View Full Version : newbie need help

11-01-2002, 17:46
hey gang im planning a first time thru hike of the AT and im trying to get my gear together. the stupid question is this---is it normal/commonplace to stow your backpack in your tent or the vestibule of your tent to keep it safe from the elements and animals or do you leave it outside your sleeping area? im shopping around for a tent and depending on the answer to this question will determine what kind of tent i purchase any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated--harvey

11-01-2002, 21:09
It is often done any of those ways. Some like their pack in the tent and take a big enough tent to do this. Others like the pack in the vestibule. Others leave it outside, usually under a pack cover or with a trash bag over it. I leave mine on the ground with a pack cover, usually 8-10 feet from the tent. I've never had an animal get into it or mice chew holes through it, though I am careful to remove all food to the bear bag. If you do leave your pack outside, be sure and bring into your tent any warm clothes or gear you might need at night. In particular, put your rain gear inside the tent. If you wake up in the morning and it is pouring, it won't do you any good in the pack. In a shelter, it's best to hang your pack because of the rodent population. And never leave your boots outside or on the ground/shelter floor in porcupine country.

11-02-2002, 12:30
When I tented (about half the time) my pack was in my clip flashlight tent with me. I would usually place the pack at my feet and use it to elevate my tired and often swollen feet.

11-02-2002, 17:17
The SD Clip Flashlight is a popular tent among thru-hikers. It's a 2 man tent, so there should be room for a pack inside if solo. But many thru-hikers carry a smaller one man tent,such as the MSR/Walrus Zoid. Your pack will not fit inside, or even in the vestibule of these tents.

You should also consider tarp tents, or a tube tent. Both are probably lighter, but require some knowledge to rig up.

SGT Rock
11-02-2002, 17:22
My latest pack is so small and light I just stuff it into the mesh pouch and use it as a foot pillow. If you go light enough it could work for you:

1. Hang your food, pots, water, and hygine stuff.

2. Your shelter is up, you sleeping bag and sleeping mat are in it.

3. Clothing is worn or in a sack for your pillow.

4. All that is left is a camera, maps, and maybe a couple of small items, leave them in your pack under your feet. The pack elevates your feet to help reduce swelling and if you are using a 3/4 length pad serves as the insulation under your feet.

11-02-2002, 20:39
Originally posted by Peaks
The SD Clip Flashlight is a popular tent among thru-hikers. It's a 2 man tent...
While the clip is advertised as a 2-man tent, the two people will have to be on the average to small size, and comfortable sleeping cheek to jowl. I'm a big guy, and I can't imagine sleeping comfortably with anyone else in my tent. Just my opinion. It did fit my pack however.

11-03-2002, 20:43

I like to bring my pack into the tent with me as well.
One of the main reasons is , when i wake up, if it's pouring outside,
i don't have to go out to get my (probably wet) pack to start packing up my gear. (going out for the food bag and to pee first thing is enough ! lol)

Hope you have a great hike !
Perkolady :)

12-14-2005, 09:58
I also like to keep my pack in my tent under my feet. Like other's have said, it's practically empty and it's really nice to elevate your feet. I'm also looking at tents and trying to devide which I want for my thru hike. Barbie W

12-14-2005, 10:18
I have always kept my pack in myt tent as long with my food bag, in my pack also,when I was in the serria's I did encounter some bears,my new tent is a bivy so now I am also considering some alternatives,ky

12-14-2005, 11:22
On rainy nights the pack generally came inside. Otherwise I found a small stub (limb) on a tree and hung it or just laid it out on the ground and used my pack cover. My pack is essentiall empty once I've set up my tent and pulled things in for the night. Only things left inside would be of no interest to a varmint or bear.


12-14-2005, 11:37
i'm with slogger... i'm also a hammocker (HH)... if it's nice out, i just hang it off the foot-end tree, right by the entrance to the hammock... if i need a knee pillow, i can bring it inside. rain gear gets sort of spread out at the foot end to add a little insulation... repair kit and some odds and ends i keep in the one outside pouch are about all that's left in the pack... everything else is pretty much food related and goes in a bear bag...

12-15-2005, 10:48
I too keep my pack inside. I bought an Europa 05 (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/shop/shopexd.asp?id=40) to be sure I had room for me, the pack and room to move if tent-bound for a day or two. And it has an additional bonus - it is lighter than most 1 man tents!

max patch
12-15-2005, 11:21
I kept mine outside with the rain cover on.

12-15-2005, 11:42
I used the Henry Shires Virga 2 tarp tent. It was plenty big and I kept the pack inside, somtimes I used it as a foot rest and since it was the luxury lite external frame, sometimes I used it as a "mini clothes rack to dry my wet stuff, like socks inside the tent. Sometime I just left it outside under the beaks to dry stuff out outside. I took the top cylinder off and hung it as my food bag. This system worked great. The pack and tent came in at about 60 oz.

12-15-2005, 11:59
A vestibule question:

Say there's room in the vestibule for a pack, but the pack will be touching both the tent and the fly. What condensation issues will I face? I'm picturing a very small vestibule, and a backpack sitting on it's bottom, upright (just like if you were wearing it).

Actually I just realized it makes very little difference.... the other option is what's mentioned above (leaving pack under pack cover) in which case the pack will suffer just as much wetness as if in the vestibule.

The Solemates
12-15-2005, 12:10
i use my pack as a pillow, inside my tent.

12-15-2005, 13:12
I'm a hammocker most of the time but not hardcore about it or really adverse to tents and prefer a tent when the weather is questionable.

By the time everything is out and in place for the night (hung up on a bear line or in my hammock or tent) the pack is quite empty, only a few small items are left in it. It fits NICELY either in the vestibule or even inside my Zoid 1 with me if I choose to take it inside.

In foul weather, it always is either in the vestibule of the tent or under the rain fly of my hammock with its rain cover on. I have it in my head that there is some benefit to hanging it to air out on nice nights so regardless of whether I'm tenting or hammocking, it will wind up hanging from a tree branch.