My wife and I decided we want to start backpacking. Actually we decided this a little over a year ago,but she needed to finish college and we needed to save for the initial purchases. Anyway, we have gotten our tent, REI half dome 2, our packs, Gregory Z65 and Jade 60, and our bags and mats, REI radiant 20 degree and Sierra designs rosa 20 degree and two rei lite-core 1.5 pads.We are planning to purchase a small stove for boiling and a bearvault canister. That's all I can think of right now haha. My question is where do we keep our packs when we sleep? I know it might be a dumb question but I have never read anything about it. Thanks for the answer and any other suggestions for a couple of complete newbs.
I make sure any of my food or smellibles (lip balm, toothpaste, etc) are not in it, I hang or store those - in my case in an ursack because I'm often in bear country.
Once that's done, if I am in my hammock, I typically take out anything (glasses, spare clothing, etc. and hang my pack from the head of my hammock.
If I am not in my hammock I have several options. When I'm going pretty light on the ground, I often have a 3/4 length pad, in this case I'll often put my pack under my feet when I sleep.
If not, and I don't have a hammock to hang it under, I will sometimes leave it in a gear vestibule of a tent.
If there are trees handy, I will sometimes hang it from one nearby, but usually with a green garbage bag upside down over it and just the topstrap pulled through a hole in the garbage bag - so it doesn't get soaked if it rains.. If I am in a backcountry campsite with bear hangs, I often do this and leave my food bag in the pack, running the whole thing up the bear hang.
So there, there's a few ideas for you. Just don't leave it with food in it where critters can get at it. I also don't personally like to leave mine outside on the ground, due to the possibility of rodents chewing on the (often sweat salty) pack.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I remove all food and smellables from my pack and hang those (I'm also an Ursack user). In some areas (such as the Sierra, Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain National Parks, parts of Olympic National Park) you are required to carry a bear canister and all food and smellables must be inside. Even if you're not in bear country, there are raccoons, birds, mice, skunks which will all make a beeline for any food and chew or rip a hole to get there if it's in your tent or on the ground.
I use my pack and what remains in it under my head as a pillow. Some folks who use short sleeping mats put their packs under their lower legs and feet as insulation. Others put their packs in a corner or leave them out in the vestibule of their tent (happy tripping in the middle of the night!).
Yes I have read a lot of the links. I also read "The Backpacker's Field Manual" by Rick Curtis. I have pitched my tent in my yard and put our pads and sleeping bags in there and don't feel like there will be enough room to also put the packs in there. I want to leave them outside the tent but inside the rainfly, but I didn't know if there was a better way. Also my footprint for my REI half dome 2 doesn't extend to the rainfly, just directly under the tent. I was worried that the bags would get wet from rain, dew, or condensation.
I live in North Carolina and plan to visit the mountains in NC and Tn if that helps any.
As I stated in my first post I plan to get the bearvault canister this weekend. I also plan to keep all food and smelly things inside and put it about 70-100 steps away from our tent. Should I be keeping our stove, pot, and sporks in the canister as well? We will only be boiling water.
Again thanks for any help. And sorry about the wall of text.
Yes I have read a lot of the links. I also read "The Backpacker's Field Manual" by Rick Curtis. I have pitched my tent in my yard and put our pads and sleeping bags in there and don't feel like there will be enough room to also put the packs in there. I want to leave them outside the tent but inside the rainfly,
If you have enough room to do this, that often works fine. Your other option is to do my little trick of a garbage bag inverted over top with the haul strap on the pack poked through and just hang it by the haul strap from a nearby tree. Then it's out of your way, not on the ground, but won't get wet in a storm.
Your fly will probably keep your pack dry enough, the only thing I would worry about is rodent problems if they are salt crazy where you hike (where I am in canada, I get rodents that will chew up salty stuff - like pack straps where you sweat)
You might get a little condensation under the tent - but shouldn't be a big deal.
Should I be keeping our stove, pot, and sporks in the canister as well? We will only be boiling water.
I keep my spork and anything I've eaten with/off of in the bear hang/bag/canister. This includes my pot and little cup. I do not keep by stove or fuel in it. Since I use an ursack, my pot usually goes in last, inverted over top of everything, and I tie the ursack shut - any mouse or critter trying to get in the top is faced with a solid wall of aluminium - don't forget, your bear thing (ursack, canister, hang) isn't just for bears - rodents and small critters are a problem with food too.. I took my ursack to tasmania - got a few funny looks, but I was also one of the only ones in camp that the possums did *not* get into his food..
Again thanks for any help. And sorry about the wall of text.
Although I don't deal with bears, I do deal with other critters and hang my food bag. The only time you might want the stove and pot in there is if you've managed to spill food (boil-over, etc.) on them and can't get it washed off. If you're reasonably careful about cooking, that shouldn't happen very often.
Loc: Puget Sound, Washington
"Also my footprint for my REI half dome 2 doesn't extend to the rainfly, just directly under the tent."
And it shouldn't. If you are calling an extra ground cloth a "footprint", the ground cloth needs to be just under the actual tent itself (if you are going to use an extra ground cloth at all, many don't) because if it was larger, the rainwater would run off the rain fly and pool on the ground cloth and then run under your tent, soaking everything.
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Stick the pack inside a plastic trash bag if you are worried about it getting wet. Take several, they weigh next to nothing and tear easily. Put anything you want to keep dry inside plastic bags inside the pack. You don't need fancy dry bags, the big zippered plastic food bags work pretty well and will last a while. Most packs are waterproof up to a point anyway, but things like underwear and socks you want to keep spares dry.
Not the original question but make sure whatever you are wearing will keep you warm if it gets wet, don't even take cotton underwear if the weather is going to be cool. I've got some wool sweaters that will keep me warm even if they are soaking wet and synthetics like Polarfleece wil do the same thing.
When I was hiking in NZ and rain was a common annoyance, I kept my pack in my tent, but I had room for it-another reason I think bivys are a bad idea for most people in most conditions.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.