Packing Your Backpack

How do I Pack My Pack?

Many people have asked me how I pack my backpack, so here is the technique that I like best and I normally use:

  1. Line my entire pack with a trash compactor bag. I like the trash compactor bag because it is a little thicker plastic so it lasts longer. It is a little heavier than a normal trash bag, but I think the longer life and less holed are worth it.
  2. Stuff my sleeping bag, ditty sack (if I don’t think I am going to need it that day), and any extra clothes I don’t think I am going to need at the bottom of the trash bag.
  3. Take the food that I think I am going to be eating for lunch, snacks, and dinner (if I am going to cook before I stop to camp) out of my food bag. Then put my food bag in the garbage bag next.
  4. Next I usually stuff my tarp, tent, or cook pot around the front of the food bag to take up the dead space and push my food bag so it sits against the backpanel of the backpack. I do this unless my shelter is wet. If it is wet I will put it on top of everything on the outside of the garbage bag or on the outside of my pack.
  5. I then pack rain gear, down jacket, gloves, hat, or any layers that I might need throughout the day around to take up the rest of the dead space and so they can be easily accessible form the top of the pack.
  6. Finally, I place the food I will eat through the day on top of that and if I want it really handy, I will put it in the outside pockets so that I can eat while walking. I then fold up the garbage bag so that everything is sealed off and waterproof no matter how bad the weather is. I will then put any wet stuff on top of the sealed garbage bag so that it doesn’t get anything else wet.