View Full Version : packing too small?

SC Ryan
12-17-2007, 13:59
My eureka tent will pack down to about half the size of the stuff sack it came in. Is it bad for the tent to do this to do this regularly(not for storage, just daily on the trail)?
Similarly, Is it bad to compress my 800 fill down bag as small as it will go?

Thanks, Ryan

jersey joe
12-17-2007, 14:04
There should be no ill effects from compressing your tent more than the bag it comes in. Compressing your bag is ok too as long as you give enough time when setting up camp for it to uncompress. You will give up some of your bag's ability to hold heat otherwise.

12-17-2007, 14:51
Tent, no problem. Make yourself a new stuff sack in the smaller size.

Sleeping bag, just be careful not to leave it super-compressed for very long. As long as you are taking it out and using it every day, you should be fine.

12-17-2007, 16:31
compress the tent as far as it can, that is good. as for the sleeping bag, you can on the trail as long as you fluff it up before sleeping in it and take good care of it at home.

12-17-2007, 16:38
I repacked my tent into a smaller sack, however, I would warn against compressing it too small. it is harder to get the solid objects into the pack without creating dead space...

12-17-2007, 16:46
The tent you can compress all you want. I have a North Face Tadpole 23 compression sack that I use for my Hubba or Hubba Hubba, whichever I am bringing. This works great for getting the tent smaller.

I would caution you on trying to compress a down bag too much. It is not good for the fill. Some where on here a link was posted to a podcast with the owner of Western Mountaineering. He speciffically says do not try to compact your WM bag much smaller than the stuff sack it came with.

12-17-2007, 16:50
Tent AOK.
As for bags, when I am not using one on trail, I always hang in a bag in a closest ( the big soft cotton bags they come in), but on trail, it's out of the bag right away when I get to camp at the end of the day, so it is 'fluffing' all through dinner before bed, so add avg. nights sleep, the bag is open almost 1/2 the time. :)

12-17-2007, 16:53
I think the biggest downside to compressing the crap out of stuff is that it is harder on your pack. Either you compress the crap out of it with you pack, or you use compression sacks and stuff now hard and awkward shapes into your pack. Either way you lose. You gotta ease off that 10 or 20%, and avoid awkward shaped stuff. You save tons of time packing and repacking also.

12-17-2007, 17:00
I am using a Jam2. It only has 3100ci, which is enough for me in Spring/Summer/Fall, even in summer with my daughter, but in winter I may have to carry my blue foam pad on the outside. I think I might haul a sled for long winter hikes. Then I could even carry two. I am looking at front pack options also. I have carried a blue foam pad in front compfortably also, but not the full width which I like in winter. On short overnight ski trips I'm sure I'll be OK with just the 3100ci. Just about packed and ready to go. :)

Dances with Mice
12-17-2007, 17:28
My eureka tent will pack down to about half the size of the stuff sack it came in. When it's wet, snowy or icy and your hands are cold the original stuff sack may look a lot smaller.

River Runner
12-17-2007, 17:35
When it's wet, snowy or icy and your hands are cold the original stuff sack may look a lot smaller.

Good advice.

Also, it is often hard to get all the air out of the tent when you are stuffing it in the bag - little pockets of air sometimes remain, and trying to stuff it all in on the trail is different than at home in the living room. ;)

River Runner
12-17-2007, 17:38
Compress the sleeping bag as little as possible. If you have room in your pack, a larger stuff sack doesn't hurt a sleeping bag, and it can expand to take up extra room as your food diminishes.

If you need to compress it smaller than the stuff bag it came in, consider a larger pack.

Jack Tarlin
12-17-2007, 19:25

I've worked for several outfitters over the years, and everything you've been told so far is correct.

The problem with most tent bags is you end up with a longish oblong package about 16 inches long and half a foot across, and you're limited with how you can pack it or where you can place it.

Feel free to pack the tent separately from the fly, either in separate sacks, or just stuff 'em in any old way (tho a waterproof bag for the fly couldn't hurt, so other stuff won't get moist and wet if the fly is packed away soaking wet).

Poles can go anywhere they fit, tho use caution if they're outside your pack, i.e. make sure they're not going anywhere. If you ever have the whole tent (i.e. that longish bag) outside your pack, like strapped to the top or bottom, make sure you've secured it really well. I know it sounds crazy to think you can lose your tent off your backpack and not notice it happening, but believe me, it happens often. I'd secure the tent with a light-weight small carabiner through the loop-pull; that way, if the tent gets loose somehow and falls, at least it won't go anywhere and will still be attached to your pack.

Sleeping bags can be stuffed small and tight, either in regular stuff bags, or specially constructed compression sacks, but don't leave them in there very long, i.e if you're in town or off the Trail for awhile, take 'em out of the bags and fluff 'em up; definitely, don't leave them in a stuff sack when you're not hiking or home; put 'em on hangers and keep them in a closet (after cleaning, unless you want everything in your closet to stink).

Rain Man
12-18-2007, 11:04
I usually just "stuff" my tent and rainfly loose directtly into the bottom of my pack. It means I can't get it out first, but it means I'm not dealing with a fixed-shape stuff sack, which can be hard to pack around and wastes a lot of space in the pack.