How do you organise your backpack?

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by JesterJo, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. JesterJo

    JesterJo Tracker

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    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 I’m 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 doesn’t escape me. I know as I rummage through my backpack I’m 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. I’m going to try using more transparent bags. If I can see it, I can access it fast. For small items I’ll 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. I’m 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: Jan 25, 2013
  2. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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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. ;)
     
  3. Lerch

    Lerch Bushmaster Bushclass I

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    Yep, organization never survives the first night in the bush.
     
  4. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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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.
     
  5. TheBurns

    TheBurns Scout

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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.
     
  6. Eugene

    Eugene Tracker

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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.
     
  7. Sgt. Mac

    Sgt. Mac Elder Staff Member Administrator Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II Bushclass Instructor

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    Terrys got a good vid for this

    [video=youtube;wYybxFCt-lk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYybxFCt-lk[/video]
     
  8. almac

    almac Scout

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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.
     
  9. gdpolk

    gdpolk Guide

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    I use these for small stuff: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Outdoor-Recreation-Group-Set-of-3-Ultimate-Dry-Sacks/10928125

    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.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  10. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Supporter Supporter

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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.
     
  11. Arrowolf

    Arrowolf Supporter Supporter

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    In the main compartment I pack it in order of what I'll need to set up camp. First thing out is ground cloth, then tent, the sleeping gear.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sleeping pad in outer pocket.
    [​IMG]

    Side Pockets.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Food goes into it's own sack, personal gear into another. I pack it the same way every time. I can put my hands on whatever I want in one try because I know exactly where it will be. It took me awhile to develop a system that works for me. I pack my dry bags for the kayak/canoe in a similar manner.

    When I'm onsite, I use another tarp/space blanket to put my gear on so that it stays collected in one place. It stays cleaner and small objects are less likely to get lost on the ground.
     
  12. PineMartyn

    PineMartyn Scout

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    I too would welcome some tips. I don’t have the problem you describe on day trips and seldom on backpacking trips just because the gear we bring for those is minimal, but I do have the problem you describe when on a canoe-camping trip.

    Our canoe camping trips are usually about 5-10 days, so that means bringing quite a bit of gear, which must be packed carefully in order to be able to fit all of it our canoe packs, but that careful organization is quickly undone just a few days into a trip as gear often has to be repacked before moving on while some gear is still in use. For instance, I’ll begin packing up everything I can on a cold morning while my wife is making breakfast under the tarp, so the tarp, cooking pots, stove, etc, and extra clothing layers can’t be packed up, but eventually need to be packed up before climbing into the canoe and setting off for the next camp. The result is that things are no longer where they were (often in a different pack entirely), and so finding things later when we make our next camp can involve a lot of rummaging.

    [​IMG]

    There are some things that are never a problem: Our ditch kits are always on our persons, the tarp and rain gear are always at the top of a pack for easy access in case of a sudden downpour, and a few items (headlamps, water filter, etc) are in small dedicated pack pockets, but the rest of the gear can end up anywhere.

    Fortunately, the situation improves towards the end of the trip because once the food barrel is significantly emptied, the cook kit, stove, and fuel bottle, is moved to the food barrel and that frees up a lot of room in our packs, making it easier to pack things back where they ‘belong’.

    [​IMG]

    Regarding checklists: I’m a huge proponent of those. I can boast that we have never forgotten to pack a single piece of gear in years of tripping, but that’s because my memory is poor and so I have to rely on our ever-evolving checklist before every trip. For me, it takes all the worry out of packing.

    Hope this helps,
    - Martin
     
  13. Tristar777

    Tristar777 Tracker

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    I must be mad! I enjoy the "limited chaos" that my trips bring. Having said that, I have to be very organised in my day job and with the strict times for my meds etc so Im in no rush to get anywhere or do anything. I go at my own pace and if things take longer to get sorted thats what happens! I love it!
     
  14. PineMartyn

    PineMartyn Scout

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    Tristar777 raised a good point about not being in a rush when out in the bush. One shouldn't feel one needs to know where everything is in order to save time.

    I'm happy to say I seldom feeling rushed when I'm in the bush, and I'm often reminding other outdoor enthusiasts that they don't need to spend a lot of money for a stove or fuels that will boil water in the least possible amount of time (unless they are mountaineers hell-bent on summitting and can't afford to waste any daylight); nevertheless, when canoe-tripping I am often very tired and weary from hours of paddling in hot weather and portaging over rough terrain by the time I arrive at camp, so when I need something from my pack, it makes me groan when I'm not sure where it is in my pack or even what pack it's in and I must empty half my pack to get what I need. It's even worse when you're still en route and you have to repack after...ugh.

    It's not such a big deal when backpacking, because one usually has only one pack, and one strives to bring as little as possible, but when canoe-tripping, there's usually 2 large packs, both crammed tight and 1 or 2 food barrels, so not being certain where something is can be a real pain.

    Any other advice or pointers would be welcomed.

    Hope this helps,
    - Martin
     
  15. almac

    almac Scout

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    another idea.
    use a drybag to store your food. if a drybag will keep water out, it will sure keep odors away.
    if animals are a concern, you can lock it shut and use the strap and rope to hang it in trees to keep bears away.
     
  16. PineMartyn

    PineMartyn Scout

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    Thanks for the suggestion almac.

    We use dry bags to hold our food for our backpacking trips. On backpacking trips, which are usually shorter duration, the food quantities are much less and a dry bag weighs a tiny fraction of what a barrel weighs. However, neither dry bags nor barrels are odor-free. Once you put food in either, animals will absolutely be able to smell it if they happen to be close by, which is why it's advisable to hang one's food bag or barrel. Doing so reduces the likelihood they will find themselves close enough to smell the food and and makes it harder for them to get to it if they do smell it. When using a bag, it's imperative that one hang up one's food because a bag can be gnawed through by a rodent or other critter in seconds. A barrel is harder to get into (though even a mouse can gnaw through that sort of plastic). A lot of camping stores and outfitters used to market dry bags and food barrels as preventing odors from escaping (they do lessen the escape of food odor, of course), but then they also sometimes marketed food barrels as "bear-proof", which was also incorrect. The only thing that makes a food barrel hard for a bear to get into is making it as inaccessible as possible. Canoeist who travel through barrens - where there are no trees - are forced to stash their barrels on the ground, far from camp, and they try to hide them amidst rocks and in shrubs so bears won't spot them, investigate, and smell food inside them. Once a bear can get a whiff of your barrel, it will go after it. And if it can get it's teeth onto your barrel, say goodbye to your food. Black bears can and do break into cars parked at trail heads to get at the snack foods they smell inside them. [Edit: added this sentence]: A plastic barrel doesn't block sent well enough and it won't keep out a bear. Our dog always knew which of the two barrels contained his dry dog food. A bear's sense of smell exceeds that of a dog's.

    The reason we use barrels when canoeing-tripping is that those are invariably longer trips and the quantity of food we need to bring is such that dry bags won't do it - there's just too much food to carry at the beginning of the trip and would put undo strain on a light dry bag - unless one were to use the heavy, rubberized SealLine dry bags, or else divides one's food among many bags, necessitating hanging up multiple bags.

    We actually find that the barrels, though heavier, are easier to carry with the harness system than a dry bag carried in the hand, and the fact that the barrel is a solid container makes it easier to find things in than a dry bag. But the dry bags, being lighter than a barrel, are, admittedly, a lot easier to hoist back up in a tree, and they take no time to seal back up. A barrel's a bit of a bother by comparison. Barrels are completely impractical for backpacking.

    Hope this helps,
    - Martin
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  17. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Scout

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    Great topic that most think is elementary, but a lot of it depends on the individual’s experience and activities. My wife and I are planning a 200 mile section of the AT later this spring. I’ll only be able to do about half (due to my work schedule), but we have been practicing on shorter hikes with our packing lists and weights.

    We’re using a dedicated dry bag for food and will hang it using the PCT method. The standard packing methods are often the heaviest items closest to your back mostly for balance and keeping it closest to your center of gravity.

    My military background influences the way I pack. The top of my pack is often reserved for my layered clothing and rain protection. Additionally, I like to have my tarp and suspension at the top as it’s the first thing I put up once we choose are overnight spot.

    As already mentioned, I like to pack how I set up camp and then reverse pack when breaking down. Clothing and food and stove are often at the bottom followed by sleeping pad, hammock and tarp.

    There are some items I like readily available such as the first aid kit, water filter, collapsible water containers, fire kit and my layered clothing (including hat, gloves, etc.).

    It does depend a lot on what we plan on doing, but the above is our current “SOP”:4:

    ROCK6
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  18. jackjack

    jackjack Scout

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    I would love to be able to have standard packs set up for every length and type of adventure, but it just doesn't work, Canoeing or Camping? Hiking or Car camping? One night? Two night? four Night? Week long? Weather? If Canoeing portages? If hiking mountainous? Fishing while hiking? or fishing while canoeing? My thoughts have gone toward a matrix where each of these are issues and somehow I can organize taking all these into account.

    Comfort level could mean three separate matrix, desired quality of food etc. These all create complexities in the flow chart and the matrix.

    I think about starting that matrix soon, but right now I'm just writing lists of everything for the next adventure.

    So far a journal for different trips is as deep as I can go, it would be interesting to see what items of equipment make the cut on all adventures.
     
  19. Chiral

    Chiral Tracker

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    Some really useful into in this thread. I am a chronically disorganized packer so this really helps Thanks!
     
  20. dwightp

    dwightp Guide Bushclass I

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    Good thread!

    Several people have mentioned making checklists to make sure you put the necessary things into your pack.

    I go one step further and leave a contents list in my pack. That way, I can look at the list and know what the pack
    contains. Almost every trip I look at the list and have one of those, "Aha, I forgot that I had one of those in here!"
    moments, and then begin rummaging around looking for it. Otherwise, you end up coming home and finding something
    you needed on the outing that was hiding in the bottom of a pouch.....something you needed, and had the whole time.
     
  21. Big Dan

    Big Dan Tracker

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    I never bother to organize because I know what ever it is I'm looking for is at the bottom of my pack.
     
  22. Sheriff_Of

    Sheriff_Of Tracker

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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
     
  23. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Scout

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    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.
     
  24. TheRambler

    TheRambler Scout

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    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.
     
  25. Ulfgrim

    Ulfgrim Guide

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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.
     
  26. Mtjack637

    Mtjack637 Tracker

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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
    Water= Blue
    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.
     
  27. JPAZ357

    JPAZ357 Scout

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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!
     
  28. chuck g

    chuck g Tracker

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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.
     
  29. TripleF

    TripleF Tracker

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    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.
     
  30. AnthonySmithXR

    AnthonySmithXR Guide

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    Couldn't that be said for nearly every question on this site? Seriously. He's THE MAN.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  31. chuck g

    chuck g Tracker

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    My brother in law's wife named me "container man" during a car camping trip years ago...everything was in an ammo can, action packer, or stuff sack :)
     
  32. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    The first "rule" i have is "minimize". the less stuff you drag along, the less you have to keep track of. That said, i use a hammock, and i do mostly canoe trips or short backpacking trips. Over time, i've realized that the major difference in them is the food/cooking portion. What's common is how i set up my hammock and pack with the other stuff that isn't food/cooking related. That is almost always exactly the same.

    The first thing i do at my campsite on any sort of trip is find where i'm going to sleep and set up my tarp and hammock. once they're up, my headlamp and flashlight go in a pocket on the ridgeline, where i will find them at night. 2nd pocket from the right. first is for glasses, third is for pocketknife and chapstick, 4th is for a packet of tissues (clean glasses, runny nose, etc). I know exactly what's where in the dark. I then pull my sleeping bag, underquilt, and night clothes (long johns, fleece hat, cotton tee) out and lay them in the hammock to fluff up. extra jacket comes out and goes over the ridgeline near the head end, under the tarp. i generally only carry one extra pair of socks on short trips, so that extra pair just gets tossed in the hammock with my night clothes. I pretty much do a complete change before bed, and the day's damp socks get put over the ridgline with my shoes to dry overnight (or not... wet stuff goes back on the next day). I generally carry a small blue foam pad, which is in my pack if walking or i kneel on it while canoing. this becomes a doormat and seat cushion as needed. About all that's left is my rain gear, which stays in the pack, hanging off a tree. At night, the pack comes in if it's raining, to hang under the tarp.

    The next step is to set up my kitchen... if canoeing, this usually involves a tarp, a fire, and a wannagon full of food and cooking gear. if backpacking, it involves a small stove, a pot, a cup, a spoon, and a kool-aid jar with lid to each from, and a bag of dehydrated something or other. pretty simple. less stuff, less to worry about not losing.

    As far as actually "organizing" it, there's really very little to do. I have a GoLite Gust with 2 side pockets i added, and a single large outside pocket that came 'stock". i also added some webbing loops to the outside for holding some shock coard. My sleeping bag and underquilt go in the bottom, extra layer of clothes (usually just a fleece, longjohns, T, and fleece hat) go next, then hammock, sometimes with a towel and soap case. cookpot, stove, and food bag go next, with raingear on top of that. Fuel bottle goes outside in one pocket, water bottle goes in the other. sometimes the fuel bottle shares room with a second water bottle (summer). My hammock's tarp goes on top, near the rain gear (or if soaking wet, in the shock cord). if i still have a pair of socks that need drying, they can go in the shock cord as well.

    All of my loose stuff (headlamp, flashlight, compass, first aid kit, TP, toothbrush, toothpaste, repair kit, extra lighter) goes in a small waterproof stuff sack in the outside pocket. Tent stakes and a paracord donut go in there as well, by themselves, not in the sack. Knives and folding saws get pushed down next to the water bottles. A hatchet, if carried, goes inside the pack, down one side.

    If canoing, the food and cook gear go in a box with the kitchen tarp. the box is roughly 12"x16"x24", and the tarp is as big as i need it for that trip and the number coming. 12'x15' is about right for 2-3 people. The box and the pack lay next to each other between the thwarts on a 2-person trip, and if solo, i'm usually really concerned with weight and don't bring the box. If I carry an ax, it lays in the bottom of the canoe under the pack. I may pack the food in a second, smaller pack, so i can distribute the weight better, but canoe logistics is a whole nuther thread.

    kinda long-winded, but hope that helps.
     
  33. mjf

    mjf Scout

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    [​IMG]
    Here is how I set my new LL Bean pack up for my weekend trip. Top row is the pack with my sleeping bag in a dry sac. Tyvek wind screen, map and tp go in the lid pocket. My clothes, fleece shirt, dri ducks, socks, beenie and down jacket go in the very bottom. The second row has my water bottle that goes in the left side pocket. My food bag, cozy, water bottle, Ti stove and cookset go in next along with the fry pan. On top of that goes my orange kitchen stuff sack. The red sack is my first aid kit and goes in the left hand pocket. The orange dry sack has my personal gear, toiletries ect. It goes in the front zippered pocket.

    The third row is my tarp tent, sleeping pad, Tyvek ground sheet and Tyvek stuff sack with my Ti tent stakes. These items and the pillow go on top. I put the gloves in the front pocket. I wear the Wolf Creek knife while the Mora goes in the right pocket. The sit pad goes against the sheet frame of the pack. The Tomahawk goes in the sleeve behind the right pocket.

    In camp I'll set up the tarp tent, ground sheet, sleeping bag and sleeping pad. The kitchen is set up next to the fire area. Personal stuff sack and clothes go next to my sleeping bag. Food bag get hung using the PCT method. I have a small County Comm led light attached to the draw string on the pack. At night a flick of the switch turns the inside of the bag into daytime.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  34. gixer

    gixer Tracker

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    Those drums are really handy, but i found that stuff gets moved around from 1 drum to another then mixed up.

    My solution was to paint each drum a different colour, and use only dry bags of that colour in each one.

    I did have them labelled up e.g. food, shelter etc, but to be honest after a few expeditions i found then, that i could lay my hand on whatever i wanted pretty quickly without needing to read the label.

    If you don't have the resources to paint them, or fancy keeping them the same colour then a line or 2 of tape around the drum will to the same thing.
     
  35. Prof

    Prof Guide Bushclass II

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    I have tried lots of packing systems and lists over the years, and they were all fairly useful. Recently I have tried to really cut back, and get by without big pack.


    Shelter and "night stuff" go in the bedroll: ground cloth, shelter half, blanket or sleeping bag, stakes and ropes, spare clothes, hygiene kit, and a stuff sack. When the shelter is up, clothes go in the stuff sack and work as a pillow. That way I'd know where the socks are! Hygiene kit goes at the head of the speeping bag and contains a back-up flashlight.

    Cook kit goes in its own bag with all kitchen gadgets for the trip. I have several of these, so I swap out the entire set. These have a small towel with ties, that goes on the ridge line.

    Haversack gets the food and what's left: TP kit, camera, navigation, first aid kit looped over strap for instant access, fire kit. All "day stuff" I might need on the way to camp or when first arriving goes there.

    These three items are tied to the improvised frame like Redmech showed. I carry my canteen kit with water and several duplicate needs in it like cap light, fire starting stuff, canteen cup and stove.

    My knife is around my neck or on my belt, and a few other things are in pockets.

    The other guys usually have the axe, saw and more food, so by pooling cooking resources, we can have good meals and good times!
     
  36. go2ndamend

    go2ndamend Scout

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    Much like my life, my packing system has evolved over time. In my teens, I was a disorganized mess and so was my pack. Everything was just thrown in and away I went with my friends. Had lots of great times and memories. My thirties were a more responsible time, with less free time and a frustration over a hyper organized packing system. Everything in it's own bag, own color, put away every time. Very efficient, but not very fun. As I enter my late forties, I have finally found a nice balance. It has evolved into a very pleasing system of what I call organized chaos. I have colored stuff sacks which I have labeled on the outside with a large black felt pen describing the contents. Unfortunately, the labels work great for the one trip were that particular item fit in that particular stuff sac. Now, it no longer bothers me that when I grab the stuff sac marked underware, it is filled not with underware, but some other item such as food or tools. This has carried over into my butchering also. When butchering elk/deer each year, I always mystery label about a dozen cuts. I will intentially mislabel a few items as skunk, racoon, duck, or coyote. It is always amusing to have friends over for dinner with a nice package of meat out thawing labeled skunk and see the reaction on their faces. Organized chaos is the best, embrace it!
     
  37. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    i'm stealing that one. thanks.
     

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