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Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

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Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby maverick » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:58 am

What catagory of backpacker do you fall into? Do you have everything backpacking
related in its own seperate boxes neatly organized or do you have things all over
the place and are running around to get things together for a trip? Do you organize
your backpack neatly filling its contents the same way every time or do you stuff
the main heavy items the same way and the rest goes in however, especially as
you trip wears on? Do you buy your backpack by your personality, a pack that has
multipule compartments and levels for the organizer or a tube pack that rolls
down at the top with no outside or inside compartments for the spontaneous?

My stuff is in the same area but not in seperate, marked containers. Everything is
pretty easy to get to. Mainly put my main items into the same spot in my pack but
the stuffings (clothes) may vary. Don't like packs with to many comparments
especially on the outside. Have not used a roll down style pack, but could probably
get used to it since all my items come out of the pack at the end of the day anyways.
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Re: Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby Scouter9 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:41 am

My gear is all stored in pretty much the same place, and goes into my pack in pretty much the same pattern, every time. Variations might be whether I carry a bear canister, kite, spare shoes, third layer, etc... or not, for example.

I've used the same backpack for over 30 years, so I'm used to the pockets and spaces, even though my use of them has evolved over time. My sleeping bag goes in the "food pouch" and my tent, stool and spare shoes go where the sleeping bag used to strap on below the pack bag. My water, first aid, poo trowel, day food and go-to bag always go exactly the same place. I don't have to remember where I put things, as long as I keep puttin' 'em in the same place...
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Re: Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby dave54 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:45 pm

I keep a hasty pack in my pickup with gear for a 24, including food and water.

My other stuff is all organized into bins, since the gear list will vary somewhat with the trip.
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Re: Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby rlown » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:54 pm

Organizer. All my gear is in bins. One for BP gear. The other for fishing. Clothes are in a closet, but there aren't many to grab there. Everything goes on the dining table the night before (or two for planned trips.) Culled and packed and put in the truck then.

A second culling happens at the TH depending on perceived weather.
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Re: Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:47 pm

I have a place for all my gear but I tend to leave many things laying around.

What I bring depends on how I pack but on my long trips everything goes in the same way. The only change is when I am overloaded with food.
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Re: Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby The hermit » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:55 pm

A little of both. I like to plan it out but sometimes conditions and schedule align just right and i'm able to make my decision and be on the road within a few hours. I use bins mostly for car camping. The backpacking gear is in one area.
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Re: Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby oldhikerQ » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:16 am

I'm definitely an organizer. My packs and tents share a cabinet in the garage, along with the sleeping pads. The adjacent cabinet contains all of the cooking/eating gear on one shelf and the bear can and miscellaneous gear on the shelf below. I have bins in my closet for small stuff, segregated by function. The sleeping bags are on the top shelf in their storage bags, and all of the hiking clothes are nearby, either hung or sitting on a small shelf.
I have a master check list that I pack from, listing a wide range of choices. Selections are made based on weather and expected trip conditions. I will pack everything and put trail clothes in a large zippered pouch. Return clothes go in a duffel. At the meeting spot, I will empty the pack and go over everything once more, deciding what to leave behind.
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Re: Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby sparky » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:25 am

I have my backpacking stuff in bins, it is not really organized but just so it isn't scattered.

The stuff I take every trip except my down items and sleeping pad are kept packed in my pack. That way when I get a wild idea, I can be ready to go in minutes. I really don't plan trips ahead of time. The times I have tried to plan trips a head of time, usually they get pushed back for one reason or another, usually work. I just go spur of the moment. In fact, I just got a crazy idea to go hike southern Utah, hopefully will be heading out next week!

When I use one of my internal frame packs, I pretty much pack it the same every time. When I use my frameless G4, packing techniques vary quite a bit. When carrying a large bear canister, there is knife edge of packing technique that produces either a crappy ride or a comfortable ride.

One thing I started doing recently is using my down jacket as a bear canister cozy to help keep it cool. It helps quite a bit actually when carrying cheeses.
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Re: Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby richlong8 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:43 am

A little of both. My gear is in a cabinet and Rubbermaid bins in one area of the garage, but I would not call it organized. I bring 1/2 internal frame packs that I tend to pack the same way everytime, and that helps me keep track when I am out there. My organization is keeping a spreadsheet, and measuring everything with a digital scale, so I know exactly what I am carrying, and how much it weighs. Sounds like many of you are like me- I can't believe the amount of stuff I have accumulated for backpacking and fishing. Need to thin it out- Who wants some stuff?
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Re: Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby Jimr » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:01 pm

Organized mess! I have a shelf in the back of the shed for all of the bp stuff except maps and clothes. I've used the same pack for 30 years and everything goes in the same place. It's external frame, so there are outside pockets. Even my knife goes into the same pocket each trip. Why change stuff around.
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Re: Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby freestone » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:27 pm

Organized? Not really. Tidy? Sometimes to a fault. Spontaneous? I can be ready in 10 minutes.

Controlled chaos at home, not much better in the pack. I hardly ever toss or sell gear, never know when someone will need to barrow. Sometimes I will read an article or a post on some piece of gear I own, so I dig it up to revisit the gem. Most recently I dug out an old Snowpeak Titanium cup that I had not used in years, now it sits on my dresser like a vase waiting for a flower. I open my closet, and behold, a tea kettle with blackened bottom, sitting poised, ready to admire and revive a memory. I never forget the lifesaving basics when I get on the road, but I have been known to forget a hat or maybe the toilet paper, necessitating a store run before the trailhead.
On the trail I do not use stuff sacks and my pack is basically a big bag with a roll top. Down in first, then the heavier stuff to compress the down, topping it all off with the Bearicade. Fishing gear on top, rod lashed to the side.
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Re: Organizer or Spontaneous Backpacker?

Postby schmalz » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:23 am

My life tends to trend towards disarray if I'm not careful, so I've determined it's important that I try to stay organized with my backpacking stuff.

I should also note that I've arrived at my campsite for weekend trips and realized I was missing a key piece of gear. In one case, I was missing a part to my stove, so I had to eat trail bars and cut the trip a day short, and in the other case I somehow had forgotten a tent :)

So now I try to have a good packing list. I've used some of my excel skills for this to make an adaptable packing list that does a few things:

- allows me to choose what gear I am going to bring
- clearly highlights key stuff I might have forgotten
- allows me to spread to gear out among the group (for now just Callie and soon my wife again)
- allows me to see the weight spread update in real time

Here is a copy of the current list, which is still being fleshed out. ... sp=sharing

I should also note that there area some items on there that would never go with me on a longer trip, but I like to have the option to pack luxuries for short trips with family, so the list is adaptable to all of that.
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