where to put the pack at night?
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Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
where to put the pack at night? on 04/10/2011 13:18:22 MDT Print View

Do most folks leave their packs outside their shelters at night, or do you prefer to bring them inside? Our current tent has plenty of room for bringing our packs inside (as we needed to do in Mt. Rainier NP to keep the mice out of them), but we are considering a smaller tent. The Cloudburst 2 is 60 inches x 84 inches, and there wouldn't be enough room to put the packs in laying flat next to the sleeping pads. The vestibule on the Tarptents has quite a gap that rain could blow into, and one would be climbing out over the packs to exit, so we're not sure it would be the tent for us.

Do other people hang their packs? What about rain protection?

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Pack - pillow or footpad on 04/10/2011 13:35:18 MDT Print View

I use my pack as part of my sleeping pad, either under my head or under my feet, depending on the slope of my site. Depending on how much stuff is in your pack at night, this may or may not work. My pack is empty at this point so it works well.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: where to put the pack at night? on 04/10/2011 13:43:09 MDT Print View

If my pack is empty, it becomes part of my sleeping pad. If it is half-empty, it becomes my pillow. Only in the case of a torrential downpour would I place it as a rain door.

--B.G.--

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: where to put the pack at night? on 04/10/2011 13:58:25 MDT Print View

I usually hang my pack with food in it.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: where to put the pack at night? on 04/10/2011 16:02:45 MDT Print View

We have never left our packs outside, either in the day or at night.

cheers

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
where to put the pack at night? on 04/10/2011 16:30:41 MDT Print View

My food and smellables stay outside in my Ursack. My pack with what remains inside it is my pillow. My dog's pack usually stays outside in the vestibule, inside a trash bag to keep it dry. (His food is in the Ursack, too.

Last time I looked, the Cloudburst and Double Rainbow weigh exactly the same. With the DR you have 2 doors and 2 vestibules, so more vestibule room.

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/10/2011 16:35:05 MDT.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
Double Rainbow vs. Cloudburst on 04/10/2011 17:30:03 MDT Print View

Yeah, I've looked at the Double Rainbow. That sort of general structure is the same as what we have already, so I was trying to get away from that style, more for versatility and trying different shapes of tent in spots. It seemed like with 2 doors, we had to have more clearance and space on either side of the tent to accomodate crawling out of 2 doors, whereas the Cloudburst would slide into a narrower slot. The lack of space, however, is making me think that the Rainshadow 2 might be our next tent. It's quite wide at 78 inches, wide, however, so that may negate any reduction in footprint that we otherwise acquire.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: where to put the pack at night? on 04/10/2011 17:32:50 MDT Print View

"We have never left our packs outside, either in the day or at night."

+1 For all the reasons mentioned and also because the shoulder straps and hipbelt of your pack will accumulate salt from perspiration which will attract salt hungry critters that will chew on them to extraxt the salt. Major league bummer.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
vestibule use on 04/10/2011 18:03:55 MDT Print View

So, basically, what are vestibules for? Just the boots? They would have salt on them to attract the hungry critters as well. Merely rain protection as one crawls out of the tent?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: vestibule use on 04/10/2011 18:10:39 MDT Print View

"So, basically, what are vestibules for? Just the boots? They would have salt on them to attract the hungry critters as well."

For me, in the vestibule counts as "in the tent". I should have been more clear. I am a light sleeper, and would hear anything messing with my shoes. Critters chewing on something make a very distinct noise, one that gets my attention VERY quickly. Yes, I had to learn the hard way. ;)

BTW, never had any trouble with critters coming into the vestibule. So far....

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
where to put the pack at night on 04/10/2011 18:21:38 MDT Print View

I use my vestibules for hanging up washed socks or other wet clothes . I rig a small clothes line in there. Works well. I'm also planning on modifying mine for cooking.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
critters in the vestibule on 04/10/2011 18:22:13 MDT Print View

Well, I have! The first night camping out on the Wonderland Trail, I was awakened by chewing noises. I had my pack in the vestibule, and even though all the smellies were in the bear bag on the pole, a curious mouse was gnawing on the mesh outer pockets on my SMD Traveler. Hissing at him and thumping the mesh door did not discourage him; I had to unzip the door and give him a thump on his furry butt to get him to stop! After that, we brought the packs inside the tent, and laid them on the floor at the foot of our Neo-Airs. Nothing got left in the vestibule.

Our current tent is plenty long enough to do this, but I'm contemplating shifting to a Tarptent, which will allow us to lose almost 3 pounds of weight. It also has one door at the end, which might solve some issues in some campsites as far as having room to pitch; don't have to have as much clearance on both sides for the doors.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"where to put the pack at night?" on 04/10/2011 19:11:50 MDT Print View

Pack goes under the tarp close at hand, either propped under my head or under my feet.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: critters in the vestibule on 04/10/2011 20:33:53 MDT Print View

"Well, I have! The first night camping out on the Wonderland Trail, I was awakened by chewing noises. I had my pack in the vestibule, and even though all the smellies were in the bear bag on the pole, a curious mouse was gnawing on the mesh outer pockets on my SMD Traveler."

He was probably after the salt, or what he thought was salt. Porcupines chew on tires in parking lots for the same reason, even though there is no human deposited salt involved. The mesh material may well have had a similar effect on him. That was one of my first learn-the-hard-way experiences, and it cost me a tire. Beyond that, the location says it all. The Wonderland Trail sees a lot of traffic and therefore has a lot of agressive, habituated critters. That is one of the reasons I never hike in such areas. If that kind of area is where you find yourself, clearly extra measures are called for, first off being to bring your gear into the main compartment of your tent. Rodents, especially habituated ones, can be a real PITA, and I quit hiking in areas where they are a problem long ago. They are relentless and it is just too much of a hassle, for me anyway.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: "where to put the pack at night?" on 04/10/2011 20:37:43 MDT Print View

I specifically got a 60" long sleeping pad so that there would be extra room at my feet for my pack. It's pretty empty at night, so it just stays there.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
under your feet on 04/10/2011 20:56:39 MDT Print View

I use a short sleeping pad, and put my pack under my feet as others have suggested.
This way it becomes multiple use gear so I can save weight on my sleeping pad.

Sara C
(Jon) - M

Locale: SE Missouri and NW Arkansas
Cloudburst on 04/11/2011 10:31:03 MDT Print View

We use a Cloudburst 2 and put the packs at the foot end. If you're really tall and don't want to put them under your feet, then it may not work, but works fine for us with 6' or shorter mats (and 6' or shorter people).

Robert Carver
(Rcarver) - MLife

Locale: Southeast TN
Re: where to put the pack at night? on 04/11/2011 11:51:26 MDT Print View

I place my pack at my head and use it as part of my pillow system.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
Cloudburst on 04/11/2011 13:44:55 MDT Print View

Hey, Jon, got any photos of your tent and camp set up? I'd really prefer the smaller tent, but if it's too jammed together, it would be more hassle than help.

Sara C
(Jon) - M

Locale: SE Missouri and NW Arkansas
Cloudburst on 04/13/2011 05:46:40 MDT Print View

I don't really have any good pictures of the interior, sorry. Everything fits but the packs don't always lie flat at the foot. They lean up a little against the mesh, but that's fine with me.