I never bother to organize because I know what ever it is I'm looking for is at the bottom of my pack.
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Lots of great ideas, I think the biggest help to being organized is the mental satisfaction of knowing your gear is all there, prepped and ready for you when you need it, so that you can focus on the fun stuff and have a great time out in the wilderness with no worries...or at least for those of us that have (if not even the slightest) a bit of OCD. LOL
Like some of the other posters above, I use stuff sacks to organize both my packs and I leave them packed minus water. My rule of thumb is to use the packs pockets for tools and hard items while my softies (food, clothes, shelter) get filed away in color coded sacks. The worst feeling is rummaging through a pack during fading light for that widget you swore you put in before you left.
I like to keep it as simple as possible and i always pack everything the same way so i can find it no matter the circumstances. I pack in a way so my most used items are easily accessible throughout the day, and so that i can setup my shelter in inclement weather without esposing the contents of my pack.
In my outside pack pocket i keep my water filter, bandana, and a small red stuff sack with my first aid kit and toiletries. In my other outside pack pocket i keep my 1l bottle with water, and any of the 1L collapsible bottles that arn't full, and small snack items for the day in a quart size ziplock. (any other bottles that are full i put in the inside top of my pack until I get to camp)
On my belt pouch i keep my compass, maps, headlamp, and an altoids tin with(waxed jute twine, shreded birch bark, matches, flint and steel, and a small bic), and my kabar becker necker knife.
Outside mesh pocket on front of pack holds my tarp, tarp lines, stakes, rain gear.
Inside the pack, starting from the bottom:
Sleeping bag/under and top quilts, sleep clothes small down pillow in S2S compression dry sack, hammock, blue stuff sack with spare gloves, spare hat, insulating layers. green silnylon dry sack with all of my food, canvas stuff sack with my cook pot, stove, stove fuel. And everything is inside a large trash compactor bag for redundant water proofing.
I just make sure i pack it all the same way, and put it back in the same spots. As long as i keep it the same all the time I can find whatever i need easily, whether its in the middle of the night or while wearing my pack instructing someone else as to where something is.
I really believe consistancy in packing and placement is the key. It doesnt really matter if its in a stuff sack or loose in a pack pocket, as long as you ALWAYS put it in the same place.
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Organized chaos. Nothing ever ends up in the same place twice. All that I'd need readily is on my person, so I really don't have a system. Plus, I use a Swiss engineer rucksack, and there isn't much in the way of organizational option.
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I love this thread, My buddies call me the bag man. I love to make sure everthing has a bag, if it dont I will make one. All of my bags are made from Digital camo and I use color coded para cord to assist me in whats in the bag. This can also be used in many other emergency situation or assist in setting up camp.
Food= Green Cord
Fire starters= Blaze orange
Cook kit and Stove= Gold
First Aid= Red and I also have Red Cord on the pocket that the first aid kit goes in. I want to make sure that if I ever need it I can tell someone to what to get and look for in my pack.
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I pretty much organize my packs by putting all my junk wherever I can get it to fit! lol
Usually anything extremely important that I need quick access to is going to be in my pockets or on my belt if at all possible. Food items and what not for quick breaks along the trail will be in most easily accessible spots in the pack and everything else is thrown in wherever I can make it go!
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My backpack is a 20 year old Gregory Wind River, it's a big top loader with a U shaped zipper on the front, behind this zipper is a mesh panel with a zipper to keep stuff from falling out. The top lid has one pocket and detaches for a fanny pack. Two mesh water bottle pockets. So I basically have 5 places to put stuff.
I make checklists and try to stick to them when packing. Frequently used items go in top lid. Rain jacket, first aid kit, water filter go between zipper panel and mesh divider. Most everything else goes goes in the main compartment in different color stuff sacks: food in green; cartridge stove/fuel canister/pot in black; tarp/guylines/stakes in tan; odds and ends go in blue; down sleeping bag in a red silnylon dry bag; clothes in a blue silnylon dry bag; hammock in built-in stuff bag; hammock suspension in mesh bag. Sleeping pad straps to outside. Water botles go in in mesh water bottle pockets. Liquids I don't want leaking inside my pack (camp suds, insect repellent, sunscreen) go in a ziploc then in one of the exterior water bottle pockets. I have extra one quart and one gallon ziplocs in case I need an extra container for something.
I try to follow standard packing advice for internal frame packs: big soft stuff at bottom, heavier gear close to back towards top.
After I'm finished using something I try to put it back in it's stuff bag.
At night I put on clean base layer/underwear to sleep in. Put socks and base layer I'm going to wear the next day in foot of sleeping bag before going to sleep so they're warm the next morning. I lay out anything I'll need at night near me: shoes, headlamp, water, eyeglasses.
I usually have Swiss Army Knife, butane lighter or firesteel, hand sanitizer, bandana in my shorts/pants pockets.
I do something similar, but I try to think in terms of "rooms." For me, my yellow bag is my bathroom, my blue bag is my bedroom (clothes), etc. Works for me.
Originally Posted by CaliforniaCanuck
Couldn't that be said for nearly every question on this site? Seriously. He's THE MAN.
Originally Posted by Sgt. Mac
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