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Rubber Bands
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Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Rubber Bands on 03/12/2007 12:20:21 MDT Print View

Occasionally I see references to the use of stuff sacks for items such as tents or pads. I use stuff sacks for Sleeping Bag, Main food (Breakfast and Dinner), Lunch and Snack food, Kitchen (including stove, pot, cup, utensils, fuel, filter, matches, etc.), First Aid and Ditty stuff, and Clothes. For years I've used rubber bands and left the stuff sacks home for sleeping pads and tents. I also use rubber bands to keep some clothing items compressed: Rain shell and pants, Thermals, etc.

Does anyone else make use of rubber bands in packing stuff? They're also fun to use to take pot-shots at gnarly squirrels that are trying to get into my food bag.


Edited by redleader on 03/12/2007 12:21:25 MDT.

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Rubber Bands Too on 03/12/2007 13:43:43 MDT Print View

So far I've used two rather heavy rubber bands around my BA Insulated Aircore instead of trying to cram it into it's extremely tight stuff sack...saves time and just over an ounce, too. I use two of the same size rubber bands around my Akto after rolling it to keep it tightly rolled inside the stuff sack. Here I don't want to give up the sack in the event it's packed damp. The other thing I'm using (small) rubber bands for is one for each double set of guy lines on my Akto. It keeps the lines nice and tidy for the next use. Those bands are permanenetly attached to the tent end of the lines using a Prusik type hitch.

Edited by Quoddy on 03/12/2007 13:45:19 MDT.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Rubber Bands Too on 03/12/2007 14:01:11 MDT Print View

Good idea on the guy lines. I've been coiling mine up to the tent and tying a granny knot around the coil. faking them with a rubber band fastening would keep them from tangling so bad.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Rubber Bands on 03/12/2007 14:16:27 MDT Print View

I use only two stuff sacks -- one for my tent which is attached to the outside of my pack -- and one small Granite Gear silnylon stuff sack to contain all the small toiletry and first aid items. I do not use rubber bands.

In lieu of grouping items together into separate sacks or rubber banding them, I just shove them into the pack to fill in all the odd corners, etc. I've found this method both faster and more space efficient.

The first thing I pack is the sleeping pad. After letting the air out, I fold it flat and slide it into the pack -- against the shoulder straps side. Next thing is the sleeping bag, which is shoved deep into the bottom. Clothing, food, etc. all follow behind. The aforementioned small silnylon stuff sack which contains first aid and other small odds and ends is the last to go in, so it can be readily accessible. Basically, as more things get cramped in, the sleeping bag and the clothing will "stuff themselves".

Edited by ben2world on 03/12/2007 14:27:23 MDT.

Joshua Burt

Locale: The Smokies
rubber bands on 03/12/2007 18:10:10 MDT Print View

Didn't like the mesh stuffsack that came with my titanium pot, don't quite see the point of it either. I hold the pot closed in my pack with the wide rubber band my MSR snow shoes came packaged in. Works like a charm.

Edited by idroptapul on 03/12/2007 18:13:05 MDT.

jim bailey
(florigen) - F - M

Locale: South East
Re: rubber bands on 03/12/2007 18:34:29 MDT Print View

Been using them to keep tent stakes organized then packed in an outside pack pocket, also works on firelite 500 pot for securing lid, good thread Dennis! like the pesky squirrel ammo idea

John Hopkins
(DrGonzo) - F

Locale: Southeast
Rubber Bands on 03/12/2007 19:26:24 MDT Print View

I have a huge bag of rubber bands that I can never find when I need it. So do I use them? sometimes...when I can find the bag.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Rubber Bands on 03/12/2007 20:46:04 MDT Print View

Try on the second shelf, on top of the ground cloths. That's where I find mine after the cat starts playing with the baggie. Gotta keep 'em ZipLoked, she's mad for rubber bands.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: Rubber Bands on 03/12/2007 21:03:25 MDT Print View

Rubber bands are great for tent stakes, poles and the like. Trouble for me is that invariably they get lost in camp. Probably have to get a stuff sack for the rubber bands.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Free thick rubber bands on 03/12/2007 21:28:49 MDT Print View

A good source of free thick rubber bands could be your local minilab. They are the "strap" used by the weatherproof disposable film cameras. I would assume that most of them get thrown away. 1/2"x7".

Most disposable use AAA batteries. There is usually quiet some power left in them , maybe you can get some of them free also from your minilab.


Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Rubber Bands on 03/12/2007 22:53:27 MDT Print View

Amazing that someone else besides me is concerned with this level of detail. I also replaced heavy stuff sacks and OEM bands with thick 2g rubber bands. Great for rolling spare clothing and grouping similar items.

A few more strapping ideas:
In the military, we used cut-up bike innertubes for smaller items, securing cordage, and silencing externally hung gear. Surprisingly strong and elastic.
For circumfrential compression I use REI side-release straps; I haven't found a stuff sack as easy as this; good for compressing fleece as small as possible:

I also use the velcro type straps for securing larger coils of rope to the top of my pack.

I secure any remaining sacks to the sacked item if possible, or put it in an inside pocket if it is a clothing item. Down still gets a sack, but shells need only a band.

You can dual use items as stuff sacks also, socks to protect a camera; sleepwear in the sleeping bag stuff sack, etc..

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Free thick rubber bands on 03/12/2007 22:56:17 MDT Print View

Great idea on the MiniLab rubber band source. Sounds like a great size for tents and other big stuff.

Before I went to bladders I used to carry a water bottle. Then I always put rubber bands around the bottle as I took them off the gear they compressed. Now they go into my "kitchen" stuff sack.

In Colin Fletcher's "Complete Hiker" he says to develop a packing system and stick to it. It helps you to find stuff in the dark. I have to reinvent this method with every new pack but it has saved me grief on occasion.

Another great source. With the ones I get from the supply cabinet at work, I may never have to buy rubber bands again.

Edited by redleader on 03/12/2007 23:04:54 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Free thick rubber bands on 03/12/2007 22:59:22 MDT Print View


For thicker rubber bands, don't forget your local friendly USPS mail deliverer. They always carry a bunch with them.

Robert Mohid
(mohid) - F
Bungee cord on 03/16/2007 11:03:51 MDT Print View

I find rubber bands aren't durable and reliable enough for outdoor use.

I use loops of bungee cord chopped from bulk instead. Much more versatile and rugged.

Gene .

Locale: New England
Re: Bungee cord on 03/16/2007 14:32:39 MDT Print View

Maybe try the rubber bands being sold for microwave cooking in a resturant supply store. They have to be stronger and tougher to endure being mic'd a couple dozen times ya' think?

Greg Vaillancourt
(GSV45) - F

Locale: Utah
Broccoli Broccoli Broccoli on 03/17/2007 19:32:00 MDT Print View

The bands that wrap broccoli stalks are quite strong.

Douglas Hus
(Hustler) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Rubber Bands on 03/18/2007 07:11:15 MDT Print View

They have earned a place in my pack. Good for keeping similar items together. Usually in combination with large stuff sac. Important for organization within. A form of compression system. Always keep 1 or 2 spares.