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remove stuff sack- and gain space!
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Joseph Williams
(deadogdancing) - F

Locale: SW England
remove compresson sack- and gain space! on 02/26/2008 10:52:09 MST Print View

I was so excited about this I had to post it. It will be old news to many of the readers of this forum, but for those who are still doing what I was doing, it should be worth a read.

Problem: 3 season synthetic sleeping bag takes up most of small UL pack, making additional clothing/food difficult to fit in.

Subsidiary Problem: hauling on compression straps to fit it in is going to kill the bag's loft quite quickly

Real problem: Backpacker dosen't use his loaf.

Solution: Ditch the compression sack. Wrapped in a rubish bag for water-resistance, the big ol sleeper spreads out and takes up all the dead space at the bottom of the pack, leaving more space at the top, where it's needed. And it's much less compressed, so hopefully I can look forward to using it for longer!

I looked happily at my little MLD Zip with all the hardware for a weekend trip packed in, and all of the extension collar left rolled down and empty- lots of room for food for longer trips. Then I took the compression sack to the scales and realised it weighed 150g/5 oz on it's own! RESULT!

Edited by deadogdancing on 02/26/2008 11:04:39 MST.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Good for you. . . on 02/26/2008 11:44:05 MST Print View

Glad you figured this out. It's been discussed in another thread though.

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
remove compresson sack- and gain space! on 02/26/2008 11:45:48 MST Print View

Thanks for the report! It seems counter-intuitive to put a fluffy sleeping bag into a backpack and still have room for everything else. I've read about doing that here on BPL and plan to try it for the first time on next weekend's trip.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: remove compresson sack- and gain space! on 02/26/2008 14:05:26 MST Print View

A good idea for synthetic bags. It's interesting that Gossamer Gear recommends that also for their down bag.

Joseph Williams
(deadogdancing) - F

Locale: SW England
...should be the same for down on 02/26/2008 15:35:55 MST Print View

the only reason I mention it is synthetic is that that's why it's particularly bulky (that and it's sized for a giant). Synthetic bags also more often have the horrible compression sacks that invite you to ruin them at the tug of a strap.

The principle should apply to any bag and is really just a way of using rucksack space efficiently. The only things to watch for are that the bag is still adequately protected from water and dirt, and is not pinched or over-compressed in spots by the rest of the packing.

as Chad mentioned, this has already been posted, I just thought I'd shout it up in case anyone else is still struggling with a similar problem- in my case it means I can carry on with using this sleeper effectively with a smaller rucksack, instead of a risky modification, or spending money I haven't got on a new bag!

all the best

michelle Annett
(andrewz) - F
confused on 02/26/2008 19:39:16 MST Print View

For some reason i am a little confused about buying a bigger stuff sack for your sleeping back etc so it mold to your back? So do you unravel the sleeping bag to act as extra cushioning?

Nat Lim
(LithiumMetalman) - F

Locale: Cesspool Central!
confused no more! on 02/26/2008 19:45:23 MST Print View

Hey Andrew,

that's part of it, but a big reason for storing a sleeping bag in a larger container is for preservation of loft, constant cycles of compressing and uncompressing compromises / degrades the loft of one's sleeping bag over time. Minimizing this degradation is good for keeping the cahones warm (the bag will still lose loft over time, but not as quickly if it was constantly being squeezed in and out of it's standard sack)

michelle Annett
(andrewz) - F
bag on 02/26/2008 20:57:04 MST Print View

So i would imagine in the big stuff sack you would lay your sleeping bag in a L like manner for back comfort, and than you could put your other gear on top of the bag resting on the L. Also so than it would be more flat against your back right? Is it likely you will rip your bag?

Also Nat were by the sierras do you live? I live right below Yosemite in a small town called Oakhurst. Always looking for people to go back packing with during the summer.

Edited by andrewz on 02/26/2008 20:58:58 MST.

Joseph Williams
(deadogdancing) - F

Locale: SW England
simpler than that on 02/26/2008 23:22:23 MST Print View

I personally do the rolled sleep mat thing to structure my rucsack, so the sleeper just forms a plug at the bottom of the tube. There's not much pulling force on it anywhere, so I'm not worried about ripping.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Space and loft. . . on 02/27/2008 12:36:06 MST Print View

As discussed in the other thread. . .

The space saving from not compressing your bag into a down brick is that the uncompressed bag more efficiently fills the space in your pack and doesn’t create dead space. Once you place gear atop your bag it will compress the bag down into a smaller, more efficient shape than provide by a compression sack.

Typically I gain another 4-6 inches in pack volume by not compressing the hell out of my bag.

If you want to try and maintain the loft then you need to place your bag on top of your pack so that no gear will compress it. Doing this will obviously take up more space and require a bigger pack.

Brendan Redler
(bredler) - F
Sleeping Bag Compartment on 02/28/2008 00:21:43 MST Print View

Or, if you pack has a sleeping bag compartment/divider like my aether (I know, not lightweight, but I like it) you can just put the divider in and preserve the loft by stuffing it into the bottom divided out portion with a plastic bag for wetness protection. Then it doesn't get compressed too much, and I've still got plenty of room up top for the rest of my gear.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: remove compresson sack- and gain space! on 02/28/2008 12:57:33 MST Print View

Totally agree!

I was a traveler before I was a hiker -- and started off by "organizing" my gear into various stuff sacks: tent sack, sleeping bag sack, sleeping pad sack, clothing sack, food sack, and a misc. "small items" sack.

Not only did the above require a bigger pack because of the inherent space inefficiency of packing multiple cylinders -- I simply hated spending so much extra time and effort wrestling the stuff into their respective sacks every morning -- esp. with cold fingers!

I was just as pleasantly surprised as you when I first discovered that by not stuffing, I can save both time and space! I now line my pack with a giant trash bag, and just pack everything in, using up all nooks and crannies efficiently, then closing the trash bag for full water protection. I only use one stuff sack in my pack now -- to keep the sundry small items together.

My tent/poles are stored together in a sack as well, but that's attached to the outside of my pack.

Edited by ben2world on 02/28/2008 12:59:36 MST.

Matthew Elam
(slashpastor) - F

Locale: Colorado now!!!
ONE BAG!?! on 02/28/2008 18:41:51 MST Print View

I'm fairly new to this ultralight thing. Madly in love though... Anyway, So let me get this straight:

You use a compactor bag, like ya do..., But you don't put your sleeping bag in a stuff sack of any kind? You just put it in the bottom and stack everything else on top? What about when you have wet clothing? Or Something leaks? Or is there another trick I don't know? HELP!

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: ONE BAG!?! on 02/28/2008 18:50:39 MST Print View

I personally use a packliner-sized stuff sack such as the very large Golite bags. A compactor bag would work the same- roll the top to close it up and your insulation is protected. A really huge stuffsack will give the same result with a little added protection.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Poly pack liners plus silnylon stuff sacks on 02/28/2008 19:33:14 MST Print View

We just use large 2 mil poly bags (gusseted) to line our packs and keep all the dry stuff in, and further pack the dry stuff in waterproof stuff sacks for extra protection. Then we don't bother with pack covers, and are not too worried if our packs leak.

BPL I believe still sells large poly pack liners, but you can get them cheaper in large quantities on the web.

Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
liner bag on 02/28/2008 19:37:08 MST Print View

If your worried about something leaking, i.e. a hydration bladder or fuel bottle, simply put it on the outside of the liner bag, between the liner and your back, inside the pack (for the bladder), or on the outside of the pack in a pocket.

wet clothes? after you roll the bag shut just lay them on top. Or better yet strap them to the outside of your bag, giving them a chance to dry.

One of the principals of ultralight is not carrying more clothes than you can wear, so you might actually be wearing the wet items, and body heat is a good dryer for synthetics and wool.

It really fills the space effieciently, not having the stuffsack. I used to do like Ben, everything in bags, for organization, and my bag was a lumpy looking mess, and hard to pack. Now I stay organized by having fewer things.

Matthew Elam
(slashpastor) - F

Locale: Colorado now!!!
Ohhhhh! on 02/28/2008 19:54:28 MST Print View

I can see that!

The liner thing is making sense now! I'm going to try that! Sure would save me a few ounces!