Pack Smart

Every time I teach a pack class or put on a clinic I’m always asked that one simple question that I just assume everyone should know……  So here is last week’s question… what do you pack your gear in to take into the back country?  Here was a gal that has read all the books, watched the videos, and she was under the understanding that since the books say each pack needs to weigh the same, she was willing to split her clothing between left and right side, to the point of putting one shoe in her left pack and one shoe in the right.  This is way too much work, although I applaud the effort.  I like to run a small duffel bags and personally I run a day pack for my gear bag. I can use that pack as it was intended once I get to camp.  But no matter if it’s a small duffel or my day pack it’s a bright color so at camp when everything is getting unpacked I know what is mine.  I can take enough in that day pack for a week long trip minus my sleeping bag, fly pole and food.  For all of you reading this and are now saying I need to take more than that…You need to pack more and learn you don’t.  I also run horn bags everything important can be found in there. Wallet, keys and my pistol will be in the horn bag.  As a side note…if you are one of those boy scout types that has to bring everything including the kitchen sink just in case the stars a line and you need to be overly prepare for the next Y2K…don’t stuff everything in one of those monster duffle bags that can easily double as a body bag.  Those are a pain to pack and a poor use of space.  On the other hand so are those micro stuff sacks. I hate meeting folks at the trailhead who have formed a small mountain of fist size nylon bags that weigh nothing.  Manting up a pile of light weight fist sized stuff sacks is an art of its own.  Get out, pack more and learn what you really need to take, to be honest that won’t be much.  Take the time to sit back enjoy life.  Just don’t forget the coffee.  Enjoy your time beyond the pavement, have an extra cup of coffee and watch the sunrise….


See you on the trail.


Comment on this post (2 comments)

  • Ed says...

    The best part about packing less is you can easily find what you’re looking for and it also makes repacking in the morning is so much easier.

    May 03, 2017

  • Jenny Franklin says...

    Great Read, thanks for the fun Share. I totally concurr, regarding the use of small packs/duffle bags, etc. I started out using heavy, clear plastic bags, for two main reasons; One, to keep expenses down, and Two to help keep stuff Dry.

    Each pack has similar items; kitchen stuff, toilet items, etc., and can easily be seen, when bundled. On each bag, I scrawl a list of what goes IN each one, and what each one weighs (some; ‘before & after’ use, like food packs). Call me lazy, I just find it to be easier, and the bags stow in camp, much neater.

    My packing experience has been one example after the next, of the proverbial ‘crash & burn’. The good news is…. I know what NOT to do. —lol

    Each ride is different, and calls upon slightly altered packaging of STUFF. I do my level best, to keep my PPE on my person, and I have gotten in the habit of carrying crap I RARELY need, because & only because they are the things that have been needed most, buy OTHER Outdoor Enthusiasts; ‘Day Packers’ & Cyclists, etc. I fear I have become that Packer you described as the ‘Boy Scout; Stars perfectly aligned’ type; I had to laugh.

    Now on the one hand, going out to the peak of a great mountain top, on horse/mule, who’d a thunk you’d come across other people? On foot, no less.!! All ya need for that crossing, is a big smile & High-Howdy wave. Not me. Those folks have needed medical attention; severe sunburn, abrasions, splints…. It’s crazy!! What’s worse, is that I carry the medical. That darn gut feeling will get you, every time. —lol

    Again, thanks for the article. It was a fun read, and a great share. I wish Packers would get together for Rondevous, for new & experienced alike. That would be so educational, so fun, so fulfilling for anyone who wanted to share or gain knowledge & experience. Oh well… Cyber-sharing will have to do now days. It’s better than NOTHING. ;-)

    May 03, 2017

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