Just thought I should post an update about my pack and what I am carrying…I attached a photo of my pack, and here is what is in it!
Inside – a trash compactor bag…I use this as added rain protection. In rain we use a pack cover, but the water also runs down the back of my raincoat next to the back of my pack so the trash bag helps keep my stuff dry even if the water soaks my backpack.
What’s In My Backpack
From the bottom up: The Big Agnes Air Core sleeping pad is folded and is laid flat on the bottom of the pack. Next is my sleeping bag, inside a compression dry bag to make sure my down sleeping bag does not get wet. Next is my clothes dry bag, laying in a flat layer. This has my 2nd pair of socks (unless they stink, then they hang on the outside of the pack), my sleeping tights and shirt, my long zip off pants, long sleeve shirt, Montbell jacket, hat and gloves, and my 2nd pair of underwear. My headlamp is often packed in my clothes dry bag. Then I have my maps and journal and electronic gear for my camera and phone in a plastic aLOKSAK inside a dry bag to make sure it nothing gets wet. That lays flat on the clothes. Next is a layer of tent gear. I got rid of the stuff sacks so my tent body, rain fly, and footprint are all folded in a layer as long as they are not wet. Last is my food bag and rain coat…they are placed at the top because I’ve found that my pack feels better with the heavier stuff up higher. The top of the pack is then rolled down and strapped shut.
Outside back mesh pocket: The large mesh pocket on the back holds important things like my emergency medical kit, my mesh top camp shoes, the all important toilet paper, 40 feet of rope, the rain cover for the backpack, and typically the 2 snacks and my lunch for the day and my toothbrush.
Outside side pockets: Each pocket has a water bottle, I am currently carrying one Gatorade and one Poweraid bottle. My maps also slip in the pocket along with my bandana, snacks, my hat, or other items I may need easy access to while walking. My tent poles are also attached to the outside of the back pocket.
Hipbelt pockets: One side has my camera and Joby tripod for the camera. That pocket also has my thermometer attached to the zipper. The other side has my Leatherman knife, water treatment (used to be iodine, now Aquamira), sunsceen, hand sanitizer, and cell phone in another aLOKSAK to keep it dry.
That is pretty much it! Things are changing though…I got my new sleeping bag today which is 2 lbs lighter and much smaller than my winter bag. I also sent home lots of clothes I didn’t need and picked up a much smaller sleeping pad. It will take a few days but I will soon have a new structure to my backpack, much lighter!