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  1. #1
    Registered User Roamingthorngal's Avatar
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    Question trouble packing backpack

    Hi everyone, I'm currently fiddling around with how to pack my new backpack. I have a Aura Osprey 65L AG, and my sleeping bag in a compression sack. I also am taking my Marmot 3p tent and a self inflating sleeping pad which compresses. I am having a hard time packing my bag with all of that in spots that I think are realistic to pack them in... I'm used to camping but I'm getting into over night hiking/backpacking now and now it seems to be a whole different new monster.

    I've seen some people pack their sleeping bags into their main compartment of their bag; leaving more room but an exposed bag and others packing their sleeping bag in their compression sack, keeping a tidy area but taking up a lot of room. This if I have my sleeping bag compressed I am having a hard time getting it to lay down inside the bag...

    So my main question is, would you leave the bag out of the compression sack or keep it in? Sorry if this seems too elementary.... Just want to know if I am missing any tricks...

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2

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    I layer my pack with mat first (very bottom), sleeping bag, tent, then everything else.

    A compression sack for a bag often results in a ball which is actually an inefficient use of space. Using cylinder shaped sack allows the bag to spread out move evenly inside the pack and provide a lower profile, allowing more stuff to be packed in. Jackets and or other somewhat bulky clothes are stuffed in around the bag/tent to fill in otherwise unused space.

    If you can't fit all you need into a 65 L pack, your not using the space well, have too much stuff or it's too bulky.
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  3. #3
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    I have that same bag. I found one large bag easier to fill instead of using the bottom compartment. so I just unlashed the divider between top/bottom. Then I put in my compactor bag and start filling. I have my sleeping bag in sack, but it can be further compressed by things above it. I used to have a self filling pad, but they take up a lot of space so I went with lighter smaller air mattress and in cold weather add a CCF pad. The other main items are cook kit, food, and clothes which can be stuffed in voids. other things fit in side pockets and the top pouches. I put my tent on outside. bu it would fit if I wanted to. I do not have a bladder inside as I like to have bottles and see how much I am drinking.

    I hope you are not trying to use an old camping bag like I was. I realized I needed a new bag when the camping bag filled my bag 65L bag.

  4. #4
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    My pack (45L) has bungie cords on the back, which allows me to strap my tent, in its own stuff sack, to the outside of the tent. This opens up plenty of room inside the pack for everything else. If weather warrants, I use a rain cover.

    The advantage to having your tent on the outside of the pack, in addition to freeing up interior space:

    1) Arriving at camp when it's raining, you don't even have to open your pack (exposing the contents to rain). Take the pack cover off momentarily, remove the tent, replace pack cover. Set up the tent as fast as you can, throw the dry(ish) pack inside, use a camp towel to wipe down what got wet inside the tent, then unpack everything else within a dry(ish) tent. If there is a break in the weather, that's time to cook/eat/hang food bag. If not, deal with it as best you can.

    2) Packing up in the AM when it's raining, you can literally do almost all within the dry tent. Go out briefly to retrieve food bag and return to tent, take out something to eat for breakfast, put the food bag in the pack also (yes, it will be wet; use the camp towel to dry it off if possible). Even put the pack cover on while in the tent. This means you can then exit the tent, tear it down as fast as possible, pack it away in its stuff sack, take off the pack cover momentarily, attach the tent to the outside of the pack. Pack contents stay relatively dry. The wet tent is on the outside of the pack. If the sun comes out during the day, stop where there is good sun exposure, take the opportunity to dry out the tent and anything else that may be damp.

    Many packs have bungie cords or compression straps for attaching stuff to the outside. If not, you can buy the straps separately.

  5. #5
    Registered User Roamingthorngal's Avatar
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    I bought my bag within the year... so it's a complete new baby, newbie.... Ok, that worked... I used the sleeping bag into the storage/mesh bag which has given me tons more room and put my tent at the bottom straps but my husband thinks I'd be too wide... I don't think so but it's the only tent I have so far...

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    Can you fold and roll the tent differently. For example if in thirds now, fold each side to center and fold in half to get 1/4 width instead of 1/3 width. maybe put poles /stakes in a side pocket so tent stays smaller.

  7. #7

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    A 3 person tent? Are you traveling alone or carrying for others?

  8. #8
    Registered User Turtle-2013's Avatar
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    I have a reasonably unique way of packing, so I'm not even going to try and explain that... the one thought I did have is this. Have you tried only compressing the bag to the width of the pack so that it easily lays across the bottom. If it will compress more, it will happen naturally as you put things on top of it. The value of laying it across the bottom of the pack is that it will help with lumbar support.

  9. #9
    Registered User -Rush-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roamingthorngal View Post
    Hi everyone, I'm currently fiddling around with how to pack my new backpack. I have a Aura Osprey 65L AG, and my sleeping bag in a compression sack. I also am taking my Marmot 3p tent and a self inflating sleeping pad which compresses. I am having a hard time packing my bag with all of that in spots that I think are realistic to pack them in... I'm used to camping but I'm getting into over night hiking/backpacking now and now it seems to be a whole different new monster.

    I've seen some people pack their sleeping bags into their main compartment of their bag; leaving more room but an exposed bag and others packing their sleeping bag in their compression sack, keeping a tidy area but taking up a lot of room. This if I have my sleeping bag compressed I am having a hard time getting it to lay down inside the bag...

    So my main question is, would you leave the bag out of the compression sack or keep it in? Sorry if this seems too elementary.... Just want to know if I am missing any tricks...

    Thanks in advance!!
    I was able to fit the following in the bottom compartment of an Atmos 65 AG. I never needed a compression sack for a down, but I'd use one if I had a synthetic sleeping bag.

    - 15 degree down sleeping bag in a 13L stuff sack (hand compressed)
    - Lightheart Gear Solong 6 tent
    - Inflatable sleeping pad rolled up
    - Tent stakes/poles
    - My puffy jacket in an 8L compression sack.

    The zippers did not stress to close and everything fit well. Once inside, I'd just push down from inside the pack to seat everything properly.

  10. #10
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    I have an entirely different pack (Kelty Santa Fe 4000), but I pack it the same way every time, all the time. That way I know where everything is, even in total darkness. I have my bag in a regular sack, my bag rolls up really small, and I put it on the bottom (inside a the compactor bag with everything else). That way I almost have to (or it forces me) to pull everything else out for inventory in case I left something or whatever. For me, I found rolling my bag was a better option then cramming because it fits in there perfectly right next to my clothes bag. That takes up the bottom "layer", then my cooking, med/cleaning, and air mattress on top, then my food bag on the very top. I a nutshell, that's the way I found my pack packs best for me. Of course everyone's equipment is different so the only real suggestion is when you find a way that works for you, pack it that way every single time. You'll find not only in darkness, but in rain, you'll unpack and pack it faster too. Sorry kinda went a little off topic sort of. Haha
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  11. #11
    Registered User Roamingthorngal's Avatar
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    I haven't taken the tent out of its case. I have been assuming that you carry your gear like the companies say... I'm quickly finding out that you adjust stuff for "you"... I'll try your suggestion as well!

  12. #12
    Registered User Roamingthorngal's Avatar
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    Essentially I will be carrying for others, but will be looking into a single tent for myself. Young family and can't exactly go out and camp by myself while they stay back...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roamingthorngal View Post
    I have been assuming that you carry your gear like the companies say... I'm quickly finding out that you adjust stuff for "you"...
    Exactly!!! You do not have to use the stuff sack that came with the item... or any stuff sack. (I am fond of turkey cooking bags, myself.) You can also break the tent up and stuff the tent body one place and the fly in a different place, if that works for you.

  14. #14

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    I recommend not folding the tent, or packing it the same way every time, unless you stuff.

    If you stuff your tent, not so hard of course, it should last longer.

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