Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Stuff Sacks- overkill?


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Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 07:03:57 MDT Print View

I'm resurrecting this old thread as I work to decrease the volume of my pack. I seem to have the same gear lists as a lot of you, yet I struggle to fill it in my gorilla and you guys talk about how a zero or something just has waaaay too much space.

One of my theories is that by using stuff sacks (dry bags for quilt, insulation layer and sleeping clothes (usually my insulation layer - cap long underwear bottom and merino long underwear top), and a food bag. I also roll my exped synmat UL 7 into its stuff sack, my pot/cookset is in a cuben bag, and a small ditty bag, also made of cuben. So I wondered if trying to pack all these lumps in my pack is the reason I can't seem to get the volume any lower.

Frankly, I'd like to do the JMT with something like this:Teeny purse

But if not, I'll settle with just using that for my weekenders, as I'm not sure I can fit a bearikade in that.

Mike V
(deadbox) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Testing your theory on 03/14/2013 07:38:40 MDT Print View

Jennifer, why not try throwing everything in your pack at home, sans the stuff sacks and see if there is any notable difference in volume.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 07:43:02 MDT Print View

"Frankly, I'd like to do the JMT with something like this:"

As would I, does she backpack?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 07:43:54 MDT Print View

Dammit, Doug! You JUST beat me to the punch!

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 08:20:20 MDT Print View

I wondered if trying to pack all these lumps in my pack is the reason I can't seem to get the volume any lower.

Speaking as someone whose secret superpower is packing more stuff into a space than seems possible, it really has to do with if you can arrange the blocks to take up all the space, like tetris. A lot of times that's harder than just stuffing soft lumpy things in the pack and letting them take the shape of the pack. But it can be done, usually. Depends on how much you're willing to fiddle with your packing procedure.

Using larger stuff sacks can be one way to keep things organized but make the contents more flexible so they conform to the shape of the bag more easily.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 08:36:11 MDT Print View

Haha!! I knew I could count on you guys for a Thursday morning laugh!! Wow do I need to get out. I was, of course, referring to the bag she was carrying, but I should have known. The women see the bag, you guys see, well, whatever it is you see.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 08:44:06 MDT Print View

Well, since Doug already took dibs on the girl, I've got dibs on the shoes.



Jennifer, what quilt do you have and what size stuff sack is it in? Also, which shelter are you using? What extra clothes do you bring?

Edited by T.L. on 03/14/2013 08:46:16 MDT.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 09:00:45 MDT Print View

I often put my quilt and any clothes in the "large rectangular dry bag" from ZPacks. Putting everything in one big dry bag keeps them dry and allows me to squish it all down for a pretty compact package that I stuff at the bottom of my pack - much smaller than separate dry bags for everything would allow. I would also try folding up your sleeping pad and placing it against your backpanel. Sleeping pads always end up much more compact when folded instead of rolled.

"Using larger stuff sacks can be one way to keep things organized but make the contents more flexible so they conform to the shape of the bag more easily."

+1 to this. I use a pretty large stuff sack for my shelter.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 09:03:25 MDT Print View

I've never quite understood shoes. Why is a closet full of shoes a good thing?

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 09:24:08 MDT Print View

For the quilt, I used to use a sea to summit sil dry bag...squished as much as I can to get the air out. My last few trips I tried the cloud packing idea for the quilt, using a garbage bag as a pack liner. But still using all those other stuff sacks.

As for extra clothes, obviously it depends on the length of the trip and the temps. A typical weekend affair I just bring a merino shirt to sleep in and depending on the temps I may bring my montbell UL puffy (which would go in the cuben stuff sack with the clothes). Longer trips or colder trips ill bring a pair of capilene long underwear bottoms and a spare pair of socks. For example, my 8 days in the winds last August I carried 1 extra pair of socks, 1 extra pair underwear, capilene 2 long underwear bottoms and a mid weight smart wool long sleeve top for sleeping.

I also am working on my rain gear, as I used to use a precip and a pair of 9 oz 2.5 layer REI rain pants. I've switched to a Rab pullover for real rain or a Houdini for drizzle, depending on location and season, and will be getting the montane featherlite pants. Wondering about a zpacks cloud kilt...seems like a great idea! But I digress...

So...

I'm taking a trip to the ozarks in MO next weekend and will try no stuff sacks at all to see if it helps. I'm also planning some packing practice this weekend....I just feel like I HAVE to be missing something big.

Mike Oxford
(moxford) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley, CA
Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 14:39:41 MDT Print View

Women collect clothes and shoes for the same reason that men collect tools, and both sexes collect UL gear.

It's the POSSIBILITIES that they represent, whether they ever get used or not, the options are available ... and you can never have too many cool new options and new possibilities!

I know guys with garages full of tools they never use, and while their wives are asking why the need all those tools the guys are asking why the women need all the shoes.... :)

-mox

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 14:46:23 MDT Print View

I have heard that some guys buy AR-15 and then buy cool accessories. "Barbie Dolls for guys". Same idea.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Lartnec Nagihcim
Re: Re: Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate on 03/14/2013 14:50:31 MDT Print View

When not packing my winter sleeping bag everything I want to keep dry goes in to an Exped Snozzle dry bag which also serves as the pump for my pad and as a pillow, triple use :-)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate and pack organzation on 03/14/2013 16:15:31 MDT Print View

General UL principles lean to minimizing as much as possible, and stuff sacks scan add up, especially the old tough PU coated Cordura bags. With the cuben and silnylon bags available, it's not as weighty a problem (nice pun, eh?).

The bags in my kit are there to organize and/or protect the items--- or to protect everything else from what is in the bag. Dirty cookpots and nasty-leaky stuff like DEET and peanut butter need to be corralled. I do end up with about 5-6ounces of stuff sacks and ziplocks. I like to have everything in it's place and not spending 15 minutes and the aggravation of turning my pack inside out to find one item. I have things separated in systems: latrine, hygiene, small clothing, insulation, essentials, cook kit, food, and a small ditty bag for odds and ends.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate and pack organzation on 03/14/2013 16:35:55 MDT Print View

I usually take the clothing that I am only going to wear in camp and stuff it at the bottom of my sleeping bag. Once I have set up my shelter I pull out my sleeping bag and my camp clothing with it. This has worked really well for me.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate and pack organzation on 03/14/2013 17:06:12 MDT Print View

IMG_0097 smaller

Two stuff sacks, one for the quilt and one for the Caldera Cone set up. Four zip lock bags.

This was a 3 day trip with rain and temps around freezing at night.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Lartnec Nagihcim
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate and pack organzation on 03/14/2013 17:26:28 MDT Print View

Nick,

A bit off topic but would you mind letting me know what quilt, pad and insulated clothing you where packing?

Cheers,

Stephen

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate and pack organzation on 03/14/2013 17:57:11 MDT Print View

Stephen,

Quilt is a EE Ephinay Cuben.

Pad is a Suluk46 1/2" frame sheet.

Also note the doughnut looking thing. That is from a GG SitLite pad ala Mike Clelland for my hip. Did not workout well.

Carried a Montbell Ex UL Down Vest.

Also had a Smartwool Balaclava.

Cap 1 bottoms.

Mountain Hardwear Cliffer LS T was what I wore and slept in (merino/poly blend).

Gloves were Nike DriFit wind gloves -- wool would have been better.

Base weight 3lbs 9oz.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Lartnec Nagihcim
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate and pack organzation on 03/14/2013 18:03:15 MDT Print View

Thanks Nick,

Thats a fairly Ul setup, these days I am always over cautious with my sleeping/quilt and pad as I still have memories of been uncomfortable in my youth.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That ol' stuff sack debate and pack organzation on 03/14/2013 18:06:50 MDT Print View

The quilt was right on the edge... I was a little cold my last night.