Packing your backpack...
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Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
Packing your backpack... on 01/29/2008 20:54:10 MST Print View

I can't seem to fit things in my pack like other people seem to fit things into theirs. I am using a Jam2, size large (3300 cui I think) and I seem to run out of room for a summer weekend hike! By the time I'm ready to add food all I have is the outside zip section of the pack.

This is a quick, abbreviated list:

- MLD Grace Duo tarp w/ CF poles
- REI Lite Core pad (packed deflated as rigid frame, then inflated - if it can inflate)
- MLD 2/3 XP quilt
- Montbell Down Inner Jacket (the "other" 1/3 of my sleep system)
- MLD Superlight bivy
- Houdini, extra pair of socks, beanie
- MSR Titan, BPL Ti-wing stove
- 5.6 oz first-aid kit
- Compass, whistle, photon, knife, 1oz firestarting kit

That's pretty much it. I would love to get a Whisper or a Revelation, but I just don't see how I could possibly fit anything in it. Has anyone gone through this? Any help? Do I just need to jam things in really, really tight?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Packing your backpack... on 01/29/2008 21:11:53 MST Print View

Some suggestions:

1. Pack your bivy, tarp and poles into a tubular stuff sack and stash it horizontally to the outside of your pack -- right at the top -- and secure tightly with the pack's top compression strap.

2. Pack your rain jacket and the various small stuff you need for the day -- lunch, first aid, water treatment kit, trowel, et. in the pack's outside front pocket.

3. Place two 1L size Platy bladders or bottles into the pack's side pockets -- connect one to your hydration tube if you use it. I have an additional 3L bladder for camp use, but that's only filled at camp towards the end of the hike.

I usually pack as if rain is expected. So:

1. line my pack with a contractor's bag
2. insert deflated Lite Core sleeping pad folded flat (as pack frame)
3. jam in sleeping bag and clothing (save space and weight by NOT using stuff sacks) -- use up nooks and corner space - squish and be amazed how little space they all take
4. pack in food and other items
5. twist the garbage bag opening tight, then insert the twisted end downward
6. close up your pack, cinch the sides tight
7. load the bivy/tarp sack on top and cinch tight

When arriving camp -- esp. in rain -- you can access your tarp and bivy without opening/exposing your pack contents to the elements at all.

Packing up, you can do so in the safety of your tarp -- pack and cinch tight your backpack, then don on your rain jacket or poncho to take down your tarp -- stuff with bivy into the sack and attach to your pack -- and you're ready to go.

Edited by ben2world on 01/29/2008 21:21:04 MST.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Packing your backpack... on 01/29/2008 21:34:12 MST Print View

I do much the same as Ben, except I normally put my tarp and groundsheet at the top of my pack (I use a poncho-tarp now so rain gear and tarp are one in the same). I usually stash my windshirt in the back pocket of my Whisper if I'm not wearing it so I can grab it quickly if I need it.
Also, is there any reason you aren't keeping the compass, knife, whistle, etc. on your person? It won't save much room in your pack but its always nice stuff to have on you in case you get separated from your pack. I also keep my first aid kit in the outside pocket so I can get to it without rooting through my pack.

Adam

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Packing your backpack... on 01/29/2008 23:38:25 MST Print View

I did a number of nine day resupplies on my thru hike this summer with my 3200 cu. in. ULA Conduit. I too always pack for rain. Rain gear as well as stuff I need during the day gets packed outside in the mesh pockets. This included rain jacket and the days food. This way I really don't have to open the pack until I need to refill the water bladder inside.

The secret for getting all my gear into smaller packs is about making use of space. I don't use many stuff sacks. In fact on the longest stretches of days without resupply you would find me forcing energy bars into every little nook and cranny just to get the nearly twenty pounds of food to fit inside with all my gear. As a side note I recommend a light internal frame pack for this sort of pursuit.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Packing your backpack... on 01/30/2008 01:33:23 MST Print View

I've found that a dry sack really help me reduce the volume of the compressible gear in my pack. The sack is not only water tight but it is temporarily air tight as well which allows me to squeeze all of the air out with my knee while sealing the bag. It actually cuts the volume by about 50% over my previous stuff sack and the vacuum effect lasts long enough to get it packed away. You can even flatten the sack to make it fit the pack a little better because the "vac pack" makes it hold the flattened shape. I use an Outdoor Research Helium Dry Sack for my down bag and extra clothes (all compressibles). The size 1 sack weighs 1.6 oz. (verified on my scale).

Edited by skopeo on 01/30/2008 12:01:08 MST.

R C
(beenay25) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Packing your backpack... on 01/30/2008 14:11:11 MST Print View

I'd pack the Jam2 like this: tarp in a small stuffsack in outside pocket, CF poles packed internally or strapped to the side of the pack; pad folded up (deflated) along backpad, MLD 2/3 XP quilt in small stuffsack at bottom of pack, or, as people have suggested here: packet loosely inside waterprood pack liner; Montbell Down Inner Jacket packed either in the same stuffsack as the XP quilt, at the bottom of the pack, or loosely in a waterproof liner; bivy in small stuffsack in outside pocket; Houdini in top of pack; extra pair of socks & beanie in waterproof liner or stuffsack at bottom of pack; MSR Titan -that's big, but try to fit the pot inside your food stuffsack and pack the inside of the pot with food; BPL Ti-wing stove -pretty small, right?; 5.6 oz first-aid kit -wherever you want it-I'd put this and the following miscellaneous stuff in just a very small silnylon stuffsack/ditty bag towards the top of your pack- Compass, whistle, photon, knife, 1oz firestarting kit




Sam, According to ULA's website, the Conduit is a frameless pack. Are you saying, when you recommend a light internal frame, that you would have preferred something with a more rigid frame than the Conduit?

Edited by beenay25 on 01/30/2008 14:17:32 MST.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Re: Re: Packing your backpack... on 01/30/2008 16:30:27 MST Print View

> Sam, According to ULA's website, the Conduit
> is a frameless pack. Are you saying, when you
> recommend a light internal frame, that you
> would have preferred something with a more
> rigid frame than the Conduit?


Yes, I would recommend a framesheet or minimal internal support of some variety when carrying loads over thirty pounds for extended periods. I built a plastic framesheet for my Conduit and that seemed to work pretty well. ULAs Circuit pack would probably be perfect with it's suspension rod system and is worth a look.