack?" \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    May 26, 2020 at 14:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Heavily related: Where do adventurers keep all their stuff? \$\endgroup\$ May 26, 2020 at 14:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ The explorer's pack isn't the only pack with this problem. The burglar's pack has at least 31.5 lb. of stuff to fit in the backpack, the dungeoneer's pack has 46.5 lb., and the entertainer's pack has 33 lb. \$\endgroup\$
    – jwodder
    May 26, 2020 at 16:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri 2lbs of food a day is actually pretty light for someone who is being as physically active as an explorer is. I'm on a diet where I have to track what I eat precisely. I've had 3.3 lbs of food today (not including drinks) and it's only a little past noon \$\endgroup\$
    – Kevin
    May 26, 2020 at 17:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ My presumption has been that rations are compact, high energy food, heavy on protein and fat -- hard cheese, dried meat, and sea biscuit, for instance, or pemmican and jerky. One can easy fit 3000 calories into a couple pounds if your choice is more about that than "healthy eating". \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    May 26, 2020 at 17:53

1 Answer 1


As noted in comments, the "explorer's pack" is a "pack" of goods, that is, a list of items sold together, not necessarily a "backpack and contents." The waterskin would normally be carried external to the backpack, and the bedroll would be tied to the outside. Carry the mess kit and tinderbox in a belt pouch, and the backpack is just exactly full. But remember, all too soon that heavy pack will seem much too light...

  • \$\begingroup\$ May also help to separate out "explorers pack" of goods with "backpack". You've mostly done that, but could be good to be explicit. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    May 26, 2020 at 14:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd love to see this answer clearly state "pack in this context means 'set', not 'backpack'". Reusing the word "pack" while explaining it seems to have the same problem; "the explorer's pack (backpack?) is a pack (backpack?) of goods" \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2020 at 2:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yup. Waterskins inside one's pack is a recent thing. I don't think one could construct something akin to a hydration bladder with D&D level tech. \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2020 at 4:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ p151 of PHB: "The pack also has 50 feet of hempen rope strapped to the side of it." So, that's 10lb of gear not inside the pack. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erics
    May 27, 2020 at 13:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Frustratingly, the PHB here is definitely using the word "pack" to mean "backpack" in these descriptions at least some of the time, so there is no clear distinction in the terminology. It is not unreasonable to interpret that all the listed items are meant to be inside the [back]pack when the text states at the end that the [back]pack also has a bunch of rope "strapped to the side of it". \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    May 27, 2020 at 13:50

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