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Thread: Backpack setup

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    Default Backpack setup

    I'm not sure this is the correct forum but here goes. I've looked on youtube and Googled this subject but nothing really addresses the question. I've seen the gear lists and recommendations by thru hikers but no one really addresses how to pack the backpack. Is there a proper way to pack the sleeping bag, tent, sleeping pad etc on the backpack? I've seen videos where numerous hikers pack the sleeping pad strapped to the bottom outside the pack as well as the tent in a waterproof sack etc. Is there a specific link or video that would address this to a certain extent that someone is aware of? I realize that alot of this is a matter of weight distribution and personal preferences but it certainly would be helpful if I had a general idea of what others have done. Thanks.

    Siarl

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    Registered User DocMahns's Avatar
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    I generally pack my pack out of convenience. Whatever I use once a day goes on the bottom, whatever I use most a day goes on top. My sleeping pad sits in a pouch on the left side of my pack, my hydration bladder sits in a pouch on the right side of my pack. My sleeping bag goes in a stuff sack, cinched down and goes in the bottom of my pack. My edibles for the day go into an easy access zip-top pocket on the lid. Warming/Dry layers are closer to the top, along with my stove. This is just how I like to do it, because that's how I've always done it, and it's what works for me. You have to find a system that works for you and stick with it. Always pack your gear in the same places so you can access what you're looking for easily; whether you're tired and it's getting dark, or you're a half dead zombie in the am trying to find your oatmeal.

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    Quilt and clothes in a trash compactor bag in the bottom, squeezed down just enough of get the rest of my gear inside. Food bag, tent, xlite pad, rain pants, and extra fleece if I'm taking it. That's it for the inside. Back mesh gets tent stakes and center pole, FAK, ditty bag, rain jacket. Couple water bottles in the right side pocket, cook kit and aqua mira in the left side pocket. Snacks, phone, anything else small that I might need like chap stick, hand sanitizer, etc go in the hip belt pockets.

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    It is a matter or preference and you develop a system over time. for me, sleeping bag and pad on bottom (won't need them during the day). Food bag next (due to weight).Stove and fuel canister next to food. clothes bag. first aid kit. An extra platypus. near the top for quick access - my lunch for the day so I don't have to get to the food bag, TP and hand sanitizer, rain gear. In the brain, my water treatment (usually aqua mira), camera, guidebook, bear bag line, my snacks for that day, and whatever misc. items I might have (headlamp, etc.). Two water bottles on the outside of my pack, a tarptent strapped vertically and a tyvek ground sheet folded in a mesh pocket.

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    Great ideas on this! Thank you for the input. Seeing what others do and hearing about their method to the madness allows me to understand what I will be looking at when I pack mine. Thanks a bunch ya'll.

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    How you pack is a function of weight distribution and ease of access. I try to get the center of gravity of the pack at about the middle or sligthly lower. This usually means putting the food bag in the middle as it is typically the single most heavy sack. Even when there is nothing much left to eat in it. I still haven't figured out why that is.

    So, as indicated by the other posts, most pack thier pack with the sleeping stuff at the bottom of the pack - bag, pad, tent, then food, then clothes with your jackets at the top. If you have a top pocket or "brain" a lot of your odds and ends will end up there and it can start to get heavy, so watch out for that. If it gets too heavy, it will weigh down on your shoulders.

    I try not to hang stuff off the outside of the pack, except my water bottles. (I don't like to have anything liquid inside my pack. I've seen too many water bladders leak for one reason or another to use one myself) If you have to strap things to the outside of your pack then your pack isn't big enough or you got too much stuff. Usually it's too much stuff. Unless your using a foam sleeping pad which takes up a lot of room. Then there isn't much choice but to strap it to the outside of the pack.

    Exactly where you put stuff depends a lot on the type of pack you have, what you have to put in it and what it has for pockets and/or compartments. Experiment with different ways of stuffing the pack and find a method which works for you.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    There are a ton of videos on YouTube. Here's a pic that came up when I Googled 'How to Pack a Backpack.'
    how-i-pack-lrg.jpg


    "Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
    "


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    Ohhhh! I love the diagram. Fantastic. I can do with a diagram.

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    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siarl View Post
    I'm not sure this is the correct forum but here goes. I've looked on youtube and Googled this subject but nothing really addresses the question. I've seen the gear lists and recommendations by thru hikers but no one really addresses how to pack the backpack. Is there a proper way to pack the sleeping bag, tent, sleeping pad etc on the backpack? I've seen videos where numerous hikers pack the sleeping pad strapped to the bottom outside the pack as well as the tent in a waterproof sack etc. Is there a specific link or video that would address this to a certain extent that someone is aware of? I realize that alot of this is a matter of weight distribution and personal preferences but it certainly would be helpful if I had a general idea of what others have done. Thanks.

    Siarl
    From a recent thread copied and pasted my response. Hope it helps. Keep i mind there is no right or wrong way....
    Very similar to Firefighter (we're brothers so we often pack together) but I'm a Circuit. Note this was done this weekend and survived constant rain on Sunday and fall in the creek up to my waist (Creekfall!) on Saturday:

    In contractor trash bag in bottom of pack and twisted to keep water tight:

    sleeping bag (loose)
    down jacket (loose)
    camp clothes (in stuff sack)

    On top of plastic bag (can get wet):
    sleeping pad (either in sack (All season) or stacked on left side (3/4 ridgerest)
    Pot - with stove, spoon, and bottom of water bottle to dip for water
    Fuel (8 oz canister)
    Long sleeve if needed during breaks
    Food bag

    Left pocket
    Shelter (tarp or TT contrail)

    Right pocket
    2 1 Ltr platypus usually filled

    Front Mesh
    Diddy bag (Fak, TP, Advil, tums, etc)
    Rain pants, Rain jacket
    2 Ltr platypus (rolled up)
    Booze

    right hip
    Aqua Mira, bear bag cord, knife

    left hip
    Camera (in ziplock), Lighter, Inhaler

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Siarl View Post
    Is there a proper way to pack the sleeping bag, tent, sleeping pad etc on the backpack?
    Mine consist of 3 layers using 2 compactor trash bags.

    Bottom 1/3 layer in a compactor bag is everything I'm not going to need during the day.
    sleeping bag, neoair pad, exped pillow, camp clothes

    Middle 1/3
    Food bag and tent

    Top 1/3
    everything else in a compactor bag

    rain gear goes in side pockets for quick access.

    daily snacks and other miscellaneous stuff in hip belt pockets.

    The reason for two compactor bags is because it's too hard to find stuff using just one. Works for me.
    I have a Granite Gear Crown 60 Pack.

  11. #11
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    My ULA Catalyst -

    Bottom, my neoair folded in a rectangle
    Sleeping bag in compression sack
    Clothes in waterproof bag
    Jammed on each side of clothes bag - my exped pillow and cocoon pillow
    Library ziploc with phone, charger, map, journal, either side of that first aid, insulated jacket, rain jacket, fuel can (you can wedge some down closer to clothing bag to fill space). If its going to rain, jacket gets moved up.
    Toiletry / headlamp ziploc bag, tp bag
    On top, food bag, beside it toward the front in small bag- kitchen, platypus 2 liter container
    Front pocket - thermarest seat cushion, Aqua mira, tent stakes, bear rope, one liter bottle of water, a few reynolds oven bags for wet gear, pack towel, pack cover
    right side pocket - a thin gossamer gear pad, tyvek, tent poles,
    left side pocket - tent
    hip pockets - folded map, snacks, camera
    on shoulder strap - water bottle, bandana

    At any cost, keep your clothes and sleeping bag dry!







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    I use two bag system! A bag within a bag similar to chair-man. I place a trash compactor bag inside a large black trash bag. All down ie jacket , quilts ( I sleep in a hammock) go inside the compactor bag. I then twist this bag closed! This double bag system helps insure that those items will be kept dry! On top of that and inside the black trash bag, I put my camp clothes which are kept in a cuben dry sack, my hammock and any other items I want to keep dry! This bag is twisted closed! My food bag and any other items I may need throughout the day are placed on top of those two bags!
    I use a water bladder which goes inside my pack but outside the two plastic bags. Hopefully if it springs a leak the trash bags will provide protection for anything stored inside!
    I keep my hammock suspension, tarp and stakes ( kept separate) in a pocket on the outside of my pack for quick access. This enables me to deploy my tarp without having to open my pack and risk getting water inside!
    In the other pocket I keep my cook set , fuel and 20 oz. water bottle which is used for drink mixes! I also carry a small piece of reflectix to use as a sit pad!
    In the front pocket I keep rain gear, water filter, TP, a small towel in a ziplock ,cuben pack cover and one days lunch in a ziplock!
    Head light,compass, bug spray and sunscreen go into one hip pocket and snacks and hand sanitizer is kept in the other!
    I have a shoulder pocket in which I keep my phone, reading glasses and a length of Dynaglide with a carabiner for hanging my pack on a tree to keep it off the ground.
    i know this is probably over kill but it works for me! My load out weight for 7 days is 23 lbs!

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    See this backpack FAQ from Six Moon Designs:http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/suppor...packs-faq.html It's how I pack mine and it works well. If the link doesnot work go to www.sixmoondesigns.com click on support, then backpacks. Quilt and sleeping clothes on the bottom, food bag againest your back, clothes bag and stove infront of food bag on top of quilt, then all the misc stuff in a dry bag on top. JJ
    Last edited by jimmyjam; 01-17-2014 at 21:10.

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    Fantastic information folks! All of this sounds great and is very useful. It really does assist me in getting an idea of where and why this works for each of you. Then I can apply that as I begin purchasing and taking my pack out for overnighters and practice runs inside Big Bend before my own thru-hike next year. "I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it. I'm about to lose control and I think I like it."

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    Cross-posted from a few other threads:

    Ohm 2.0 here. How I pack (in order):

    In main compartment (in pack liner):
    Sleeping Bag (no stuff sack)
    Clothes bag (in stuff sack, but loose)
    Sleeping pad (neo air, rolled)

    On top of pack liner:
    Food bag/mess kit.
    Tent (no stuff sack)

    Back Mesh Pocket:
    Ditty bag (IFAK, TP, car keys, etc.)
    Rain Jacket

    Left pack pocket (as I wear it):
    Fuel container(s)
    Rolled up/unused water bladders (collapsible)
    Bourbon (!!!)

    Right pack pocket (as I wear it):
    Drinking water (collapsible)

    Left hip pocket:
    Bear bag cord
    Head Lamp
    Tent Stakes
    iPhone (used as camera)
    Guidebook Pages

    Right hip pocket:
    Hand Sanitizer
    Aqua Mira
    Lighter
    Knife
    Snacks for the day

    Packing like this keeps the things I need during the day/in a hurry easily accessible, and the gear I won't need except in camp dry/out of the way. I can get to camp, put on my rain jacket if its a little chilly/wet, set up my tent, and then unpack everything else under cover/out of the rain. I used to use a lot of stuff sacks for all the different pieces of gear, but the pack doesn't pack near as nicely with all of the hardish shapes. With one bag for food, one bag for clothes (bonus: pillow), and one bag for small items, I still know where everything is when I need it, but the pack is much more uniform in shape. It takes a little time to find a system that works for you, but once you find it, it's smooth sailing... er... hiking.

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