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Thread: How do you organise your backpack?

  1. #1
    Tracker JesterJo's Avatar
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    Default How do you organise your backpack?

    Here is how I imagine myself at least once each camp trip.

    Deep from the comfort of my sleeping quilt and fleece a troubling though saturates my mind Where are my hiking socks for tomorrow? I try to push this thought out of my mind, until the sun rises. No, it has been established there will be no sleep or comfort until Im sure of where my socks are. I sit up in my single person tent, and start to rummage through my back pack. The light from my head lamp seems to bounce off the walls of the tent, but escapes the constraints of the main compartment of my backpack. The irony of the situation doesnt escape me. I know as I rummage through my backpack Im only disorganizing everything else I had in there.
    When the sun rises, I have forgotten about my socks. After a cup of coffee and pot of oat meal my mind recalls the previous night. I look over at my pack and spot my socks, right where they are supposed to be, prepared with the rest of my gear beside the foot of my sleeping bag.
    I think it is funny that despite the limited amount of gear that I bring, that organization is an issue. I have been thinking about how to organize the gear in my pack, and have a few ideas.

    1. Im going to try using more transparent bags. If I can see it, I can access it fast. For small items Ill try to use heavy duty zip lock bags. For the larger items and clothing I like the idea of using mesh bags.

    2. Use the small backpack pockets for specific items, and functions. Make sure to put the items back when finished using them!

    3. This is a well known one seen from a variety of sources, multi functional items are valuable. Why have two or three items when one will do the trick! A Victorinox or Leatherman is a perfect example of this.

    4. Use checklists. I think others have said that maintaining a checklist and then looking at the stuff that you use is a great way to prioritize your gear and make sure you have everything with you. Im also thinking of making prepared check lists for various situations.

    5. Do a before dinner (or whenever you have a few free minutes.) gear check. Might as well locate the things we are going to need in the evening, and next morning before the hike. How many times have hikes started with false starts because someone forgot something at camp?

    Do you have any systems, or tips on keeping your backpacks organised?

    Amendment: I'm sure other people have assigned specific items and functions to small back pack pockets, used various bags, and checks before dinner, in the past. Sorry if I stole someone else's idea. Thank you for all the great ideas!
    Last edited by JesterJo; 01-25-2013 at 08:36 PM.

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  3. #2
    Elder Super Moderator GreyOne's Avatar
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    Organization ? Huh ? What is that.

    I try to set my bag up again after every trip, after the cleaning and repair, and have it ready to go. It never works, but I try.
    Nemo me impune lacessit ! Wisdom is knowing what to do; Skill is knowing how to do it ; Character is what lets you actually do the job.
    Turley Knife Club #59

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  5. #3
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    Yep, organization never survives the first night in the bush.
    Hardwoods Bushcraft Blog
    "When we are in hand-to-hand conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil himself, neat little Biblical confectionery is like shooting lions with a pea-shooter; God needs a man who will let go and deliver blows right and left as hard as he can hit, in the power of the Holy Ghost. Nothing but forked-lightning Christians will count." C.T. Studd

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    I use several pouches of different colors for keeping things organized.

    For example my purple pouch holds my spare sockes and silk long underwear and long sleeve T.

    I keep a beanie hat that also serves as a pouch for my fingerless wool gloves. If I need the beani I probably need the gloves too.

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    my current pack, good for up to three days, is very very pocket heavy. however, when i take an extended trip and use my large pack, i try to put things in pouches and use zip lock bags quite a bit as well. My shelter is the last thing that goes into my pack so i can get it out first. MEST, casualty blanket, sleeping bag, etc. The bottom items is my food. i have an outside pocket, specifically for snacks.

  10. #6
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    Open pack, stuff everything in, sit on it until it can close?
    I'm just getting to the point of getting enough gear that I need to organize it. I bought 4 small stuff sacks so I can separate and color code. Say base layers in red, socks in blue, etc, something like that.

  11. #7
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    Terrys got a good vid for this

    Maranatha, Kyrie Eleison

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    Scout almac's Avatar
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    i use multicolored stuff sacs or zippered pouches for different things.
    food =green, red=first aid, etc.
    my wool socks and underwear go in my clear dry bag.
    essentials(fire kit, FAK, illumination, compass, knife) on belt or lashed on outside of pack.
    tools are in an outer pouch on my pack. maps in maxpedition waterproof tear away map case lashed to pack.

    i will be working on a leather possibles kit sometime this spring, so my essentials will probably go into that.

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  15. #9
    Guide Supporter gdpolk's Avatar
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    I use these for small stuff:

    Green: foods
    Orange: Small tools (fire kit, knife, flashlight, spare batteries for light, etc)
    Blue: Hygiene, medicine, Germ-X, sunscreen, etc.
    FAK: separate pouch
    Cooking kit: separate pouch
    Water filtration kit: separate pouch
    Bag/sleeping pad/tent all go in manufacturers sacs
    Clothing all goes at the bottom, except rain coat and one pair of dry socks at the top

    At night I'll get out my clean clothing for the next day and put it in my blue hygiene kit sac to use as a pillow and stuff the rest in the bottom of my sleeping bag to keep my clothes warm. I put my FAK and small, frequently used items like the Leatherman, compass, TP, etc on the flap cover at the top so it's easily accessible. I'll also pull out my lunch in the morning and put it in the top flap of my pack so I don't have to unpack it all the way for lunches. I use a Gregory z55.

    Last edited by gdpolk; 01-20-2013 at 11:01 AM.

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  17. #10
    Guide freebirdfb's Avatar
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    I like the idea of using a pack for hauling stuff to set up camp along with clothing and food stuff. Then a messenger bag is used for day outings. Its easier to keep the shoulder bag organized than my backpack, which I'm just now starting to get set up.

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