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Packing Prudently

Question:

I need to fit a week’s amount of equipment for a scouting trip not including cooking stuffs, food and a tent in my 35 litre bag. Can you help?

Submitted by - Theo

Answer:

That’s a tough, but not impossible, task, Theo. Generally speaking, I’d consider 35 liters to be more of a day- or day-and-a-half pack at most, not a multiday pack. But if you don’t need to worry about kitchen stuff, shelter, or food (you lucky dog, who’s carrying that stuff for you?!), you can probably get away with it. You’ll still have to pack prudently. Make sure you have a down sleeping bag (way more compressible than synthetics) and invest in a compression stuffsack, like this one: Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack.

Place your bag at the bottom of your pack and then start sliding in your clothes. Although using a clothes stuffsack is a nice way to stay organized, you’ll be able to cram in more stuff than if you just load your clothes freeform, pushing items down low into the pack around your sleeping bag and making use of every available crevice of space. Strap your sleeping pad to the outside of the pack, but if it’s an airpad, make sure it’s protected in a stuffsack and placed somewhere safe where it won’t get punctured (like tucked under your pack’s toplid). Make full use of all the outside pocket space your pack has to offer–place your knife and sunscreen and any other tiny items in the hipbelt pockets, and use your toplid for your essentials like headlamp and personal items like toiletries.

And be sure to check out this slideshow, which has more tips for judicious packing: How to Fit a Week’s Gear into a Weekend Pack.

1 Comment

  1. AZ Hiker

    Don’t forget to pack the safety net; a copy of “Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart” (Amazon) and a compass! Before you go, be sure to calibrate your compass for the declination at the location where you will be hiking. Go to: http://magnetic-declination.com A compass doesn’t need a signal or batteries and works in all types of weather but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. Felix! explains how to orient yourself using a compass, a compass and a map, a map and no compass, no compass and no map. Look for it on Amazon, “Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart.” Anyone wanting to know direction and especially for those who want teach these skills to children might enjoy learning from this book. To feel more confident about orienting ourselves outdoors, we read thru this book before every hike – it’s only about 34 pages and illustrated. The ability to know your way and know where you are is something we all need in any survival situation not just while hiking. Learn to stay found by using a compass and paying attention to your surroundings. Felix! teaches the reader what to pack, trail ethics, what to do if you get lost or scared, how to get rescued, and survival packing (for the car and for the trail) just incase you end up unexpectedly spending the night outdoors.

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