So my buddy Alex sends me a quick pic with a great piece of advice. He pointed out that puff style jackets can be packed into their own sleeve, while a lot of the newer jackets like this have built in pockets for storage. It's outside the box thinking like this that gets you pondering about some of the other aspects of packing for a trip.
Some things I usually take into account when packing is the ability to pack things in a compact dry container or bag. Keep in mind dry and water proof can mean very different things, so planning accordingly can be the difference between a fun and not fun trip. I also like to go for a more waterproof approach because out here in the desert water proof is also dust proof.
There are a lot of options between waterproof bags, compression sacks and good old fashioned freezer bags. To tell you the truth I prefer all three since the trip dictates the packing of your gear. For short trips the freezer bags rock, especially because of the ability to spread a load around gear in the pack.
As for longer trips or colder ones where you're gonna want some extra "sniffle" gear, the larger waterproof bags are a good option. I especially appreciate when they have compression straps or can purge the air in the bag. Compression sacks are usually smaller than the larger waterproof bags and give you the ability to get a little bit of modularity when stowing gear.
As for modularity we have all heard the "don't put all of your eggs in one basket" mantra, and this holds true for packing your bags too. Personally, I usually pack my sleeping bag separate as well as putting my cold weather gear in a bag of its own. Mainly, this alleviates exposing the things that let me sleep comfortably to the elements while getting in and out of my day to day (socks and calzoncillos) items. The day to day bag will also get progressively smaller.
And finally my favorite part... While you are packing and unpacking possibly in the dark and cold, it is important to remember to pack your bags and backpack realistically. If it took you two hours to meticulously pack in a well lit living room you might want to rethink your approach, just saying. Many times I have fallen in love with my own idea only to readjust the entire backpack a half mile in. So if you think you might have issues unpack and repack, maybe outside or during sunset etc.
Ultimately practice makes perfect and nothing replaces experience, but reading up on this stuff sure is better than nothing (or more fun than work). Today's discussion has been focused on packing gear as well as a few approaches we use to make our trips a little easier and a lot more enjoyable. Thanks again for taking the time to read our stuff and we look forward to running into you on the trail!
Kit Fox Outfitters