Organize Your Gear Essentials

Does your pack's lid pocket resemble a junk drawer? To help you eliminate the mess–and find stuff fast when you need it–we created lightweight, custom systems to store and organize two vital stockpiles: gear repair tools and emergency provisions.

Gear Repair


#16 sewing needle and #46 or #69 bonded nylon thread (or dental floss, medical sutures)

6 safety pins (various sizes for gear and clothing)

6 feet of duct tape (wrapped around a dowel or short pencil)

4 plastic zip-ties (coil around inside of container)

Nylon adhesive patches

Plastic webbing buckles

10 feet of copper wire (coiled around dowel)

1-ounce tube of McNett SeamGrip adhesive ($6.50,

10 feet of 150-pound test Mason's line (a utility cord available at most hardware stores)


Plastic soap dish

This everyday item is lightweight, roomy, and prevents needles from going missing or causing punctures. To ensure the lid stays shut, wrap several thick rubber bands around the outside. Pack some cotton balls inside on top to keep the contents from rattling. Cost: Less than two bucks at drugstores like CVS and Walgreens.

Survival Kit


Fire tinder (cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly)

Butane lighter

Flint and steel


Water purification tablets (foil-wrapped)

Emergency blanket

Button compass

Aluminum foil

Lightweight signal mirror

Energy drink packets

Sea-to-Summit Dry Sack, XXS
This one-liter roll-top dry bag can fit in the smallest corners of your pack and still carry all the emergency items you'll need. Fully taped seams and laminated 70-denier nylon make it waterproof, while a white lining makes it easy to search inside. Go with size XXS, which measures six by nine inches and weighs one ounce. $8;