I know this sounds unbelievably stupid but how do you do it??? I am planning on being away for 8 - 12 months, have a 65l bag and not a clue on how i am going to pack it. I have had a look for a plan or something but if anyone can help me out i'd appreciate it as the last thing i want to be doing is packing and unpacking for half my trip
A lot depends on if you have a toploader (a real backpack) or one that you can zip open all around (a travelpack). With the former, you'll want frequently used items on top.
But generally speaking: heavy items close to your back, at the bottom (so they should be positioned right next to the small of your back, close to your center of gravity). I had a separate compartment at the bottom of the pack where I stored toiletries and one change of clean clothes, so that if I was staying overnight, I didn't even have to open the main pack. Roll everything. Have a large plastic bag inside the backpack to store your dirty laundry in, so that the smell remains as contained as possible. Taking the point of view of where you open the bag as the "top", have as many things stacked next to each other as possible, rather than above each other. Aka, layers are bad: you want to be able to pull as many things out without disturbing all the other things.
You will have to repack every so often, but that's okay - it becomes a pretty easy routine after the first few months.
Ah i see - that would have never occured to me about the layers etc. Thanks for the help
Note that you almost certainly won't be able to completely avoid having layers of clothes packed - just try to minimize it.
What about those packing cube things for keeping small items of clothes in? Do you think they're useful? I've heard some travellers have rolled up tops in one, underwear in another etc
Here's a link for an idea of what I mean
I pack everything into see-through zip lock bags. So, put all your t-shirts in one bag, squash it and seal it. Then do the same with your shorts, underwear etc. Because its been squashed and sealed it means there is no air in there and makes everything more compact. Also it saves your clothes getting wet and helps when you're searching for things in your rucksack. Definitely the best way to do it!
We just got back from a 10 day trip and my girlfriend purchased a variety of different sized stuff sacks for us. I wasn't sure about them before we left, but they were great. If I had to get any thing out of my pack it was very easy to take out the stuff sacks. They also made it really quick and easy to pack up in the morning.
I think next time though I need to do a better job of keeping everything seperated and have one stuff sac for shirts, one for underwear, etc. And maybe label each one. I think that would make our system better.
Also, if you put some clothes in a stuff sack it quickly doubles as a pillow. This means you don't have to take a pillow one your trip.
I used zip loc bags a lot when I was camping and they are great too. I found the stuff sacs were a lot easier and quicker to pack. But, they weren't as waterproof.
there isnt a particular way to pack your sack but keep the heavy things at the top. and the important stuff (torch, medi-kit etc) in a side pocket.
I have used packing cells and think they are great. I have found that it is a really good way to have an organised pack and be able to find everything pretty easy. The only problem I have found is that when all your clothes are dirty you cant fit everything back in as you can squash a lot into those cells. Maybe cells for dirty clothes?
yeah, those small little bags actually do help a lot in packing. to hell with ziplocks - they still get air in them after 24hrs.
eagle creeks have good sacs that you can use. generally, you can stuff 7-8 pieces (depending on how big your shirts are) into those small little sacs. i dont know if those come with compression belts inside them that compresses all your shirts, mine does though not under eagle creeks. these sacs are really good, as they help you to organise your stuff.
i was staying in the hostel the other time, and good grief, this canadian guy has clothes all over his pack. it was literally a mountain. so yep. get those sacs!