• We apologize for the somewhat convoluted sign-up process. Due to ever-more sophisticated attacks by chatbots, we had to increase our filtering in order to weed out AI while letting humans through. It's a nuisance, but a necessary one in order to keep the level of discourse on the forums authentic and useful. From the actual humans using WCP, thanks for your understanding!

Packing for trips

pawsplus

Paddler
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
1,063
Location
Landlocked in Tennessee
Is there an easier way to do it? I'm going on a 2 night trip and getting ready is killing me. There is crap all over my porch. I can't keep track of what is in what bag and it all seems to take an ungodly amount of time. Tips???
 
Paws:
Are you using a checklist/packing list?
Breaking down the list into 'departments', with a bag for each, helps me:
Kitchen:dish/cup/cutlery/can opener etc
Stove/cookset
'Camping' bag:Toilet kit, pak-towel,headlamp, batteries,spare glasses, music, etc.- stuff I need/could need in the tent
Warm clothes
Other clothes
Separate bag for raingear - to keep wet raingear from wetting other stuff..
Food bags
Bag for garbage (with plastic bag(s) inside

etc..
BTW, only some of these bags are dry bags - raingear goes in very light (silnylon) stuff sacks, for example.

From what I've seen, there's a big variety of ways to organize (in come cases, disorganize :yikes: ) gear, and they all seem to work somehow.

Except for the quantity of food & fuel & and a few extra clothes, a 2-night trip takes the same amount of gear as a longer one, IME.
 
I have a list. I need to redo it. The whole arrange-by-what's-going-in-what-bag thing doesn't work because sometims those things don't fit. I'm trying a new system tomorrow with everything listened then I'll write down which bag (numbered) each item goes in as I load them. Then maybe next time it will be easier because I'll know what fits. Maybe???
 
I'm probably the wrong guy to ask because even if I start packing a week before I leave for a weekend trip I'm still packing at 2:00 am the night before leaving. However, saying this, I always get out the door on time.

Some tips:

- use a checklist - this is the best thing to make it easier. You won't forget things and it's excellent for keeping organized.

- organize everything by category -- kitchen, shelter, sleeping, cooking, clothing, food (including water), paddle gear.

- if you have clear drybags, these are the best for food.

I try to have everything loaded into the car or beside the door the night before leaving with the exception of refrigerated food -- I load my refrigerated food into a drybag just before leaving.
 
My primitive approach only works because it has evolved enough that things which never got used (exclusive of emergency food and gear) fell by the wayside, and things I wish I had taken the trip before got added. It is laundry baskets and mesh duffels. I pack these ahead of time,, as I get ready, with one basket for the front hatch, one for the rear, and the third for the cockpit plus stuff I will be wearing. The open mesh of the duffels and baskets let me see everything without tearing into a basket or a duffel, so I can do a check on stuff easily.

Only a few things get drybagged at home, mostly clothing and sleeping bag. Other stuff gets bagged at the launch site, into whatever bag fits, or into a bag experience shows is just right. Food gets bagged into small breathable nylon drawstring bags, each with a letter or number on it, at home, and a list is made of what is in each nylon bag. The nylon bags make for a quick transfer to a dry bag if needed, and slide around inside the dry bag for compact packing. And, minimal searching later in camp. Perishables ride in an iced car camping cooler to the launch site and go into a collapsible fabric/foam cooler, then into the boat, last thing.

Only experience with your personal kit will help develop an efficient packing scheme, leaving no voids. Kayaks can hold a lot of weight, but volume is limited, so you have to figure out how to make use of those crannies and nooks underdecks. Cans of food or beverages need no bagging, and fit where needed. Ditto durable vegetables like potatoes.

One or two of the emptied mesh duffels ride along inside the boat, for quicker transfer from boat to campsite, especially critical if it is raining. And handy for keeping stuff off the ground if needed.
 
I list and category too, I use bigger dry bags , blue bag clothes, yellow and orange bag food, green sleeping bag ect. I use a Tupperware box for the kitchen stuff. The food planning is the hardest for me !
 
Dan_Millsip said:
Jill said:
The food planning is the hardest for me !
You're not alone. :|
For one night/two days, it's not too much trouble, but for multiday trips, it gets tricky, for sure.

Pawsplus, you have some dietary restrictions, IIRC, which perhaps make it easier? With Becky and me, cheese is a staple for lunches, and overnighters in our climate, or even 4 nights out, are not a problem, because harder cheeses keep well for that long.

One of my paddling buddies has four or five tried and true dinner meals which he cycles through on a multidsy trip, making dinner easy, anyhow. He uses a lot of canned foods.
 
Use a checklist and possibly a rough sketch of the kayak with where things go in it.

Eventually you will have done it so often you won't need the list. Then you will get old and it will be a good thing to use a list (again). Aircraft pilots, surgeons, etc. use checklists.

Read "The Checklist Manifesto" by Atul Gawande. He is a surgeon but talked to pilots and skyscraper builders etc. when writing the book and then writing the checklist to be used around the world by surgeons. Review here -
http://atulgawande.com/book/the-checklist-manifesto/
 
Astoriadave said:
Pawsplus, you have some dietary restrictions, IIRC, which perhaps make it easier? With Becky and me, cheese is a staple for lunches, and overnighters in our climate, or even 4 nights out, are not a problem, because harder cheeses keep well for that long.

One of my paddling buddies has four or five tried and true dinner meals which he cycles through on a multidsy trip, making dinner easy, anyhow. He uses a lot of canned foods.
Food is easy for me. I'm vegan and I eat simply at home, so see no reason to get fancy while camping. I am planning on rice and canned baked beans both nights, with leftovers for the next days lunches. Oatmeal packets with raisins added for breakfast. Apples, Clif bars, and dried apricots for snacks. I am also gonna try roasting corn on the cob in the coals of my fire. :)
 
Dave's (and others) iterative approach with lists is it.

I use excel for things like this. Group items by function (safety, food, cookware, shelter, navigation, clothing..) and then have the items in those groups linked-assigned to locations/bags in your kayak.

That may not make sense..basically you have two major lists..one list comprised of groups by functionality(list 1), the second list is comprised of groups by kayak location(list 2). List 1 is refined per Dave's routine (if I didn't use it leave it home next time..if I needed it & didn't have it, add it in next time). List 2 is has locations in the kayak as groups & they're comprised of cell assignments-targets (i.e. =C11) in list 1. Not hard to do & will put many of the decisions you're struggling with now on auto-pilot for next time. Otherwise..you'll still struggle next time with good decisions you've already worked out on this trip..unless you have perfect recall.. (in general) Making the same decision more than once is inefficient..if you end up with different solutions each time, then you're headed down the random approach road.

It all comes down to iteration & refinement..efficiency in that process will just shorten the ramp to having it worked out into a standard approach.

All that and take a look at this..possible option..simple & good.
http://www.paddlinglight.com/articles/tutorial/how-to-cook-bannock-on-a-stick-campfire-bread/
 
fishboat said:
Dave's (and others) iterative approach with lists is it.

I use excel for things like this. Group items by function (safety, food, cookware, shelter, navigation, clothing..) and then have the items in those groups linked-assigned to locations/bags in your kayak.
I did something similar to this--new plan. Used to have a Word list, but that wasn't working. New Excel list has 5 columns, which can be sorted.

Category
Item
Number (of the item)
Bag or Location (Bag 4, Deck, Tuck-in, Wear, etc.)
Notes

Tonight I'll pack as much as I can, note the bag number, and then sort it by bag and print it for the trip. That should help me be able to find stuff without having to tear through 3 bags every time. :)

It just seems like so much STUFF for 2 nights LOL! Lord. What WOULD the pioneers/Native Americans/First Nations from the 17th century think of us?? :)
 
That'll work. Eventually you'll get to a point where the formality is no longer needed. What you're doing now will just avoid the treadmill & get you to that point faster.

As for the 17th century...yeah..I think about that too.

If you'd like to look into 'going light' further(and thereby avoid much of the "where do I put this?" planning)..Bryan's blog (http://www.paddlinglight.com/) is a good resource.
 
Paws,

An afterthought: in packing, I also place items needed immediately on landing right under the hatches. IOW, stuff I need to prep my camp, or protect me from bugs and or rain gets packed last so it is an easy reach on arrival at my campsite. In your case, it might be that you will want your tent, tent stakes, stake pounder, and raingear handy just inside a hatch so that you can make a dry space for tossing all the stuff that needs to stay dry. (Or, deck load the tent in a dry bag.) Even if your gear is inside a dry bag, life is simpler and easier if the dry bags are dry on their exterior, and you can sort and unpack things inside the tent with impunity. Then emerge from your nylon chrysalis, garbed in raingear if needed, to deal with everything else.

On my wet coast, the kitchen tarp goes up first, before anybody unpacks a boat, so that our group can ferry dry bags, etc., to the kitchen area, and at least not get any wetter while under the tarp. Then everyone pitches tents, transferring gear and reasonably dry dry bags to their tents. On sunny days, we abandon that approach, gear erupts from boats, gets scattered over the beach, and the kitchen tarp goes up in a more leisurely, creative fashion, usually moderated by snacking and wine. Tents? Usually pitched before dark on good weather days.
 
fishboat said:
If you'd like to look into 'going light' further(and thereby avoid much of the "where do I put this?" planning)..Bryan's blog (http://www.paddlinglight.com/) is a good resource.
I'll look at it, but I'm probably as "light" as I'm comfy with. I readily admit to enjoying my creature comforts to some degree, and I need my tent, Thermarest, pillow, and comfy clothes or I wouldn't have a good time! :)

Astoriadave said:
On my wet coast, the kitchen tarp goes up first, before anybody unpacks a boat, so that our group can ferry dry bags, etc., to the kitchen area, and at least not get any wetter while under the tarp. Then everyone pitches tents, transferring gear and reasonably dry dry bags to their tents. On sunny days, we abandon that approach, gear erupts from boats, gets scattered over the beach, and the kitchen tarp goes up in a more leisurely, creative fashion, usually moderated by snacking and wine. Tents? Usually pitched before dark on good weather days.
I plan to practice with the tarp. I hopefully won't need it this trip (it's pouring today but is supposed to be partly cloudy on Thurs and lovely on Fri, with rain only late in the day on Sat (when I return)), but I do need to practice. I want to practice putting it up OVER the tent. I assume one needs to put the tent up first for that, or else get the tarp up pretty high (which may be problematic by myself). I have tons of stakes and rope, so will just experiment.
 
Dave makes an important point -- I always pack my tarp to be immediately accessible at the top of my hatch followed by my tent, and my beaching bag.
 
Tarp will probably have to go on the deck. My boat is 14 feet and I'm worried about everything fitting. I had a hard time on my last trip and I have a few more things this time around. I'm afraid the deck is going to be pretty crowded!
 
As Nootka suggests in his link, there are many smaller sleeping pads available now -- including some very small ones from Thermarest. I assume that your particular Thermarest model is an older one?

Then again, maybe you need a bigger boat? :wink:
 
Back
Top