Packed and Ready to go. I review my packing strategy (again).

Packed and ready to go. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

I looked at this picture I took before I set off on a recent trip, and I realized there are a few things I can do to improve how I stow things.

Currently, the right pocket is used to keep my waterproofs, and mini-tripod and the left pocket is where I keep my water bottle.

The giant mesh back pocket looks like it is pretty jampacked, and it is, but it’s full of all the things that can get wet and so don’t need to be kept in my pack, leaving room inside my pack for more food, clothes, and other goodies.

What’s in my mesh pocket?

  • Water scoop, filter and purification
  • Back-flushing syringe for the water filter
  • Dirty water pouch
  • Alcohol fuel
  • Lunch (noodles)
  • Trash bag
  • 6′ x 2′ Tyvek groundsheet
  • Hammock straps
  • Stakes for the tarp
  • Camp light
  • Cathole trowel
  • Wash bottle (aka backwoods douche)
  • Baby wipes
  • Towel

And here are the changes I’m planning.

  • Camp Light. I’ve been keeping the camp light in this pocket because it is water-resistant and has a big magnet. I didn’t want to keep it in my pack with the other electronics and more specifically, my compass. However, as I’m moving my compass to a more accessible location (probably my front shoulder pocket), I can keep the camp light with all the other electrical gear in the future.
  • Back-flushing syringe. It can be left behind. I can use the platypus water bladder to flush the filter. I shall be glad to see it go. It’s big, has to be kept clean, and I’ve never used it on the trail.
  • Alcohol Fuel, Water scoop, filter, etc. I’m moving to the right-hand pocket, and I’m moving my waterproofs to the mesh pocket. It will make better use of the side pockets. Which, incidentally, is also where I used to keep them.
  • Cathole trowel, Wash bottle (aka backwoods douche), and Baby wipes. I’m going to experiment with these, and see if I can fit them in the side pockets. Whatever I can’t fit elsewhere, will stay in the mesh pocket.

In theory, all I’ll have in the mesh pocket are:

  • Waterproofs
  • Lunch (Noodles)
  • Trash bag
  • Dirty water pouch
  • 6′ x 2′ Tyvek groundsheet
  • Hammock straps
  • Stakes for the tarp
  • Towel
  • Tarp (see below)

The freed-up space in the mesh pocket will let me move my tarp out of my pack, which is great, as it is the first thing I get out when I make camp, and often, it’s the last thing I put away. With all the wet weather I’ve encountered recently, I’ve been stowing the tarp wet, and I’m not keen on keeping wet things inside my pack, even if all my gear is kept in Dynema dry bags.

Now all I need a break in the weather and a weekend when I’m not working to be able to get out and see if this new arrangement is going to work.


And this is what my pack looked like on my next trip:

Packed ready for a four-day trip. Except for, change of plan, it’s only going to be three days. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

Much better. Over the past couple of months, I’ve updated my ‘ditty bags’ to really dial in my pack organization. Now all my personal hygiene items are all in one bag, I’ve put my tree straps and tarp stakes sack in their own bag. Everything is much easier to find and quicker to access now.

What do you think?

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