Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22
  1. #1
    NOBO Class of '15
    Join Date
    01-07-2015
    Location
    Marshall, NC
    Age
    34
    Posts
    10

    Question Please Enlighten Me On Stuff Sacks

    I wasn't sure what sub-forum to post this under, but since I am only looking at waterproof stuff sacks I figured this was the most appropriate.

    I have no idea where to start and no one really talks about them in depth. How many does a typical AT thru-hiker need? How do you segregate items? How many liters for each? Is everything in your pack in one of the stuff sacks or are some items left out? I know every hiker is different and all these questions are relative, but I want to go in researching what to get with some general knowledge first. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default

    Sleeping bag, quilt, clothes..... anything that will compress and not get ruined.

    Nothing where the bulk of the compression sack is greater than the item to be compressed.

    And definitely no potato chips or crackers

    Rolls
    Rolls down the hill, Kanardly hike up the other hill
    May all your hikes have clear skies, fair winds and no rocks under your pad.

  3. #3
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-13-2010
    Location
    Kingsville, Texas
    Age
    73
    Posts
    2,288

    Default

    Basically, stuff sacks are waste of weight and space. Everything will fit in your pack easier without them. I use a compression dry bag for my sleeping bag. I have a little sack for small things. I have a food bag.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-24-2014
    Location
    Fishers, Indiana
    Age
    71
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Waterproof stuff sacks are very useful and almost necessary for some items. Medications that would be damaged by moisture should be protected and they should be easy to locate. A small stuff sack and a number of small Ziplock bags to organize the meds into time of day doses or by medication would easily be justified. A camera, cell phone or any other electronic device should be kept dry. I would choose to have a small bag for each expensive item - particularly if they are used at different times. Small items in a small sack can be tucked in small voids in the pack easier than a large sack of small items could be.

    Our down bags must be kept dry, but compressing them in a waterproof stuff sack changes them from an item with much the same properties as a fluid into something with the properties of a volleyball. There is a lot of wasted space in a pack full of volley balls. If you can stuff your bag into your pack at the bottom, side, or around other items such as your sleeping system, then a larger bag such as a compactor bag may be a better choice. It could be that a waterproof cuban bag the size of the interior of your pack would be a much better choice to reduce the number of individual waterproof sacks.

    Using Ziplock bags for waterproof organization has merit. They are not as durable. A group of them could be used as organization within a waterproof stuff sack. The weight of stuff sacks must be balanced against the benefit they provide. Look at what you are carrying and think about what moisture would do to it.

    Organization is a benefit, but if you are going to dump a bunch of it out in the tent each night, having it sorted out is of less importance.

    You are going to get wet. Food must be protected. A waterproof stuff sack plus an odor proof Opsak can be easily justified. Zacks has some good products. You could stuff clothing items in the leg of an extra pair of pants, or something similar as an aid to organization. A head net could serve well as a non-waterproof stuff sack.

    Everyone will arrive at his own solution.

  5. #5

    Default

    What size and how many you need depends on your gear. How large it is and how much extra and probably useless stuff you are bringing.


    I use stuff sacks for everything, but I don't use compression sacks or dry bags. I never loose gear in my backpack and don't need to pull everything out just to find a small loose item. I can find anything in the dark since I know which sack it's in and where I packed it since I pack everything the same way each day.

    I use Zpack cuben fiber stuff sacks. Cuben fiber is waterproof. The hole at the top of the sack isn't. However, I don't see the need for a wet bag since the hole is turned sideways in my pack. As for sizes: I use their medium+ for my down quilt (larger then the stuff sack it came with), medium for my clothing (also used as a pillow), their blast food bag for my food, and small+ for my tarp, small for my bivy sack, 1 small for my tolietries, and another small for everything else. The supposed weight penalty for all those sacks? 1.5oz total. Not a bad weight penalty for knowing where everything is and having an extra layer of water protection.

  6. #6
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    53
    Posts
    4,400
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    You just about HAVE to have a waterproof food bag because you're going to need to be able to leave it hung out in the rain.
    I would think you would want a waterproof trash bag so any drops of liquid in your trash can't migrate out.

    From here, there are a ton of options on what to do to keep everything else dry.

    The way I do it is I use a odorless trash compactor bag as a pack liner. Everything that needs to stay dry gets packed into the liner. The way I load my pack is to stuff the sleeping bag into a stuff sack to decrease its volume, place it at the bottom of the pack, and then stuff everything else I want to keep dry that I don't mind buried in the bottom of the pack around the sleeping bag (cloths, sleeping pad, pillow, etc). I fold the top of the liner to close it, and place everything that can get wet on top of it (pots, water filter, etc).

    Anything I want to keep handy (like a 1st aid kit or toilet paper) gets in it's own waterproof container and placed in an outside pocket.

  7. #7

    Default

    There are so many to choose from.

    Many people choose bright colors.

    There are different weights of materials available.

    Even compression sacks are available in lightweight materials.

    I have one Sea to Summit eVac. I will have a roll top cuben, maybe one large and one small.

    I have one OPsak for food. I have one OPsak for garbage.

    I use double row "ziplock" freezer bags, or, sealed vacuum pack bags when I have repackaged. Ordinary ziplock bags pop open, dumping the food inside the backpack. This is another reason for all food inside the OPsak.

    I carry a trash bag, because I carry out one trash bag of trash if I find trash.
    Last edited by Connie; 01-23-2015 at 19:43.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-30-2014
    Location
    Hooksett, New Hampshire
    Age
    32
    Posts
    41

    Default

    I use a WP food bag. I line the entire inside of my pack with a trash compactor bag which takes care of everything. I use another compactor bag for my down sleeping bag just for redundancy since it's so important that it stays dry. I also use a little waterproof bag for my phone.

    That's it. I don't see the need for anything else, including a pack cover.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-23-2005
    Location
    Newton, NC
    Age
    51
    Posts
    148

    Default

    If you have a Type A personality, you will love stuff sacks. I like to have my gear segregated and compartmentalized but they do add weight. It will depend on what you like. Some items you carry will get dirtier than others (poop shovel, ground cloth, etc.) and I like to bag them to keep other stuff as clean as possible. Another feature/benefit of bags is that you can fetch something out of your pack without taking everything out which will minimize loosing gear. Eight stuff sacks might equal a half pound of additional weight but to me it equals a lot of care free backpacking One thing I suggest is to get a garbage trash compactor bag and use it as a interior pack liner to keep stuff dry. Dry stuff is nice.
    IF your "number of posts" exceed your "days as a member" your knowledge is suspect.

    Yerby Ray
    Newton, NC

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-27-2014
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Age
    28
    Posts
    26

    Default

    "If you have a Type A personality, you will love stuff sacks." Hilarious.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-20-2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Age
    66
    Posts
    899
    Images
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkCevoli View Post
    "If you have a Type A personality, you will love stuff sacks." Hilarious.



    Some of us know being compulsive is a virtue. "Don't forget nothing."
    Last edited by Farr Away; 02-03-2015 at 13:58.
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18-19 AT NOBO 1540.5

  12. #12
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-29-2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Age
    65
    Posts
    1,020

    Default

    One waterproof (roll top) stuff sack for my sleeping bag, one for my clothes, one for my TP (1 liter), & one for my food bag (unless I'm in mandatory bear canister country). Other stuff sacks (water resistant) for odds & ends (toiletries, essentials, etc). Everything I want to be dry is also inside my trash compactor pack liner. My phone goes in a waterproof case that hangs over my neck (or sometimes buried in my pack). For good measure, I use a pack cover when it rains.
    2013 AT Thru-hike: 3/21 to 8/19
    Schedule: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...t1M/edit#gid=0

  13. #13

    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,869
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    No xtra stuffsacks.

    One pack liner
    Couple ziplocks

    Foodbag is not a stuffsak, its a foodbag.

    Tent is in its stuffsak, but doesnt have to be, but hell, whats another 0.35 oz?

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-13-2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,553

    Default

    I'm not a type A personality, I'm type D, disorganized, But I very much see the need to make things in my pack as organized as possible. If I hit a sudden cloud burst I don't want to dig through a bunch of stuff to get to my rain gear, or other situations. So I put all my stuff in freezer bags, mark them, then I poke a couple of holes in each bag with a large needle for air escape/compression. Much easier to find my bed socks that way etc,. Every thing is pretty much waterproof and not scattered.

  15. #15

    Default

    you can get away with a smaller pack if you eliminate some of the needless stuff sacks. As was mentioned above, I line my pack with a compactor bag and then stuff my sleeping bag in the pack. I do the same with my clothes( i dont really carry too many extra clothing items) and any other soft gear that needs to stay dry. I roll that down and pack the rest in there. This will allow you to fill out all of the voids that are created when you try packing a bunch of little balls of items(created by stuff sacks) in your pack. i do also realize that there alot of folks that love their stuff sacks for organizational purposes, but I have been packing a backpack for a long time and know where everything is at all times. Once you establish a system and get out on a a long trail I am willing to bet you eliminate alot of stuff sacks. Oh yeah, and as someone above said-- a food bag is just that , a ' food bag'.

  16. #16

    Default

    I have a few color coded waterproof stuff sacks and life would suck without them. They keep my bag easily navigable and organized.
    Plus they separate the dry stuff from the wet stuff. I have one for clothes. One for electronics. One for toiletries. One for wet stuff. One for misc. The inside of my bag would be a mess without them and I would surely lose track of things without them.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-20-2015
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Age
    33
    Posts
    144

    Default

    Sea to summit E-vent large compression sack for sleeping bag - White
    Sea to summit 13ltr ultra-sil dry bag for clothes - Blue
    Therm-a-rest stuff sack pillow (Curdura outside, fleece inside) for camp clothes, sleeping pad, silk liner - Yellow

    I like my main items to be organised like this and the other smaller selections of gear can just go in freezer bags. Plus you don't want wet sleep gear or clothes so these act as an extra layer of insurance on top of my pack cover.

    I also use a small cuben zip-up bag for toiletries.

    I plan on getting a Ursack and odorless bag for food when I'm in the states.

    Things like first aid kit, emergency tin, water treatment, etc. come with their own little pack and go in my pack pockets anyway.

  18. #18
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-25-2006
    Location
    Croswell, MI
    Age
    66
    Posts
    3,934
    Images
    68

    Default

    Generally, stuff sacks are simply organizing aids. Old frame packs - LOTS of pockets for organizing. Newer internal or frameless packs - fewer, larger pockets not as great for organizing. Thus, folks now use more stuff sacks.

    I do not count on them for water proofing, I use a garbage bag pack liner, ziplocks and pack cover for that. Stuff sacks are relatively heavy, so the fewer the better. Today, I sometimes use one for the sleeping bag, but only sometimes, depending on the situation. Usually the sleeping bag just gets stuffed in the bottom of the pack where it can compress only as much as necessary (better for the bag) and where it can fill all the nooks and crannies of the pack. I usually carry food in one - use it for bear bagging if necessary. The food bag is further organized with plastic grocery bags - one for dinners, one for lunches, one for snacks, and one for breakfasts/beverages. This system works for me, I can always find what I want quickly. The only other stuff sack I carry is a very small "ditty" bag with things like repair tape, needle/thread, spare batteries, emergency fire starter, etc. In the Colin Fletcher organizational method, this would be my "workshop" or "garage" (hardware).

    Otherwise, everything is just placed, logically into the pack/pockets. Clothing that "must stay dry" are inside the garbage bag liner, other things are on top of it. Electonics, maps, notebooks etc. have ziplocks.

    There is no "right" answer for how many stuff sacks. You will develop your own system. The important part is to find a home for all your gear, so that you can readily find it when you need/want it. This also helps when you are packing up in the morning, especially at shelters where a number of folks are packing at the same time in limited space. If everything has it's own home, and you pack the same way each morning, it is easier to realize when you missed something - much less lost gear.
    Last edited by Lyle; 05-19-2015 at 08:08.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    Generally, stuff sacks are simply organizing aids. Old frame packs - LOTS of pockets for organizing. Newer internal or frameless packs - fewer, larger pockets not as great for organizing. Thus, folks now use more stuff sacks.

    I do not count on them for water proofing, I use a garbage bag pack liner, ziplocks and pack cover for that. Stuff sacks are relatively heavy, so the fewer the better. Today, I sometimes use one for the sleeping bag, but only sometimes, depending on the situation. Usually the sleeping bag just gets stuffed in the bottom of the pack where it can compress only as much as necessary (better for the bag) and where it can fill all the nooks and crannies of the pack. I usually carry food in one - use it for bear bagging if necessary. The food bag is further organized with plastic grocery bags - one for dinners, one for lunches, one for snacks, and one for breakfasts/beverages. This system works for me, I can always find what I want quickly. The only other stuff sack I carry is a very small "ditty" bag with things like repair tape, needle/thread, spare batteries, emergency fire starter, etc. In the Colin Fletcher organizational method, this would be my "workshop" or "garage" (hardware).

    Otherwise, everything is just placed, logically into the pack/pockets. Clothing that "must stay dry" are inside the garbage bag liner, other things are on top of it. Electonics, maps, notebooks etc. have ziplocks.

    There is no "right" answer for how many stuff sacks. You will develop your own system. The important part is to find a home for all your gear, so that you can readily find it when you need/want it.
    I will add that stuff sacks intentionally designed as waterproofing bags are perfect for just that, although they're usually referred to as dry bags and are of much heavier material. Although in a pinch, a properly packed stuff sack will do the job just fine as a waterproofing bag, that is of course if the material that the stuff sack is made of is water proof.

    And just in case you ever need to float around on your pack in some water Navy SEAL style, you want multiple, tightly packed waterproof bags versus one giant waterproof bag (against what you would commonly think).

    Source: I was a U.S. Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival (MCIWS)

  20. #20
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden CO
    Age
    62
    Posts
    5,403
    Images
    2

    Default

    There's quite a range of personal requirements so far. So many of the things others "need," I have no use for. For instance, the way I pack food, I have no need for a waterproof food or garbage bag. I have no need for a waterproof bag for meds or electronics since i don't carry any. I have no problem packing my tent or bag loose without their stuff sacks.

    I have never purchased a stuff sack. The few I use have come included with tents and sleeping bags. I use a compactor bag as a pack liner and carry a few ziplocks for food and maps. Others pack way differently and need more organization. Some go slightly overboard with it and carry a few extra pounds in stuff sacks.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •