From home to the backcountry I like my gear to have a “place”.  At home it’s a bin for cookware, a bin for sleeping pads, a bin for tents, a bin for my backpacking clothes, a bin for backpacking food and so on.  I’ve tried different techniques since I’ve been backpacking over the years from just throwing everything in your backpack with no stuff sacks or dry bags which a lot of people can and actually do but not I.  I need a little method to the madness of packing my backpack and I believe I’ve got the setup that suites my needs currently.

That setup is the Hyperlite Mountain Gear pods.  80-90% of my gear will be in the pods within my backpack. Even my “ditty” pouch to “first aid” pouch will be in my “kit” pod.  Being organized helps me keep track of my gear and know where to look for certain things when I get to camp and know if I’m missing something when I’m packing my bag back up after camping.  This helps me keep sane and know I’m not forgetting something when I leave camp to continue my backpacking trip.  Can you still forget something?  Of course but it’s not as likely for me with my packing system.

How I pack pods in my HMG Junction 3400:

  • Top Pod/Stuff Sack (2400/3400 Small Pod or Large-X Large Stuff Sack) Depending on what I’m taking Hammock Vs Tent. (Small Pod) Hammock, Suspension, Gear Sling. (Stuff Sack) whichever tent I want to bring (with the poles/stakes stored in the outer pockets)
  •  Fourth Pod (2400/3400 Small Pod) Camp Clothes, liner (if taking two quilts)
  • Third Pod (2400/3400 Large Pod) Food/Stove kit. All food for the trip, stove, fuel, utensils, etc…)
  • Second Pod (2400/3400 Small Pod) “Kit” Pod (ditty pouch, first aid pouch, electronics pouch, sleeping pad, fire starting kit, knife for wood processing, any other “odd” item)
  • Bottom Pod (2400/3400 Large Pod) Sleeping Quilt(s) (depending on hammock vs tent)/Pillow/Liner (if taking one)

I’ll add my puffy to the very top inside of the pack and close.  The outer net will hold my rain gear, lunch, small trash bag, and toilet kit. One Side pocket for a water bottle and sit pad on the other with other smaller items I want accessible like bear spray.  Front hip belt pockets will be snacks/chews/hydration tabs/sun screen/bug spray for the day. I also have strap pockets I’ll add a smaller water bottle in one and a cell phone pouch with hand sanitizer in the mesh front pocket of the pouch.

Thanks for reading and Happy Backpacking!