Compartmentalisation? Is it important to you and how do you cope?

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by 8thsinner, Dec 29, 2016.

?

Is it important to you?

  1. Yes

    32.0%
  2. No

    15.6%
  3. I like kit packs

    21.9%
  4. I like a bag with multiple compartments

    8.6%
  5. I like a mix of both

    44.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. 8thsinner

    8thsinner Guide Bushclass I

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    If you like the idea of your gear being stored in several smaller kits or draw string bags or something. How do you like to be organised?
    Would you rather have a kit style system or a bag with definitive compartments where gear gets tossed into.
    Or do you try and combine the best of both for the gear and resources available to you?
     
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  2. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    Please finish your question.
     
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  3. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I chose "no", as in I'm not obsessed with organization (vs the folks who need a "kit" for everything and everything in its own compartment in a pack).

    That said, certain things naturally go together and should be packed that way for efficiency.

    The #1 area for that (in my system) is the cook set. I carry a brew kit in its own stuff sack, with all the bits and pieces to make a hot lunch on a day- or hunting-trip. When camping overnight, I dispense with the sack and put everything into a bigger pot (Mors 5-cup usually)... my kool-aid jar/bowl for rehydrating a meal fits inside the pot, with a cozy around it. inside that are spices, pot chain, lighter, PJ cotton balls in a film canister, and a small piece of paracord to make a tripod with. "Kit" folks might keep the cordage in a line kit and the firestarter in a fire kit. I don't generally carry a fire kit (sacrilege, I know.) So when I get to camp and want to eat first, all I need is my cookpot.

    My favorite packs are of the "one main compartment, two side water bottles, and a junk drawer compartment in the middle" variety. Any more pockets, and before you know it, a 1.5lb pack weighs 4 lbs.

    My food goes in a Walmart bag. I pretty much have one zip lock per meal, unless it's a 4-5 day canoe trip, in which case foods for like-meals go together in different colored bags (I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast every day, so the oatmeal and bacon is always together. The lunch stuff is all in one bag. The dehydrated dinners are all in one bag. Drink mixes are all in one bag.)

    I nest my cup under a water bottle. If carrying a saw and hatchet, one goes in each water bottle pocket. I keep my air pillow in with my sleeping bag. My extra clothing gets tucked in/around other items in my pack. In camp, they all fall to the bottom of my 3/4 empty pack and that's their "place". The "junk drawer" holds everything else... Luci light. Tent peg bag. Headlamp. Spare cordage bag. "Everything else" bag (batteries, pad and pencil, TP, FAK, Repair kit).

    That's it. That's my "system"... everything has a place, and I can find any of it in the dark. Stuff sacks are heavy enough. Organizer pockets are worse. No need for anything more "organized" for me.
     
  4. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter

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    I love organization. I heavily rely on pockets, pouches, and compartments (whether they are part of my backpack or individual).

    EDIT: I do agree with Seeker that a pack should be of pretty straightforward construction. One main compartment and a couple smaller ones or else it becomes impractical at some point. I guess definitely rely more on separate pouches within my bag. That being said, I do not like the idea of a rucksack or pack that is just a single big compartment.
     
  5. Youcantreadinthedark

    Youcantreadinthedark Amphibian. Supporter Bushclass I

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    I generally just put a blindfold on and pack by feel. That way I can test out my new dinner jacket on the trail.You ever eat Mountain House in a bowtie? AWESOME.
    I don't use knife sheaths, either, because you may have to make a split-second tactical decision regarding questionable bear behavior, and fumbling for a sheathed knife is probably going to cost you your life, because bears are ruthless people-haters and they're probably all on social welfare and likely to come take your job if you're not careful. Like, is that a bear disguised as a tree? It probably is. I just stab everything I see to make sure it's not a German spy or something. AMMURRRIIICAAAAAA!
     
  6. Jasonacraft

    Jasonacraft Scout Bushclass I

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    I love kits. Everything in my life has always been made into a kit, since I was a wee lad. A place for everything and everything in its place.
     
  7. Youcantreadinthedark

    Youcantreadinthedark Amphibian. Supporter Bushclass I

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    Furreal. I do this too. (Also have a bear-stabbing kit.)
     
  8. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have my "shelter kit" - a large pull-out wth my tarp (incl. guy lines, ridge line, stakes), my hammock, and a UL bivy as backup.

    My "cook kit" - smaller pull-out with my cook pot, cup, spoon, pocket rocket stove, and fuel canister.

    Fire starting kit - exactly as it sounds; small pull-out with multiple methods for starting a fire and small amount of pre-made/prepped tinder (usually consists of a few pieces of fat wood).

    That's sort of the core of my overall kit. Rest of the things I bring are typically individually packed. Things like sleeping bag, underquilt in winter, rain gear, water filter, knife, FAK, flashlight, etc.

    I will say that YCRITD has me realizing I'm short on a bear stabbing kit. His wisdom in this area gives me much to consider.

    Stupid autocorrect - to clarify, I do not bring a UL bicycle in my shelter kit, though that would be awesome. It should've said UL bivy.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  9. Dravous

    Dravous Scout

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    I have to have everything in kits, everything in its place. I tend to loose items in the bush when I stray from this, so it's become second nature.
     
  10. Togus

    Togus Supporter Supporter

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    I can't do multiple pockets, compartments, or too many attached pouches. I get lost in remembering what's where. I end up opening all of them to find just one item.

    I suppose I could label each compartment or pouch indicating what's in it. Nope.

    I prefer an open deep bucket or envelop style bag/pack. Maybe one or two external storage areas.

    Keep in mind the gear inside is not all mixed around willy nilly. It's all quite organized.
     
  11. Bob_Spr

    Bob_Spr Guide

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    I use a color system too - Red bag - med kit, Orange bag - fire kit, Blue bag - water kit, Green bag - shelter, Brown bag - cooking kit, Black bag - tools.
     
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  12. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    I have some preferences in terms of where particular things are stored, but in general my pack isn't very organized at all. I don't do kits, color-coding, or anything like that...on day hikes I often just throw my stuff in my pack basket, and go. My version of organization, I suppose, is trying to keep the gear down to the bare minimum, just enough to do what I need to without redundant stuff.

    I do check out everything pretty closely during packing, and make sure it's all there...bad news to be missing some important item if you don't do redundancy.
     
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  13. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I just throw everything in. Individual kits are a great idea, but I'm lazy. As long as my water, knife, and gun are quickly available, I'm good.
     
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  14. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    So you're one of those guys who walks around with your knife in your teeth. Cool.
     
  15. Jasonacraft

    Jasonacraft Scout Bushclass I

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    Ahhh! I feel so unprepared now, I'm short a bear kit and a UL bicycle kit.

    ...well jeez if I think about it my under seat bag is a psk with extensive first aid and on many trips my bear spray is with me (no gun)....I may actually have both those covered....man...I was looking forward to making another setup
     
  16. SSG Nasty

    SSG Nasty Scout

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    Being retired military, I got used to compartments and dry bags. 0200hrs and could find what I wanted with ease.
     
  17. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    I can only imagine how much people learn when they're in the military. I wouldn't want the punishment part, but I'd sure like to learn more about how the military does certain things- like packing and preparing..
     
  18. Smokey Radley

    Smokey Radley Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I really like a top lid, front kangaroo pouch, and side pockets for water bottles, with a pass behind the side pockets for axes and so on. A small pouch on the waist belt for hiking snacks never hurts. Other than that it's pouches and compression sacks for everything else.
     
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  19. mahaney

    mahaney Guide

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    I would have thought that the brown bag would be the toiletries kit, but I am weird that way.

    To answer the OP, yes and no. I like to keep some things together, but I hate having a bunch of bags in my bag. Stuff that is small and builds on itself is more or less a kit- cook kit- if multi day, mors pot with stuff inside. I detest stuff sacks more so because I keep loosing them in the woods.

    I quit putting my quilts in stuff sacks for that reason, plus it limits on how you can pack. The military taught me how to organize, it is just my way...I know exactly where stuff is in my pack.
     
  20. Trackerfiend

    Trackerfiend Guide

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    Unfortunately I was released due to an old wrestling injury during my AIT phase, but what I remember was that every one had their rucks and their on person equipment packed and organized exactly the same.
    It allowed for your fellow soldiers to be able to locate any one given item at a moments notice, if and when things got too hot or immediate first aid was needed.

    Sent from my LGMS330 using Tapatalk
     
  21. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing. I went online and read a quick article on that. It was interesting learning a bit about military packing!
     
  22. hamanky

    hamanky Scout Vendor

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    I like stuff sacks to keep things kinda organized, works better with my top loading packs.
     
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  23. Cheapeats

    Cheapeats Guide

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    I do some backpacking and my bag has 2 main compartments and several smaller pouches I only need a couple of kit bags with that but when I do week-long canoe trips I use 2 Dry bags one day pack clear bag about 20 liter sized this holds my rainsuit, maps, bug spray,sunscreen, snacks and other items I might need to grab without unpacking the main bag. In main bag which is 119 liters everything except my camp shoes is in a bag of some sort. I just found a compression style bag that is divided inside https://gobigear.com/products/the-hoboroll
     
  24. MountainMan706

    MountainMan706 Scout

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    For town/gym: I like a bag with compartments - if I am using various items at different point in the day for different activities, I like them stored separate and accessible.

    For Backpacking: I like a Kit bag of Bucket pack b/c it leaves more room to store bulk gear as a I wish.
     
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  25. RSniderWVA

    RSniderWVA Scout

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    I'm probably a hybrid. I have a pouch for my first aid kit and a second pouch I keep small items in (such as: fire starter options, multi-tool, compass, batteries, small sharpening stone, etc.) The interior compartment of my backpack is for water bottles, stoves, gloves, etc. Anything I may want to reach quickly or often will be in the outer pocket of my pack.
     
  26. Bob_Spr

    Bob_Spr Guide

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    Toiletries are in a gallon size zip lock. That way if I am using the near a stream, I don't worry it they fall in the mud. The brown doesn't show smutz from pots and bottles like some of the other colors.

    Bob
     
  27. vdeal

    vdeal Guide

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    I've been hiking and backpacking for a long time now and have tried several different ways of organizing things in my pack. I won't bore you with any former methods but will say that if you read the "Cave and your system" thread by Cro and see how he organizes things you will see my basic system now and one that will be hard to vastly improve upon. Essentially, I use Kifaru ultralight pullouts of different sizes for almost all of my kits and color code them with an appropriately colored piece of paracord on the zipper pull. Of course I had to come up with a color coding scheme. Works great and things are easy to find. The only stuff not in kit bags are the things carried in my chest pack or in my pockets.
     
  28. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    Complicated bags with lots of pockets don't lend themselves well to being light weight, simple, and being easy to stuff larger items like shelter, sleeping bag/quilt, and sleeping pad/under-quilt. This is why most Backpacking bags are fairly simple as far as I can tell. I'm less concerned about extrme organization on that trail as I am about accessibility and common sense. Rain gear, first aid, maps, water and food for the trail stay in easy to access areas which might just mean the top of the pack. "Kits" might be organized with a rubber band or plastic bag rather than a heavier more expensive alternative and others such as my cook kit simply nest though I find a plastic grocery bag is a good idea if you plan to cook on the fire to keep the soot off of other gear, heck I always carry an extra as part of my pack out the trash left behind by worthless people kit ;-)
     
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  29. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    I did not start out in life organized , my dad was not ,and his shop proved it, he never actually got the bug.
    My brother learned while becoming a professional mechanic, and I the same.
    Some mechanics never learn to organize, and there work shows it.
    By no means am I anal about it, but having learned the value of it , I do the best I can to try to keep things organized.
    My bags are compartmentalized to some degree, no compartment is sacred , some share tools not related to the bulk of that cell. no wasted space.
    The same with tools though , if it is not in place, it is missing, and needs to be found.
    If ones organization is hap hazard than if something is missing you don't know till it's too late.
    Is the spare tire in your vehicle good, and where it belongs ?
    When was the last time you checked it ?
    I ride a motor cycle and keep a spare inner tube and fix a flat as well .spare oil, spare water (for me) and spare gas,and other tools in the saddle bags.
    I periodically check these things because though they are not used, chaffing from rough riding roads and drive ways, do damage eventually .
    Because my S&R bag was kept int he truck , it had to be inspected regularly for much the same reasons .
    If things are kept in a predictable place , how do you handle an emergency ? or tell some one how to find something for you ,if that became necessary???
     
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  30. medic16

    medic16 Scout

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    I remember in basic training when my drill sergeant told me to always use gallon freezer zip loc bags to help waterproof your gear like socks and t-shirts. He also told me to use a trash bag inside my ruck. I never forgot what he told me and it helped me out on several occasions. I was training in Germany in the spring and it did nothing but rain. We had to have our rucksacks strapped to the outside of our track vehicles. After a while, apparently I was the only one who did the ziploc bag and trash bag trick and ended up as the only soldier in my platoon with dry gear. Ever since, I have always used ziploc bags and carried an extra trash bag.

    I like to use a combination of pull out pouches and ziploc bags for organizing my gear. I like to sew military name tapes on my pull out pouches to name the kits. I find that organizing stuff in kits helps me remember what items I need to bring. After a trip I usually go thru and clean and restock items and put them right back in my pack for the next trip. This system works well and it is pretty rare I forget something. On bigger trips I will make a packing list and check off items as I pack them.
     
  31. Trackerfiend

    Trackerfiend Guide

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    I line my packs with a 56L SeaLine ILBE Dry Bag the only thing that doesn't go into the dry bag is my Poncho and tarp, both of which are set on top of the sealed Ruck Liner.

    Sent from my LGMS330 using Tapatalk
     
  32. medic16

    medic16 Scout

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    I have seen those dry bags before and thought about picking one up. Will have to revisit this.
     
  33. PA Jaeger

    PA Jaeger Tracker

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    I'm a Kifaru pull out freak!

    Different color 550 cord to ID what's what......
     
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  34. Backyard

    Backyard Guide

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    I like packs with enough pockets and pouches on the outside to hold those items I want to get to quickly.

    I have several colored draw string bags I use to keep like items together and for quick ID.

    Other than that, heavy stuff on the bottom, find a way to make sure all the space is used.
     
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  35. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    I like bags of different colors for different things. Kitchen stuff (fork,spoon, can opener, pot scrubber, fire, soap, bic lighter, etc) go in the red bag. Coffee, instant milk, s&p, etc, go in the blue bag. Most food goes in a sturdy plastic bag. Outside pockets are where the headlamp, gloves, knife, map, compass, TP, and other things I may need to find in the dark or by feel go. Clothes and water in the bottom section. Cooking pot, bowl, water filter, etc go in the top section. Bed (hammock, tarp, sleeping bag, pad) go on top of that stuff or down below. Etc. I would much rather load all that stuff on some packgoats tho. Then all I have to carry is my wallet, keys, camera, and pistol.
     
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  36. Rahul_Does

    Rahul_Does Tinder Gatherer

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    My Field&Stream external frame takes care of all those pockets and compartments.

    [​IMG]

    What I fail to understand is the absence of any compartment in Osprey Farpoint 70.

    Apart from two mesh pockets on the front flap, there is not one pocket! One has to wrap everything in a towel (or two) and then strap it in the inside! Otherwise, everything slides to the bottom as one walks.[​IMG]

    After that, it is the most comfortable bag to carry on your back. However, it doesn't make sense; the towel part!

    [​IMG]

    Is that *IS* the way that it is supposed to be used?

    What am I missing?

    Ra.

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk
     
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  37. Trackerfiend

    Trackerfiend Guide

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    Work= packing cubes
    (The straps remind me more for a suit carrier insert)
    Play= stuff sacks and dry bags

    Sent from my LGMS330 using Tapatalk
     
  38. Rahul_Does

    Rahul_Does Tinder Gatherer

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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  39. Trackerfiend

    Trackerfiend Guide

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    That would be my guess, or something similar.
    I don't have any experience with that model.
    But, my old Blackhawk Titan pack had a 4 way strap system in the main compartment and was a zippered clam shell design.
    The drybags and stuff sacks went into the pack side to side and one on top of one another, they were then strapped down.

    Sent from my LGMS330 using Tapatalk
     
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  40. Big Furry Guy

    Big Furry Guy Scout Bushclass I

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    Speaking of rucks, I really think I'm going to stop using my Mystery Ranch rucks that I got issued, and start using my large ALICE pack. A lot lighter, and really simple. I used to throw a wet weather sack in there to line it, then just threw everything else in, some of which was in ziploc bags.
     
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  41. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'd rather have a burlap sack than some of the new packs with all kinds of dividers, mesh pockets, zippers snaps straps and buckles. Much of that stuff just adds a lot of extra weight.
     
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  42. Jasonacraft

    Jasonacraft Scout Bushclass I

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    But the ride, man! The ride is so comfy with an empty 8lbs pack!
     
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  43. TStilwell

    TStilwell Supporter Supporter

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    could you share the article? If you want to send it in a pm that is cool, I am having trouble finding one.

    Also anyone else who has links to info on packing organization I would be interested in reading it or watching a video. I am terrible at organization.
     
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  44. Trackerfiend

    Trackerfiend Guide

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    Paul Kirtley has a good video for the Karrimor Saber 45.
    IAWOODSMAN has a great one on the A.L.I.C.E. Pack.
    I just put one up on my channel about how I pack my Frost River Isles Royale Bushcraft Jr.(Trackerfiend on YouTube)


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  45. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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  46. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Scout

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    As with everything, it depends on your outdoor activity. I don’t recall much in the way of pack organization growing up, but in the military, I found that organization helps when you need something fast or need to search without a light. Organization is nice, but my wife weight all her small stuff sacks and bags for one of our backpacking trips and they all added up to almost 3-4 pounds; I was shocked to say the least.

    Moving to more lightweight backpacks instead of the multi-pocket military packs, my ULA Circuit just has the main compartment, a mesh back pocket (that is pretty big), two side bottle pockets and two large hip-belt pockets. Here’s what some of my “load-outs” looked like:

    [​IMG][/URL
    ]

    [​IMG]

    I have now moved to few individual sacks, but I do use a trash compactor bag as a pack liner to keep everything dry. I’ve found pack order is important as some items you want conveniently handy and some you want immediately.
    • Starting at the bottom of the pack (inside the liner), I stuff my sleeping bag, no compression or stuff sack.
    • If I’m using an under-quilt, I’ll stuff that in with the sleeping bag.
    • Next up are my sleep/emergency clothing and extra socks; these are actually stuffed in a cuben-fiber waterproof/roll sack.
    • Next up is my cook kit, it too is kept in a small cuben-fiber pouch.
    • Alongside my cook kit is a small accessory bag that just keeps small stuff like the water container (Platypus), a little extra cord, ankle brace and syringe for back-flushing my water filter.
    • On top of that is my food bag; an 8-liter dry bag with bear line and some extra Ziploc bags.
    • Next up is usually my hammock (for a tent, it would be the top-most item).
    • On top of that is often a pair of lightweight sandals for summer trips (Xero Shoes).
    • The top is often shared with my tarp for immediate shelter, any shed layers along with hat/gloves & spare socks (in a Ziploc)
    • I also pack both a hydration bladder and a folded section of Z-Rest against my back in the pack
    • Lastly, I hang two small cuben-fiber pouches to the hydration pouch hangers. One is a hygiene kit, the other is a real compact repair kit.
    The outer mesh net on the back of the pack is what looks like a cluttered mess, but the stuff is quickly accessible:

    Rain fly
    FAK
    Mosquito headnet
    Extra Sawyer water bag
    Rain jacket
    Bandana
    Folding bucket

    I do keep a one-liter water bottle in one of the side pockets and my filtering kit in the other

    Snacks, hand sanitizer, and bug-dope are in the hip belt pockets.

    Ziplocs do help to keep some items dry. I use them for snacks, FAK and often for my hat gloves (and spare socks) near the top of my pack. I always pack a couple quart and gallon freezer bags in with my food bag.

    The beauty of my packing organization is that it pretty much packed in order of necessity for unpacking and repacking which is quite important in less-than ideal weather.

    ROCK6
     
  47. Rahul_Does

    Rahul_Does Tinder Gatherer

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    So will I!

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  48. SuperKramp

    SuperKramp Tracker

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    I've got a 75l Ortlieb ps10 Liner coming to me this week. It's on the spendier side for dry bags/sacks at $40+ but I've had Ortlieb stuff in the past and they're VERY reliable. This being designed (read rectangular base) as a rucksack/backpack liner I have high hopes and will chime in on the forum once I've a had a good go with it. I'll be using it in a Karrimor SF Sabre 45, and I think the dimensions are about spot on allowing some extra height for over stuffing my ruck. Fingers crossed. Cheers.
     
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  49. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    I a few separate pockets for things that I don't want down in my pack like wet tarps and water bottle but for the most part I like a big open bag.
     
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  50. Trackerfiend

    Trackerfiend Guide

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    The Paul Kirtley video I mentioned a few post before this one, Packing a Bushcraft Outfit into a Ruck(something along those lines)
    Paul uses an Ortlieb Drybag as his rucksack liner( 67L ?) in his Karrimor Saber 45.

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