Tips for Packing your Pack

BKhunter

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
296
Location
New York
Hello All,

Started filling up my pack yesterday, and am sure there is a better way to do this. Can anyone share how you load your gear into your pack and things to consider. Also, once you reach your campsite and set up camp, how to you carry your gear for the remainder of the time out in the back country? Thanks in advance.

BK
 

SHTF

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2013
Messages
4,428
Location
Colorado
Light stuff in the bottom Sleeping bag puffy then I use 3-4 XL Pullouts and I separate my Cooking, Shelter system, Misc stuff in each. Put my bag in first then my puffy if Im not wearing it then stack my Pullouts on top of that. Food goes in the middle against my back since its heaviest. Here is what mine looks like as Im loading it.



Anything long like Tipi/tent pulls slides down in the corners any small stuff I don't keep in a pullout I use to fill voids with. The main focus is to make sure your food and anything heavy is as close to your back as you can get it.

When I get to camp I setup unload and cinch down my pack to make it low profile stuff my gear in no method here really. Just get everything in and cinch it down tight so its as close to your back as possible and not flopping around.

All of this takes practice and everyone does it a little differently. You have to practice and test what works for you. When your learning your system you will pack and unpack your bag probably 150 times before you find your sweet spot or what you like to do but once you do you just go with it.

Hope that helps.
 

BroodBuster

Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
1,203
Location
Bothell, Wa
Lightweight bulky stuff on the bottom. So sleeping bag, tarp and pad goes in first. Heavy stuff such as water and wood stove up higher close to back. Clothes bag, stove, fuel, kill kit etc sort of get stuffed in the open spaces. Food above that. Puffy, hat, gloves, rain jacket go on top for easy access. Scope, tripod and trekking pole in side pocket. In the lid goes snacks, maps, license, phone, steripen and what I call my stalking kit. Gps and rangefinder go in cargo pants pocket and wind puffer in right front pocket.
 

mlevimadden

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
340
Location
Colorado
For starters, make sure all your bag's compression straps are completely undone, then start with the lightest, bulkiest gear at the bottom. For me it's sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tarp. Then I put my water bladder up against my back with kill kit, extra clothes, and stove on the same level. Food on top of that. Then my first aid/emergency kit, licenses, water purification, gloves, and beanie are in my lid. Trekking poles, spotter and tripod in side pockets. I'll stuff a rain jacket or insulating jacket into the outside stretchy pocket, and a platypus soft bottle into a bottle holder sleeve. Then phone, headlamp, and rangefinder go on the belt.
 

TJ

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
637
Location
N.E Oregon
Light stuff in the bottom Sleeping bag puffy then I use 3-4 XL Pullouts and I separate my Cooking, Shelter system, Misc stuff in each. Put my bag in first then my puffy if Im not wearing it then stack my Pullouts on top of that. Food goes in the middle against my back since its heaviest. Here is what mine looks like as Im loading it.



Anything long like Tipi/tent pulls slides down in the corners any small stuff I don't keep in a pullout I use to fill voids with. The main focus is to make sure your food and anything heavy is as close to your back as you can get it.

When I get to camp I setup unload and cinch down my pack to make it low profile stuff my gear in no method here really. Just get everything in and cinch it down tight so its as close to your back as possible and not flopping around.

All of this takes practice and everyone does it a little differently. You have to practice and test what works for you. When your learning your system you will pack and unpack your bag probably 150 times before you find your sweet spot or what you like to do but once you do you just go with it.

Hope that helps.

Exactly like this ^^^^^
 

backcountry_hunter

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
760
million ways to skin this cat.... for me sleeping bag and puffy go at the bottom, build walls with long items like tent, sleeping pad. Everything else in the center. EVERYTHING goes in a roll-top dry bag.
 

boom

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
3,096
stuff you might need quick in outside pockets. sleeping bag at the bottom

the rest will work itself out after the first trip. it is truly a moving target. my daypack is still evolving.

while camp is set up..cinch down the big bag into some sort of smaller bag..or dont...either way, it is still much much lighter and will feel like a dream.
 

Jordan Budd

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
2,380
Location
NW Nebraska
Pretty much what everyone else as said. Here's how I do mine:
-Stuff my sleeping bag in the bottom. Extra clothing stuffed in around that as much as possible. Mountain house stuffed in around that. Gives me a pretty tight base to put everything else elevated on.
-Put my food/water centered right up against my back. (for me it's pretty much just food at this point.. I'll grab water at the last place I can before camp and put in on top for the last leg to camp). Then I put my tent on one side of the food (opposite side as my spotter), then my sleeping pad, cooking stuff, puffy jacket, kill kit, etc (medium weight things) around and on top of the as best I can.
-Packing in I put my kill kit on top of everything so I can get to it quickly, I don't put mine on the outside but whatever suits you best. Then the outside pockets/lid I have my spotter, tripod, rain jacket, beanie, gloves, days food, steripen/msr pump, camera gear etc.

As long as you can get that heaviest/medium weight to the top 2/3 of your pack it'll be much more comfortable.
 

Burnsie

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
98
Location
Illinois
I guess it depends on what part of the country you are in, but I do not take up space with a water bladder in my pack.
I refuse to carry the extra weight of water, water is heavy (over 2lbs per quart, almost 8.5 lbs per gallon). Like I said, depends on
the area you are in, but I have yet to ever have an issue finding water while packing my camp into location. I carry a Nalgene bottle easily
accessible on an outside pouch of my pack along with a Life straw. If I need to hydrate, I stop when I find a trickle of water somewhere, scoop up some water and drink through the straw. Once camp is set up, I use my Platypus gravity filter.
 

fng4life

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
2,199
Location
Colorado
I'm a bit different. I like my tent body and fly in the bottom then my bag. It just fills dead space better. Tent poles go on the outside, I'm paranoid that they will rip something.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

blake_mhoona

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
213
Location
Arkansas
I don't know that any of y'all can relate...but I went on another overnight trip a couple weeks ago. It was about 85 and humid when we started. I got to camp 6 miles later and started pulling out my stuff and my tent body was wet. My sleeping bag was soaked and sleeping pad was wet. I had my bladder in my markhor hanging on the holder so it was in the middle third of the bag. The bladder is brand new and I've checked it over countless times. Is it possible the water being next to that stuff caused it to get humid and sweat onto everything else? Or was it having my backpack in the air conditioned car for the 2 hour drive to blame? The sleeping bag was in a kifaru 5 string sack and pad and tent were in compression sacks. The next morning I ran my bladder just loose at the top of my bag and had no problems.

Or am I wrong and just the weight against the bladder caused a leak that I couldn't reproduce
 

SHTF

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2013
Messages
4,428
Location
Colorado
I don't know that any of y'all can relate...but I went on another overnight trip a couple weeks ago. It was about 85 and humid when we started. I got to camp 6 miles later and started pulling out my stuff and my tent body was wet. My sleeping bag was soaked and sleeping pad was wet. I had my bladder in my markhor hanging on the holder so it was in the middle third of the bag. The bladder is brand new and I've checked it over countless times. Is it possible the water being next to that stuff caused it to get humid and sweat onto everything else? Or was it having my backpack in the air conditioned car for the 2 hour drive to blame? The sleeping bag was in a kifaru 5 string sack and pad and tent were in compression sacks. The next morning I ran my bladder just loose at the top of my bag and had no problems.

Or am I wrong and just the weight against the bladder caused a leak that I couldn't reproduce

Thats hard to say really without looking at the bladder. Did you put ice cold water in it when you filled it? if so that would be the problem. Second thing that comes to mind is that you didn't have the bladder all the way closed inside your pack so when your pack was laid down in your truck or when you got to camp that is when it leaked.

Thats all that I can think of right off the top of my head. Definitely can relate.
 

William Hanson (live2hunt)

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
4,514
Location
Missouri
The best tip I can offer that hasn't been mention and this is important, when you get to the trailhead and your hunting partner goes to take a piss before you head in, slip the ribeyes in his pack. That tip will make your pack feel 2-3 lbs lighter.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

William Hanson (live2hunt)

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
4,514
Location
Missouri
I don't know that any of y'all can relate...but I went on another overnight trip a couple weeks ago. It was about 85 and humid when we started. I got to camp 6 miles later and started pulling out my stuff and my tent body was wet. My sleeping bag was soaked and sleeping pad was wet. I had my bladder in my markhor hanging on the holder so it was in the middle third of the bag. The bladder is brand new and I've checked it over countless times. Is it possible the water being next to that stuff caused it to get humid and sweat onto everything else? Or was it having my backpack in the air conditioned car for the 2 hour drive to blame? The sleeping bag was in a kifaru 5 string sack and pad and tent were in compression sacks. The next morning I ran my bladder just loose at the top of my bag and had no problems.

Or am I wrong and just the weight against the bladder caused a leak that I couldn't reproduce
I keep my sleep system in a dry bag jic

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

TJ

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
637
Location
N.E Oregon
I don't know that any of y'all can relate...but I went on another overnight trip a couple weeks ago. It was about 85 and humid when we started. I got to camp 6 miles later and started pulling out my stuff and my tent body was wet. My sleeping bag was soaked and sleeping pad was wet. I had my bladder in my markhor hanging on the holder so it was in the middle third of the bag. The bladder is brand new and I've checked it over countless times. Is it possible the water being next to that stuff caused it to get humid and sweat onto everything else? Or was it having my backpack in the air conditioned car for the 2 hour drive to blame? The sleeping bag was in a kifaru 5 string sack and pad and tent were in compression sacks. The next morning I ran my bladder just loose at the top of my bag and had no problems.

Or am I wrong and just the weight against the bladder caused a leak that I couldn't reproduce

I've had this happen when I cross threaded the cap on my MSR bladder. Everything below was soaked.

Now I usually put my sleeping bag in a garbage compactor bag, just in case!

I've never had the compression of my backpack force water out of my water bladder though.
 

blake_mhoona

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
213
Location
Arkansas
i originally was thinking just sweat from the bladder and humidity caused it but now yall have me thinking about the bladder more.
 

Pow

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
47
Location
Durango, CO
* You can save a fair amount of weight and space by not using stuff sacks in your pack. I do put a few items in sacks in my pack like my sleeping pad (to protect it) and tent stacks (so I can find them). You can use your knee to compress all that or just push it in.
* Everyone mentioned about light stuff on the bottom which is good advice, but also pack stuff in as you want to take it out. Sleeping bag, pad, rainfly, tent, jackets,...
* I do hunt in CO which is generally dry, but I don't use any dry bags or the like. I'll use my ground cloth to wrap my sleeping bag if it is raining out, but I've been in some bad storms and it normally doesn't get wet in the bottom of the pack anyway. In wet areas, I have just put a garbage bag in my pack to keep stuff dry. I don't use a cover for the pack it is just extra weight and something to take on/off.
* Maybe it is just me, but nalgene bottles slosh which is distracting if you are listening for elk/whatever. I always use a bladder with no air in it. I also pack almost no water because water is everywhere where I normally hunt. I just use the old Sawyer squeeze and keep it on the outside of the pack. I have an extra bladder for that filter if I'm in a dry area.
 
Top