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5/18/2022 9:53 pm  #1


Anyone else somehow completely forget how to organize their pack from year to year? I’m heading out tomorrow and it’s taken me hours to get everything sorted. Let’s hope that gets more efficient when I’m actually on the trip 😬.


5/19/2022 7:38 am  #2

Re: Packing

Yes this is me for sure! And every year I say "next year I'm packing less and going lighter" and come game time I end up packing more and getting heavier. I head in tomorrow morning and still have a lot of work to do....

Recent series on YouTube

5/19/2022 7:41 am  #3

Re: Packing

I think I’m finally at the point where this doesn’t happen. I think it’s because I am light enough and have my food dialed in so it doesn’t take as long anymore. But it took a lot of practice and gear upgrades to get here!


5/19/2022 8:16 am  #4

Re: Packing

Always an unpleasant activity.  It has gotten better since I started using a Portage Pack though, since that is packed predominantly with stuff sacks and not individual items stuck in side pockets on the side of the bag.  My packing list shows the "Kitchen bag" and its contents, for example, so usually I can just confirm that what was in there last time is still in there.  My list identifies consumables so that's a reminder to determine whether or not to replenish.  Process starts about a week in advance.  OK, earlier than that, because there's always some new piece of capital a bug shelter...

This time it has been frustrating: first trip since last fall, lots of evening obligations this week, and my daughter is taking a separate trip that is simultaneous with mine, so I had to prepare a packing list for her and find duplicate items in my camping junk for her.  On the plus side, that has forced me to do some things early.

All that so I can have a board meeting with the black flies next week.   


5/19/2022 8:23 am  #5

Re: Packing

Being a kayak camper, having my gear properly organized isn't something I can mess around with. Everything I take on a camping trip has a specific place, in a specific bag, and even how I put things in bags is pretty much consistent from one trip to another. My gear checklist is likewise broken down based on how I organize everything. 

Which is to say No, I don't have this particular issue ;). Now finding all of my stuff can be a bit of a challenge. My water filters came in the house for the winter so they wouldn't freeze in the garage, as did my batteries, as did other random bits of gear...  but I tracked everything down eventually!


5/19/2022 8:27 am  #6

Re: Packing

It takes me a month to properly prep for the first trip of the year. If I do enough trips, then I can get in a groove and know that all the gear is ready to go. There is usually maintenance required that didn't happen in the winter. Stuff that you knew exactly where it was "in season" you find yourself hunting down. Part of my challenge is too much gear being around. I *think* that I'm pretty consistent in what I use, but there is enough stuff around to outfit all 5 of us at least 2X over. 


5/19/2022 9:26 am  #7

Re: Packing

The initial packing always takes the longest and it's annoying and time consuming. I want to make it quicker and break the habit of carefully fitting smaller items into pots or have stuff sacks carefully fitted into the limited confines of my backpacking pack. My backpack will always require carefully filling the bottom side spaces with fuel bottles, nalgenes, tent poles, thermarests etc. But I'm going to start carelessly dumping the little stuff into sacks and just throwing it in, hoping that I can still close the top of my pack.

To cut down on initial organizing I just skim my packing list, get a big box, and go "shopping" in the basement where I have all my gear on shelves. Hopefully I don't forget anything critical.


5/19/2022 9:38 am  #8

Re: Packing

Uppa wrote:

...  but I tracked everything down eventually!

I bought "Triangles" a few months ago for my roof rack to stabilize the canoe.  Put them in the garage.  Have been looking for them off an on for the past two days.  Where the H did I put them?  OH.  I put them in the box with the Christmas lights.  Of course I did, where else would I have put them?  With the canoeing stuff?  That's for amateurs. 


5/19/2022 9:41 am  #9

Re: Packing

solos wrote:

....and go "shopping" in the basement where I have all my gear.

Twenty years ago I kept my gear in the basement.  Then I discovered that the cats had been peeing all over it.  That was a very expensive litterbox.  Now my gear lives in rubbermaid bins, etc., in my bedroom closet.  Those cats have since gone on to their reward, but I'm not giving the current generation of cats any grand ideas.


5/19/2022 10:13 am  #10

Re: Packing

MooseWhizzer Dave wrote:

... I discovered that the cats had been peeing all over it.

That's unfortunate but at least you got to buy new gear! Unfortunately our senior citizen dog who we acquired during COVID can't really hold her bladder when everyone is at work all day. Last time she peed it leaked down into the basement but thankfully it hit the freezer and not my gear!


5/20/2022 4:14 pm  #11

Re: Packing

Packing the first trip would be easy if I could just find where the F I put everything last year.


8/16/2022 6:19 pm  #12

Re: Packing

I might be a bit OCD but I have a spreadsheet as to what I have and where everything is placed in my bag.
To top it off, I also take pictures from year to year.

The good thing is that every year my bag gets lighter.


Been humping in Algonquin for over 40 years!

8/18/2022 7:53 am  #13

Re: Packing

Lumpy - I keep a spreadsheet too, and coupled with that, have been storing stuff in the stuff sacks I use on trips.  So now, I don't just have a section on the spreadsheet for "kitchen stuff", I have a section marked "Kitchen stuff sack", where I list all the junk in that stuff sack.  So when I pack I just confirm it is all there. Packing has gone a lot faster since I started doing that. 

BUT, I'm very sorry to tell you that if your pack is getting lighter every year, that means you are forgetting stuff more and more each year.  You should get that checked out.  


Board footera

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