Shoving sleeping bag to the bottom -- I started off using a stuff sack but switched to "straight shoving" when I realized that NOT using the stuff sack actually allowed me to pack more quickly and more efficiently! So I stopped wasting time and effort wrestling the bag into its sack. I do line my pack with a Husky contractor bag first. These bags are light but TOUGH. As a comparison, a contractor bag is 2-mil whereas "heavy duty" garden and lawn bags are usually rated just 0.8 to 1-mil.
Using sleeping pad as pack frame -- When carrying a total pack weight of less than 25lbs. -- I find using a sleeping pad "frame" more than enough for all-day carrying comfort -- such as hiking up Mt. Whitney. However, I do NOT use the "circle method". One layer of pad thickness won't provide much of a frame! Do this instead -- depending on the type of pad you use:
1. Blue foam pad - fold the pad length wise, and then width wise to approximate the size of your backpack. Weigh the thing down with encyclopedias and dictionaries for 1-2 days. The pad will "remember" this position, making future foldings a snap. To pack, simply fold the pad and slip it into your backpack flat -- against the back. Then pack as usual (i.e. shoving the bag in and all the rest) -- and cinch everything tight. Now, you have a very space-efficient, effective "pack frame" that's multiple thickness!
2. Self-inflating pad -- let out the air, close up the valve, and then fold flat as above. Some people write that they then let some air back in -- but I haven't found that necessary.
Hope this helps.