My Pre-trip Packing Routine

Packing can actually be kinda daunting for an obsessive person like me.  Here is what I’ve done to get a routine down and save time:

  1. First, I get a small day pack or grocery sack and put in a fresh change of clothes that are season appropriate, adding in a stick of deodorant.  This is what I’ll change into once I return to my car at the trail head.   I put this beside the front door with my trekking poles, gazetteer and hiking shoes.
  2. Then I lay out the easy stuff… quilt, sleeping pad, shelter, stakes and of course my pack.  This is what I’ll carry on every trip no matter what.  I feel halfway done at this point LOL.
  3. I put my water bladder in, because it will be an absolute pain in the ass to put in later, requiring a total unloading and reloading of everything.
  4. In the bottom of my pack I put my down quilt in a garbage bag, and I put other down or moisture sensitive items in as well.  I cram it down.
  5. I break out all my clothing that I’ll need, putting the stuff I will wear while hiking in a separate area, so I can put it right on after work or the morning I drive out to the trail head.
  6. Around the garbage bag, I stuff in the items I don’t need until I break camp.  That being my shelter, stakes, sleeping pad, and base layers etc, I wont need till then.  I just stuff stuff all the way down.
  7. On top of that bulky base, I put my cook set and food.  This ends up being midway up my pack/back.
  8. I put my gallon ziplock bag that has bear line, headlamp, toothbrush and other miscellaneous items that come with me on every trip, usually to one side of the food bag.
  9. In the very top of my bag, I put the stuff I may need while hiking like my rain jacket or even binoculars which I bring on some trips for wildlife viewing.
  10. Anything I need access to as I’m hiking will be in my hip belt pockets and shoulder strap pockets, like snacks, first aid, phone, PLB.
  11. I put it all beside my front door, so everything is in one spot ready to go.

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